As a former Midwesterner whose winter weather escapes tended to be places like Fort Lauderdale or Orlando, for a long time I resisted going to Mexico. I held many of the wrong myths in my head, simply because nobody in my circle of family and friends would vacation there.
That changed shortly after moving to Portland. Here, it seems like everyone goes to Mexico (or Hawaii) to escape the winter rain. Our friends James and Kevin first introduced us to Puerto Vallarta a number of years ago. And I’m happy to say that our minds have totally changed, and Mexico has earned a warm spot in our hearts.
Stereotypes about Mexico almost always center on crime. Yes, parts of Mexico struggle. And so it is in the United States. But I don’t fear exploring the Pacific Northwest simply because Camden, New Jersey has a crime epidemic. It’s just as senseless to worry about places like Puerto Vallarta because other parts of Mexico face challenges. Let facts trump fear, and not the other way around.
So what’s the appeal for me and so many people from the West Coast? I think because it’s a nice blend of foreign and familiar. While yes, there are many areas that are 100% gringo, it’s easy to immerse oneself entirely in Mexican culture within few steps off the beaten path. There is no question you are in another country when you step outside the tourist zones – often, you just have to walk a few blocks. And that’s the key – WALKING. Just like we like to do in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver; PV is meant to be walked. I think that’s another reason for the appeal; it appeals to our sense of how a city should function and how we live back home. We can walk to all of our favorite restaurants, shops, galleries and bars. Admittedly, there is a whole other Puerto Vallarta, replete with all-inclusive resorts tucked behind gates where tourists barely venture out; but just as I won’t live in a gated community in the States, these areas don’t even register on my radar. It baffles me that people travel to another country only to never engage in it.
We now have countless friends who own property in PV. Do they have regrets? Absolutely not. Have they each learned about market idiosyncrasies and had hiccups along the way? Absolutely! They all agree – don’t take your knowledge of your home market and apply it to Mexico. Be flexible. Get trusted experts. And in that way I end with a shameless plug. As part of the RE/MAX family, you can start your search with me. We can lay the groundwork here before even getting on the plane. I belong to MLS Vallarta/Nayarit, and have trusted colleagues at the RE/MAX office locally. Interested? Let’s chat!