Be a Happy Expat
We know far too many expats in Puerto Vallarta who complain about bus noise, unfair taxi fares, potholes, barking dogs, crowing roosters and Banda music. You came here to live, you should adapt to all these things and more.
When we first moved to Puerto Vallarta, there were no Costco or Sam’s Club; not one restaurant accepted credit cards; our gay friends would not have dared walk down the street holding hands; waiters did not speak English, and the airport had a dirt floor. We didn’t have AC, ATM’s and certainly no Amazon.com. We were happy as a bear in the woods. Though we have seen a many changes, we’ve found that being upset about new things makes no one enjoy life.
Here are a few things we can suggest to our friends in Puerto Vallarta to make life perhaps not perfect, but definitely divine.
Get outside your comfort zone. If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend the hike on the trail to Las Animas. If you can’t hike, take a boat taxi, and visit all the villages on the south shore. Be daring and explore! Take the bus to El Tuito, Tepic or Guadalajara. Eat ceviche, the Mexican version of sushi; fish cooked in lime. Join a group of majority Mexican members and work on your Spanish. There are numerous clubs in Puerto Vallarta; Rotary; Lions; the Navy League greets ships, has a Toys for Tots program and a host of other events, of which the public is welcome. Play dominoes, bridge, learn to surf, ride a horse. There are so many adventurous things you can do and they don’t all require an athlete’s build. You’ve made the decision to live in a foreign country; don’t act like a foreigner. Live outside your own personal box.
Don’t bring your problems with you. You have a child or sibling who no longer talks to you? your ex-wife’s new husband wants to sabotage your relationship with your kids? your bankruptcy? you’re living on a pittance of Social Security? Don’t share these things with everyone you meet, especially in the bar! Talk about the good things in your life and consider the fact you made a decision to pull up your roots and transform your life. Dwell on that.
Learn as much Spanish as you can. Locals in Puerto Vallarta love to hear you at least try. My very own mother, at the age of 80, began taking Spanish so she could order her own food when she came to visit. I have always loved her for that and you should, too.
Que es cómo es.
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