- Reach out to Mexpats before you go. Search for blogs, communities, and Facebook groups.
- Research the area you will be moving to in Spanish and English. Use a good translator if you do not understand Spanish—you will miss so much if you ignore everything in one language or the other.
- If you know where you will be working, add it to your Facebook profile and try to find others who are or did work there.
- Ask other expats about what surprised them, what they struggled to adjust to
- Be open minded and be flexible. There are many generalizations that can be made about Mexico—and I know I make them myself—but nothing will be true everywhere in Mexico 100% of the time. If what you know of Mexico is beaches and desert, then you might be shocked if you move to a city high in the mountains. If your idea of Mexican food is nachos and burritos, tlacoyos and chicarron may be a shock. If you think of Mexico as being a Catholic nation, you may be taken aback by the various churches, mosques, and synagogs you find. The amount of atheists I know might even put you in a coma.
- Also part of being open-minded and flexible, do not assume your way is the right way—even if every fiber of your being tells you it is. You do not need to alter your moral compass, but do not expect anyone to alter theirs. If you want to see a change, lead by example, but preaching will get you nowhere. You are not the great, foreign revelation that these people have been waiting for.
- In a similar vein, do not assume that people–even the very poor–are looking for you to rescue them from their lives. The people you least expect to take advantage of you will and those you think need your help may not care to have it.