Kindness: One of the best characteristics of Puerto Vallarta

Our friends at International Living identified one of the best reasons to move to Mexico in general, and Puerto Vallarta in particular.

Their article, “There’s much more to Mexico than just low costs,” highlights the author and his wife’s personal experience with the up-close-and-personal way those of us who call Puerto Vallarta home share our happiness with living here.

The author writes, “The thing about kindness is that it can be hard to define or put your finger on, but you know it when you feel it.”

People most often feel this kindness when a stranger helps lost-looking souls find their destinations.  You feel it when shop keepers strike up friendly conversations.  You feel it when neighbors say buenos dias to passers-by.

With the current USD exchange rate, Americans can live pretty well in Mexico, with monthly living expenses at half of the cost of living in large U.S. cities.  However, we have found that the decision to move to Mexico should not be based on the low cost of living alone.

Paradoxically, some people find that although they have more disposable income, people tend to live more modestly in Puerto Vallarta than in the American cities from where they relocated.

In the U.S., there are people with big houses, the newest cell phone technology, and all of the latest gadgets.  It is difficult not to want these things when immersed in a consumer culture.  In Mexico, we also have nice things, but you see less of the “I-gotta-have-this latest….” fill in the blank.

We live simpler lives in Mexico.  Some of us live in houses that are not large.  We drive cars that are not new.  Some people don’t even own cars!

Yet, what is the most interesting aspect of our daily lives that visitors notice most?  We are all pretty freaking happy.  The International Living author described it as never having been “…around so many carefree, smiling, joyful people in my life.”  Si, señor.  That pretty much sums up how most of us who made the decision to call Puerto Vallarta “home” feel.

Vallartenses prefer things to be tranquilo.  We have learned to slow down and not be in such a hurry to….well, anything.  We don’t have the perception that money is the only indicator of wealth.  We find wealth through a multitude of other sources…wealth through relationships, wealth through nature’s beauty, wealth through helping others.

In Puerto Vallarta, you find that community replaces consumerism.

Community is saying buenos dias to your neighbors and the people you pass on the street on your daily walks.  Community is buying your food from the local mercado.  Community is having genuine conversations with complete strangers.  Community is helping one another.

When you are a part of a community that places a high value on relationships, you learn to do the same.  You learn to value your neighbors and your connections with others.

Some people move to Puerto Vallarta to get off the hamster wheel, to retire, to start a new adventure.  Most people know they will love the beach, the mountains, the 300+ sunny days a year.  What surprises many who make the move is just how much they will love the people.

If you are looking for a simpler life, a life that values community and emphasizes people over objects, then come join us.  We love Puerto Vallarta.  You will too.

Col. El Caloso
*excerpts International Living

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