Extranjera Update: May 2022 (Los Dinamos and Tepotzlan)

diving back into one of my favorite (and most delicious) hobbies: cheese boarding

This month felt especially full of re-energizing, re-inspiring, friend and (close-to)home time.

Birthday Picnic at Los Dinamos

Birthday girl Bronwyn on top of the van roof deck; the friend group gathered to celebrate

We celebrated my lovely girlfriend Bronwyn’s birthday with a friend picnic at Los Dinamos park. After a bit of trouble getting the van through the narrow roads and up the steep inclines (burning out a bunch of clutch in the process eeeeek), we scored a beautiful, off-the-path, peaceful spot – the perfect place for celebrating.

Weekend Getaway to Tepotzlan

This was my first time ever in magical Tepotzlan. I’d heard SO much about this interesting little town from my friends, and I was SO excited to visit.

For this visit, we skipped right through the town and spent just a quick one-night stay (next time we’ll definitely do dinner and some actual time in-town).

the beyond-relaxing glamping haven

We stayed at a very cool glamping hotel (research for our own resort, perhaps? 😉 ), enjoying a gorgeous view of the mountain, and total tranquility.

Felix and friends

We were the only guests, but certainly not alone (we made some lovely furry friends, as did Felix).

Las Brujas Paint Day

Las Brujas paint day

My girlfriend Hadley introduced me to Las Brujas, a conscious community of women with a conscious community focus, curated experiences, and educational events. I went to a Saturday paint day, run by instructor Anna and Las Brujas founder Cara.

My painting skills could use some help, but I still had a blast and met some wonderful women.

IWC Event

IWC dog-walking

Still in the same vein of community building, I decided to join the International Women’s Club, and attended my first event. Very fitting for my dog-loving interests, I went to a shelter dog walk. It was a great way to spend an hour, I connected with two IWC members I’d never met before, and it was wonderful to give back to animals who were veryyyy clearly excited about getting out and about for a walk.


My Favorite Day

Lardo and Animal Spirit Deck

Funny enough, my favorite day was the Poema fail. A true making lemons into lemonade experience, and we definitely made the most of this experience (looking cute af, I might add)!

After Poema turned us away, us 3 girls put our names on the list at Lardo, went to my apartment, broke out the bubbly to sip on while we waited, and each did an Animal Spirit Deck card pull with my boyfriend.

We had a fabulous brunch chatting and sharing pastries and salads and trying drinks from Lardo’s constantly updating menu.

A sunny Sunday spent with great friends – it is hard to go wrong.

#notguilty Pleasure

Staying home

Wednesday women’s lunch, cooked by me

My life used to be lived in one of two modes: traveling, or planning my next trip.

I am so happy to be living a life that I don’t want to run away from!

Travel enhances my life now, instead of defining it. And I find that I love my days at home just as much as I love my trips, and that is a real accomplishment for me.

My ideal day: workout, work (both of jobs – as health insurance specialist, and as CBT therapist – are so fulfilling!! I feel so grateful), walk my dog for a long time around Condesa, hang out with friends, and spend a lot of time talking with my partner.



Do yourself a favor and grab a game of Bananagrams. It’s great for travel (the whole game fits in your hand), and a super fun way to exercise your brain.

I love word games, like Scrabble, Scattergories, and Bananagrams. I introduced D to his first-ever game of Bananagrams, and he really liked it (though we’re both wordy book-lovers, and all the games we played were hotly contested about who won hahah).



Tepotzlan Glamping Getaway

Mexico City

Per usual 🙂

Los Dinamos

100000% recommend visiting for an afternoon (or whole weekend – bring a tent and camp out) of nature and hiking, less than an hour outside Mexico City.


Absolutely living up to the hype, Tepotzlan is a must-visit city escape for anyone living in (or visiting, for any more than a couple weeks) Mexico City. It feels noticeably slower, and yes, like the rumors say, quite magical. And the views!!!


Mexico City Elitism isn’t just for Polanco

We had been trying to get in to Poema (a seemingly cool pop-up concept restaurant in a historic mansion near Parque Espana), for literally weeks. Sunday was going to be THE DAY, but yet again – a fail. I won’t go into the boring details, but it was SO clearly a result of the environment being elitist and purposefully snobbish. They turned us 3 girls away from an empty restaurant (and a painfully, obviously less-than-full reservations list), claiming to be too full.

That kind of attitude is a hard no for me and such a turn-off, though far too common in Mexico City (I’d argue it’s much more typical in Polanco, though). If you’re not with the “right” people or wearing the “right” clothes, the host/ess looks down on you (if you end up being able to get in at all).

So, we made the most of it by going to Lardo. And I’m glad we did. The atmosphere there is so warm and welcoming, and the food neverrrrr fails (same with the drinks).

This post is part of a low-key series, designed to give a behind-the-scenes look into an expat life which, honestly, isn’t usually that much different than a “regular” life! I spend time with my friends, work, and still have to do the dishes… 

The Extranjera Update series is laidback and off-the-cuff – quite purposefully the opposite of nearly everything going on in blogging right now. The photos are all taken with my iPhone (or, more likely, my boyfriend’s phone), and unedited (though I do sometimes go a bit collage-crazy).

With this series moving forward, I’ll be talking about the main themes of my life that month, some favorites, at least one “reality check”, and what I’ve discovered here in Mexico City (or, wherever I end up moving forward). It’s not because I’m so self-involved to think my life is so fascinating, but rather because especially when I first moved abroad, I felt incredibly alone. If even one thing you read, you relate to, I’ve done my job.

If you’ve got another idea for a section I should include – let me know!!

As always, let me know what you’d like to see more (or less!) of by sending me an email. I love to hear from you and I ALWAYS respond to emails.


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

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