Today’s Expat Spotlight interview is Michele Kinnon, an expat wife and mom living and working in Mexico.
- Name: Michele Kinnon
- Occupation: Real Estate Broker
- Current Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Originally From: United States
- Expat Locations: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Website: http://www.BuyPlaya.com
- Twitter: @MicheleinPlaya
How did you become an expat, and why?
My husband and I came to Playa del Carmen in 2004 and immediately new that we could make a nice life, a simpler life here for ourselves and our children. Ten months later we had sold our properties and made the move to Mexico! As the fasted growing city in Latin America, we knew we could make a living here in the real estate development. More importantly, we could build a life doing the things WE wanted to do, raising our children the way WE wanted to raise them and making our OWN choices. We’ve has some bumps and surprises along the way, but we are still here and still enjoying our lives.
Where else have you been an expat?
Just in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Best piece of expat advice you’ve received?
If you don’t like the way things work in your new adopted country, you have several ways of handling this.
- Buck the establishment and resolve yourself to change the system, no matter how long it takes. Remain miserable and unhappy.
- Change your expectations and adjust to the cultural changes.
- Go home.
I have seen all three in affect.
Best piece of expat advice you’d give?
Don’t expect your life to change just because you have relocated. If you want to change your life, that’s a whole different process that can be done with a lot less strain to your psyche and your bank account right where you are now.
Favorite expat related web sites?
Yucatan Living is an excellent regional interest website with lots of information geared toward expats living in and around Merida.
Playa Maya News is a similar sight geared towards expats living along the Riviera Maya
In the Roo is a local business directory and message board with forums just for locals to connect.
If you are thinking of moving to the Riviera Maya with children, you may want to pour through my blog to get a feel for what real life with a family is like here. Live vicariously through me for a few months and see how you like it!
Are you planning or dreaming of a move? Are you going home instead? Where to and why?
Tell us more about what you do in your location?
My husband and I develop condominiums in Puerto Aventuras and run a small Real Estate brokerage www.BuyPlaya.com focused on Playa del Carmen and Isla Mujeres. I am an avid blogger and contribute articles to several local interest websites. Most importantly, I am a wife and mother to three children.
Would you recommend your current location to other expats? Does it rock or does it suck?
I conditionally say “yes”. Playa del Carmen is a wonderful place. It will either bring out the best in you or the very worst. There is a strong expat community but I have seen many people, self destruct and go home, broke and broken. Others seem to come alive here and thrive. Anyone thinking of moving here should do a trial run for 6 months or so before they sell the farm back home. Families with older children, might be better waiting until the kids graduate high school.
What is the expat community like where you are?
The expat community in Playa del Carmen is varied and vast. If you are thinking of moving to Mexico to blend in with the nationals, Playa del Carmen is not the place for you. The expat community is very close and supportive of each others efforts. It is very easy to assimilate and be accepted by the other expats living here.
Thank you, Michele for participating in our Expat Spotlight! We wish you success and happiness in your current location, and wherever your dreams and business endeavors take you.