Why We Left Mexico: A Day at the Leon Zoo

Why We Left Mexico: A Day at the Leon Zoo


this is a video about a trip to the zoo
and this is also a video about the beginning of the end of our time in
Mexico. toward the end of April Jesse and Harper and I went to the Leon Zoo. I was
still sick and waiting for some test results to come in but I felt well
enough to attempt a day out and the zoo was having an Easter egg hunt so off we
went. when I filmed this I had no idea we’d be leaving Mexico within two months. it wasn’t even on our radar. at this point we still planned to move back to San Miguel when our lease was up in Guanajuato. but looking back on this day
I can see that things were starting to shift. it wasn’t the illness that made us
move back to the States. that may have been what got the idea
going but it wasn’t the tipping point walking through this zoo we were
surrounded by families, big extended families of grandparents and aunts and
uncles, teenagers holding the hands of their younger cousins, families having
picnics, opening up coolers of food that the moms and grandmas probably packed earlier that day. I started to think about all that we’d left behind in the
States. not the things, not the car, but the people. I’ll explain more but first let’s go to the zoo we are at the zoo. (Harper: there’s an Easter egg!) yes the Leon zoo has Easter egg hunting so we have come to… that’s right we have come to
hunt Easter eggs and see critters. yeah that’s what you do I’m hungry. Me too. now… we’re on safari! woah! okay so– oh there’s an elephant, but
first of all the most hilarious thing we were in the little lemur thing enclosure
and there was like a lemur up and Jesse turns to this kid and like tells him in
Spanish that you know the lemur is up there and the kid like acted kind of
confused and so just he pointed and the kid saw and then we turn around the kid
starts talking to his mom he totally speaks English doesn’t speak Spanish at
all. Jesse. yeah. do you feel like you came full circle speaking Spanish to a
little kid who didn’t speak Spanish? being like up! look at the lemur. and he looked at me like huh? he was like, mom look there’s one here! we have come full circle. yeah, sorta. oh look at this I actually don’t think I’ve seen an elephant this big before. it doesn’t look real it just doesn’t look real. it looks like an animatronic. it’s so much bigger than I thought or it’s just the skin texture there’s something about it just
feels larger-than-life like I just I just don’t know. I know I think that’s the biggest elephant we’ve ever
seen it’s something or the closest we’ve ever been to one of them or something all right so it’s about 4:30 and the
park closes at 5:00 so we’re trying to find the egg hunting situation for
Harper but this zoo is so much bigger than we were expecting. trying to balance… what you got? I don’t care, no. you got something to say? no you were in the middle of talking. you got something to say? I don’t have anything to say nothing. where’s the exit? thoughts about the Leon zoo? Is it– I think I would prefer it personally– yes? without a special event going on– yeah a little less crazy but certainly was a
lot more to do and see and eat that was a benefit. is it just me or does
it seem like so much more lively than any zoo we’ve been to in the States? oh yeah so there are a lot of like picnic areas
here and people bring picnics and there’s like places to grill out and
it’s really cool like it’s a bunch of families here yeah music everywhere it’s just like
you know in a way it’s it kind of feels like an appropriate comp– an
appropriate comparison of Mexico and other places it’s like everything is just
bursting with energy and noise and like life and color and it’s fun. it’s fun. wow there’s a lot of people here what I’m starting to
realize is that I don’t think I would have gone home if I hadn’t moved to
Mexico. Jesse and I have lived apart from our families almost our entire marriage.
there was one year we lived close to his sister and his mother after his father’s
death but outside of that year we’ve been hours and hours away from everyone for most of our adult lives. this seemed perfectly normal to me. my parents and I
moved away from West Virginia when I was four and after we left our home state we
never again lived near extended family. I grew up away from aunts and uncles and
cousins. it was my normal. so when we moved to Mexico we knew we’d miss our
families but we also knew we’d see them at holidays and that didn’t seem too bad.
but the year I spent in Mexico I saw so many families, big extended families,
families always together. I remember waiting for hours in the waiting room at
the hospital and watching people come and go. I was almost the only one who
didn’t have at least one other family member there. one older woman had
children and grandchildren there tending to her, a teenage grandson bringing in a
bag of food for her, her adult children handling the paperwork at the front desk.
there’s an emphasis on family that’s impossible to ignore in Mexico and it
started making me question my go it alone independent attitude. walking the zoo watching families
enjoying the day together I started wondering if we’d given up too much.
losing Jesse’s dad to cancer made us realize you never know how much time you have left with someone. my parents and Jesse’s mom are still healthy enough to
enjoy Harper, to play with her, to push her on the swings. how much longer can we say that? there’s no way to know and so we left Mexico. we gave up a lovely
life there because there was something at home we could never replace anywhere
else in the world: our families last time we had cotton candy you didn’t
like it you wouldn’t eat it you won’t even try it but you’ve told me you want to
try it since then, okay? so we’re gonna try it now. just stick it in your mouth, it’s sugar. all right Harper what do you think about it? Mmm! do you like it? mmhmm. are you glad you tried are you glad you tried a new food? sure! do you think next time you’re gonna want to try cabbage? yeah? is cabbage like this? well not exactly but it’s really good

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100 Replies to “Why We Left Mexico: A Day at the Leon Zoo”

  1. Beautiful video Erin. I get it, I would love to spend more time in Mexico but I have a grandson who is also an only child. I stay in Canada for family..for connection. All the best I just hope u are in a safe place with healthy food , & health care coverage, in the US. All the best.

  2. I remember posting on one of your previous vlogs that i was not surprised you left because "in the end we always go back to the places where the people who love us the most are; and we love them just as much in return"…..i get it…most people do…….i liked you so much before and now im just head over heels for you because you are so transparent in what you share with your audience. I myself am considering relocating to be closer to family. I wish your little girl and mine could play toghether with their dinosaurs. Thank you Erin for sharing your journey with me. 🙂 Mexico will always miss your kind soul.

  3. This video is probably the best video to date you’ve made! Thank you , it has actually given me a great perspective on my own life. ❤️

  4. Erin was an amazing video! You and your family came to Mexico looking for something to enrich your lives, and you found it! The saying: Watch out for what you wish, you could end up getting it, is so true. You came to our country and found out that the treasure you were looking for was all the time on the place you came from. Glad you found that the value of your family is the most important component on the strength of any society. Keep sharing this treasure with other familys here and abroad. The "modern " world is an enemy of the family, and in reality a united family is the medicine for a lot of the diseases of this dehumanized world we are living in. Go family! And as they say in Irish language: Erin go bragh! Erin for ever!

  5. Beautiful narration and storytelling! It's great to hear more about why you guys decided to leave. Watching the video started making me question whether we spend too much time away from family. I often think about my grandpa and how each time we visit Minnesota could be the last time I see him. It's difficult to go about living the lives we want while knowing that the ones we love so much are back home imagining we're off living some extravagent lifestyle. Thanks for sharing, Erin! We miss you! Un abrazo. -Jim

  6. Yes. It is sad to see you leave Mexico, but for the best reason. It is nice thinking that Mexico somehow contributed a little for your decision to come closer to your family.

    BUT what really makes me happy is that your voice will be one defending and not agreeing with those who love to criticize Mexico and Mexicans in such a bad and derogatory way.

    First steps in returning to the good old USA should always be to case for the good Mexican food places around the area you’ll be living …

    It has been a pleasure.

  7. Another winner! I know from moving away, we always begin to miss things we took for granted, the little things, and long to re-experience them, but alas, the grass is always greener . . . I predict you will be back. Your relatives can also come and visit you. Either way, keep making your works of art.

  8. Are you concerned about eventually encountering the same issues that made you leave in the first place? Few meaningful relationships, high cost of living, Jesse having to work two jobs, etc.

    My family (wife and two young boys) are planning a move to Mexico, and we both currently have most of our family living within minutes of us. Leaving family has been the #1 concern about our move, but I still feel the need for something different, something more, and Mexico, in each of our visits, seems to meet many of those needs.

    Your family has been one of the primary ones that I would show my wife as an example of a young family successfully moving to Mexico, so moving back due to missing family isn't going to help my case with my wife…

    In any case, I'm glad all of you are happy and where you feel the most fulfilled. That's all that matters.

  9. Don't be sad she leaves.
    Be happy she came.

    I never had the opportunity to meet you Erin here in Guanajuato. I dreamed the day to cross us by coincidence and say: "Hey Erin, nice job with your videos"

  10. I'm sure you will still travel and make videos. It is in your blood. You obviously learned a valuable lesson in Mexico. We are retired and both of our daughters moved 1000 miles away, in two different directions. We see them once or twice a year, we talk every few days. Our grand daughter is sad after she leaves our house, she calls us and we try to play over the phone. On the surface all of our lives seem happy but there is an undercurrent of sadness. We both have health issues that our daughters don't know about. I am proud of you for making the decision you did, it was very unselfish. Harper will be the better for it.

  11. That's why when you move to a different town, city, and most hard to a different country, you must include adapting their culture.
    I told you before I was born and raised, in Mexico City, I'm so happy i managed to now have 2 cultures I go to Mexico don't miss USA. When I'm back in the USA i don't miss Mexico Hope you didn't leave Mexico worrying about crime because the is a very old story I was robbed and beaten, by 3 american kids The bad thing my legs are paralyzed and they didn't care This happened to me in a town called Barstow, California, on my way to Vegas, from Santa Monica, Ca. And yet i still stop by that town on my way to Vegas to eat at in and out. Just being more alert of my surroundings Take care if your self

  12. For purely selfish reasons, I am sad. But, the beauty of life is that you can always change your mind if your decision doesn’t turn out to be all that you hoped. Your year in Mexico will always be a part of you and I predict your heart will yearn to return. The impact this year has made on Harper is immeasurable. All my travels as a military child have made me the strong adventurous independent woman I am today and though I wasn’t always happy about the moves at the time, now I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. My life has been rich in experiences and with travel I continue to add to my collage…my work of art. I wish you and yours the best that life can offer!

  13. Totally undestand you, after living on the USA for almost 4 years, as an engineer and with a good job, we moved back for the same reazon you did it, yes, food too 🙂 but maily family and friends.

  14. Well i always said when you taste and you liked that whether , the Food especially that juicy Torta and the relaxing walk on the city is hard to stay away good luck

  15. I completely understand why you left Mexico. We loved living there too but also felt a need to be near family for a time. I'm glad we went home when we did because we were able to support my father in law through the final 9 months of his life. As tough as it was, I'm grateful we were there. We miss Mexico but know we can always return to visit. Like you, we were deeply inspired and moved by the family values we found there and that really helped when we made the decision to come home.

  16. Does it need to be all or nothing? Since Jesse's work is location independent, can't you live abroad part of each year? I was so looking forward to Harper attending school in Mexico and becoming bilingual and bicultural.

  17. Completely fair that you want to go back with your family but one day you can return to visit as a vacation. God bless you and please don't forget about us.

  18. “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot
    ❤️
    I had this quote in my mind the whole time watching your video. Tears in my eyes toward the end, not completely sad tears, but tears because of how beautiful, bittersweet, and meaningful life can be. Much love to you and your whole family, Erin. Thank you for sharing with us, anywhere you may be in the world. With loved ones by your side is truly the best place to be
    ❤️

  19. Cabbage like this ? Like cotton candy what, asks Harper. B sweet, will be sweeter to be with grandpa and grandma to have fun and get rocked in the swing or taken for a stroll. Hey life in transition as it’s not gonna make it permanent everywhere , you nailed it , hit the core of the feelings, diificult it is, reflecting that wonderful family ties and culture that is seen everywhere in Mexico and sure practiced by some back home. Sometimes the other side of grass looks greener. But you know it. Soon a big girl , soon a teenager, soon on the same trail of exploration , it’s a cycle as life goes on. Great video and music. I felt sorry for the animals caged, well that’s me, sorry. Blessings to all your ad-ventures.

  20. Americans are taught to be rugged individuals…as such, we can be an isolated people without many family connections. Our culture has pushed the wrong values, like consumerism.

  21. Good video amiga erin enjoy your beautiful family we all totaly understand and we all going to be with you and remember guanajuato is your 2nd house

  22. Well, what can I say? I'm sad to hear about your move but I have to respect it. What would I do if i would live in Lisbon, Portugal and my family would live in Stockholm, Sweden??? (I guess it's nearly the same distance from Central Mexico to the US). Would I be willing to move from the warmth to the cold? Would I regret my decision? A lot of questions … lol In this respect I can hardly wait to see your first videos from Trump's USSA 😃

  23. Frankly, your reason for leaving Mexico to be with family is odd. In America, spending a day at the zoo would not be at all like this. Back to the rat race in America is a poor choice. Good luck.

  24. it is sad that we won’t have any more mexican images for a while- i understand completely that especially with illness one wants the feeling of safety of family. have you considered living part time in Mexico; I know people who live in San Miguel during the wintermonats….

  25. Erin, que pena que te vayas de México, pero el llamado de la familia es muy fuerte y quien hubiera pensado que estando lejos de ellos los encontrarías, no dejes de subir videos y ojalá y el próximo te encuentres con toda tu familia así como la viste en el zoológico, encontraste un tesoro en México y depende de ustedes hacerlo más grande. Un abrazo a ti y a tu familia y no te olvides de tus amigos mexicanos. Saludos

  26. Well I’ll say this: is like every Mexican that left their country and then you ask them…Do you miss Mexico? I bid they will answer …no because Mexico is in my heart, and it feels like I never left. So it’s no sad day or the end of life, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what’s is next…a dinosaur 🦖 or a sombrero 🎩 Anyway you guys try to enjoy more of life and have fun cause you only live once…Adiós amigos!

  27. Wowzer…this did shock me..but I understand…as to your illness…I want you to know something about the state of guanajuato…and that is the water which has in certain areas(not all) but many areas of having high levels of arsenic and flourides many times above the WHO standards….its in the foods also.. especially the rice and yes even some bottled waters produced in Mexico….it takes special filtration systems,ie, RO purification systems to really clean the water. Ive read the Conauqa official record reports done in 2006 and 2012 where many of wells in Guanajuato and San Miguel were highly toxic….it comes at you over time in slow debilitating way..many of the children who dont have access to clean water get spinal stenosis and their teeth and bones begin to break down…an NGO caminos de aquas based in San Miguel is working on this problem.. Suggest a blood panel workup and if there is any sign of trouble I can recommend some detox items to help remove this from your body…I hope this is not the case of course so its just a cautionary word. I will move to San Miguel but I know how to avoid the problems and where to go for quality foods..ie, Via Organica and their farm Bodega Organica…This problem exists in the USA too as all toxins pesticides etal have this gradual effect of slow debilitating fashion upon our bodies…not as much arsenic but I must warn you once again about rice…all rice…I dont care where it comes from especially the arsenic in China..so take care and if you need help I am here. Bruce Byfield..find me on facebook…be well Jesse Harper and Erin

  28. Soooo, happy to hear the reason for your return to the states was family. Enjoy….you'll find your way back to Mexico when the time is right. 💗

  29. The animals in the zoo look a lot happier and more free than animals in zoos in the U.S.

    Too bad the grandparents couldn't have lived with you for a good portion of the year in Mexico.

  30. So sad but "the perms" did the same thing, they love Mexico except they were not around family for his kids. These kiddos speak perfect Spanish, hope you can come back some day

  31. Oh Erin, this one was so moving. I think that one of the main causes for so many current personal issues is that we live lives disconnected from a community: depression, anxiety, anger, panick attacks, etc. There are studies about it and I totally subscribe them. We humans are gregarious animals, we need a pack, we do. Not all of us has one (even some us Mexicans jaja) but when you do have one and it is a loving one, oh, nothing can top that. Enjoy your pack neighbor!

  32. Ya know, I'm old, fat, and sick but your Mexico videos always make me smile. I was at UNAM in 1960. Guanajuato and San Miguel and Leon a few times in the 70's. I would have moved years ago but for insurance. BUT, Harper needs grand pas and grandmas and all of the aunts and uncles and cousins she can get. Thanks for sharing.

  33. HELLO ERIN AND THANK YOU FOR MAKE ME REMEMBER MY FAMILY ,, NOW I SEE YOU CAN UNDERTAND ALL MEXICAN IMIGRANTS IN ( USA ) AND NOBODY IS ILLEGAL ON STOLEN LAND ,, !!

  34. I wrote my other comment before the cabbage. You are SO MEAN! Harper will grow up with a strong, protective crust of sarcasm . A very useful tool. Will help make her more resilient. I applaud your parenting.

  35. This is my personal story … I moved from Mexico to the US in 1995 and endured almost 24 years without seeing my family and extended family, not because I didn’t want it, but because it took all those years for the INS and now USCIS to advance our immigration case, waiting for a available visa and receive our legal residency.

    In my case was a “forced” stay, but during those years I saw too many friends having second thoughts of leaving their families behind and returning eventually back to Mexico. So I understand the feeling.

    Fortunately, we were able to back to Mexico in recent years and seeing our families after more than two decades.

    Now with all grown up kids and two grandsons, we are planning to go full circle and retire back to Mexico in a few more years.

    Your videos are always welcome in where to live and the pros and cons of living outside the States. For sure I’ll never come back to live in my hometown, Mexico City. It’s a wonderful place to visit, but a horrible place to live nevertheless most of my maternal family and my dad still living there, LOL 😊

  36. Yeah, gotta agree with ya guys, Family MUST ALWAYS be NUMBER 1! As for the COOL León Zoo, definitely more bigger and better than the dinky li'l zoo at Morelia, and haven't been to the zoo here, but a friend went and said it was nothing special, totally worth going to León as and see the lemurs, the zebras, the giraffes, those longhorns? and yeah the elephant, seemed like an African elephant, the Asian elephants have smaller heads and their ears are more rounded and LOL…until FINALLY Jesse bro got Harper to taste the cotton candy, and you "See hun, so if you like the cotton candy, next time I give you some cabbage you'll eat it, right?" Harper: "Does the cabbage taste like cotton candy?" No fooling that li'l girl!!! XD

  37. I’ll miss your lovely videos and most of all your insights and thoughts. Hope you let this account open with the wonderful videos you made. Love those images and music and your sensitivity to collect them. Hasta pronto! 🤗👋🏻

  38. I think there is a confusion when you see many Mexicans together and think they are family. Many of them are very close friends who love each other as a family. I think next time. you have to leave the comfort of being alone and interact with more Mexicans. You will be surprised how soon you will have a great Mexican family. You just have to give them a chance not to be strange .
    If you liked this zoo. you will enjoy more the africam safari of puebla mexico. Animals are free and come to interact with you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z87Qt-zesng

  39. I was in Mexico for 6 months and I miss it so much because of the great people I met, they became family to me. And I can’t wait to go back.
    You might be back sooner than you think sometime in the future! Best wishes for you and your family!

  40. Hi Erin life give us lessons all the time I feel the same way I think so much about going back to Mexico because I miss all my extended family and with time a lot has happen lost of family members there make you realize how time flies I been in the states for 30 years and its hard for me becouse now I think about my staying here and it would be like repeating the same mistake becouse I will go back to my family there and I would be living my new family here so what can I do

  41. Just to say that after working so many hours, watching your videos were always fun and comforting. Thank you for showing us Mexico the way you did, and we will miss you!

  42. Erin’s
    I am really sad that you go from Mexico I am a faithful follower of all your blogs
    In this one it is special I am Mexican and because of my condition I do not have a serca family like that but
    I raised a pack that is the one that gives me the strength to continue forward I wish you good luck in your decisions all for the good of your family greetings and a hug from the beautiful state of California

  43. Este lugar tan hermoso es en México ? o en Nuevo México, USA, porque Hollywood nunca ha filmado un lugar tan hermoso Mexico como este.

  44. thanks for another wonderful video and U guys take care 🙏🏼 … Jess you the man … of few words & many Tortas 👍🏼 … 👋🏼👋🏼 Erin & Harper ✌🏽

  45. Thank you for sharing with so many of us the beauty of Mexico through not only the lens of your camera but your lives. We’ve lived away from our loved ones for thirty years (professors go where jobs are, as you know!) and have missed so very much, but you never know where life may take you. I’ve loved your videos. Que tengan mucha felicidad!

  46. I'm going to miss seeing you in Mexico. I'm sad, hon, keep us updated with your life… I've gone to love you as a sister… say hi to Harper! ♥

  47. Leaving was definitely the right move. Some things are just more important in life. But if you fancy some tortas in October I should be back in Mexico 🇲🇽😃

  48. I feel sad when I talk to people and they live in the same radius where they were born and NEVER explored other cities, states or countries – cotton candies, for fear to go to the unknown or try cabbage. I travel because travel is education.

  49. It’s understandable. I have no regrets living near my Mom until she passed on especially since I was a single parent and her granddaughter meant everything to her. Unfortunately the family died with my mother. I hope your family lives on forever.

  50. Hola Erin, you left the country of Mexico. What you learn about the culture will never leave your heart. You learn to appreciate family just like we do. We never say goodbye, we say “hasta luego” hopefully to see one another again. I hope you and your family best wishes . Hasta Luego.

  51. I feel the same way i came to the US 30 Yeats ago as little girls and i did not like it and i still dont is too boring no flavor.im going to go back to my mexico and be happy.

  52. Erin how are you?. I love your videos cause you are so inspiring people. I know us, specially pennsilvania, Delaware and new Jersey, buy the Mexican people we are so close like family, we take care of each other. You missed Mexican southern where we are quiet and peaceful people.

  53. Beautiful video like others! Very closer to my home…
    I'll be there in Leon in a few months and is great 👍 to see between yours video!
    Lovely 😊

  54. Me encanta tus vídeos…con tu.voz suave.
    Y los temas musicales de fondo..todos lo videos de toda la gente de está índole me gustan, pero más me.gustan, los tuyos…!!!

  55. So beautiful. We also need to remember, however, that not everyone can develop close feelings with their blood relatives. We all choose our families to a certain extent, and sometimes friends can be the best family we'll ever have.

  56. Your video made me cry 😭
    Erin, first of all I want to tell you that I will miss your videos from Mexico a lot. But, I fully understand your reason for returning here to the United States. You do not know the joy that I have, because another foreigner discovered our MOST VALUABLE TREASURE that we have in all of Mexico.
    ~FAMILY~
    You along with your family, experienced what we really are as people in Mexico and not what they show on TV.
    2 things that will always be in your heart about Mexico:
    #1 FAMILY IS EVERYTHING.
    #2 MI CASA, ES TU CASA.
    God bless you guys!
    Hasta pronto 👋

  57. I don't know what to say about this but it's the truth you can not to replace family enjoy do you need to find happiness Mexico is always waiting for you and your family welcome back anytime mi casa es tu casa

  58. Wow, you have just described what I've been going through in the last few years, being a Mexican living in Canada several years now; I feel exactly the same way every single time I see families enjoying time together. Makes you always question your reasons to be so far away from yours.
    All the best.

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