“Meet me at the sunset!” My friend called to me over his shoulder as he peddled his ancient bicycle past me on the little dirt road.
Sounding more like the last line of a classic film than a concrete plan to meet up, I smiled at how poetic my life felt since moving to the tiny Mexican town of Sayulita. Even the name is beautiful.
At around 6.00 p.m., with a couple of shrimp quesadillas (and the best Piña Coladas I have ever had) in hand, I met my friend, as planned, at the spot on the beach where he went every evening without fail to watch the sunset. What a great daily routine to have, I thought. How many people make time every day to watch the spectacular show that Mother Nature puts on every evening? And Sayulita has ringside seats. Sunsets here are as colorful and vibrant as the little town itself, lighting up the Pacific Ocean and palm-lined sand in a blaze of deep orange.
With a population of around 4,000, Sayulita is considered by expats and Mexicans alike to be the prettiest little town along the Riviera Nayarit. While it could be called off the beaten path, it is only about an hour away from Puerto Vallarta, making it a convenient distance to the airport and modern amenities when needed; anything that you can’t get in Sayulita you can most likely get in Puerto Vallarta.
With a decidedly eclectic feel, it is a favorite among artists, musicians, surfers, retirees and expats, and travelers from all over the world. Italian, French, Argentinian, Japanese, American, Canadian, and, of course, Mexican influences are seen scattered throughout town. Sayulita still holds strong to her Mexican roots but she is not afraid to explore the wonders that other parts of the world bring.
Although it is too chic and artsy to be considered a sleepy town, it is definitely a laid-back and friendly place to be. Many people who live here do not own a car, using instead bikes or getting around town on foot. The beach is seldom crowded and often it is easy to find a stretch of sand that is all yours for most of the day.
Sayulita is a wonderful mix of simple charm and capricious treats. It does not have the hustle and bustle of a city. There are still fishermen who go out for their daily catch and Huichol Indians who bring in their amazing beaded artwork to sell. Hippy-esque stores with posters of the phases of the moon and handcrafted turquoise jewelry rub shoulders with designer beach clothing boutiques. With an English-speaking doctor and a clean and well-kept center, it is a comfortable place to live.
I am able to spend time in places like Sayulita without worrying about finding a job. Because of the flexibility of my skill I can use it for short-term contracts in cities…or work with clients online from remote locations. My online work often pays more than a local wage so I can really stretch my income. I can be picky with my schedule…work minimal hours…and still cover expenses.
You have to love a job that allows for such a relaxed lifestyle: a great espresso in the morning after yoga, work online for a couple of hours, read a good book in a hammock, go to watch Aztec dancers on the beach in the early evening and then, of course, take a seat on the sand just in time to watch the sunset.
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