Get connected! It’s one thing to go visit different countries and cities abroad but it’s another to get insight and see how the locals live and hear some of their stories. When I go on my trips, especially abroad I definitely look forward to interacting with the locals. I like to hear about their lives and how they feel about the place they are living in. Often times when I tell them I’m from America or that I live in New York they tell me that they want to live there, and I tell them that we could switch places because America or living in New York City isn’t all that it may appear to be.
Last year when I went to Puerto Vallarta, we had the opportunity of speaking and seeing many new and old locals. When we went to eat at La Vaca Argentina we spoke to our waiters and many of them were born and raised in Mexico. However, there was one that stood out; he told us that he is of Mexican descent but was born and raised in San Diego, California. He came to Puerto Vallarta for vacation and then two weeks after he decided to stay there because he fell in love with everything there.
My most memorable moment of seeing locals was during the ATV tour. We drove our ATVs through the streets of Puerto Vallarta, with other cars, passing locals shops and houses. When we drove back down hill we saw people in the lake. We saw kids swimming and bathing and older women washing clothes. When they saw us they smiled and waved.
On our last day, we went to Los Muertos Beach to go fly boarding. Our fly board instructor was a fairly new local. He was originally from Detroit, just like the waiter from the restaurant he came to PV to visit fell in love with the place and decided he wanted to live there. He told us how peaceful Puerto Vallarta was; he also mentioned that it is very easy to find work down there. He connected with some people and that’s how he started working in the water sports business.
After fly boarding we walked along the beach and found the stand that makes pineapple drinks and services fresh coconut water from the coconut itself. It was really cute like a family owned business and they were just so happy when we told them we want 4 pineapple drinks. It was like she was so grateful that we were giving them business that she went over board with the fruits, liquor and sauces. When she finished we asked her how much it was she told us 350 pesos; so in our minds we thought it was 350 pesos each so we gave her 1400 pesos. She looked at us and said “No, no 350 for everything”. The girls and I looked at each other so shocked because that was less than $20 for the four drinks. Because she was so honest and kind we decided to give her the 1400 pesos anyway.
One thing that I noticed in Puerto Vallarta is how friendly and honest the people are over there. Everyone we encountered treated us with nothing but respect and love. If they could go out of their way for us they would, and with a smile on. When we walked down the strip we were being offered free tequila left and right, they kept asking if we were models or actresses and requested to take pictures with us.
My favorite person the whole trip was a man named Gabby; he worked on the resort we stayed in. No matter what time of the day it was when we saw him he always had a smile on his face. With the little Spanish we spoke, and the little English he understood- we found a way to communicate with one another. The day we left was so sad, we spoke, hugged and laughed; we even exchanged phone numbers. People like Gabby make a trip worth the money, when it came time for us to write our reviews about our stay, we were sure to mention the professionalism, helpfulness and kindness we received from Gabby.
More on my experience:Puerto Vallarta, Mexico