Sand squishing between your toes, ocean waves rolling towards the shore, then crashing against the sand and receding back. Only to do it all over again. Touts offering everything from blankets, to sweets, to seafood, and drugs. Waiters serving frozen margaritas, and the sun beaming down and warming your skin. This is what most of us think of when we think of Puerto Vallarta. A beachside paradise on the west coast of Mexico.
There seems to be a trend in traditional media in which they report only the worst stories or points of view about a destination. Although I don't agree with the way in which they report the news, I know their reports are biased and I ignore them (for the most part) when making my travel decisions. Unfortunately, this trend seems to be seeping into the blogging world, and that is even more troubling to me because as bloggers we have the ability to share our destinations in a very unfiltered way. We generally don't have editors, or corporate bosses to answer to. The only people we have to answer to is ourselves, and our audience.
Does travelling or living like a local make ones experiences sweeter? I think so. I think (for me at least) that stepping away from the resorts, travelling slow, and making an effort to connect with the locals gives me a greater appreciation for the place I'm visiting, and therefore enhances my travel experiences. And months later when I'm in a different place and thinking back on travels past, my local experiences are the ones that stand out the most in my mind. So, is it any wonder that I am having the time of my life living as a local in Bucerias, Mexico?
As a girl with ginormous boobs (and far from average stature) who has spent most of her travels in Asia, I am not accustomed to travelling in countries where I can experience complete acceptance. I'm used to walking around and having locals stare, or point. Where everyone is so tiny that it would be difficult to buy a bra that fit one of my boobs, let alone both of them. I'm used to having a tough exterior and pretending I don't understand what is going on - and having to give myself permission to stay in on days where I'm not feeling at my best.
Have you ever said something, then walked away and realized that what you said could have taken on a totally different meaning? Yeah, that totally happened to me this week in Bucerias. One of the things I love about living on the Mexican side of town, away from the touristy places, is that I can walk around and explore in piece and quiet. I love slowly walking down the dirt roads, looking for things to photograph and explore, which is how I came across Casa Flores Fruterias, a little fruit market about 5 minutes from the house. I had passed the market a couple of times, but it always looked closed. Until Thursday when I was on my way to the Taqueria. Naturally, I just had to go inside and check it out (I have a thing for local markets when I travel).