Full Disclosure: Why I Haven’t Been Writing

I’ve procrastinated – severely – in writing this.

And, if you’ve been a reader for a bit, you’ve probably noticed something is up, because I haven’t really been writing anything personal, which was the hallmark and reason for starting this blog: to be totally transparent and honest about expat life.

I couldn’t be authentic, though, about my life (and thus couldn’t really write at all), because I was undergoing a huge and dramatic life change that I wasn’t sure how to wrap my head around for myself, let alone share with others.

In addition, I wanted to be respectful of everyone involved: myself, my (now former) partner, and our families and friends.

Now enough time has passed that I feel semi-comfortable sharing, and I think it’s important that I do.

I separated from my ex-husband in January 2019, and we have signed all divorce paperwork early this year. We were supposed to be officially divorced on March 24, 2020… but COVID-19 put a halt to that as courts closed. Now, we are waiting.

When I was looking for blogs by expats going through divorce – I couldn’t find any. These months were such a lonely time for me, as I didn’t know anyone who had gone through or was going through this experience, so I want to share.

My ex and I split as amicably as possible. We agreed, out of court, how to divide up the assets and proceed with our lives. He moved to the east coast of Mexico, I stayed in Puerto Vallarta.

Everything about my life changed drastically, and while this was not an easy transition, I know confidently that it was the right one – for both of us.

I need to be honest, though. To get a divorce in Jalisco or Nayarit is a bit traumatic, even if the split is mutual and not contested. I’ll go into this further in another post, but I had many meetings with the lawyer, and even had to prove that I was not pregnant by submitting to a pregnancy test and having it validated at a public health center (this is required by the court). The process felt confusing, humiliating, and de-humanizing (and we haven’t even had to go in front of the judge yet, who I hear tries to convince you not to get a divorce!)

We didn’t have an option to get divorced anywhere other than Mexico, otherwise we would have gone that route. We had to get divorced here, because in the US, divorce is a state thing, and neither my husband (who is Israeli) nor I have residency in any state… even though our legal wedding was in Nevada. Being an international, intercultural couple is complicated, up until the end.

Now, I have limited but kind and cordial interaction with my ex-husband, and we’re waiting to see when the COVID-19 crisis will pass, when the courts will re-open, and when we will be able to become “officially” and legally divorced. For both of us, even if it’s “unofficial”, in all intents and purposes – we’re already divorced.

I will write more about this in the future, because living as a single woman in Mexico (and in Puerto Vallarta specifically) is quite a different experience as compared to life as a married woman.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out – either in the comments or email (steph@joyandjourney.com). If you’re going through a similar situation – I send love and hugs, I know it’s hard as hell, but I hope you see the light on the other side.


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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