Elyse Y. Robinson

Black American Woman in Mexico

How Moving Overseas Forces You to Become A Minimalist | Elyse Y. Robinson

How Moving Overseas Forces You to Become A Minimalist

August 18, 2017


A friend and I was having a conversation last week about people just buying “stuff” that they don’t need and hanging onto it forever. This had me thinking about my own life. I never really had “stuff” because I moved too much after getting my first job with the Feds. What I did have when I moved this last time from Tucson to China was two closet fulls of dresses! Tucson was always warm and never really got cold so I could wear a dress every day of the week and I loved it! Also, with me being tall I just couldn’t run to the store and buy a pair of pants or a blazer whenever I felt like it. So if there was a sale on tall clothes, I was buying! Every time I got paid I would buy 3-4 new dresses and probably two blazers…so that was every two weeks. When I moved back home before leaving for China I had about 40 blazers and 100 dresses. It was rare for me to wear the same dress more than once unless it fit me very well, hugged every skinny curve I had, and made me look like I was worth a million dollars.

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Now, that I have moved to Mexico City, I don’t have a lot of things. One because I live in a small studio so that automatically forces me not to buy things I don’t need. Two because in case I need to run out of here, I only want one or two suitcases of needed items. Three I don’t NEED all the things I had before.

I joked with my friend that I only had two spoons, one fork, and two knives. I have three plates and one bowl. I have two small glasses to drink water or use for whatever else. My landlord thought I needed two wine glasses for whatever reason though ha. I did buy tupperware to store my leftovers in and have three of those that also double as bowls if I need them. I also bought a huge mug that I love to drink tea or water in. I bought my blender and slow cooker/pressure cooker from back home as I can’t live without those two items. I cook all the time in my slow cooker/pressure cooker and call it my best friend for jokes.

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I’m blessed that I work from home doing my own thing so I wear nothing but shorts, tank tops, and leggings now. I have a jacket for colder days and nights. I wear my Birkenstocks and have one pair of tennis shoes in case I need them. I still own a few sweaters, thermals, and dresses, dress clothes just in case I need them.

What else? I use body scrub gloves instead of hand clothes. This cuts down on the number of towels I need and to hang to dry daily. Let me tell you my skin is glorious! It is so soft and clear as I now exfoliate everyday. I own just four large towels that I wash twice a week and that is enough.

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I also utilize the menstrual cup now instead of pads. When I first moved here I had to buy pads and I couldn’t find any that were unscented. I now know there is an all natural store that sells 100% cotton pads but I really love the cup. When I went back to the states for the first time I bought 6 packs of pads to bring back with me. You should have seen the cashier’s face! Using the cup also stops unnecessary waste and I’m saving the environment. Read the post I made about the cup.

I STILL have a few things I need to get rid of as I just brought the rest of everything I had with me. I have old ipods, a laptop, blender, a leather backpack to name a few. Whenever I quit being lazy I will get around to getting some pesos for them.

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To live this lifestyle where you don’t have to stress about working and living…you can’t be a consumer anymore. Consuming unnecessary things will suck you dry and you’ll be back living in the US very quickly. All your money should go towards experiences and not things.

Until next time…

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Elyse Y. Robinson @ BeAForeigner Inc.
Elyse Y. Robinson

Without a plan, Elyse Y. Robinson moved to México City after her mother passed away from blood cancer on November 11, 2016. She never heard of México City nor even visited México before. She just knew she had to escape America to mourn. She had quit her whole life to help her family anyway. She had nothing more to lose. She is going into her fourth year in México and she is there to stay!

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