Buenas tardes mis amigos!
Doing that Gringo Grind on the daily! What is the Gringo Grind? The Gringo Grind is the new way I live life now. This new concept was created by the great Oriana herself with the definition of something close to this:
“A privileged white individual moving to another country to basically start over to fully understand and experience another culture and way of life through another cultural and social lens.”
This is a loose definition of how my life has been for the past three months. Before coming to Peru, I worked hard, saved money, and had the mind set of using the money in Peru for emergency situations, or to hold me afloat until Oriana and I could float our own boats in a 3rd world country. We had to keep these things in mind; Housing, Jobs, Security, Transportation, Fun money, Food, and other random expenses. The Gringo Grind is the idea of starting fresh in another country (even with savings), living beneath your means in order to save, learn, and fully experience life as a local. The first month we loosely looked for jobs, while exploring the city and spending money on fun activities and food, but challenges approached us quickly after the first month. Now a days, I am working on some side projects that may potentially leading me to a promising career if I put in the work. There are countless of opportunities, and there is always work to be done, so I try to grind daily! Here are some tips, advice, and challenges we faced! Maybe they will help you out, or simply answer some questions you may have.
Obviously we all need a place to lie down and sleep for the night. We were fortunate to find a place with her cousin in San Miguel where the one month that we stayed was full of great and first experienced memories of Lima. The apartment building we stayed in was not much, but it was enough to sleep, eat, and cleanup in and I am forever grateful for that experience – even if we had freezing cold water to shower in- Bur!
After the first month, we decided that we wanted to upgrade but also save money, so we were always on the lookout for a new place to live, and in hopes of finding something more centric to the popular areas like Miraflores and San Isidro. These areas are closer to our work as well – so that is a plus! Every night we would search online, the newspapers weekly, and craigslist nightly.
Here are some websites to use for looking for a house:
- Tends to be pricier
- Cheaper than Urbania
- Can be sketchy – Do your research
- Local Newspapers (3 soles or Less – $1).
One night, I saw on craigslist a nice shared house in Miraflores for an unpassable price! So I frantically emailed the landlord while I was laying in bed, and the following day we got to see the house. Next, we moved out what, the next day?? We have been here for two months now and could not be happier! This will be our third month in Miraflores – Wow time flies!
We are close to accessible public transportation for work, the grocery store, and practically to almost anywhere in Lima. Our roommates are calm and respectful, we have everything we need, and I am extremely happy from where we have come from to today!
Grinding for the job!
Jobs can also be daunting as an expat. There are many places to start looking for a job as a foreigner. You can use the following:
- Connections Connections Connections!
- Go door to door leaving your CVC
I highly recommend using Computrabajo and indeed first, and prioritize them from there. I have prioritized them in order from most prioritized to least, but it all really depends on your situation.
For each person, it will depend on your area of work, study, and what nationality (unfortunately) that you are. For example, I am working for two English companies. One that I received from our good old friend, Gringo John. The second job, I do not remember exactly where I got applied. It was either Indeed or computrabajo. However, the really nice thing about computrabajo is that it shows what company has seen your application, which company is processing it, and it shows where you are in the process! It provides a nice visual for the applicant. See below.
If you are interested in English teaching, there are plenty of opportunities in Lima with a vast growth in English teaching companies throughout the city. Some places require you to have TEFL certification, but if you apply, you may still get it without the certification. I think it is a marketing strategy for their clients. So, apply for the jobs even if you do not think you will get it.
The first month, we played it pretty casual. We sight-saw, is that how you say it? and we explored the city by foot and by but most of our days with the casual application or two a day.
By month two, we started grinding a little more with calling, applying, emailing and pushing for a job….Finally, we achieved our first English teaching position. Unfortunately, it was insufficient for starting out, but we have worked out way up to working full time (or almost full time). Even now, I would like to make more money so I can travel more in Peru, so I am always thinking about new opportunities and how I can create them instead of working for someone else. I currently have two projects yet to be announced that I am hoping to make successful.
Now a days
Now, I am a little more comfortable with my typical work day. Here is a nice visual representation of my day.
- 7am-9am – Class
- 1-2:30pm – Class
- 5-6:30pm – Class
- 7-8:30pm- Class
Total of 6-8 hour days of actual class
As you can see – There is a lot of free time in between. There is a lot to do in between these classes. As of right now I am trying to kick off slacklining classes to make some side money for fun while I am in between classes. However, this free time can be overwhelming as it is easy to spend money on food, coffee (like right now) or to go home back to my house (which is time consuming). However, most days, I like to go to the park where it is semi-quiet and write on my notepad/or on my laptop offline.
Do not be fooled! My almost college looking schedule is exhausting at times due to the anticipation of classes, the earliness (which I do not mind) and the lateness of my classes running. Also there is always a lot of preparation to go into the actual class itself, so the time between classes is useful to fulfill this task as well! Also, do not forget the actual energy that is put into the class itself being patient, kind, and understanding to your students! That is incredibly important, AND energy consuming (for me).
The work culture here is always pushing me to learn new things, and helps me learn how to deal with my busy/not so busy schedule. Some days I work 3 hours, some days I work 8 hours. Every day is different, and what I choose to do with my free time affects how much money I want to make, and where I want to be. This is where the free time comes down to Gringo Grindin’ time!
It is crazy to think we arrived in Lima without a job and tackled everything we have tackled thus far. For a while, spending money was fun on activities such as the zoo, museums, and other fun foods and restaurants, but as time progressed, we realized we needed to change the way we were living and really hustle to get a job to sustain ourselves. Now, we are constantly trying to better ourselves and push forward to raise our monthly incomes and live more comfortably and learn more valuable lessons that Lima can provide us.
The Gringo Grind – Start from almost nothing, and work your way up to where you want to be. I would love to experience this in a different country such as Argentina or Chile where the laws are completely different, and you have different life styles than Peru, but there is still so much to take away from in Peru. The Gringo Grind has helped me understand the way of life here in this foreign country, and through sacrifices and hard work has helped both Oriana and I grow.
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment, concern, question, or send me an email on any thoughts that you may have on this particular topic!