What I’m Doing in Mexico

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

Town plaza

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

Salsa and Guac!

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.


I don’t have a picture of me working, so here is a lizard in Mike’s shoe.

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?

Why am i not here everyday?

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.

25 thoughts on “What I’m Doing in Mexico”

  1. Sounds like a pretty amazing 6 months after the wedding. Enjoy it!

    I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you write. Longer projects? Fiction?

  2. That beach is looking pretty good now that the weather here in DC has turned chilly (and the stores have started playing Christmas music.) I may have to go to El Centro and pretend for an hour or two 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to see more gratuitous photos of Mexican food posted here, Steph. Seriously. And I expect your blog to have a Spanish language option in the near future, too. Not that I’d use it because I only know a handful of words in Spanish, like ‘cerveza’, ‘frijole’, ‘guapo’ and ‘culo’, but I think it would reflect your progress. Or you could just post EVEN MORE photos of Mexican food. I’m not quite sure where this comment is going.

  4. As Johnny and I near our 2nd year teaching contracts in Korea, we’ve been making lists of places we want to go to next. I know immediately after we leave Korea, we’re going to do a S.E. Asia tour, but after that, I definitely want to move to Mexico. Sayulita was one of my top 3 places to go when I first started blogging. Plus, Mexican food is my ultimate weakness.

  5. Sayulita is a beautiful place to live, I’m lucky enough to have called that magical beach my home for two months last year, fortunately I am Mexican so I had no problem with the language. Enjoy it as much as you can, it traps you under it’s magic and you will never want to leave! Say Hi to my beautiful beach will ya. Have fun!.

  6. Sounds like a wonderful list, and plus, where you’re living looks so beautiful, so soaking it in and enjoying it will be an adventure in and of itself!

    P.S. Si tu quieres, podemos practicar nuestro español! Me gusta hablar con mis amigos en otras linguas. Necesito practicar por que ahorita estoy hablando en “portuñol” siempre…jaja

  7. Sounds amazing! And delicious! I can’t wait to go to Mexixo (I have no plans or anything but I know I’ll be there one day because, well, it’s Mexixo!)

    A question: how did you find the Rossetta Stone course? Worth it? I’ve given myself the goal of learning Spanish and am trying to decide the best way to go about it… Money is a factor, or else I’d just go hang out in Barcelona for a year and try to learn it there 🙂

  8. This all sounds so wonderful and perfect! I loved meeting the two of you a few times at tweetups before you left in DC, and I’m enjoying following along with your adventures living in Mexico. I’ve realized that I’ve reached the point in my traveling that I’m ready to LIVE somewhere again. I did it while studying in South Africa and again teaching in Japan, and that’s when I’m at my very best – not jumping around a city at warp speed, trying to see and do everything possible in the short time I have, but really digging in, my feet in the sand, nose to my computer screen writing, and just being and living in that new culture. On the other hand, I am totally with you on my second-nature being to look immediately to day trips and weekend trips and week long and longer trips. Can’t wait to see how your Spanish, cooking, and photography skills grow living in Sayulita!

  9. Cool. Looking forward to the in depth stuff about Mexican food. And that’s awesome your Spanish is improving. I’ve definitely heard it said many times here in South America that Mexican Spanish is one of the easier varieties to understand. Rock on!

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