A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

July 4, 2008 — sayulita-girlsinshopKelly’s sister Alexandra has been visiting us recently, and she has quite a few friends in the charming small town of Sayulita, which is on the Pacific coast, not too far from Puerto Vallarta. So we took off for a few days.

I’ll do another article about the beautiful place we stayed. But first, here are scenes from a walk we took on our first morning. These two young women were working at a coffee bar where we got lattes. It was part of an outdoor restaurant where we had breakfast. Here are Kelly and Alexandra, smiling even though it’s before their morning coffees:breakfast in Sayulita

I greatly enjoyed watching the rest of the clientele, as there were many young American couples, probably in Sayulita for the surfing. We don’t see enough young Americans around Lake Chapala!

Wandering through the downtown after breakfast, we saw surf shops, plenty of boutiques and crafts stores, and many little restaurants.  I had read on the internet that there was a bookstore with books in English, and we set out to find it. A sudden rain came up, so we got a bit damp, but in the heat we felt refreshed. As for the bookstore, either it was closed for the off season, closed period, or we just didn’t find it.


This hillside was a bit north (if I wasn’t turned around) of downtown, and gives a hint of the lush tropical setting, with homes interspersed. We chatted with a young real estate salesman who said house prices were comparable to San Francisco, California, and that they had pretty much doubled in the past year. I picked up some free real estate magazines and saw that prices were way higher than around Lake Chapala. The fellow also said that people for whom Puerto Vallarta is too expensive are coming here.

This fish store had finished sales for the day and they must have scrubbed the counter, as this fellow was relaxing and watching TV. I asked his permission and Kelly got this photo:


Alexandra and I did some shopping, with Kelly browsing a bit too. I was delighted to find a small wooden heart covered with milagros (miracles), which are tiny metal shapes of arms, legs, hearts, and other body parts as well as animals — you see them in churches and shrines around  Mexico where someone is asking for a healing or giving thanks for one. Here, I am discussing this with the young saleswoman. I had asked her in Spanish if they were real milagros attached to the heart, and she was astonished. "How do you know about milagros?" she asked, also in Spanish. I told her we had had the opportunity to travel in many parts of Mexico and had seen them many times.sayulita-conversation  I had another conversation in that same store. A different young woman was at the cashier’s desk, and she was wearing a bright pink t-shirt which said in English, "Too Many Social Engagements, Too Little Time!" I asked her, again in Spanish, if she knew what her shirt said, and she had no idea. My rough translation was "Tantas Cosas Divertidas Que Hacer, Tan Poco Tiempo!" and she got a kick out of it, thanking me several times for telling her. I wondered to myself how many other foreigners had seen the shirt and not thought to tell her its meaning or had not had the Spanish to do so. It is so easy, and so rewarding, to chat with Mexicans, and in a place like this many of them speak some English.

On the edge of downtown, we walked past a store that was closed while the walls were being painted. These things were piled on a table in the middle of the room. I like the surreal quality that the rain-splotched window and the reflections of plants across the street gave to the pile, specially since we had been chatting the night before about how surrealism is an essential part of Mexican culture.


6 Comments from the old blog:

  • At July 05, 2008 1:32 AM,  Steve Cotton said…

    Sayulita was one of the first places I looked when I thought of moving to Mexico. Like you, I liked the vibrancy with the young people. But, even then, real estate price creep had begun. I cannot imagine buying there now.

  • At July 05, 2008 3:07 PM,  John W said…

    I love the little painted wooden angels in your last photo. I have two of them hanging in my house and they bring a peaceful feeling to it.

  • At July 09, 2008 11:03 AM,  Spanish School Mexico said…

    Great stories, it is great to hear other Americans experience in Mexico. Keep it up1

  • At July 09, 2008 7:38 PM,  YayaOrchid said…

    Thank you so much for all the helpful info about living in Mexico. I just recently found your blog through ‘El Blog de Joy", and I love it! As someone who would love to visit Mexico, but is afraid to because of all the horrid stories we hear in the news, it almost gives me hope and courage to someday travel beyond just the border. :)

  • At July 09, 2008 10:50 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Yayaorchid, I know what you mean about that fear. I’ve had it myself. This whole website started before blogging was popular (if we can remember that far back, really just a few years ago). Here is how I began the book I wrote and later turned into the basis for this site:
    "Aren’t you afraid to travel to Mexico?"
    I had heard the question before, but this time it startled me. The young woman asking it was a Mexican-American working in a Wal-Mart in a Texas border town. I didn’t expect it from her. She had never crossed the border, she confided. Lowering her voice so nobody else could hear, she whispered, "May God protect you."
    I thanked her and told her that we had traveled to Mexico before. True, I was a little apprehensive about some things – traffic, finding good places to park our small motorhome, traveling on a pretty modest budget, and so on.
    But mainly I was excited about going back to a place where I find it so easy to live fully from my heart. Most of the Mexicans do it, and it rubs off on me. I love it.
    I love passing strangers on the street and exchanging greetings. I love the ready smiles, the courtesy, the friendliness, the encouragement that meets any attempt to speak Spanish.
    Just being in Mexico, experiencing the beauty and the climate, the people and the history, the food and the handicrafts, fills my days with enjoyment – as well as with some interesting challenges.
    Sharing thousands of miles of border with the United States, Mexico could not be easier to get to. Many thousands of Americans and Canadians travel to Mexico every year, and well over half a million live there. But I am surprised that there aren’t even more Americans there.
    One reason is probably not knowing what to expect. Rumors of bandits and drug lords may keep some out of Mexico, though such people are hardly unknown north of the Rio Grande. Many Americans who live in Mexico say that they feel safer there than in the United States.

  • At August 05, 2008 1:10 AM,  Manzanilloblogger said…

    A couple of Expats in Sayulita wrote a book about their experiences in Mexico. It’s pretty good, I’m finding a ton of stuff we can relate to in our own experience of moving here.
    It’s called Gringos In Paradise. Pretty good read.

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