When life gives you limes, move to Mexico and make margaritas!

Wisdom says that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But what if your carefully laid plans land you in jail?

The last time we spoke to the Film Festival Doctor Rebekah Louise Smith, she was in Mexico, planning her move to Los Angeles where she had an apartment waiting and life planned out.

But her move didn’t go to plan… and then some! In fact, it went spectacularly awry and ended up with her being deported back to Mexico again. But never one to let a setback derail her, Rebekah has regrouped and come up with a new plan.

If you’ve ever had to recover from a life-changing disappointment (or are trying to work through one now) you may find Rebekah’s story and bravery inspiring. Here’s how she ended up in jail in Los Angeles, and what she’s planning now.

“Never in a million years did I think I would be… deported”

There’s a saying that your spiritual guides (or the universe) have a better plan for you, one that’s bigger and often much better than what you imagined and I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

Never in a million years did I think that I would be denied entry into the USA, deported and sent back to Mexico City where I currently live. This country has quickly become a place that I adore and which I am extremely grateful to for protecting me and making me feel incredibly warm, safe and welcome.

During the start of 2020 my plan was to finally make my move to Los Angeles. My Visa was approved and I had an apartment located within the Miracle Mile area that was ready to move into. I had not been able to move there permanently from the UK due to travel bans and the coronavirus restrictions.

However, during December my immigration lawyer at the time encouraged me to take the route into the states via Mexico. You are required to stay there for 14 nights and then fly in after quarantining.

On paper this sounded quite simple and I had all of the paperwork proof that my visa had been approved but unfortunately that did not go down well with the border patrol officers at LAX Airport due to changes in immigration laws that had occurred during the pandemic.

“I was detained for 16 hours in their jail”

I was detained for 16 hours in their jail, strip searched and then sent back to Mexico. Sharing a room with a woman who was a drugs mule was the most surreal moment of my life and being treated like I was a criminal was horrendous. I was wide awake for all of those 16 hours and didn’t eat or drink until I arrived into Mexico. 

It really was the most harrowing and stressful experience of my life. I have never felt so much adrenaline and fear pumping through my body, neither have I ever been spoken to in such a degrading way.

However, after having incredible trauma therapy where I was taught to ‘tap’ the experience I had out of my mind so I could get through what had happened, I’m now seeing the blessings in disguise and am able to listen more clearly to my guides as I know that I’m in Mexico for a reason (and highly likely more than one reason).

I’ve now moved from a place of fear to a place of excitement and abundance.

“I’m… loving working remotely”

I’m also loving working remotely more so than ever. I have clients and staff in the U.K. and the U.S.A. and I love how one can do anything no matter what time zone you’re in.

It does of course require one to be able to work around the time zones but that’s not difficult as it’s simply a case of getting organised and planning your day around when they are awake or asleep.

For example, I do all of my meetings in the U.K. between 9am-11am MX time which is between 3pm-5pm in the U.K. then I do my USA time zone meetings during the afternoon as we are on similar (or the same) time zones.

Evenings are great as then you can catch up on admin and begin working on projects as people in the U.K. are asleep and those in the USA are winding down for the evening.

“I’m looking forward to attending him festivals here in Mexico”

I’m really looking forward to attending film festivals here in Mexico when they get back up and running. I’m so excited to expand my Film Festival Doctor business into Mexico.

Next week I’ll be promoting my book BORN TO DO IT around the city and I can’t wait for the locals here to read it. I’m really keen to thank as many Mexicans as possible for their kindness. One of the most important people in my life, a wonderful realtor named Luis, is Mexican and now I can see why this country has a special place in his heart!

You can read Rebekah’s original blog here.

Photo by Emir Saldierna