As the year is coming to an end, I am looking forward to beginning 2015 in a place that has recently become very close to my heart, Sayulita, Mexico. I tend to fall in love with many of the various locales where I travel but Sayulita, like Gallipoli, is a place where I’ve left a piece of myself, revisiting it every year as I shed the layers of the month past and start anew.
My love affair with Sayulita started a few years ago after booking the trip at whim in an act of rebellion. La testa dura. “Alright, you don’t think it’s wise that I backpack through Uruguay and South America on my own? I’m booking a flight to Mexico.” At the time, the US news was filled with stories of cartel kidnappings and the dangers South of the border. I had just quit my job and needed to recharge, refuel and refocus. Oddly enough while looking at backpacking locations south, I was also considering Germany. It was December and there was/is something about a Bavarian village at Christmastime that entrances me. But being honest with myself, I definitely thrive in warmer climates so off to Mexico I went.
Sayulita was just a small village on a map that I heard about through word of mouth. I wanted to surf, write and fall in love with myself again and needed ample sunshine to do so.
This was not the first time I’ve traveled alone, but definitely would be the longest period without a host and I relished in the ability to challenge myself. I find traveling alone forces you out of your comfort zone. There’s something beautiful about not only finding the independence within yourself but also of, at times, relying on the decency and good will of other human beings.
I took out my headphones and roosters crowing, reggae and ocean breaks became my daily soundtrack. Getting from point A to B took a little longer as I stopped and chatted with local characters. Getting to point B suddenly wasn’t the point. I ate the freshest ceviche; I slurped the worm from the bottom of the mezcal bottle; I watched the sunset to the sounds of waves and a rhythmic wooden flute; I danced salsa into the wee morning hours with a bronzed-god of a surfer. Sayulita made me realize the power of my smile.
With every visit to Sayulita, I make another dear friend and have some schema altering experience. Isis at Pachamama, Christophe at Hafa, Natalia at Attico, Nick at World Piece, every person I’ve crossed paths with in Sayu have molded me. I’m so excited to ring in another New Years there and am eagerly awaiting what Sayulita has in store for me this time around.