We spent here more than 2 months and have immersed ourselves into the day to day life of this little village. We also travelled around to neighbouring villages and beaches and the cities of Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and Tequila. So this is a (quick) recap of what happened during my adventures but most importantly, what I had learned or discovered while being here.
Every place I travel to leaves an impression on me. It happens to all of us, that’s why we travel. The Pueblo Magico of Sayulita in Mexico is no different.
As I am a digital nomad I tend to actually live in these places for a while and discover the people, the culture and the food. Every single place I lived in for the past 2 years has left an imprint on my soul, my heart and my mind. Most importantly, every place is like a chapter that’s opening up for me and providing the opportunity to discover something new. Then closing when it’s time to move on.
First things first, Mexico is hands down one of my favorite places to live so far :) It’s like Thailand but much more colorful, open and free. It is closer to my heart. Mexican people, food, weather and nature are just incredible. I believe this country will be one of those we would settle for a bit :)
Second, here are a couple of collages in photos as a summary of our magical adventures:
1. The town of Sayulita
This little village doesn’t stop to amaze with its people, the hippie vibe & food. It is famous for its surf beach and weddings so a lot of (mostly American and Canadian) tourists visit the little village. Everyone speaks English, you can walk everywhere (or drive a golf cart like a true gringo) and the weather and the waves are awesome.
Personally, I didn’t like Sayulita that much. It’s a bit too small for me, I don’t surf, there are not many dairy and gluten-free options, some things are really expensive (clothes and rent)and it’s just too touristy for me. I need to get on a bike and get where I need to get and have a nice beach and little coffee shops, a good arts scene and much more than Sayulita can offer… On the other hand, I was finishing up my last 2 months at a job I didn’t really like so that also has had a negative effect on me really enjoying Sayulita.
2. Yoga & Acro Yoga
I really made the most of the time here and I loved it! And I LOVED the yoga here. I have immediately found a yoga studio I love at Hotelito Los Suenos led by Vanessa Morett and religiously have been attending the classes 3 times a week. This commitment has helped me to really reconnect with myself on a much deeper level with my body and my mind. I swear, it’s like I feel my arms and legs in a more intimate wat and I have developed a special, deeper kind of respect for my body and my mind. Basically, I deepened my practice a lot and am getting ready for my yoga certification training in May in Bali. Namaste ;-)
And that brings me to another great discovery of acro yoga with the amazing Jessica Christen Lusk who manages the Pacific Coast Acroyoga group on Facebook and she’s awesome! I am so grateful to have met this amazing person who gently and playfully introduced me to acro yoga!
3. Baby Turtle Release
Alert: cuteness overload!
Ohhh myyy goodness… If you have never seen turtles trying to get into the ocean waves flapping their tiny little limbs, this will be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and it will blow your mind. Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita is a voluntary community project that has a goal of “relocating the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle nests the mothers lay all over the beaches into the Nursery to protect them from poaching.” They manage to release about 30,000 baby turtles into the ocean every year but only 1 out of 1,000 turtles survives :( I know, it’s so sad. But totally worth seeing the release and even releasing these babies yourself!
And here is a video of this magical event happening:
4. Marietas Islands.
Together with a group of other nomads we went on a really cool and crazy boat tour to the Marietas islands (a national park) where we had an open bar on the boat, snorkeled and paddle boarded. Awesome experience!
5. Scuba Diving
I am a baby diver ;-) I am super grateful to have done 4 dives and a whale watching trip with Sayulita Entourage. Stephane has been crucial for guiding me under the water (yes, sometimes holding my hand LOL) and Roberta has been very helpful and sweet. I would go diving with them again for sure!
Oh, and here is the video of the first dive!
6. Puerto Vallarta
I have heard magical things about this city and it was always a place I wanted to go. A quick 1-hour bus ride from Sayulita will take you to PV (as locals call it.) The town is full of art and really cool “dead hot women” graffiti. It also has an awesome boardwalk with these weirdly famous sculptures — worth checking them out! We rented a motorbike for a day and went riding around. There are a bunch of acitvities you can do around PV but we had just a weekend to explore and it was still worth it!
Oh, GDL… With a population of 4.3 million people it is the 4th most populous city in Mexico. And yes, people are everywhere. People who do not speak English and live their daily lives ;) Weather is much better here as it is cool in the mornings and evenings. Highlights are some great food places, Tlaquepaque (art & crafts area), Lucha Libre (yes, Mexican wrestling is real! — see video below) and the historic centre. Overall, awesome but not super impressing.
Lucha Libre is a super fun family event for Mexicans. We bought popcorn and watched the show while the crowds were screaming and singing to each other! LOL check out this video below:
And a quick recap of GDL in the form of a special Christmas dance:
Yes, that’s the name of the Mexican city where agave plants live abundantly and a lot of tequila is produced and then exported. We had a tour of the Tres Mujeres Tequila distillery (at some point the tequila produced here won the “best tequila in the world” award) and then had a super fun tasting session with Mariachis playing in the background! Awesome! Then we had a quick chill out session in the actual town of tequila. Fun and probably worth seeing it.
9. Engagement photosession
OMG! Wanderova is getting married! I know, I know, I almost got used to the idea.
A lot of weddings are done in Sayulita because it is truly beautiful: the landscape, the colors and the people :) So we took advantage of this opportunity and had a semi-professional shoot with Tamara Pelege and the photos turned out great! We basically needed some photos for the wedding website (where our guests can RSVP and get more info) and we also shot a video interview about both of us. This is a quick engagement so a lot of our friends and family haven’t met us together. LOL But that’s how we roll. “Gotta move quickly in life,” as my soon-to-be-husband would say!
The hardest thing about leaving a place are the people you meet and develop a connection with.
Besides the truly local Mexicans and the tourists who visit Sayulita, there are people who decided to make this town their home for the short-term or long-term basis. First, they look at you like you’re another tourist, kinda testing the waters. But then, if you prove worthy, they will accept you into their inner circle. LOL
And just as we started having deeper, meaningful connections with some amazing people who live here (other nomads, yoga teachers and other cool humans)… it’s time to go. And that is heart-breaking but we experience this every time… In fact, I am getting tired of it as I truly miss having real friends that are “always” there. Where I can touch them, cry in their shoulders or get really drunk with. I miss my girlfriends a lot. I miss a steady, stable circle of friends as well.
I will miss these guys! But I know we shall meet again, someday somewhere!
And so this is it. This is my Sayulita story and I loved it! Next step: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil!