My First Year in Mexico

By Hayley Priester

July 18th, 2018
All In

If you’ve ever taken a trip to Mexico, you know the feeling. Sitting on an airplane for what seems to be forever, filling out forms and you’re just anxious to get to your designated resort with drink in hand so the vacation can begin. Well now imagine you get to the part on the forms asking about where you’re staying and for how long and you have no idea what to put. I remember saying to myself “You’re really doing it, you’re moving to Mexico”. The weeks before had been so crazy with interviews and documents and selling all my belongings I wouldn’t need for my new live in paradise (goodbye winter coats!), I didn’t have time to process what I was doing; or even imagine what the future held for me. Good thing I didn’t try too hard to imagine what this first year in Puerto Vallarta would look like because I would never have been able to come close to the real adventures and challenges I’ve faced!

Home sweet new home

After landing and getting out to the curb with literally all of my belongings on the sidewalk I see a card with my name, thank goodness because I had no idea where I was going from there. A taxi takes me for a quick 20 minute drive over a bridge and into an area honestly a lot nicer than where my college flat I just moved out of was located in Raleigh, North Carolina. We stop out front and I’m greeted by Miguel who I was told through email would meet me there. He was so friendly and very endearingly welcomed me to my new home. The gorgeous white apartment with big spacious rooms, fully stocked kitchen and beautiful balcony looking at the mountains and the ocean was truly breathtaking. I instantly felt at home. Not to mention I had a great roommate from Seattle who would be braving this adventure with me as she had arrived only a few hours earlier than I did. The next few days were spent exploring and getting the bus system down since we had no car yet and of course a lot of time was spent on the beach! Of course it’s very hot at the end of June and it would continue to get hotter but with so much beauty around you it’s hard to complain!

Getting down to business

The first week of July came quickly and we knew that meant it was time to work. To be completely frank I had very little knowledge about the job and what I was going to be doing. I was told we would be going through a 10 day academy and I figured I would just have to trust that process. I knew the name of where I would be working and after seeing “Vidanta” plastered all through the airport as well as a huge sign larger than the sign for the state of Nayarit I knew I must be in pretty good hands. Walking into the classroom on the first day was like starting most new things, exciting and nerve-wracking. Luckily we had a great group of people most of whom I’m still very close with and we had the best instructors you could imagine, I’m still baffled at how Patrick and Anu do what they do, if you’ve met them you know what I mean. I couldn’t say enough about them. That’s all. After the academy you’re thrown out on the sales floor which is terrifying at times but also so fun! It’s not always easy but the support system we have is everything. Just like anything in life, what you put in is exactly what you’ll get out. My favorite part of every day Is getting the opportunity to speak to people from all over the world and talk about something everyone loves, traveling! In just one year I’ve seen hundreds of people’s lives changed for the better because of what we do.

Down time in Vallarta

Some may be used to the daily 9-5 routine full of stress and tension from the job. Now throw that idea away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this job doesn’t have its own stresses but I’d take a bad day in Vallarta over any work day in Raleigh. If you have a tough day here you simply leave (around 2pm) and decompress at the pool or at you favorite beach club with a couple of ice cold Coronas. If it’s too hot for your taste you can go enjoy a 90 minute full body therapeutic massage for about 300 pesos which is about $15 USD. Movies, street tacos, live music, long walks, whatever you need to feel relaxed, it is right here. On your days off enjoy a trip to Yelapa to see the waterfalls or go hiking with a group of people from work. The community here is amazing and if you’ve ever been to Puerto Vallarta you have experienced the hospitality of people here.

In a nutshell

I was recently asked if I had the chance would I go about everything the same way, and my honest answer is yes and no. The only things I regret are the things I didn’t do at all and the things I potentially missed out on. My only advice to anyone is to be present and always keep your “what ifs’s” positive. If you’re thinking about making the move just do it! You won’t regret going all in!

Until next time

Hayley has been with Vida Vacations for 1 year this July. She was a recent graduate of North Carolina State University when she began.