In the months leading up to our move, we had a number of people share with us, understandably so, their thoughts, concerns and reservations about us moving to a foreign country, especially Mexico. Like any place else, there will always be the potential for violence, crime, issues related to medical care and health insurance and more. But we feel that to live life to the fullest, you cannot live in fear…instead, we did our due diligence and research to learn about the area, the people, the culture, the laws, etc. and so far, the biggest problems we have faced is learning how to read food labels in Spanish and figuring out where to find the best margarita!!
No, seriously, although the food is AMAZING (we’ll get to that in just a sec), we were slightly surprised to find that many of the margaritas are made way too sweet for our taste and DEFINTELY without enough tequila! Nonetheless, we made it a mission the first month we were here to keep trying as many margaritas in town as we could and are fairly certain we have now found the BEST ones in Rosarito.
And yes, the food (street food specifically) is to die for…and incredibly inexpensive! At most places the tortillas are made from scratch, right before they are served, and loaded with your choice of meat or fish (our favorite we’ve decided is the al pastor and carne asada combo). They are then topped with a heaping scoop of freshly made creamy guacamole, salsa, cilantro and lime. We’ve been to several of the highest recommended, sit-down restaurants and inevitably leave saying, “we should’ve just gone for street tacos!”
In addition to outrageously delicious and cheap food, we have also found the people to be very welcoming and hospitable. They go above and beyond, and way out of their way, to help you – even when you are barely more than a stranger. The sense of family and community is quite strong and the culture is one that is very much relationship-focused. And everything just feels laid-back…in a wonderfully calming way.
We of course quickly realized that it was still going to take some time to become accustomed to certain things that are different from the “way we used to do it back home.” For example, we found ourselves shopping at Wal-Mart more in the first month we were here than we had in our entire lives previously. And the experience initially was a solid 2 hours or more, just trying to read labels and understand what we were buying! We have tried to start shopping at the local, mom and pop stores, but then you still need to plan a good portion of your day to go the meat store, then the fish store, then the produce store, than the store for the home goods and other dry products…definitely NOT the one-stop-shopping experience. Learning that your utilities bill comes delivered by hand roughly every 2 months, and that you pay it at the gas station (cash only), was also quite interesting.
So yes…things are different than they were in Colorado…but we are embracing it all and loving every moment of it!