Finding a new home in Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast of Mexico? Our first steps! [AED-S01E05a]

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Previously on the Adventure Escape Diaries:

In the previous episode of the #AdventureEscapeDiaries we arrived in #MexicoCity:

How it continues…

But just after two days we left for the #Mexican #PacificCoast to #PuertoVallarta in the Mexican State of #Jalisco.
A popular destination for #Expats and travelers.
We took the local busses to visit the charming towns of #Sayulita, #SanPancho & #CoralDelRisco.
In this episode we even made it to #MarietasIslands and visited the #TimeShareResort #Vidanta.
After all this searching for the right place to stay, do you think we’ll be able to make the #MexicanWestCoast our new home? Post your thoughts into the comments below 👇🏼
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Experience through me the ups and downs of finding a new life in #LatinAmerica.
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Let me know what you think in the comments on how it’s all going to play out and what you’re looking forward to seeing next!


See how it continues…

Mexico welcomed us with open arms. Alexandra Allover and I were planning on getting our residency in Paraguay but had to escape Europe to get to Mexico instead.
Our documents for the Paraguayan residency would expire in over 4 months but the country was still under a strict lockdown. So we had to make the best of our time in Mexico and hope things would work out along the way. For now it was time to meet up with my friend Kim who among other things inspired us to come to Mexico. Our flight from Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta was brief and without any additional problems.

The Mexican West coast was greeting us with the heat we were missing in Mexico City.

Tropical climate, the ocean, palm trees, and sandy beaches. With tourists… but apparently not enough of them. What we noticed pretty early was that the lockdowns worldwide had destroyed Tourist destinations. People were still traveling, but maybe at a 10% capacity compared to a normal season before worldwide governments went rogue.

Especially small businesses or one person businesses were fighting for survival.

Many of them already shut their doors for good but some were still hustling. And we felt that. A lot. We tried our best to be friendly and diplomatic but some sales people just didn’t understand that we didn’t need sculptures on our minimalistic travels or 5 different taxis, when we just wanna stroll through a little town.
After a few days of feeling sorry for apparently breaking every sales person’s heart and condemning their children to a life on the streets, one starts to realize that it is not our fault that the world economy is crumbling under bad political decisions.
We were here and supported the local economies with our money. Our best way to help these people is to tell you, the viewer of the ADVENTURE Escape Diaries, that people here want their tourists back, desperately.

With this little prelude to our travels, we finally managed to meet up with our new travel buddies Kim from Sweden and Ole from Norway.

With Kim coming to Mexico to get a special stemm cell treatment for his hurt knee and also scouting the Mexican terrain to find himself a new home alternative to Bulgaria, Ole at this point was just in Mexico for a deserved Vacation from European insanity.

Just like Alexandra and me, both of our Viking brothers are consulting clients online.

Kim is a sales coach with an exclusive online course and Ole a fitness trainer who specializes in accountability coaching to get your butt moving.
Not really knowing where to go and what to do with our time in Mexico, Alexandra and I just decided to tag along with our brothers from the high north. We were hoping that in the meantime we would get the good news that Paraguay is receiving travelers again and we could continue with our Residency application process. At this point our documents were still valid for 4 months, so plenty of time to go, but we knew we shouldn’t cut it too tight.

From Puerto Vallarta we took our travels north with the local busses.

Always an adventure by itself, these buses naturally almost never close their doors and the lack of street maintenance makes the ride especially vibrant. (Our first month in Mexico –

We discovered the beautiful backpacker destination of Sayulita and the hidden gem of San Pancho.

Both places known for their amazing  beaches. While Sayulita was quite busy with regular nightly festivals and overfilled bars, San Pancho was at times completely empty of tourists.
Especially at night we regularly were the only people on the roads. During the days, the beach life made us feel like on a vacation but we still had in mind to look for a reasonable priced place with good internet connection. That was our main criterium.
Alexandra and I, we both do coaching online and help other people to achieve their own potential with live coaching in video calls or with videos of our online courses. Both, video calls and creating and uploading inspirational videos needs a good connection to the web.
Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest lacks in a tropical paradise. Sure you can have your cold drink and enjoy the sun in paradise… but functioning wifi with it? Please send me a message if you have that and wanna share it with us coz we are literally still looking for that.
By the way, you can watch some more  Videos about our Mexican Adventures on Alexandra Allover’s YouTube channel. Follow the links in this video or see the links in the description below.
(Mexican beach life of expat couple –

For our Viking brothers the nightlife in San Pancho was a bit too boring so they went back to the big city of Puerto Vallarta.

Alexandra and I connected with the local couple Diego and Barbara who suggested to go to Corral del Risco, another gem south of Sayulita. Diego was even so kind and drove us there with his new Jeep Renegade. In his car i realized how comfortable traveling can be when having your own 4×4 available. Skipping busses and other local transportation stayed a goal of mine for months to come.
How dreams turn into reality, with hard work, you will see in one of our later episodes.

Corral del Risco offered me another wake up call.

The whole peninsula is one big resort, with houses, swimming pools, restaurants and golf course. Set up like a time share resort. Everything is gated. We wanted to take a walk on the beach to a cafe located inside the gated community. But even after walking almost two hours on spiky rocks, they wouldn’t even let us in, even when we offered to buy food and all. Strictly for members only. We had to walk the same way back on the spiky rocks. I felt really disappointed with myself.  The place reminded me of a vacation home of my family in South Africa. I was invited there for Christmas and i had a wonderful time in comfort and luxury. That was Christmas over 15 years back. And now all this time later, i felt locked out by the society who offers these comforts.

I‘ve been a traveler most of my life, usually on the go very minimalistically and without spending a fortune.

It has served me well. But despite all that minimalism i still enjoy comfort and even luxury. I think with the achievement of one‘s purpose, life reaches a level of higher sophistication. And with that level, things become easier in life. One is able to make things happen, the way one wants to have them happen.

Throughout my life I have been striving for this, but it has been a slow process.

My idea was always to build a strong foundation for my life and build my dreams upon it. One of this key pillars is to get a residency in a country that i appreciate and that serves my needs. At this point in my journey I wasn’t quite there yet. I took Corral del Risco as a lesson in patience and moved forward.

Back in Puerto Vallarta, Kim had worked out a “deal” for us…

Ironically with a time share company. We were getting a free trip with a boat to the hidden Islands called The Marietas, with snorkeling and paddle boarding and free drinks.
And as “payment” we had to listen to that Timeshare company‘s talk about how amazing their hotels were and that we for sure should subscribe to their timeshare offer for just 10,000s of USDs. So after Corral del Risco, clearly we were in.

The boat ride to the islands was nice but…

in order to see the hidden beach, we would have had to pay extra. The rations of food and drinks were Okay, but I don’t drink alcohol and there was definitely no Paleo meal included, so… not really worth it.
The thing that annoyed me though was that we couldn’t go snorkeling by ourselves. We had to obey by some clown standards of cattle herding. We had to wear some life vests too… how are you able to dive down with a life vest, and then we weren’t allowed to dive close to the rocks…you know, where you can see fish and all… such a joke. This was not what we signed up for.
I’m a rescue diver myself and I felt like a baby whose parents first put on my swimmies for the first time. I just ended up breaking out and doing my own thing… much to the dismay of the “authorities”.

But I wasn’t the worst of them.

Kim just has a way to do whatever he thinks is right and somehow just pisses off everyone along the way… in this case, well deserved though, coz the trip was a rip off.
(See more in episode 5)

The tour through the timeshare the day after was kinda entertaining though.

Kim and Ole were banned from doing the tour, coz they did it once before, so it was Alexandra and me. Kim taught us the day before to strictly always say no whenever they offer us a price, and they will end up lowering it and have many different sales people convincing us.
He was worried we would walk out of the place with a new timeshare contract. The place was called Vidanta. It looked a bit like a Jurassic Park tour with electric golf carts through luxurious looking structures in tropical settings. It was huge too, many acres of land with many buildings. The breakfast was delicious and the first sales guy was pleasant. We had some good conversations… and so it continued to the next and the next and the next. We always politely said no and it seemed to work well.

At the end we would have been able to get a better deal than Kim…

when he did it a few days before us, and really, that was all that mattered 😉
We walked out of their office with some more discounts for a future stay. We also asked if we could spend some hours at the pool and look around the resort. They let us but very soon we discovered we weren’t allowed to do much.
They gave us red “visitor Bands” and with those we couldn’t get any drinks or were allowed to lie at the pools. We ended up hiding them and spent some good time there anyways.
The buildings generally had some nice rooms but mostly just in the very highly priced category. Most of the rooms were furnished with pretty cheap quality furniture. Good looking but low quality. That’s why they “renovate” the houses every five years. Give it a new style they say.
We didn’t see many people there who actually did their vacation, but that is also due to the worldwide fear mongering towards travel. If I was considering a place there, I would be wary to commit to it based on the promises of all the future projects they are planning and building for that park. I am sure they want to do all this, but the question is if in a world economy that is steering itself against the wall, there will be enough financial resources to complete any of them.
This was it for part A of the 5th episode of the Adventure Escape Diaries. Watch part B in the next video.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Diego and Barbara @verdeluna_sanpancho, Verde Luna San Pancho)


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