Moving to Merida by Cassie Pearse

Book Review of Moving to Mérida: How to Successfully Move to Mérida as a Family by Cassie Pearse

Part personal story, part an extremely helpful guide, Cassie’s book is an easy and fun read and a great reference for families – or anyone really – thinking of moving to Mexico, spending time there, or even just traveling to Mérida, Yucatan, or anywhere in Mexico.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you make a purchase through the links, I get a small commission, with no additional cost to you. However, the review and my recommendation is based on my personal opinion. 

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember Cassie Pearse as the writer for an article I published on Mérida. That was about the time I first knew about Mexico Cassie, her blog and the person behind it. I’ve been writing about Mexico and Yucatan, and we decided to write a guest blog on each other’s sites. So I knew she was a Brit, I knew she moved to Mexico with her family, including two young children, which in my mind already made her awesome. And I knew she loved Mérida – even with the heat and the bugs.

And now she wrote a book about her love affair with Mexico, and Mérida in particular. The book is a great guide for those brave enough to follow in her footsteps. But don’t worry, even if you have no desire to actually move there, you’ll find plenty of great info – and fun stories – to make you understand that part of the world better.

Moving to Mérida: A Personal Story

Reading Cassie’s book I learned more about her adventurous spirit, and finally understood her story of how, when and why she moved to Mérida of all places – from London. With her family, including two very young kids, a two-, and a four-year old. And I thought I was an adventurous spirit.

I won’t tell you more about this, you’ll just have to get the book and read it for yourself. I promise you, it’s a great story, written with Cassie’s signature fun and sarcastic style.

A Guidebook for Families with Kids Wanting to Move the Mexico, and Specifically Mérida

If you want to follow her footsteps, and move to Mérida with your family, you’ll have a perfect guide in your hand. She paved the road for you.

Cassie talks about the transition for kids; not all take a move like that very easily. She offers sound advice from first-hand experience from finding the best schools to dealing with upset kids who feel out of place, and everything in between.

She dedicates a whole chapter to the school system in Mexico, and offers advice on how to find a school for your elementary-grade children. Based on her own first-hand experience, she offers a great resource for anyone thinking of moving to Mexico with young kids.

Yes, the kids usually end up landing on their feet. But those of us who are parents know that some take change easier than others. Cassie had to deal with both types, and she pays it forward by offering recommendations on how to make the transition easier on the kids.

A Guidebook for Anyone Considering Moving to Mérida, with or without Kids

Personally, this is a great reference book for me, too. Of course, I think I know all there is to know about Yucatan (the state) and its capital, Mérida, since I’ve been visiting it over and over for three decades. But visiting a place is one thing, no matter how often you go, and living there is quite another.

And, since we’ve been talking about potentially moving to Yucatan for years now, her book was a good resource for us. She answered all our questions, even those we didn’t know we needed to ask, like where to rent or buy a house in Mérida. There is a lot to consider besides center or no center. I had no idea the homes in some parts are cooler than in others. If you ever visited Yucatan, you know it matters. A lot. It’s more than just about air conditioning.

She offers a detailed guide about everything you need know to live in Merida, from internet service (unless you want to get off the grid, you’ll need it), to how and where to buy furniture, kitchen appliances, and mostly where to do all your grocery shopping, and where to get your water from. As in most major cities, tap water in Mérida is not really suited for drinking – or much else. She’s absolutely honest about it, and gives you advice of how to overcome the issue.

A Guidebook for Those of Us Who Just Want to Spend Longer Periods of Time in Mérida

Even closer to home, we definitely know we want to spend long periods of time in Mexico, even if we don’t move there, and one of our biggest dilemma was the car problem. Renting for more than a week or two would be ridiculous, and buying – well, we knew it was complicated. No, we didn’t find out from Moving to Mérida that it’s easier than we thought. But we found a great step-by-step guide to how to go about it, and the options we have. I’ve been looking for this info for a while now, and here it was, in my hand, a whole chapter dedicated to the issue, so personally, I’m grateful for that.

A Good Reference For Anyone Visiting Mérida

Unless you just want to play tourist, and you try to actually spend time in Mérida when you visit, you’ll find all you need to know about the places to eat, shop and play in Mérida in Cassie’s book.

Yes, you can find a Walmart and a Costco there, too, if you want to stick with the familiar. I personally don’t, but up until now the only local store I knew about was the Chedraui. I don’t mind it, its quite fun to shop there. But it’s good to know it’s not the only option. I found out from Moving to Mérida about a whole lot of others, including sustainable, zero-waste stores, something I am looking for everywhere I go.

Final Thoughts

This is true for every place, but I know it is especially true for Mexico: advice based on first-hand experience is priceless. The little things you only understand when you are there, matter. Even for these personal tips the book is worth for anyone who loves Mexico, who considers the move there, or even a visit without feeling like a tourist.

For those of us who have visited Mexico and Mérida often, it’s a great read. Personal stories made me smile, since we had similar experiences.

Driving in Mexico – yes, it’s an adventure, and we know it, reading about it made me miss Mexico. I even miss the topes, especially the ones we can’t see until last minute – yep, we had the same experiences she talks about. I’m not pretending it’s fun, but it’s part of being in Mexico. She reminded me so often of our favorite phrase: “only in Mexico”.

Reading about the sometimes extremely high sidewalks made me miss the country I consider a second (or third?) home, but it was also an aha moment: I finally understood the logic behind it.

I could still find advice in the book, and learn about things I never knew or understood that will make me feel more at home in Mexico on my next trip. Yes, I will always tip the bagger at the grocery store from now on. I think we did before, but not as a rule, since we assumed the store was paying them. Now I know better.

I Feel Comfortable Recommending Moving to Merida

I also found some useful information. Like I said, visiting, no matter how often, is not the same as living there. Cassie offers advice on things I didn’t think I needed to know, but now I don’t understand how I visited so often without knowing.

But most of all, I enjoyed Cassie’s story. Yes, on some level I can relate. Her world view is similar of mine, her approach to kids and life is similar to mine. But she went much farther than I would have: moving to Mexico with two very young kids took guts. More than I would’ve had. I sincerely admire that. And things are working great for her, her family is happy in Mérida.

And, all stories and guides aside, I enjoy her down-to-earth, fun, personable, often sarcastic style.

Moving to Merida by Cassie Pearse
Here is a link to buy the second edition of the book

I feel comfortable recommending it, not only because I know Cassie as an honest writer, but I also know Merida from multiple visits, and I recognize it through Cassie’s words.

Second Edition

Since I wrote this, Cassie published the second edition of the book, updating relevant information. She stays on top of things, and doesn’t leave her readers with outdated information. So, the book is still as relevant now (the second edition) as when she first wrote it.

You can buy a copy of Moving to Merida 2nd edition on Gumroad.

You can also find Moving to Merida 2nd edition on Amazon.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you purchase the book through either link, I earn a small commission, with no additional charge for you. Thank you

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