So I started getting anxious as the days led up to my departure to Mexico City. While I was excited for the new things to come, I didn’t have much of a clue of anything except that I had a hotel booked for my first three nights in town and a new volunteer project lined up for when I was settled.
As usual, my worrying was for nothing and God took care of everything. Things went smoothly at the airport – everyone needs to fill out a form called the FMM (they’ll give them to you on the plane before landing) and that allows you to go through immigration and have all your paperwork stamped off for how long you’ll be staying. After exiting the luggage pick up area, there will be about 4 booths to your immediate right that sell taxi rides into the city. I read on various travel sites that it’s best to book within the airport versus going outside to hail a taxi. I did find it quite easy and it was a little over 230 pesos/$13US dollars to get to my hotel which was about 25 minutes from the airport. Keep in mind, the rate is much cheaper if you pay in pesos, so have some pesos ready before your arrival. There are also ATMs in that area of the airport if needed. The taxi I booked was convenient for the first time, but since then Bo took a trip to the airport for the same distance via Uber and it cost just under 90 pesos/$5 US dollars. Needless to say, we’ll be going through Uber for our airport trips from now on. Also, if you are on a really tight budget and don’t have a ton of luggage, you can get to the airport via the metro (subway) for about 10 pesos (less than a dollar), depending on where you are coming from. The subways can be crammed with people, especially during rush hour times, so if you have a large suitcase to maneuver, I wouldn’t recommend it.
The very next day it was on to apartment hunting. It took me two weeks and 8 viewings until I found our perfect place. Looking back now, two weeks seems short. But in the moment it was stressful navigating the legalities of the Mexican leases and paperwork, deciding between apartment pros and cons without Bo (he was arriving a month later) and extending my hotel stay every two days. A note to anyone who may be looking to rent an apartment in the city. You’ll save around $200-250 US dollars if you have what’s called a “fiador” – someone in Mexico that owns property here and is willing to sign off on your lease (it’s basically insurance that the landlord will get paid by the fiador if you were to skip out on your rental payments/duties). If you don’t have any contacts before your arrival, you can just pay the fee and your rental team will provide you with a fiador. Friends of a friend came through for us (thanks Cari Wheat!) and we got to save the funds.
Now that we’re settled, we are loving our neighborhood or “colonial” as it’s called here, Roma Norte, and we’re excited to explore all the places we can walk to from our new “departmento.”
Here are just a few of the places I toured but didn’t end up choosing….