What a 9-year-old has learned from 3 weeks as an expat

We’ve been living in Cozumel for 3 weeks now, so I figured I’d post just some of the things I’ve seen Tigger learn as well as sharing some things straight from the source.

  1. The value of money.  When wanting to rent a scooter again, he thought nothing of the 25 USD cost. Until I explained that was almost half a week’s groceries.
  2. He has learned about exchanging one type of money to another. Right now the USD to MXN (peso) is 11.66, but you can get a quick estimate dividing by 10 (100 MXN equals close to 10 USD).
  3. People tend to be very friendly in other places in the world.
  4. Often the best way to deal with touts is to say “No thanks” in their language while you just keep walking.
  5. Learning the local language, or at least some of it, really enhances your experience.
  6. Kids can play and have fun together without being able to verbally communicate.
  7. Slow travel can often mean repeatedly saying goodbye to people you’ve grown to really love and like.
  8. Putting your arms out while riding on the back of a scooter won’t make you take flight.
  9. Barracudas look more scary than they really are and are extremely curious.
  10. How stingrays hunt for food in the wild.
  11. When you’re getting tired in deep water, Dad makes a really good resting float.
  12. Smiling at someone is far more powerful than words quite often.
  13. Milk comes in boxes and isn’t kept in the refrigerator section, and neither are eggs for that matter.
  14. Fresh meat tastes way better than frozen.
  15. Bananas come in miniature sizes, too.
  16. Air conditioning is a treasure.
  17. Sometimes you just have to smile, shrug your shoulders, or laugh at cultural differences.

Tigger’s list:

  1. Iguanas poop a lot, and they do head bobs. They also come in different colors.
  2. Geckos chirp at night.
  3. Mexico has delicious ice cream.
  4. McDonald’s tastes better here.
  5. There are coconut trees in Mexico.
  6. They sell octopus and squid tentacles in the stores. [And squid fillets]
  7. People are friendly.
  8. Cozumel has parrotfish, sea turtles, octopuses, sideways fish [flounders], and flying fish.
  9. They put broken glass on the walls to protect from people stealing their stuff.
  10. Octopuses can change colors.
  11. There are crocodiles here.

What are some of the things you have learned through travel, either domestic or international, or things that just surprised you about a place?

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  1. Love that you added Tigger’s point of view, too.  So cute.  Glad you guys are having a blast.

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    • I think his is the most unique. 🙂

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  2. I just love this whole experience when you get to travel, learn, and experience new things with your kid(s). How precious!

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    • Thank you! It’s been very for me as well. So far at least. LOL

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  3. Tigger is getting the best education ever, learning through traveling will make him adaptable, compasionate and understanding for his whole life.  That is something you just can’t learn in school.  I hope you enjoy your time in Mexico!  Cozumel is so beautiful!

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    • Totally agree! I have always loved Mexico and am glad I get to explore the only part I haven’t really explored before. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  4. Tigger has learned soo much in such a short time. GO TIGGER!!! GREAT JOB DAD!!! I really hope I get a chance to meet you guys soon!! =)

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    • Thank you! I hope so as well!

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  5. Kids are my favorite!! So glad you and Tigger are having so much fun and enjoying yourselves.

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    • They are pretty amazing, that’s for sure.

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  6. It’s amazing what kids learn and HOW FAST! My son comes out with stuff after a 3 day trip somewhere and then talks about what he learned, without realizing he learned something new 🙂 for months on end and randomly talks about it years later.

    no better school than traveling!

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    • Even better when they don’t realize they’re learning. 🙂

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    • We sure are! Thanks for following along!

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  7. I love this so much.  My kids’ lives were so enriched by living here.  It could have been anywhere I suppose, but they know so much more than they would have done otherwise, and they can side the other point of view on most things more easily.

    Our milk comes in boxes too.  I have to say it’s one of the things I miss, but not so much that I hadn’t forgotten it’s different elsewhere!  And when you want to taste the best bananas in the world (mini ones),  you have to come visit the Canary Islands!  The little ones are so much sweeter than the big, tasteless ones!!

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    • I think you are so right. It isn’t necessarily the location, it’s being exposed to so many new things, having new experiences, seeing different perspectives that really form them and educate them.

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  8. I am pretty sure that there is no way he could have learn half this stuff by being in school for three weeks.  Love following your story!

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    • And I left stuff out, so. . . yeah. LOL I totally agree. It’s a type of education you simply can’t get sitting behind a desk.

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  1. 10 Inspiring Family Travellers - [...] A favourite post: What a 9 Year Old Has Learned From Three Weeks As An Expat [...]

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