Friday, March 6, 2020

10 Reasons We're Happy to be Back Home in México!

View of the Jungle from Our Upstairs Terrace
    There are so many reasons we're happy to be back home in México after our motorhome trip to Tucson last month! When I started writing about each reason I'm glad to be in Sayulita, I had to force myself to stop my list at number 10, since there are so many great things about living here.
    As a side note, we're also happy to take a break from traveling. Google emailed this map to us that confirmed that we were very busy with our travels in 2019.

 1.       Life is mellower, simpler here in Sayulita with its small-town atmosphere. The contrast to the fast-paced life in Tucson reminded us how much we prefer living in México. 
Jon Builds Gutters Mexican-Style in His Outdoor Workshop
2.    We’re getting more exercise. Sayulita is small enough that we can walk everywhere we want to go. We walk to and attend Zumba classes twice a week, yoga classes twice a week, and walk around town or on the beach every day, getting 10,000 steps per day much more often, according to our Fitbits. Another health benefit is that our Zumba and yoga classes are held outdoors under palapa roofs where we breathe fresh seaside air.
I Ease Into a Balancing Pose in Yoga Class
Yoga Helps Flexibility & Balance--Good for Jon's Parkinson's
I Lead Part of Our Zumba Class

3.    Our monthly budget is half of that in the U.S. or less! Our electric bill averages $18 USD per month and our internet expense is about $18 USD monthly. Our water bill did go up from $12 USD per month to about $14 USD this year, but we’re glad Sayulita is finally installing water meters at each home so there will be less waste in town and we will each pay for what we actually use. We own our home in México, so we are debt-free. Our property tax is about $100 USD annually. We pay all of our bills annually, so that simplifies life and gives us a discount in some cases!
4.  We need that Blue Water Effect—the benefits of being near water. The psychological benefits of sitting by the ocean, seeing the blue water, listening to the waves, have been proven. We are so happy to be back in our little oceanside town where we walk on the beach, go to dinner on the beach, and sit and watch the ocean at least once a week.
5.    We love the wonderful weather—blue skies and lots of sunshine. It seldom rains this time of year. The rain won’t come until June or July and lasts for about three months. Winter, spring, and autumn temperatures are comfortable.  This week it's averaging around 75°F during the day and 60 to 65°F at night—perfect for us. Tucson was too cold in February; I guess it's not far enough south for us.
6.   We enjoy dining out every other night at very good restaurants for less than half of what we would spend in the U.S. We eat healthier meals—lots of fresh produce, fresh meat and fish, and freshly prepared dishes, both in restaurants and at home. One of our favorite new dining experiences is discovering inexpensive restaurants that don’t have a liquor license so they allow us to bring our own wine without paying a corkage fee. This week we ate at PizzaVenezia in Sayulita and brought our own wine—the total bill for a large pizza with two extra ingredients, plus tip, was 380 pesos, about $19 USD, and there was enough left for lunch the next day. We saved money, I didn’t have to cook or wash dishes, and we listened to live jazz music while we ate! Okay, that was another 40 pesos for a tip ($2 USD) and well worth it.
7.       Our tropical garden is blooming, as it does year-round. Gardening is my hobby and therapy. Our small, colorful yard is our descansadero (resting place), our oasis, our calming escape place. We enjoy showing it off when friends and family come to visit. 
       We love these two new potted plants—does anyone know what they are called?
8.       Our small town has grown enough that we have most everything we need within walking distance. Intercam bank, Saint Luke’s Medical Center, fitness centers, multiple options for yoga and Zumba classes, many tienditas (little stores), farmacias, hardware stores, and over 100 restaurants, so we seldom need to leave town. If we can’t find it in Sayulita, we can usually have it delivered to our casita from or
9.  It will be easy and exciting to travel around México now that we are free of our car and motorhome. When we want to leave town for big-city shopping or an adventure, there are buses to Puerto Vallarta, a Vallarta Plus bus from Sayulita to Guadalajara, an international airport nearby, Uber, and taxis. We’re planning our first long-distance bus trip to Guadalajara to take a walking tour of the historical center. This summer we'll probably fly to the Guanajuato International Airport and then take a taxi to the cooler mountain city of San Miguel de Allende where we'll stay for two to three months. Maybe we’ll take a cruise sometime soon, too.
10.    We walk almost everywhere in Sayulita—it’s so healthy! We only need our golf cart to get around town when we need to haul heavy loads—no other vehicle. The golf cart is our transportation when we take laundry to the lavandería, shop for larger loads of groceries, or to explore the jungle and beaches. The golf cart simplifies our life and decreases our expenses—and Bella loves to go for a ride with us! 
Exploring Sayulita Beaches & Jungles
Healthy Living in Mexico Book #2
     Terry and Jon found a way to escape the rat race, retire early, and make their money go further. Their decision to move to México may seem radical to some, but others may soon consider doing the same thing! Discover how they prepared and left behind the chaos in the United States to find their piece of paradise in the sun.
     I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Monthly Newsletter, published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.
Terry L Turrell, Author
     Follow me on Facebook at "HealthyLiving and Traveling in Mexico" for more information about life in Mexico and my Amazon Author Page for updates on my books and blogs.


  1. You have a fabulous life there in Sayulita! I think your mystery potted plant may be a variety of it and let me know what you think. They come in all different leaf colors, but the leaves are always heart-shaped. Sounds like Sayulita has it all. We have to head back to the US with some family issues to deal with, but perhaps one day we'll be unencumbered and able to check out your side of Mexico! :-)

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Emily. You're right--it's a Caladium! Thanks for the information. It would be great to meet sometime. Let me know when you are headed this direction. We plan to spend a couple of months in San Miguel de Allende this summer. Do you ever go there?
      I hope your trip to the US goes okay. I know you'll miss your bicycle riding while you're gone. Safe travels.

    2. Hi Terry! Glad the plant ID helped. We used to grow them in North Carolina many years ago. We have never been farther west in Mexico than San Cristobal de la Casas. Coming from the southeastern US (and never having driven to Mexico, only flown), we have only taken ADO buses to explore southeastern Mexico. And our "trip" to the US is much more than a trip...we're going to be there for the foreseeable future. We have decided that NC is where we want to re-settle and establish a home base, after nine years of traveling and living semi-nomadically. But we definitely hope to do more exploring in Mexico one day once we are able to travel again. Right now aging dog and family issues take priority. Would love to meet someday -- hope it will work out.

    3. P.S. We have multiple bikes in NC so will certainly be riding there...we have been cycling for decades and have no intention of giving it up! :-)

    4. Are you still riding bikes, Emily? Are you home in Mexico riding bikes, now? Hope you are well.

    5. Hi Terry! See much comments above...we are back in North Carolina and plan to re-settle here. Mexico will always have a special place in our hearts, but ultimately, we decided it was not the place for us to live permanently, at least not as long as I have family here in NC that needs me, including my 85-year old mother, and a brother who needs assistance as well. It was the right time for us to come home.