It’s easy to make friends in Sayulita.
The town is small and the expat community has essentially taken it over. They even call the big hill here Gringo Hill.
I’m pretty sure there are more expats than locals, and so the whole place takes on a bit of an international flavor with its many Canadians and Northwestern Americans, its tightly-knit group of native French-speakers, and its handfuls of Italians and Germans.
I don’t think it’s a real taste of Mexico. But what it is is decidedly delightful:
A haven for deep thinkers and peace-seekers, conspiracy theorists and long-time travelers, and all of the most quirky, ridiculous characters you can imagine.
Like the former go-go dancer, now in her sixties or seventies perhaps, who over dinner shocked me by chiming in with a joke (after she’d been relatively quiet through drinks):
“What do you get when you cross a whore with a dictionary?”
“A fuckin’ know-it-all.”
And after our shocked and explosive laughter:
“Why does the rabbit hide his eggs?”
*Again, a pause for effect*
“He doesn’t want anyone to know he’s been fuckin’ chickens.”
Then there is the self-employed transcriptionist from Austin who uses her spare time to come up with thousands of ideas for small businesses she could start. She speaks French to her dog in order to keep from growing stale in her language skills. And every time she sees a stranger with a guitar, she asks to borrow it, because she can’t go too long without an instrument in her hands.
My closest quirky friend is the numerologist.
She’s a lovely Australian thirty-something woman who came to Mexico for love, but found herself instead learning about who she wants to be (which is not a terrible trade-off after all). She does music therapy, wishes she could learn the didjeridu (though sadly the tribal elders won’t bless a woman to learn it), paints in her spare time, and desperately wants to see the Mayan pyramids.
She also, as you’ve guessed, does numerology readings around town, telling people the goodnesses and lessons she sees in them. Encouraging people. And never predicting the future because “we’re all in charge of our own futures, of course.”
In my own reading, she told me that even as a child I was in what she calls a karmic phase. I couldn’t bare to see anyone shunned or harmed. (And that’s true; I was always the peacemaker.) She says I need to learn not to try and change people. And that it’s probably a really good thing that I’m traveling, because it’s easier to give too much when you stay in one place. When you travel, there’s a limit to how much you can give. And for someone who gives a little too much, distance can add balance.
I love her for her simple faith in goodness, in positivity, and in focusing your energy on what you want and how to get it, not on all the obstacles before you. I love her for her generous spirit and thoughtfulness. And I love that even though this trip across the ocean hasn’t turned out how she expected it to, it has sparked something larger in her: a desire to travel, to pursue her music therapy and her art and perhaps a little numerology-infused life coaching. She says she wants to find a way to stay. Or to travel.
I’m sure she will.
And that’s the thing about Sayulita: it makes you feel like pursuing your art, your music, your passion, your business idea, whatever it is you’ve been mulling over, is possible. It feels like a place you can breathe and think and explore possibilities.
Which is probably why so many foreigners come here and stay. It’s also probably why it was the perfect place for me to relax, catch up, and re-think after recent travel disasters.
For that, I thank it. And I will move on happier for having met this little place and its quirky cast of characters.
Who is the quirkiest person you’ve met in your travels?