When we first started dreaming of full time travel, we were drawn to the excitement of constant motion. New places, being on the road, changing scenery, culture, food and language. This state of flux is something that we truly appreciate about our lifestyle. But at times, it’s also been our greatest challenge. As humans, we cannot help being creatures of habit, and some part of us will always crave routine, stability and that which is familiar.
Over the past 2 years, we have definitely found a sense of rhythm in our travel, work, yoga and family life. But that rhythm changes based on our current situation too.
It wasn’t until we decided to truly sit still in one place for a while that we began to realize how much of our energy has been focused on planning for the next change. Setting up and breaking down, fuelling up, hours on the road, planning our trip, researching where to stay next, scheduling visits to yoga studios, doing maintenance on the truck, fitting in homeschooling, considering our tourist visa expiration, and discussing which direction to head next. Sometimes it almost felt like too much freedom and too many possibilities! The prospect of so many opportunities is something we're grateful for, but at times, it has also felt overwhelming.
So being at the end of another 6 months in USA with winter approaching and the prospect of snow if we were to head North, we made the obvious choice for any Canadian – to drive South to Mexico!
Last year we toured so much of Mexico (Baja, the Pacific coast, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Acapulco, Oaxaca, Chiapas, into Guatemala, up to the Yucatan and Quintana Roo, and all the way back up through San Luis Potosi and into Texas). We’ve been on the road so constantly during our last 6 months in the states (Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, back to North Carolina, back to Florida, and all the way across to Texas where we started). After all of that driving, we decided that we were ready to just pick a place and set up shop for a few months. The whole family was ready to recharge, the Earthroamer was ready for some maintenance and a total clean, purge and re-pack, and Josh and I have been feeling the need to dedicate more time to working on the online aspect of our business for a while now.
We spent many hours discussing where to go in Mexico this time around what to do – because there are so many incredible places that we visited and because our options are limitless, this was a difficult decision (too many choices again!). Based on our current desires, these were the main factors we discussed to narrow it down:
- Internet and good cell phone service
- Camping on the beach
- Surfing and other ocean activities
- Opportunities for our kids to socialize with other kids
- Ability to walk or bike to amenities
- Access to yoga
We talked a lot about going back to Baja, but the spotty internet and often total lack of cell reception at our favourite beach spots were deal breakers. Often there wouldn’t even be a good option to get into town regularly… and Josh still hasn’t convinced me that we should add a motorcycle to our Earthroamer.
So we started looking up work shares in Mexico that would guarantee a quiet office space we could rent and strong wifi, but these were often in big cities (no beach) or in Playa Del Carmen, which is without beach front camping, and again there was the transportation issue. We even talked about renting a condo somewhere! (Choices, choices, choices...)
In all of our discussions, we kept circling back to Sayulita, which is just North of Puerto Vallarta. We really enjoyed our time when we stayed for 6 weeks last year, but we were concerned about the sanitation issues and the fact that we were sick for weeks before. We realized that if we couldn't stay healthy, we wouldn't be able to enjoy all the advantages of being there. But besides that one drawback, Sayulita checks every box on our list:
- A work share with fiber cable internet for our online business
- An RV park right on the beach
- The perfect beginner surf break for surfing or boogie boarding
- Lots of families in town and at the RV park, and also an international school for Arjuna
- A hip surf town with lots of great restaurants, shops, and markets within a 5-10 minute walk
- Tons of yoga studios
With only a week left in Texas, and without a decision as to where we would go in Mexico, we decided to do some research and contact some friends who were back at the Sayulita Trailer Park. We were happy to hear that some pipes had been added to the sewage system with plans to add more, and some improvements had been made to the sanitation since last year. That information was enough for us to take the chance and plan to set up here in Sayulita again. (Update: we still did get sick when we arrived, but since the first week, the whole family has basically been healthy and happy. More on this, and the details of our lifestyle here in Sayulita in a future post!)
There have been times during our travels that we’ve wondered about the different methods of touring in an RV. We’ve wondered things like:
- Why do some people just go back to the same spot year after year when there’s so much else to explore?
- How can some people just go from RV park to RV park and set up on a concrete pad when there’s so many awesome off the beaten path free camp spots?
- Why would you want to set up in a busy, touristy beach when you can find totally secluded beaches and have peace and quiet?
I guess right now we’re at a point in our travels where all of that stuff that we couldn’t seem to understand a year ago has started to appeal to us a little bit more. We've come up with our own answers to the questions we asked a year ago:
- When you find a great spot, why mess around? Familiarity is part of the enjoyment factor.
- It's relaxing to set up at an RV site and have without thinking about water and electricity and just be totally set up -- plus have a community of people to hang out with.
- A beach town with a booming tourist industry tends to have great wifi, lots of families and kids to play with, great restaurants, a cool vibe, and the energy of things happening.
And if there’s anything we’ve learned through our yoga practice and through our life on the road, it’s that everything is temporary. So we’re going to take full advantage of sitting still here in Sayulita and all the amenities that being here has to offer right now. We're going to enjoy not having to make any decisions about where to go or what to do next... at least for a while!