So now we’re settled in Sayulita, in our perfect treehouse apartment for the better half of the next six months. (Actually as I write this we’ve already been here a month, isn’t that bananas? If time could go ahead and stop moving that would be perfectly excellent thank you.)
Of course the first thing I did was whip out my guidebook and start planning imaginary trips. Maybe we should rent a car and drive around Tequila country? Or we could fly to Mexico City, then skip down to Pueblo and Oaxaca on an amazing food tour?
Every time I bring these things up Mike just looks at me like I’m crazy. “We just got here, why do you want to leave?” Ugh, he’s practical but deep down I know he’s right. I came to Mexico to live in Mexico. This trip is less like my big backpacking trips around Asia, Australia and South America; it’s more like the time I moved to London. Working, getting to know my neighbors, figuring out which produce market is best and wrapping myself in Mexican culture (later this week I’ll give you the lowdown on the Day of the Dead).
So, aside from those very simple things, here’s what I’m doing for most of the next few months:
Working on my Spanish
Yes this old song again. I tried so hard during our 8 months in South America, I swear I did. I did my Rosetta Stone classes, I paid attention, I even paid for private lessons from a very handsome Argentinean guy. Nonetheless I came back feeling like I’d made no progress whatsoever.
Turns out this isn’t true. Here in Mexico I can often understand what’s going on around me, I can order at a restaurant, I can recognize numbers and pay the correct amount. Maybe I did soak up some useful knowledge, and maybe the Mexican accent is just a million times easy to understand than the Argentinean one (sorry Mike).
This has inspired me to try once more to improve my skills. In addition to practicing out and about I’m using the free online program DuoLingo. My account name is StephanieYoder if you want to join me.
Teaching Myself About Mexican Food
I’m still debating how exactly I want to write about food on this blog, besides just torturing you guys with amazing pictures. I’ve been learning so much about authentic Mexican food and you can expect some in depth articles on the subject coming up soon.
Originally I had hoped to take some cooking classes while down here. Of course there are no cooking schools in Sayulita- my extensive searching has yielded just one place that even offers tourist cooking classes. So I’ve decided to teach myself as best I can. Tonight I’m making chiles relleno.
I’ve also made it a personal goal to improve my photography skills, in particular food photography, so I can full capture everything I eat and make you guys even more green with jealousy.
Always. With my new Answers.com gig and some other assignments I’m transitioning more and more to writing as my main source of income. Which is great because I enjoy it but hard because I’m not very good at turning things around in a timely manner. I hope to work on this so I have time to work in some more creative projects.
Achieving Work Life Balance?
This one is always so hard for both Mike and I. Left unchecked we will work un-moving from morning to night, and that is pretty much what we did in DC. It was productive but it’s not a healthy way to live.
Now we’re newlyweds living literally two blocks from the beach in paradise so I’m making a concerted effort to do more than just sit at a desk. Work ends at 6 pm at the latest and then it’s time to relax. Cook, play games or movies, or go hang out in the plaza and watch kids play. I’d like to learn to paddle board and Mike is pricing out surfboards. We’re going to go to the beach more too, if it kills me.
I think that will be enough to keep me busy for awhile. Of course there will be some travel eventually. I’m not giving up on my Oaxaca culinary tour idea for anything, and we might hop down to Central America at some point too.
For now I’m just taking it as it comes and trying to appreciate every moment of where we are.