When we hatched our plan to move our family from Colorado to Mexico, we had no idea how many other U.S. families had already done the same thing, and how many others longed to follow in our footsteps. We’ve been living in Mexico 1 ½ years now, and during that time we’ve met countless families online and in person who have upended their stateside existence either permanently or for extended periods of time and planted roots south of the border. We have also met countless others passing through – on vacation or researching relocation possibilities – that are seriously contemplating making the move themselves.
What is driving these families to leave the USA for Mexico? Donald Trump and taco truck jokes aside, it is a question we are intensely curious about. How are these families making it happen and what are their lives like now? What are the lessons they’ve learned along the way?
Well, we are about to find out. We are undertaking a little research project to learn more about this community of expat families with the goal of helping others learn from their experiences, and perhaps, one day, follow in their footsteps.
Our research will specifically focus on families with children. (Yes, a family is still a family without them!) Because it’s one thing to move to another country as a couple, but it’s a whole other can of “are you f***ing kidding me?” to do it with kids. (Parents, I know you feel me on this one.) And by parents, we mean two-parent families, single-parent families, and any other caregiver with a kid or kids that have made the move to Mexico.
Our research also focuses specifically on families from the United States because it is highly atypical for U.S. citizens to take extended leaves from work or to live for extended periods of time in another country, unlike many other well-traveled cultures of the world. (We can’t even get paid paternity leave.) We believe there are unique challenges working against U.S. families who want to escape the rat race for a while or forever.
Our first foray into our research project is to launch an online survey of U.S. families that are living, or have lived, in Mexico for extended periods of time (more than 3 months). If your family falls into that category, we would be eternally grateful if you would take a few minutes to fill it out. We will publish the results (no family or individual will be identified by name) on April 15. As an added incentive, people completing the survey have the option to enter themselves in a drawing for a $25 iTunes gift card. Our goal is to get at least 100 families to fill it out, so please help us spread the word.
The Slobe Family
Debbie, Brian, Maya (age 4) and Kubu the dog