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Monday, 27 November 2017

Escaping the Jungle...: Plan to Plan to Plan

Escaping the Jungle...: Plan to Plan to Plan: So you have dared to dream, and decided it's time to do something about it? Dreams can be many things, but if you're following us, w...

Plan to Plan to Plan

So you have dared to dream, and decided it's time to do something about it? Dreams can be many things, but if you're following us, we're going to make some assumptions. For example, we assume you have decided to go travelling, sailing, rv'ing, or just want to go live a simple life somewhere. We suspect your dream includes warm weather, famous tourist attractions, different cultures, and/or all sorts of things your 'safe life' doesn't offer. We'll also assume the most important people in your life are at least somewhat supportive. If chasing your dream involves a major lifestyle change, it will be very important to give your spouse or significant other time to adjust to the idea. It will also be important to give them information overload on why this change will be so great. Having an only slightly excited co-participant will make every step exponentially more difficult. Remember to treat the process like a negotiation, where the goal of every resolution should be a win/win solution. If they support you in this venture, be willing to be flexible to cater to whats important to them.

Once you are committed to the dream, define specific goals. When we went sailing, we defined that we wanted to sail down the east coast, and onward to Bahamas. Once you have the plan, do some research on the practicality of your plan. Search out Facebook groups of those who have done it, online forums, read books, and try to connect with any credible sources you discover. Know two things: You will get lots of advice; You will get lots of BAD advice. Don't believe any advice you receive unless it comes from a reliable source (not internet) or the advice aligns with what you are hearing from several sources (such as several internet groups). On things like visas, and residency rules always try to get the info from government websites. This can be confusing, so go to forums and groups first, to get a layman's opinion. Then try to confirm them with the government site.

The most important part of the plan is to set a deadline. As we discussed earlier, FEAR will always work to undermine you. Renee Petrillo, Author of A Sail of Two Idiots, once told me this. She said "you will always want more money, and more experience". Just set a date, and you will find a way to meet it.

Once you have created a rough draft of "The Plan", write it down, and give it the 'one week test'. Come back to it in a week and see what holes you can poke in it. Allow your negative voice to take over for just a little while. Imagine the worst that can happen in your plan. Then create a plan B and Plan C to combat how you will handle the worst case scenario. Try to come up with a solution to every foreseeable obstacle you may encounter.

Once you are confident with your plan, to the 'this could work stage' bring it to your spouse or co-participants. Leave the plan with them an encourage them to find flaws that you may have overlooked. Be sure to also encourage their creative input on solutions. Share with them that the goal is to create a plan that will accommodate for all but the absolute most unexpected obstacles.

Once you both have resolved that your plan is as bulletproof as you could ever hope it to be, draw up a list of people to discuss it with. Every family and friend group consists of a variety of people. There is the protective father, who analyses everything with minute detail, to the creative genius, to the person who you know you can count on to bail you out of jail... not that that will EVER happen if your plan is good... HOPEFULLY! Know how each person thinks and what their motives are. Do they support your dream and just want you to be careful? Do they want nothing more than to talk you out of it. By knowing their motives, it will help you to decipher what to take away from their feedback and what to filter out.

After all the discussion, and feedback, formalize a working plan in writing. Know that this will always be a fluid plan that will require many tweaks along the road. Use this plan to start creating 'To Do Lists'. Start by scribbling down every possible to do that you can envision will be necessary to get you from where you are, to where you need to be to realize your dream. Its probably best if you work alone, creating your list, before gathering with any co-participants to brainstorm. Be sure to let the others know to create lists as well.

Once you have created a long list of to do's, break the list down into immediate steps, mid range steps, and long term steps. Also break the list into tasks assigned to each participant. Look at what skill is required, and which participant is best at that type of task. Assign the tasks along with target completion dates. If needed, draw a flow chart of what follow up tasks can begin as a result of each completed task.

Be sure to get together, to discuss progress on a regular basis. Try to always do this in a relaxing environment. If you are going sailing, or RV'ing, you may want to even do it over a glass of wine, or a Cuba Libre. After all, you'll need the practice. Just be sure to remember that the goal of Living the Dream, is to improve your quality of living. So don't let stress overtake the planning process. You or your spouse will have busy weeks, where some targets are not met. Smile, breath, and talk about how you can help each other get back on track. The most rewarding part of the planning process is checking off completed tasks, and knowing you're making progress. Keep a chart to reflect on the progress you've made.

Through it all, know there will be times where the dream will seem impossible. Be sure to have something to reflect on that helps you envision the Dream. For me, I kept a framed picture of a sailboat at my bedside. The caption read "Get Your Dream's Worth". Every night before I turned out the light, I was reminded what I was striving for, and why.

Also, always have a firm understanding of what is your bottom line. I like to weed out all that complicates our lives, and simplify things down to the bottom line. It allows for clearer thinking process. Imagine the bast case and worst case of  chasing your dream. Compare it to the best and worst case of NOT chasing the dream. I imagined what life would be like if I stayed in the corporate world, and continued spending my life in airports and hotels. I would make lots of money, have a nice house, nice car, and take trips regularly. At the same time, I would be getting older, and having less and less time to eventually pursue the dream. Given that tomorrow is never promised, would I live to see an "Ideal time to do it"?

When I compared this to my best and worst case scenarios of chasing the dream, it was always the worst case scenario that motivated me. In all scenarios I knew the end game was the same... I will eventually end fighting for my last breaths, and reflecting on my life. No matter whether that is a hospital bed, or the middle of the ocean, my reality, my bottom line is that wealth is something you can't take with you. I believe that memories, you can take. I also believe having an abundance of memories, is better than an abundance of regret, when you reflect. Know your bottom line... what matters most to you, wealth, memories? Know which worst case scenario would leave you with the most regret. Being aware of these things will push you through much adversity.

In our next chapter, we will talk about the many resources we have used to help us pursue our dream, how we found them, and talk about others we met along the way.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Escaping the Jungle...: Living The Dream, The How To

Escaping the Jungle...: Living The Dream, The How To: So hands up if you've ever done something you didn't want to do... I'm not talking about eating spinach, or worse. I mean have y...

Living The Dream, The How To

So hands up if you've ever done something you didn't want to do... I'm not talking about eating spinach, or worse. I mean have you ever worked a job that made you miserable? Have you ever gone home thinking "There's got to be more to life!".

I don't have the technology to see if all 12 readers raised their hands, but I suspect few could honestly say they have thoroughly enjoyed every job they have ever done. It is a fact of life, that no matter what you do, it is never always perfect. Some find careers that are rich and meaningful, and help make the world a better place, and I'm sure they are satisfied. I suspect that even those lucky souls have dreams? What about those who finish high school and have no idea what they want to be. Before they know it they have a 'good job' down at the local factory, or steel mill. In the blink of an eye they've turned 40, raised kids, and are left wondering now what?

Myself, I was a sales manager, making my way in a lucrative career, and doing pretty good. I held the title of Sales Manager, Canada, and Eastern US. I enjoyed significant success and kept getting rewarded with more challenge, more responsibility. Before I knew it, I was spending more time at airports, and less time with my teenage kids, and new wife. I started to reflect on what I call 'my moment of motivation' which I've used to inspire me throughout my life.

'My moment of motivation' was actually more than a moment. It was a time in my life, between high school and college, a break year, when I had landed a 'good job' as a labourer at a local auto parts manufacturer. I was instantly making really good money for a 19 year old of the time, and everyone thought I would settle into that life. Only, I was less than inspired by the grind of factory life. The heat, sweat, getting burnt consistently by welding splash. With each burn I would smile and say "I'm going back to college". It was 'my moment of motivation'. It has inspired me, throughout my life, to seek out what I desire, and pursue it. During all the hours I spent at airports, away from family, I would reflect on my moment of motivation, with a goal to getting to where I wanted to be. I wanted to see the world from more than a plane window, or hotel room... and I wanted to do it with family.

So next question is "what do YOU want from life?". It's not a question you have to answer to me. This, you need to answer to yourself. To your family. If they think you're crazy, it's PROBABLY a good thing. Any dream worth doing is usually considered crazy by some. If it is something that inspires you, makes your skin tingle when you think about it, you're probably onto something. If you think you may have found just the thing to make your life meaningful again, write it down on a piece of paper. Show it to that one person who matters most to you and see what they think. Did the person in the mirror feel the same way? Put the paper in your sock drawer and leave it there for a week, a month, a year, then look at it again. Does it still make your skin tingle? If so, you're almost definitely onto something.

So let's assume you've found it, and defined your dream. You know exactly what you want to do with your life, what is going to bring meaning. If the dream is to become a doctor, you are probably best off signing out of this blog and going to med school. But if you dream to take a break and go sailing, or RV'ing, backpacking, travelling or something similarly adventurous, I think our experience can shed some light on what you can expect. The biggest thing, FEAR!

Once you commit that you are going to leave your 'safe life' you will become VERY busy trying to convince yourself that the idea is crazy. Add to that, the fact that the world is full of people who think that the 'safe life' is a pretty good thing. Many of those people are parents, neighbors, co-workers, or bosses! People who care about you. They will work feverishly to convince you that you're about to lose your last marble. Consider how safe their life is, and how happy they are living it. Typically this is where you need to listen to two things; your heart, and your spouse(if applicable). If your heart tells you that your dream is (somewhat) realistic, and very important to you, and your spouse is onboard, tune the rest out. Thank them for their input , and offer that you will encourage them to be the first to say "I told you so" if things don't work out. My experience is that loved ones rarely want to jump on "I told you so".

Personally, I believe that failure only comes in not trying. To try, and not reach the goal, still leaves you closer to the goal. It is important thing is to remember that those who express doubt are people who don't get that 'tingly' feeling when they think about your dream. Also, they are usually people who have never mustered the courage to go outside the safe zone of their lives.

So once you make the decision, and silence the critics, I would love to tell you that it will be smooth sailing from there... but lying is wrong. You will have lingering doubts about things like selling the house, quitting a job, or not seeing your family and friends as often. There are logical responses to every concern that will pop up, but the most important thing to realize is that these emotions are natural. They are like gag reflexes... they happen naturally, as a means of yourself, protecting self from self. Living the safe life is what we are conditioned to do, from a very early age. Typically they doubts will creep up on you in the middle of the night, and wake you in a cold sweat. The thought will scream into your head "what am I doing!?". This is natural, and should be expected. You should address these doubts like a negotiation with yourself. While I encourage you to not do something completely irresponsible, many consider that not living your life is also irresponsible. So listen to the concerns. Write them down if needed. Park that note in a drawer, and go back to sleep, with the promise that you'll review the concerns later, with a clearer head. At that later point, take a long, hard, rational look at each concern that has come up. Consider whether it's a deal breaker. If the concern is selling the house, ask yourself if you should rent it out instead. Ask if you can buy another house if things don't work out? Work through each concern with a goal to establishing how important it is, and how insurmountable it is. Always be honest with yourself, but remember that not ALL of yourself is going to be honest with you. There will always be a part of you that simply wants to stay in the safe zone. Try to envision the 'worst case scenario' and compare it the regret that will come from not having tried. Which is worse?

The more you work through each objection, the more you will become more convinced that the dream is meant to be, and the more it will strengthen your resolve. As you build your plan, your concerns will continue to seem less significant, less frightening. The more you solidify the plan, the more you will gain comfort that things will be alright. So, I can't stree enough, BUILD A SOLID PLAN.

Next week, and beyond, we will share our insights on the following:

1) Make a plan!
2) Make a backup plan
3) Plan an Out and/or 'Whats Next"
4) Set a Specific Target

It is our goal to inspire people to stop existing and start LIVING. So please borrow what you find useful and apply it to your life, to make your dream happen. If you are one of the many who are currently living the dream, or have done so, we welcome your input. We want to share as many stories as possible, to inspire those who are still simply dreaming.

Cheers
Shawn & Leanne

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Last you heard from us, we had completed our sailing adventure, finished our RV journey through Mexico, and we had bought a building in Roatan, one of the Honduras Bay Islands. We were doing renovations and hoped to open as the Jungle Reef Inn. I'm happy to report that the Jungle Reef Inn received her first guests on Christmas Eve, 2016. Since then, we have hosted a steady stream of visitors from 13 countries around the world, and have enjoyed steady occupancy in our 5 renovated Treehouse style rooms.

In May 2017 we returned back to Canada, and visited with family, before heading west to BC, in order to help operate a campground for the summer. At the time of writing, I am actually considering getting a... gulp, 'REAL JOB' again. While living the dream inspired us in ways we could never imagine, it has also drained our adventure fund. Another problem is that somewhere along the line, I discovered I wasn't ready to spend my days 'watching bananas grow', all day. Since we have the Jungle Reef Inn up and running, with a good manager in place, it affords us options.

Fear not, we do have a plan for what's next, once I outgrow this stage of responsibleness. We also have a few options, if the 'growing up thing isn't quite for us.

Since we started our journey, we have had many moments where our emotions got the best of us. We tried to take nothing for granted, and often reflected on how lucky we were to realize such adventures before we even turned 50. We witnessed countless friends our age and younger, who met with tragedies such as cancer, or accidents, losing their lives. On each occasion our resolve strengthened, to use our experience to inspire others to stop making excuses, and start living.

So starting November 13 we are going to start publishing weekly articles, updating you on our progress, sharing stories of others who have pursued theirs, or offering insight, and advice on how to start pursuing your own dream.

While I don't want to share everything now, I want to leave you with one thought... Since we sold everything, and went sailing, rv'ing, and living in the Caribbean, the thing we hear again and again is "I wish I could do what you're doing". We have heard some good explanations on why they can't do it... and a lot of lame ones. If you are that person, who has a dream, and no GOOD reason why you can't pursue it... either you are pursuing it, or you have been captured by fear!

FEAR is the single hardest obstacle to overcome when you decide to sell everything, abandon all that you know, and head out on the adventure of the unknown. Fear will haunt you, and inspire you to conjure up countless excuses. But it's imaginary. Knowing that will help! Join us next week for more on how to dream, and live.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Vegas, Bust and Brokered

Another birthday in Vegas... given the timing of the annual National Hardware Show, and it's fixed location of Las Vegas, celebrating another birthday there was far more mundane than my first time. Staying at the campground within the Circus Circus property was a first for me. Walking the Vegas Strip with two Alaskan Malamutes made this visit truly unique.

Miki, our 'adventurous' Malamute, took in all that Vegas had to offer. She had sensory overload as she walked past the pirate show at Treasure Island, and water fountains of Bellagio. Auka, worried only that he was going to fall in the water, walked sideways down the strip, to avoid seeing the water. Collectively the dogs became the biggest photo attraction on the strip. At one point the Statue of Liberty asked for a photo op with them.

After a few days of walking the show, researching pianos bars, and solving world problems over "Vegas' Best Margarita" we escaped the craziness and headed for Colorado. Heading out of town it was about 75 degrees F. We drove across Utah, and stopped just inside the Colorado border for the night. Next day we headed onward for Denver, where we were stopping to visit my cousin Judith, and her husband Shon, and daughter Lucy. Yes, the people from Thanksgiving weekend on the boat, were crazy enough to host us for a few days!

While the temperatures continued to drop as we headed NE, the weather was temperate... until we neared Vail. As we headed through Vail we encountered rain, snow, sleet, hail, and combinations of each! While I contemplated pulling over several times, there was generally no where to pull over to, and I questioned our ability to stop our 28' rig on what seemed like 70 degree inclines! Ok perhaps they weren't that steep.

After white knuckle driving for what seemed an eternity, things started to settle down and flatten out. As we made our approach into Denver, the excitement kicked back into full gear as fog dropped upon us. Soon we had about 100' visibility, and one last descent to manage. The saying "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" left me thinking I didn't need strength, I needed depends!

Eventually we made it to Judith's where we spent a few days at their beautiful home! We visited Boulder, took in a Rapids game, and rested up for one last push.





As we headed out from Denver we intent on heading back to Canada with as little excitement as possible. I knew we would soon be in the prairies, and expected the drive to be much easier than the Rockies. Until we entered Nebraska, I was not disappointed. I was left with the sense a well aligned vehicle with cruise control could drive itself. Then as we neared Lincoln NE, thunderstorm warnings came across the radio. With these warnings came hail and tornado warnings! We were suddenly smacked straight in the face with a reality we hear about often, but never imagine to be living. As we stopped for fuel just outside Lincoln, warnings came on the radio that there were 7 tornado sightings in the area. About the same time hail started to fall around us. We were lucky to be sheltered under the station's canopy as other vehicles sought shelter all around us. We could see horrific skies in every direction, but no sign of funnels. The attendant advised we should take the warnings very seriously, as we used our handheld radar the track the storm's paths. We hid out under the canopy for about an hour before the local warnings were lifted. We made our way onward, stopping at a Wal-Mart just outside Des Moines IA later that evening. We were careful to find a 24 hour store, just in case solid refuge was needed.

Two days later we found our way back into Canada, ready to get back to business, and a determination to figure out what was next. After discussing growth plans for our business, it was looking like it was time to settle in Canada for a while, in order to execute the plans we laid out. As we all know, plans don't always go... as planned. Soon we found ourselves at a crossroads, where we really needed to analyse what made the most sense going forward. Long story short, we came to the realize now was the time to take a large step toward doing what we've been dreaming of for a long time. The words of a friend "You're always going to want more money, more experience" were ringing as we decided it was time to commit to a business plan anchored in a place that is warm year round.

Over the next few weeks we built a shortlist of places we could start/buy a business, researched the logistics, and searched listings. Our shortlist was Mexico, Domincan Republic, St Maarten, and the US, when someone asked if we ever considered Roatan, Honduras. He was searching business listings when he came across a bar for sale on the water. It was really cool.

By July we sold our boat, and the buyers also mentioned Roatan to us. They had friends who owned a charter business and were selling off a catamaran. We decided to visit the island in August, and made plans to see the bar, and catamaran, as well as a 5 bedroom apartment building close to the beach.

West Bay Beach
Jungle Reef Inn
View From Jungle Reef Inn
The bar was in a great location, but was open only one day while we were there. It was a leased property, and being open only 1 time, just didn't seem to have value for the asking price.

While the catamaran represented everything I've dreamed of, operating a charter boat, with two Alaskan Malamutes didn't seem like a very workable plan.
Sundowners... NOT the bar for sale

The apartment had an amazing view, and was located on a lush jungle property, close to everything. The building was well designed for hosting guests with a very nice layout. The only need we saw was renovations to the inside to make it modern and luxurious. We have since bought the apartment, and began the renos November 1 2016. We planned to open The Jungle Reef Inn sometime near the end of 2016, and hope to see our followers come visit us in the near future!

Follow us on Facebook https://web.facebook.com/JungleReefInn/ or check us out at junglereefinn.com







Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Christmas In Mexico Felize Navidad!

On December 23 we awoke in the deserted Merida campground, and headed east. We drove like endurance race car drivers, determined to reach Playa Del Carmen by Christmas. We were in reach... a relatively easy drive, we hoped. Turns out it was. We arrived in Playa early afternoon and headed straight to Paamul RV Park, just south of the city. We parked, set up, and had our toes in the ocean within an hour. We made it! 10 days of travel, spaced over nearly a month. Thousands of KM's and more fill ups than I wanted to remember, but we completed a journey that most do in hours, contained in a big steel tube! That deserved a mojito!

We stayed in Paamul through Christmas and the new year. We had a quiet Christmas dinner of beer but chicken, and Skyped home to share in the festivities. We were reminded of the loneliest part of travelling. This being our first away from family, it was HARD! On New Years Eve, we ventured into downtown Playa and celebrated in the streets. This was a much more festive celebration! After midnight we chose to walk out of the downtown area, to find a cab, rather than compete with the crowds. Around each corner we found more pocket celebrations and friendly people. Our first real experience mingling in Mexico was anything but scary.

On January 1, it was time for my son, Daeyten to leave us again. This time he needed to head back to Canada for eye surgery. It never gets easy saying goodbye to a loved one, but this time he wasn't the 'little boy' I said goodbye to just over a year ago. And this time I knew he was returning.

A few days later, my wife Leanne started her yoga instructor's course in Tulum. It was an intense 4 week course which would qualify her as a yoga instructor... if she passed! She had some tough days, including a few where she was ready to give up due to her frozen shoulder. But she persevered, and aced her final exam. She has been a very successful group fitness instructor, and I knew she would be just as successful in yoga.

During this time, I spent my days keeping up with business affairs, researching investment opportunities in the area, and investigating the best places to place a beach chair. It was a tough assignment!

At the end of January, Daeyten returned, and Leanne completed here course. We were free to move on. However, both Leanne and Daeyten wanted to spend more time enjoying beautiful Xpu-ha, where we moved to in early January. We also had Leanne's niece, Jessica coming to visit for her reading week!!  Exactly what Leanne needed after a month intensive!! And Jess actually did read a little!

For those who haven't been, Xpu-Ha is a beautiful beach, 20 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. A few resorts line the sand's edge, as well as a couple campgrounds, and glamping. For anyone who wants an 'off the beaten track' experience, find a place in Xpu-Ha!

In early March we left Xpu-Ha,heading south to Chetumal. We stayed there for a few days. Due to our long stay in Xpu-Ha, we made the difficult choice that this was as far south as our timing would allow. Belize and beyond would have to wait.  We headed back to Xpu-Ha for a week, left Daeyten with the dogs while Leanne and I took the ferry over to Cozumel to spend a couple days with our friends Andrew & Marion and Jim & Kim who were there for March Break.  Two days at an all-inclusive was a nice treat, and it was great to see some friendly faces from home!!

After that, we worked our way back up the coast, and then headed west toward Puerto Vallarta. Along the way, we stopped in Progresso, a sleepy little beach town north of Merida. We also stopped at our favourite little deserted campground in Merida, and ventured into the cities historic core.

After that, we stopped in a small local resort town called Cuidad Del Carmen. It was Easter weekend and we decided it was not a good time to be travelling. We made a famous first impression by missing our turn to the campground. When we got to the toll both heading off the island, we were informed the turn was behind us. After almost running over the helpful toll booth worker, as he tried to clear the way, we backed up, slowly. This brought the attention of the local Policia, and the circus began. At first I thought we were in for a night in estacion de Policia. With a wink, the attendant made it clear this officer was more bark than bite. In fact he walked our rv all the way back to our turn, and stopped the busy holiday traffic, for us to get back on track. When I served notice we owed him a drink, he patted his belly, advised he was on a diet, and sent us along.

This campground was situated directly along side the beach, where locals came to celebrate the religious holiday. For three days, we watched local families of various means, gather, celebrate and feast. It was amazing to see people of all ages enjoy time spent together, with little distractions of modern technology. At the end of the weekend we posted a sign, in Spanish, behind our RV, thanking all for allowing us to enjoy this special celebration. Some vendors showed their appreciation by offering us various food items they had for sale. They would accept no payment.

Heading westward, we headed toward Mexico City, but decided to take the new ring road around the city, rather then deal with the traffic nightmare. Somewhere near Tula, we detoured to stop at a Bolnero for the night. Little did we know that our destination was located a the top of a steep hill. After pushing the RV for about 8km it decided it had enough. I was notified in the way of a smoke show, and fluid deposited all over the road. Here we were, smack dab in the middle of remote Mexico, half way between the highway and our destination. First I panicked, then I screamed, then I panicked. Leanne and Daeyten waited patiently for me to work through my emotions, then we started to rationally consider our options. While we progressed two Mexicans stopped and offered help. They spoke little english. About as much English as we speak Spanish.  Some how we manged to determine they were maintenance guys for the power company we broke down in front of. We also determined the seal on the transmission gave way, and so they filled the transmission back up with the last of their fluid. When we tried to compensate them, the most they would take is a beer each. They gave us directions to a repair shop at the bottom of the hill, and sent us on our way.

Heading down the hill, we decided to nurse the transmission, by putting it in neutral. We realized the error in our ways about 5km's down the hill, when the brakes started smoking. Again we pulled over, and again we encountered more Mexicans offering us assistance. This gentleman waited for our brakes to cool down, and led us to the nearby repair shop. By now it was about 4:30 PM, and we feared repairs would have to wait. How long was the big question. I was imaging becoming the topic of new Urban legends! However, our mechanic had different ideas. He, and his crew went straight to work.

The shop was nothing more than a carport behind his home. In the front was a small parts, and supplies shop. We sat on what could only be described as his back porch, and chatted with his wife while she plucked a fresh chicken. As the clock ticked on, the sun began to set, and we wondered when they would declare it was time to quit, and where that would leave us in terms of sleeping arrangements. However, they kept working. By 7;30, they had the RV put back together. This is when I realised we hadn't discussed price. If we could pay via credit card, I was prepared to pay almost any bill, for they saved our skins! However cash was a precious commodity, given we had many tolls between us and the next bank machine.

When I was told they didn't accept credit cards, my spirits sank. When he gave me the bill... I danced! Three hours of work, three guys. Replaced the front brakes, and turned the rotors. Also repaired the transmission seal. 1200 Mexican pesos... the equivalent of $75US. Then they apologised for not offering us dinner, and asked us to stay. We politely declined, feeling we intruded enough. We settled for using their lane way, to park the rv for the night, and nestled in. In the morning, a knock on the door, and we were offered pickled pears, and another apology for not feeding us. We offered the most heart felt thank you we could muster!

From here we headed onward, relatively uneventfully to Puerto Vallarta, and onward to Sayulita. While Puerto Vallarta was much of what I would have expected, a tourist town, with nice beaches, and lots of history, I was genuinely surprised with Sayulita.

Sayulita is a small surf town. A combination of young surfers, trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up, and retired hippies, and dot com modern day hippies, who decided not to grow up. The vibe is laid back, and the town matches it. We stayed at a lovely RV park right on the beach, rented a golf cart, and spent a few days getting to know the area. Unfortunately our most obvious discovery was it was not an affordable place for us to settle.

From Sayulita, we hustled up to Mazatlan to visit relatives, then back into the US, where we needed to make Las Vegas by May 4, for the Hardware Show, and another birthday in Vegas. We'll tell you about that, the trip home, and our next Adventure, in the next chapter.