If you’re not living in the Puerto Vallarta area, you’re missing out!
I live in Sayulita, a very small town about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, where there is a wonderful mix of local Mexicans and as well as American, Canadian, European expats. It’s a great balance between what’s familiar and what’s new. I can eat Mexican food one day or I can have a hamburger the next. That’s really comfortable for somebody who wants a foreign experience but doesn’t want to feel like they are in a distant far away land because at some point living abroad you can feel very isolated and homesick. Here in the Puerto Vallarta area, you can speak English or Spanish; whichever you feel comfortable with. It’s obviously very beautiful here. It’s sunny almost every day, we have tropical, beautiful birds, and whales breaching; it’s a very beautiful lifestyle.
Every day I come to the office I give thanks. I have an open-air office looking out onto a lush garden. I often think about my friends from school who are probably in some cubicle somewhere, with neon lights flashing as they stare into a huge computer screen. The lifestyle here doesn’t even compare.
Also, I’ve got a great nanny who washes and cares for my baby as if she were her own daughter. That sort of intimacy you don’t find in the States, so that’s really nice. It’s nice and wonderful being able to walk everywhere. You walk a lot more than you would in other places where you would need to get in the car to go anywhere. Here it’s almost a nuisance to drive anywhere.
If you were deciding between a place like Sayulita, which is a small town, or Puerto Vallarta, which is a big city, you have to weigh the plusses and minuses. In Sayulita, it’s wonderful to walk places and see people you know, but at the same time when you walk places you see people you know! This dynamic can get old or it can be really great and refreshing. It just depends on the day or the person.
The entitlement that many Americans have when they come to a foreign country and realize that it’s not like where they’re from and they think it should be like where they’re from can get old. It can be kind of frustrating as a fellow American to hear people complaining about this new place where they’re just visitors and they’ve lost focus of the positive things of living here and the benefits that they’re receiving. I would encourage people to not get caught up in that, not to just pass your time with fellow Americans or Canadians. It’s really important to push yourself outside of your comfort level to know the Mexicans, to know your neighbors, to know the people who are working with you or serving you and to gain another perspective on your life.
I would really encourage people who are looking to move here or who do live here to constantly re-evaluate and to remind themselves that this is not where they’re from. There are always things that can be improved upon. I’m not saying that this place is perfect, but I encourage people to just to keep in mind that there was something that initially brought them here or drew them in and they should work to hold on to that or to find more things that can keep them positive about life.