7 Habits I Picked Up When I Moved to the USA


I wrote about the Mexican habits I lost when I moved to the US, but I’ve also picked up some new American habits during my time here. 

1. Filling up my own gas

portland st johns

In Mexico, no matter where you are, there are always several people working at the gas station who fill up your gas and commonly might clean your windshield and windows and check the air on your tires as complimentary services.

In most of the US, gas is self-service. You pump your own gas and you clean your own windows. I had learned to do this on my own until last year where I lost the habit again because I moved to Oregon and here as an exception, pumping your own gas is illegal.

2. Believing that I won’t get run over when crossing the road

portland st johns road

In Mexico, you have to look both ways at all times when crossing the road and do not expect drivers to stop for you. Drivers have the right of way. Cross at your own risk.

In the US, this is quite the opposite. Pedestrians have the right of way. I am still trying to adjust to this and often make cars wait too long because I am waiting for them to drive through and they are waiting for me to cross.

3. Being on time and forgetting that every traffic sign is a suggestion

portland sunset road

I talked about the punctuality difference between Mexico and US before, and here I know I have to be on time to places or people will get really upset. This causes me some stress but I am pretty much always on time. I also now always follow traffic signs; I never ever run a red light for example. But I still do speed up instead of slow down for yellow. Some habits are hard to loose.

4. Ordering everything online


Foods I got from vitacost.com

I pretty much never go shopping. I do most of my shopping online through Amazon; households goods, electronics, technology, kitchen, clothing, gifts, supplements, books… you name it. I even buy some food (pantry items) at vitacost. You can find anything you need online; the convenience of it is hard deny.

5. Drinking wine mid-week at home

deck sunset wine

In Mexico, I would never ever drink at home unless there was a family gathering going on. It would be just weird. Here in the US, we pretty much always have wine at home and I might have a glass a several days in the week in the evening while watching TV.

6. Drinking from the tap

I would never do this in Mexico, but I do it all the time in the US where it seems to be okay.

7. Using A/C

Not sure why, but A/C in homes in Mexico is not common at all. We are usually totally fine by just opening the windows or using celling fans in more tropical places. It doesn’t seem to be needed. For some reason, here it’s like a necessity, and it’s the same thing with central heating.

What are some habits you picked up when you moved to a new country?

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