Moving to Mexico City

31 October - 19 November 2011. Filed under category Personal.
Mexico City

As always, the posts under the personal category are less about the nature of a nomadic life and more about keeping track of where I am and how I am doing. It has been 20 days since I arrived in Mexico City and I have not written a word about it apart from updating the map. I’m sorry for being so lax in keeping you up to date.

I spent my first few days in Mexico City locked away in a hotel room. I had a lot on my mind and I simply didn’t have the strength to face a new city, a language I couldn’t speak well and the daunting task of settling into a new country. So I hid.

Eventually, I got over myself and through a contact found a room to rent in La Condesa, a hip area in the centre of town. With a place to call my own, I felt braver and began going out. I found a couple of bars that I liked (despite my phone being stolen in one of them) and made a few friends. I’ve figured out how to use the public transport, I started shopping at the local supermarket and the money doesn’t look so strange to me anymore. With these small signs of progress, the feeling of being disconnected and lonely lifted.

Apart from settling into the city, I’ve been busy on two projects. The first is learning Spanish. My Spanish is very basic, and although I can get by, I simply must learn the language if I am to really enjoy my time here. My second project was to make this blog mobile-friendly. (If you spot any issues, please let me know.)

I haven’t done any sightseeing yet. Instead, I’ve simply wandered the streets, worked at cafes and chatted with the locals. There will be time to see the sights later. Simply living in this new city is exciting enough for now. So to wrap up this rambling post, here are a few early observations from Mexico City.


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  1. Allan says:

    Hey Gustav,

    Glad you are settling in to Meccc-i-co City. I can’t give you any tips as I have never been there, but it is a city I have always wanted to visit.

    Keep us updated on your progress,

    Al x

  2. Gustav,
    I’m not a fan of Me-he-co City myself, after spending 10 days in colonial Mexico & 3 in the capital last month…too sprawling & chaotic for me, but those street tacos are to die for. They pyramids also are nice, worth a day trip.

    For a more manageable experience, head for places like Guanajuato, a lively student town…the scholars dress up in medieval robes at dusk & the discos go ’til dawn (I know, I took a taxi to the airport in Leon at 4am & they were still hopping). Also San Miguel de Allende, fondly known as “Gringo Gulch” for its large community of expats and La Gruta, an amazing hot springs with thermal hot springs + a gushing waterfall to massage your cares away in an Indiana Jones-style-cave. If you win the lottery or want ultimate romance, head for tiny Trancas & one of Mexico’s few intact presidios, now a magnificent hostelry:

  3. Rod says:

    Hey Gustav,
    Quite interesting your first impressions of Mexico City. I’ve always liked to hear the comments of my foreign friends about this place… it’s really illustrating! I see things that sometime I didn’t notice before because I’m used to them… for instance, one of my French friends once asked me… “how is it possible that here (meaning Mexico) you can buy cigarettes in pharmacies???”… well, what could I say to that?… I answered: “Let me tell you that Mexico is one of the most surrealistic places on Earth!”… By the way, some tacos are very good when you buy them along the sidewalk… but I advise you to get some references before eating them… not very healthy very often, and you get the risk of getting really sick if they are not good… :o(

  4. Alfonso Cortés says:

    Hola Gustavo…
    Glad you survived your first 20 days here in the city…, as you can witness for yourself, it’s not as bad as everyone say…, just as any major metropoly in the world it has it’s ups and downs…
    I’m also glad to tell you that I know your sister…, we traveled together in Up with People back in ’93.
    So, my friend, if you are open to know the “real Mexico” people never tell you about, as well as all the magnificent sights this great city and it’s outscards offer you, gimme a call.

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Hey Alfonso! My sister’s Up With People trip was the object of her little brother’s purest envy back then. I wanted so badly to go on a similar adventure. Fast forward a few years and.. here we are!

      I will for sure give you a call and looking forward to checking out that real Mexico. Btw, I removed your contact details so you don’t get spammed to death by the robots crawling the web, looking for unprotected e-mails.

  5. Joel Oswaldo says:

    Lol, what happens, my dear Gustavito, is that you are living in a neighborhood with lots of resturants, but not the whole city is like that, in fact, some years ago that area of ​​the city was not that way. As it may, I think you have much to discover in this huge city.(the museums, the old neighborhoods, the traditional food, xochimilco, etc.)
    Now I have a important change in my life, I’m going to live in city Zacatecas city, is a change in my work, I will be responsible for two or three major projects in this beautiful colonial city. I love Zacatecas, I have family and friends there, but I think I’ll miss this crazy Mexico City a lot.
    By the way, excuse my english 😉

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Congratulations on your new job! And hurrah for the invitation I am soon going to receive to check out Zacatecas! 😉

      But before I let you go, we still have some Mexico City exploring to do, right?

      1. Joel Oswaldo says:

        Of course you´ll be invited to visited Zacatecas, and yes, we still have so many places to exploring here in La Gran Tenochtitlán (the aztec name of México City)=)

        1. Joel Oswaldo says:

          PS: Remember I can be bad, very bad these days, then in Zacatecas, I will become a saint

  6. Mike says:

    Now that you left the U.S. it looks like you’re really starting to live the nomadic life that you were searching for. Glad you’re having fun in Mexico buddy!

  7. Ernesto M says:

    No wenoooooo! I was laughing out loud! God u r good! I’ve never realised some of the things you spotted! I mean c’mon “super-charged nuclear-powered blinding police lights” hahahaha or what abt “easy prey for holes” and also you got some “death traps” pictures where “foot goes in; body goes down; head goes squish under passing bus” to rest ur case! hahahahaha mean but true I admit! damn! :O

    Well I gotta say that like someone posted lines above, La Condesa is a famous zone for foodlovers and mainly partygoers and that is why police sirens are all time on (aware! yeahhh right! haha) but without the “WuuuWuuuuWuuuu” sound, imagine if so! God NOO! :O But tons of Mexicans would kill to live where u live, that’s for sure! Take it from someone who’s been there! ;P

    And yes the list keeps growin’ => Xochimilco, Tepotzotlan, Tlatelolco, Hidalgo… crap! so b ready! 😉 Cya! and thumbs up, good job! ;P

  8. Brother Henrik says:

    Helloo Brother nice to here that you enjoy the city but dont forget to come home over Crismas 🙂

  9. Imogen says:

    Your best post so far. And your place looks amazing. xxx

  10. SID says:

    I am planning to be in Mexico to see if I can take a TEFL course and become an English teacher. Found your blog interesting. How hard was it to find your room? How did you find it? Is there an online website to find them?

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      It was pretty easy. I got the name of a friend of a friend and stayed with him for the first few days, and through him I found another guy who rented out a room.

      As for websites, of course, is a great site to get on.

  11. Federico says:


    The reason the police car lights are on all the time is because of a law passed a few years ago, so that cops can’t hide in a dark corner and bust you for over speeding, if you think about it it’s a good trade off.

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