Shortly after college my friend Tatiana Regan and I decided to go traveling through the US and Mexico and we both fell in love with Mexico so much that we decided to stay, in Mexico City to be exact. I felt very comfortable because of the fact that my heritage is Mexican and because I can speak the language, but things weren’t so easy for Tatiana. In fact after a couple of months here Tatiana was ready to pack her bags and head home because she found it so difficult. We had a couple of crisis conversations and because of her desire to stay here, we put together a plan to help her out, and here is how we did it.
The language was the biggest barrier for Tatiana and so we decided that we would have a weekly class and we would also look for a tutor to offer some support as well. Tatiana Regan also wanted to improve her Spanish and so she would start to use it much more, feeling discomfort and not understanding much, this was the perfect way to help her learn more.
Because Tatiana Regan made her living online it was very difficult for her to meet people from day to day. Something else which hindered Tatiana somewhat is that she wanted to meet locals and people from around the world, as opposed to meeting fellow Americans. Together we decided that it was best if she met a mixture of people, some local, some foreign and some from the USA, and in doing so she could gradually form a friendship group. We used meetup.com to find like-minded people and through that we ended up at salsa lessons, day trips and food tours, where we both met some great people. As we met more people and her language improved, the smile gradually came back to Tatiana’s face.
Food and Home Luxuries
I have no problem buying stuff from bak home to enjoy here but I think that Tatiana wanted to really immerse herself in Mexico and its culture and cuisine. There is nothing wrong with this of course but there are times when you just want a slice of home, and all of the memories that it evokes. And so we began searching for some shops which sold US goods and decided that for a few weeks, every Wednesday night we’d have a US night, with movies, music and food from the motherland. To integrate yourself into a culture you can’t go all in and you must protect a little bit of what is your own.
Eventually Tatiana really loved life here in Mexico City, her Spanish is brilliant, she has a daily routine and she has some great friends here. If you ever suffer from culture shock then these are some great tips to help you overcome it and enjoy your new place of living.