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Lalu Sui

Spain vs. Mexico (living, safety, moving to)

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My wife and I are considering a handful of opportunities between Mexico and Spain. We currently live in the western U.S. and are working on fluency for our fledgling Spanish skills. We're young--in our 20s--are just starting a family. Our opportunity would likely be for just a few years or so, therefore it isn't a permanent sort of thing. But we're trying to figure out which would place would be better given our likes, wants, etc. We're primarily looking at Guanajuato, Guadalajara, and D.F. in Mexico, and Pamplona and maybe Madrid in Spain. Here are some of the things we love and don't love about each place vs. the other:

Why Mexico over Spain:

- Closer to home/family; cheaper to travel
- Cheaper
- More intensely Catholic; church-going is more frequent
- More conservative
- More mountainous (we love to hike)
- Richer culture
- Less pretentious
- More family-centered way of life (good for families with lots of kids)
- Economy seems to be growing, unlike in Spain.

Why Spain over Mexico:

- Nicer
- Cleaner
- Safer
- Wealthier (although that's probably a plus and a minus)
- Better access to European destinations
- We like the whole cafe culture and the European way of life, more generally
- We're not Latino, so we'd likely "blend in" in Spain better, although it doesn't matter to us, of course, what our neighbor's skin color is.
- Better public transportation
- A more modern feel and look

I've been to Mexico several times (although not Guanajuato or Guadalajara), and I've been to Europe several times (although not Spain). So I have a marginally good idea what I'm up against. I'm a rather devout (and politically conservative) Catholic, so Mexico has always had some appeal. And that's why I"m hesitant about Spain, although I've heard that Pamplona is pretty conservative, too. Yet I'm really afraid about the grunginess and safety issues of Mexico that you don't have in Spain. The same kind of humble, earthiness about Mexico seems missing in super-modernistic Spain, so that's another thing to consider.

I appreciate any thoughts and/or advice.

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Well I think your decision must be made from your personal preferences more than cultural or general. I eman, both are Catholic countries (at least majority) you won't have any problem in Spain being cathilic although the atmosphere is less catholic than in Mexico.

Both countries are latin ones (same language) so that is a tie. Yes Mexico is cheaper and less safe, and yes Spain is richer and more expensice and cleaner.
You have to see what option is heavier for you.

Some important questions: What would be your jobs in your destination? Can you speak good Spanish?

I've never heard anything about Pamplona.

*Mexico richer culture?

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Hi, Lalu Sui! This summer I had similar problem while choosing where to move from Denmark :tw_blush: I was picking from England, Italy, and Spain. I explored this issue the proper way and in the long run I decided to pick Spain. Know nothing about Mexico (haven't even been there yet) but know a lot about Spain and Spanish culture now. Been living here for 7 months already. You are right as for advantages of the country but I would also point out that Spain has great educational system (1 of the main reasons I chose it), also Spaniards are loyal  towards foreigners (not sure that Mexicans are), Spain can boast to have excellent roads. As for disadvantages - high unemployment rate, lots of strikes on and off. If you live in Valencia  then be prepared to 40-46 С in the afternoon. Petrol and utilities are high, that is true, but lower than in Britain. Real estate in general is quite high! That's the main drawback I guess. Even at  https://virtoproperty.com/property-for-sale/costa-de-valencia the cost for a good apartment starts in my region from 270000 euros.

Edited by Son Jose
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My friend from Sweden sold everything he owned and moved to a gated community in Spain. He's really living the good life now. Their climate is really warm and cozy, compared to where I'm at right now. I thing it's easy to get jobs too. Of course, if you know Spanish everything will be a lot easier. Unfortunately, I don't.

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