This week I talked to Lauren of Craving Sunshine. Go check out her awesome travel blog (it’s really great). Lauren is originally from Scotland, but at the moment, she is calling Playa Del Carmen, Mexico home. So cool right!?! Although I live in Costa Rica I’m still just a bit jealous. 🙂
Anyway, here’s the interview!…..
Hey guys! I’m Lauren from Aberdeen in Scotland. Fed up of the cold and rain my Fiancé and I decided to pack our lives up in search of a new home somewhere warm in the world! I’m absolutely terrified of boats but I love the sea! Weird I know! So if you’re ever on a boat somewhere and you see a girl having a complete meltdown gripping onto the side of the boat for dear life…that’s me! (Although once I’m in the sea I feel like I’m at home!)
Why did you decide to move to Playa Del Carmen?
We decided to live in Playa Del Carmen for the first part of our RTW adventure as it’s a city we both love. I mean who wouldn’t have you saw the beaches here?
What do you love about living in Playa Del Carmen?
My favourite thing about living in PDC is definitely all the amazing food right on our doorstep. And it’s so cheap! For example, 3 tacos from the local cafe 2 doors down from us is a whole 30Pesos which is £1.16/$1.70!
What is not so great about living in Playa Del Carmen?
Mosquitoes. They love me. I most definitely do not love them! Within a week of being here, I was eaten alive! 🙁 It doesn’t matter what sprays or candle or plugins I use…they always find me!
What do you do for a living there & what was the job search process like?
We are taking our time here to work on our blog and decide what we want to do and where we want to go on this adventure. Unfortunately as UK citizens, we can not work here without a very lengthy visa process that is nearly impossible!
How was the visa process?
UK passport holders can enter Mexico for up to 6 months. All we do is fill out a form on the plane and pay an exit tax when we leave. Straight forward. Just make sure you have a copy of your accommodation address to hand on the flight so you can fill out the forms.
What is the cost of living like?
Eating out is crazy cheap! We are living in a local neighbourhood where there are plenty of small restaurants and local street vendors selling food for pennies. We also opted for a beautiful AirB&B apartment instead of staying in hostels or hotels since we are here for quite a while. One thing that does surprise me is that it is more expensive to cook at home than it is to eat out! 3 chicken tacos are only 30 pesos yet for a pack of fresh chicken you can be almost 100 pesos! And that’s before you buy your tortillas and salsas.
Would you like to stay there long term?
I would love to stay here long term. The purpose of our world trip is to stay in different countries until we find one that we want to settle down. PDC is definitely a contender!
What are your fave traditional foods that we should definitely try if we go?
You MUST try anything El Pastor! We’ve stayed in big fancy hotels in this area of Mexico and have never came across these! Basically the street cart and restaurants have what essential looks like a middle eastern donor or shawarma kebab spit but it is in fact sliced pork which is covered in the most delicious flavours topped with a pineapple. The pineapple juice drips down onto the giant spit and the enzymes break down the meat making it mouth-wateringly tender. It is a MUST eat whilst here! I’m completely addicted!
What are some places we should definitely visit?
The Yucatan peninsula is home to so many different activities it’s hard to pick the must see’s! Around every corner, you could discover some hidden ruins or you can cool off in a fabulous cenote which is an underground cave that has partially collapsed in on itself revealing a crystal clear pool of water that you can cool off in. And of course, you must get off 5th Ave (the main tourist drag) and find some El Pastor tacos! Even stepping up the 10th Ave you will find some great El Pastor just across from Coco Bongos.
What are some things about the culture we should know before going?
On the main tourist drag English is well spoken but outside of these, you may struggle. Even a basic knowledge of Spanish goes a long way here! Mexican people are extremely friendly and PDC is a very safe place. Sundays are bug family days here. All of the local hit the beaches and the cenotes so it tends to be a lot busier than any other day.
Would you recommend it to other people who are interested in moving abroad?
YES! 100%! If you can spend any amount of time here I recommend it! Get away from those big All Inclusive resorts and get into the heart of PDC. You don’t have to sacrifice your 5* luxury resorts as there are some beautiful boutique hotels popping up right left and centre! Or do as we have and get yourself a beautiful Air B&B apartment. Where ever you end up staying, just make sure you venture into the real Playa Del Carmen. You won’t
Definitely don’t forget to check out Lauren’s blog Craving Sunshine here. Also be sure to add her on social media so you can follow along with her fun adventures abroad! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
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