Living La Vida Pura in Sayulita Mexico

Sayulita 778518
Kent passed along a book to me last month that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. He reads so many books and it’s a pleasure to get a crack at them when he’s finished. Today was a sick day, so I had time to enjoy Gringos in Paradise, a new book by Barry Golson.

The book follows in well written detail the lives of a Connecticut couple, Thia and Barry, as they build a house in Sayulita Mexico, chasing a dream that was hatched when Barry wrote an article about Americans moving to Mexico for AARP magazine. With this taste in his mouth and dwindling finances (the difficult life of the freelance writer), the pair decides to take the plunge, despite the naysayers they meet at Connecticut dinner parties.

What I love about Golson’s style is that he is so honest and direct. I even recognized the name of one of GoNOMAD’s advertisers when he talks about his strategy for figuring out how to get his house designed and built. The beach town of Sayulita is a mix of dogs, dust, gringos and friendly locals, with children running through the streets and a relaxing, shorts and sandals feel. There are so many Americans they make fast friends, yet they have no desire to live anything but Mexican lives during their retirement.

Thia and Barry need to get a frame made for a painting they had commissioned, and find a man named Armando, who works out of a rickety woodshop in nearby La Penita. Like so many of the people the meet in Mexico, Armando takes the time to get to know them, and he tells them about an ancient Huichol site with rock carvings and a pool with a carved throne. It’s a special place and Armando delights in sharing the history. Later he finds a family that sells fresh shucked oysters, and they set up a table in the driveway and slurp the freshly caught mollusks washed down with Pacifico beers.

This is why we came to Mexico, says Thia. I cannot remember an afternoon like this. It is a gift.

“Esto es la vida pura, no?” Armando asks. “Is this not pure life?”