“Mexico is a good country for Black expats because we have a long history here in Mexico. Also, although anti-Black racism exists everywhere, my experience as a Black person in Mexico is very different from my experience as a Black person in America. I feel safer here. Yes, despite the rhetoric about the Mexican cartel and the stories of violence perpetuated by the US media for all Brown and Black countries! We seriously underestimate the violence we encounter in the US on a daily basis- individually and systemically,” said Meckell Milburn.
This is part of the Milburn interview on
“I’ve actually had to do a lot of work on building my awareness of being a privileged person in Mexico. Americans tend to be favored and catered to because the dollar stretches here and classism is very present. That is important and ongoing work. I love being in a brown country with so much history and culture and want to make sure I am living in harmony with the community I am a part of without negatively impacting the economy.”
Living In Mexico City
I live in Mexico City which is the biggest city in North America to many people’s surprise. I decided on Mexico City after traveling around other parts of Mexico for about 8 months. I love that it is a big city which means all of the access that can come with that (lots of food options, great transportation, and unique things to do!) but it still feels small-town at times. It’s also really walkable and bikeable which are my preferred forms of transportation.
For fun, I enjoy being outdoors- there are great parks here! Beyond this, you can usually find me trying one of the great, world-renowned restaurants here or connecting with friends. Living feels more accessible here- not speaking to the cost of living but the approach to lifestyles. People really enjoy the time they have off and I love that.
Cost Of Living For A Black Expat In Mexico
Speaking of costs of living, I spend around $650 USD on rent each month for my apartment (great amenities, neighborhood, and brand-new everything). Since biking is my primary mode of transportation I only spend about $50 a month on Ubers when I need to, food is my weakness so my food budget can be anywhere from $300-500 dollars a month or more! This reminds me of the importance of accurately framing the cost of living in Mexico. Yes, you can live in a small beach town and pay $300 a month in rent and have a lower cost of living but there is a WIDE range of lifestyles here. In CDMX, there is wealth, luxury, and huge availability of Americanized goods and services. You could easily spend more than some folks in the states. As for me… I spend about half what I used to and live a lifestyle that is fulfilling and centered on joy. Plus, I am happy to spend all of the money I make in US dollars towards the community that I am building in.
Feeling Connected With The African Diaspora
Some of my closest friends here (in Mexico City) are Black Americans or other folks from the diaspora. There are great resources here in the city for staying in connection with each other like WhatsApp and Facebook groups. I also think people are more intentional about creating space to connect with each other which feels good.
Being Black, Queer, Digital Nomad And Content Creator Abroad
When I began planning my move abroad, I was working on building my own business that I can operate from anywhere in the world. This has been the container that has allowed me the flexibility to move around. It feels like a dream come true to be able to travel anywhere in the world and not have to worry about getting vacation days approved.
That is actually how my YouTube channel started. It was initially to promote my work in holistic wellness. I naturally started capturing the journey of moving abroad as well and that’s when it started growing. I had no idea where the content or journey would take me then! At this point, we have created a beautiful, growing community called Travel Well with Meckell. I try to create content that answers basic questions folks may have about immigrating to Mexico and my digital nomad lifestyle.
Then, on Thursdays, we have live conversations about all things expats! I enjoy interviewing other Black expats because our experiences are not monoliths so getting other perspectives is important. We also have very few representations of people living at the intersection of Blackness and Queerness who have moved abroad so I wanted to make sure my voice was present in the conversation.
Source: Travel Noire