An aerial view of Oaxaca, with many houses with red roofs, a town square and green hills in the background

Shifting to and living in Oaxaca, what is it definitely like?

For this post I am interviewing Julien, who fell in really like with Mexico a lengthy time in the past and inevitably resolved to transfer to Oaxaca.

This interview is element of the Ask an Expat collection. In this series I job interview individuals dwelling all over the earth but outside of their nation of delivery. I consider to enable paint an honest photo of the ups and downs of living abroad, share guidelines for any one imagining about going overseas, and details about the area the expat now life in.

Residing in Oaxaca, Mexico

Identify: Julien Casanova
Age: 40
Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina, Usa

Her Tale:

”I first moved to Mexico in 2016 immediately after starting to be enchanted by the island of Cozumel. I beloved the laid-again island existence – zipping all-around on a scooter to wonderful seashores and assembly up with new friends. The proximity to the US and touristy vibe produced it an easy changeover, but eventually I wanted to take a look at a lot more of Mexico.”

Why Did You Go to Oaxaca?

”I moved to Oaxaca due to the fact I fell in adore with its culture and neighborhood.

When traveling all around Mexico to discover distinctive areas, I located myself constantly coming again to Oaxaca Town when I required a split.

The extraordinary cultural traditions and the individuals (both locals and foreigners) is what drew me back. Inevitably, and with out much convincing essential, I decided to call Oaxaca home.”

What Do You Like About Living in Oaxaca?

A Mexican woman in a purple dress doing traditional embroidery

”First, the foods. Identified as a foodie desired destination, the food from Oaxaca is celebrated all through Mexico. The common dishes are rustic and seemingly easy, but in fact they are amazingly intricate and flavorful. 

2nd, the celebrations. There is a parade just about every day in Oaxaca irrespective of whether its to celebrate a wedding, graduation, or a different everyday living milestone. 1 of my favourite points about residing in Oaxaca is stumbling upon a parade even though walking by means of the city.

Third, the lots of artisan crafts created in the valleys surrounding Oaxaca. You can vacation in just about any way from the metropolis to find an exciting pueblo to go to. Numerous are recognised for a specific artisan craft or a exclusive current market working day.”

What Do You Dislike About Living in Oaxaca?

”Having lived lifetime in a incredibly humid local climate all my everyday living, the dry season in Oaxaca is complicated for me. The to start with year I lived in Oaxaca, I was stunned to study there is almost no rain from roughly November to June other than a handful of little storms in the spring.

It was late November and my eyes, nostrils, and skin ended up now sensation dehydrated. Although I enjoy the cooler temperatures in winter, stating goodbye to the rainy period is usually bittersweet.

The the latest deficiency of rains is also a reminder of the drinking water issues in Oaxaca (and several sections of the planet) which is why I always try out to advise guests about conserving their drinking water use.”

Is Oaxaca Safe and sound as a Put to Reside?

A wide street with several people, lined with typical Mexican buildings

”Oaxaca is frequently harmless. Nevertheless, it does have issues with petty theft and road robberies, most of which arise at night time. Like any city, its intelligent to take safety measures. Listed here are a few pieces of guidance to decrease threat:

  1. Be knowledgeable of your surroundings, in particular when making use of your cell phone in community. I suggest stepping into the doorway of a shop or cafe if you have to have to use your cell phone. Getting distracted on your cell phone will make you a target.
  2. Head your liquor consumption (mezcal is sturdy!). When this is excellent assistance anywhere you are, I mention it below mainly because its typically deceiving just how powerful mezcal is, specifically when blended into a cocktail.
  3. Constantly get a taxi at evening, even if its just for a number of blocks. Some of the streets in Oaxaca are not properly-lit and can turn out to be void of folks at night time. My rule is to always use taxis at night, no matter whether its 10 pm or 2 am.”

Is Oaxaca Highly-priced as a Location to Stay?

”That depends on who you inquire.

Price ranges in Oaxaca, and substantially of Mexico, have risen not too long ago. The influx of foreigners living in Oaxaca has put a pressure on the rental market and forced quite a few Oaxacans out of the historic centre. If youre looking at going to Oaxaca, its crucial to teach on your own about the regular rental charges in an exertion not to even further add to the dilemma.

Refreshing foods and nearby marketplaces are ample in Oaxaca. Produce that is grown in Oaxaca is reasonably priced, particularly when it’s in year. Imported products are obviously additional highly-priced. Feeding on out in Oaxaca varies greatly from good dining to street food.

There are also a lot of absolutely free functions in Oaxaca to extend your funds, this kind of as songs and dancing in the Zocalo. And there are festivals in Oaxaca throughout the yr, a lot of of which are cost-free to go to.”

What Is Your Favourite Matter to Do in Oaxaca?

A woman with a bright red scarf and traditional Mexican dress standing in front of a large church
The Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmn Church in Oaxaca

”From artwork demonstrates to museums to festivals, Im rarely bored living in Oaxaca.

One particular of my favourite issues to do in Oaxaca is a temazcal ceremony. Best explained as a sweat lodge, the restorative and detoxifying qualities of a temazcal has me looking for a person almost each individual thirty day period, especially all through the wintertime.”

What Is Your Favored Spot to Hang Out in Oaxaca?

”I like getting in the sights of Oaxaca and the surrounding mountains from a rooftop bar with cocktails. One of my favorites is El Burrito for its views of Santo Domingo Church and reasonably priced mezcal and cocktails.

For a cafe that signifies the eight areas of Oaxaca, Levadura de Olla is in close proximity to the major of my listing.

And some of my most loved late-night time hangouts incorporate Zapotec Bar, La Nueva Babel, and the infamous bar, Txalaparta. All of these venues have reside tunes approximately each and every night time.”

What Is the Expat / Worldwide Group Like in Oaxaca?

Locals and expats at a market stand in Oaxaca
Locals and expats at a sector in Oaxaca

”The international group in Oaxaca is very lively. Rookies will want to check out the Oaxaca Lending Library which hosts a weekly Intro to Oaxaca presentation as well as a language exchange and guided hiking excursions. Its also a supply for textbooks in English and Spanish.

I satisfied most of my pals at another language trade that occasionally attracts virtually 100 folks. Its an exceptionally social function that hosts a blend of locals and foreigners who arrive together to practice English-Spanish and much more lately French. All ages and experience degrees are welcome.”

Any Tips for Shifting To / Living in Oaxaca?

”I propose renting at very first to decide if Oaxaca is correct for you. Like any new location you stay, you shouldnt anticipate points to be particularly like property. Its most effective to adapt and embrace the alter, most of which ought to be optimistic.

From a material standpoint, you can acquire most items in Oaxaca. Even though high-quality sheets feel to be elusive all through Mexico. I propose bringing wonderful cotton sheets if thats critical to you. And any tiny, unconventional kitchen area merchandise that you appreciate to use may be beneficial to deliver as very well.”

Also Go through: Issues to Take into consideration Before Transferring to A different Country

Any Assets You Discovered Valuable In the course of the Method of Relocating to and/or Creating a New Lifestyle in Oaxaca?

”In Oaxaca (and a lot of Mexico), youll come across a whole lot of facts in Facebook groups. I propose looking for the solution prior to submitting because it has probable been questioned right before. 

In this article are two most important groups to get you started out:

You can also follow Mezcal Speaks on Instagram for events structured by my close friend Dary. He is the host of the social language exchange and has recently expanded to other social events which include a Tuesday movie night.”

About Julien

A woman standing on a rock formation with a hole in the center showing the sea in the background

Julien Casanova has been traveling and dwelling in Mexico considering that 2016.

She is the content material creator at Oaxaca Journey Strategies, a internet site focused to assisting vacationers discover the unbelievable heritage, vivid society, and reliable flavors of Oaxaca.

About Oaxaca, Mexico

A brown stone church in Oaxaca with a bright blue sky

Oaxaca de Juarez, or simply Oaxaca, is nestled inside the picturesque valleys of the Sierra Madre mountain range in southern Mexico. It’s the capital town of the state of Oaxaca and household to around 300,000 citizens.

This culturally lively town is revered for its rich heritage, colonial architecture, and thriving artisanal traditions. Oaxaca de Juarez stands as a hub of cultural importance, attracting vacationers and expats who are wanting for an immersive knowledge in Mexican lifestyle.

In reality, the city, together with the nearby archeological web-site of Monte Albn, was specified a UNESCO Planet Heritage Web site in 1987.

Oaxaca has a wonderful culinary scene as effectively, highlighted by traditional dishes this sort of as mole and chapulines, furthermore bustling markets and festivals, such as the month-long Guelaguetza.

The city’s allure lies also in its welcoming atmosphere and preservation of indigenous traditions, producing it an significantly well-known selection for people in search of a mix of cultural immersion and group dwelling in Mexico.

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Creator: Sanne Wesselman
A traveler, wanderer, digital nomad, and entrepreneur. I expend most of my time living and performing overseas and going to locations all in excess of the world. I use this web page to share “the great, the lousy and the unpleasant” of touring and living overseas. Check out the About Me web page for much more data.