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Jen and Sam: Team Fuber

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Mexico makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Mexico, etc.

I’m Jen… a Science teacher by day and a beach bum by afternoon. I live along the Pacific coast of Mexico with my husband Sam and our two dogs. We moved here three years ago for our teaching positions at the American School of Puerto Vallarta. I yearn for outdoor adventures; surfing is a daily ritual, frequently followed by tacos and a cold margarita.

I was born in Southern California and Sam was born in Arizona. Team Fuber, came to be in 2001 in the small town of Freedom, New Hampshire. Since then we have lived and worked in Hawaii, Utah, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the Apache Reservation in Arizona. 

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

My first trip abroad was to India. During the trip I kept a hand written journal and would e-mail many of the entries to my mom. At this point in my life, I had never heard of a blog and had only started an e-mail account about a year prior, but I suppose this was my first attempt at ‘blogging’.

Our blog, Team Fuber, began many years later after a basement flood destroyed all of my hand written journals. Nearly ten years of travel, as well as two different experiences living abroad were gone. An online collection of our stories was long overdue. 

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

 Here are a few of my favorites: 

Tell us about the ways your new life in Mexico differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

The biggest difference is the simplicity of my life in Mexico. I live in a small fishing village with cobblestone streets and dirt roads. Everything and everybody seems to move more slowly, in a more relaxed demeanor. 

The driving terrifies me and I am still in awe at some of the maneuvers I see on my way to and from work each day.

A few things still ‘shock’ me and make me belly chuckle… like, seeing grandma crammed into the back of a moving pickup truck; sitting in a plastic chair, drinking a beer on a Sunday afternoon.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Mexico? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

We were not prepared at all for what awaited us in Mexico. Mexico swept us off our feet! We shocked our friends, family and ourselves by purchasing a house a year after arriving. The original plan was to stay two years.

Besides paper work for visas, there is nothing to prepare… Come experience Mexico and learn as you go.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us? 

On a recent visit to a local taco stand the owner taught us some naughty slang words brought about after a vendor had passed with a sign promoting her goods. The sign was a play on words; when taken literally, was a vulgar word for a female body part. On the drive home we continued to proudly practice the pronunciation of our newly acquired word with the car windows down. A woman in her sixties walked by overhearing our Spanish practice… her jaw dropped in shock at what her ears heard and we awkwardly laughed and apologized at our stupidity, as we waited for the stoplight to turn green.

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Mexico? 

  • Always know where to get a good taco.
  • Have a good sense of humor and be willing to laugh at your mistakes.
  • Having an expat community is important but knowing the locals is necessary. Treat the locals well and always be polite.

How is the expat community in Mexico? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

Our town receives an influx of expats each year during the winter months. We also receive many cruisers who are here for several months before sailing to the South Pacific or whom return to live on their boats for the season. It is an eclectic mix of retirees and Jimmy Buffet types. The summer tends to be mostly locals but there is always a gaggle of expats down the road, in the Puerto Vallarta area with lots of activities and happenings. 

How would you summarize your expat life in Mexico in a single, catchy sentence?

Simplify your life: Smile more & live a lifestyle which always feels like vacation.

Francois Bertrand

"The last InterNations event was just great: I had some very nice chats with fellow expats (even Canadians like me) in Mexico City. "

Barbara Melington

"With InterNations, we had the chance to find a good bi-lingual school for our children in Mexico. They are gonna grow up as true 'third-culture kids'! "

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