The Real Life Brexiter: Swapping Somerset For Mexico City
Written by Jaillan Yehia
However you may feel about the Brexit vote, the EU referendum has had one undisputed result – to inspire more Brits than ever before to consider moving overseas.
Internet searches on relocating to anywhere from Scotland and Ireland to Australia and Canada have skyrocketed post-brexit, and the changing face of Europe has caused a lot of Brits to ask ourselves if England is as pleasant as we had thought – or if pastures greener and newer might have more to offer us and our families.
So I asked a variety of British expats what it’s really like to do what many Britons are now dreaming of – become a real life Brexiter and give life in Blighty a wide berth.
First in the series is Katja Gaskell, who left Somerset and now lives in Mexico City. Here is her story…
I consider myself lucky. On almost every one of my last visits to London I’ve enjoyed sunshine and blue skies. Granted, I tend to visit during the summer months or in December; two season when London shines.
At both these times of year – the long, dreamy July days or during the crisp cold of Christmas – I think to myself, ‘yes, I could definitely live in England again!’
But then I pay a small fortune for a cup of coffee and squeeze myself onto the Northern line and I remember that London is not always like this.
Once the fairy lights have been packed away and the booze cupboard emptied in anticipation of (another) ‘dry’ January, England loses some of its sparkle. And I think, ‘who am I kidding? I couldn’t afford to live here even if I wanted to’.
We left the UK almost 11 years ago. My then fiancé and I packed our few belongings into a couple of boxes and headed to Australia where we lived a lovely life of clichés; an apartment with views of Bondi Beach, a BBQ on the balcony and weekends spent jumping the waves or, occasionally, trying to surf them.
Work opportunities beckoned and we left after three years, married and with one child in tow.
From Sydney we moved to New Delhi, India. A scene change that was as dramatic as it sounds. We spent three years there, had a second baby, and then travelled half-way round the world to set up home in another megacity. This time in Mexico.
For the last four and a half years we have called Mexico City home – and we love it. Oh, and we’ve had another baby.
Do we miss home? Well we definitely miss our families and friends. Trips back to the UK are a frantic rush to try and spend as much time with them all as possible.
But do we miss life in England? Well, it’s hard to be too homesick when it’s sunny almost all the time: owing to its elevated position, Mexico City enjoys mild, pleasant weather almost year-round.
Add to this fantastic food, friendly people and a vibrant, colourful (and occasionally chaotic) city that’s fascinating to explore and the advantage of good, affordable schooling (our kids are growing up bilingual) as well as affordable help at home and it’s really hard to think why we would want to swap the Mexican sol for the grey skies of England.
I’m sure one day we’ll return to England, but it won’t be any time soon. For the moment, we are quite happy sipping margaritas in Mexico.
Find out more about Katja and her family’s travels at globetotting.com
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