Episode 003: Mexico with Jen Farrell

Surfing. Tacos. Tequila. Is there anything else? Expat Jen Farrell shares the ins and outs of living and slowing down, just north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (Length: 25 minutes)

Listen on iTunes  OR  Google Play


[01:45] What’s outdoor education?
[02:23] Teaching in Quito, Ecuador
03:18 Teaching in Venezuela during Chavez
[04:08] Teaching in Mexico
[05:03] Getting employer to take care of visa paperwork
[05:25] Bringing a car and a dog into Mexico
[06:13] Cost of living on the coast of Mexico
06:49 Gas and oil theft in Mexico
07:48 Utility billing structure and the very high cost of using air conditioning
[08:16] Adapting to Mexico’s heat and humidity
[09:06] Crime in context
[09:34] Dealing with corrupt police
[11:30] How hard can it be to get internet installed?
[13:16] Daily life on the coast
14:17 BOOK: Barbarian Days by William Finnegan
[15:16] Beaches south of Puerta Vallarta and taking a boat to the Marietta Islands
15:40 Tequila– La Cofradia and Carlos Santana
16:21 Mezcal PHD–what’s the difference between tequila and mezcal?
[18:18] OMG. Smoked Marlin tacos at Tia’s Tacos.
[18:45] Things missed about the United States
[19:41] How living in another country effected her
[20:22] Jen shares hard-earned wisdom living in Mexico
[21:00] What’s next?
[22:21] So…who was the band?

NOTE: This episode features the story of one individual’s experience. Experiences of a country and its culture will obviously vary from person to person and it is important to do your own research from a multitude of sources. In addition, immigration rules and regulations are subject to change at a moment’s notice–always check with a country’s official embassy for the latest updates.


Mexican Embassy
Visa guidelines


Want to learn Spanish? I’m not learning Spanish at the moment but I’m using the following online courses, so it’s the same format, I’m just learning a different language.

Spanishpod101.com I listen to their podcast on my iphone so I can practice speaking when I’m walking the dog, or doing mundane chores. Here’s why I think it’s great: on their website you get online videos, worksheets, tests, and vocabulary with pronunciation and spelling. The podcast is entertaining as it’s not same old dull “Hello, call a taxi please.” It features conversations in english and spanish between a spanish woman, a spanish man, and an american man that is fluent in spanish. They are in their 20s or 30s so the conversation is lively and fun. It’s WAAAY more conversational, entertaining and practical. You get the social aspect of the conversation noting different cultural customs. Go to www.spanishpod101.com to learn more, sign up to try it out.

Here’s another online language course I am currently trying out (in a different language but same format). Rocket Spanish. It has audio lessons, vocabulary with audio and text. I’m a visual learner so it helps me to SEE the text to understand the pronunciation and vice versa. It also has a voice recorder which is handy so you can check your pronunciation. So far, I’m liking it– and it’s pretty comprehensive. I think it’s helpful to have a variety supplemental learning sources to see what works best for you. It also has a free trial to test drive.

And for simply overall word memorization and vocabulary building I use the free program at DuoLingo.com



Wahaka has a great video that documents its artisinal mezcal production process, which is sure to make you appreciate it even more. Check it out Founded by Kenny Flores and Alejandro Santa-Cruz in Austin, Texas, secrets to their production in Mexico has been passed down through five family generations.

For a stellar sipping tequilas try La Cofradia and or Casa Noble (formerly Carlos Santana’s brand).

To learn more about the coastal area near Puerto Vallarta,
check out Jen’s blog.

Mezcal PHD recommends this as a premium sampler.
Wahaka Espadin ($34)
Ilegal Joven ($47)
Marca Negra Espadin ($52).