San Pancho

We noticed it instantly.

What are all these white people doing here? It felt very peculiar to be surrounded by the English language after the trek we’d just done.

“I’m not sure I like this…”

We found our Couch Surfer’s place after some overpriced/tiny portion food.

Despite the instant disdain we felt for Sayulita, we remained there for a week and a half. In that time we basically just ate a lot of ice cream with our couch surfer, Eugene.

I can only really explain Sayulita as such: it feels like a Mexico themed theme park. I think it would be better named Mexico Land than Sayulita. Tourists cruise around in golf carts, and everyone speaks English. It’s what every good North American imagines Mexico to be like, and is nothing like Mexico.

It was in those turbulent days that I had an epiphany of sorts. We had asked every hostel for work for accommodation, but no one could offer it. We had nowhere to go, but Eugene was kind enough to let us stay way longer than initially planned. Plus we quite enjoyed the guy, so it was great.

Alex had found a job at a surf shop in the neighbouring town of San Pancho – also touristy, but not nearly as much so.

I was beginning to realize that the wages in Mexico were not going to help me keep moving. In fact, they’d barely allow me to live in one spot.

Five years ago I worked briefly for a law firm, and during my time there I did some transcription work. I quite enjoyed it, really. Listen to audio, type what you hear. I’d joked (in a depressing way) many times that my only talent was my typing speed. What good would that do me?

Suddenly it struck me in Sayulita, five years after working at the law firm, and two years after beginning my never ending travels.

Online transcription work.

I contacted every online transcription service I could find. I signed up for freelance sites. I spent hours upon hours for days just trying to make it work.

One day I uttered to Alex in the kitchen, “Well, this probably won’t work out, but trying gives me a better chance than not trying.”

Surprisingly, I started getting work.

Eventually we needed to leave Eugene’s house. As Alex’s work was in San Pancho, and my work was wherever my computer was, we decided to move to San Pancho.

We cruised down the uncrowded beach of San Pancho searching for a hidden spot to no avail; it was all in plain sight. Finally, we decided to camp out in full view. We threw a lock on the tent, took our valuables with us every day, and figured blatant was the new discreet; to get into our tent with a lock on it, one would need to cut the tent open. Easy, yes. But it was in plain view, so anyone robbing us would be seen by others.

We crossed our fingers and hoped our plan would work.

And so started our stability of sorts.

Every day we would wake up with the sun. We would open up our tent to see the waves rolling in. The fishermen were always up earlier than us, making it a pain for those of us who need to pee as soon as they wake up, and had nowhere to hide.

Alex would go off to his work, and I’d go to a cafe, order a coffee, and work.

When I was done work, I’d drop my valuables off at the surf shop, and hang with Alex there. It was a great little shop, with a smoothie bar and chairs out front. It was sort of a local hangout, and I was fortunate to have this place to go to.

We were allowed to use the shower in the back of the surf shop, but I rarely did. It wasn’t long before I lost my shampoo, brush, and deodorant. It took me two weeks to replace my deodorant. I won’t be replacing the shampoo or brush, and my hair is finally getting less greasy as it gets used to my lack of care for it. I haven’t worn shoes in weeks. I’m kind of embracing my inner hobo.

Things became very routine. Things were very easy in an odd way.

I think my version of stability may be a little bit different from everyone else’s.

Strangely enough, after two and a half weeks of camping out, other tents started popping up. When I woke up this morning, there were four next to me, plus another one on the other side of the beach. We seem to have started a trend.

One of our first days here we had the privilege of helping hundreds of baby turtles find their way to the ocean. You see, these turtles are going extinct, so there are breeding farms throughout the country, and when the turtles are born, they release them onto the sand to find their way to the ocean. Unfortunately, this particular night there were various parties going on, and the turtles got confused because of the lights, and started heading towards them. A few of us were having some beers on the beach when Eugene felt a turtle climbing on him. For the next hour we were picking up turtles and bringing them to the water.

Later that night, soaking wet and wearing a skirt that exposed half of my ass, Alex and I crashed one of the weddings happening on the beach. We got a whole song in dancing before we very nicely got thrown out.

A couple of days later we stumbled upon a lonely monkey. He lives in a cage this size of a bedroom all alone next to a restaurant. When you approach him, he comes right over and holds your hand. He is so human like, it’s hard not to notice the sadness in his eyes. Many people said they didn’t like to visit him because of this… But it’s exactly why I liked to go see him.

Alas, all good things come to an end. A week ago Alex moved onto the roof of a house, while I remained at the beach.

In the past week I’ve noticed something: this life is easy. It’s peaceful. I know people, though I’m friends with no one. It’s hard to say if this is simply because we don’t have that something to build upon, or if it’s my current utter anti-socialness. It just is what it is.

So despite the ease of living here, and despite the many friendly beings around, I realized that I am not happy here. My feet itch for the road. I am only at the beginning of my journey.

And so with that, I say goodbye to the land I have called home for nearly a month, and I set out southbound solo once more.

I have no idea where I’m going, or how long I will stay there. But I know it is time to go.

Farewell, San Pancho.


Danie is a lovable and insane digital nomad of sorts. If you ever wondered what's a nomad, you've come to the right place. She enjoys oversharing, telling every detail of her life, and chilling on the beach, among other things. Danie is rather odd, and she likes it that way. Be sure to subscribe to hear more of her ramblings, and find out when Danie finally gets to fulfill her biggest dream: cuddling a platypus.

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