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Sep 12 2014
Moving from one country to another country can be a challenge, particularly due to differences in culture. However, Gabriel Jones, Sales Director & Contributing Writer of Mexi-Go!, and his wife, Wendy, did just did that when they made the leap from Vancouver, British Columbia to Sayulita three and a half years ago.

At the time, Gabriel’s employer Mexi-Go!, a Canadian publication, was transitioning to become a Mexican company. Wendy was employed by a Canadian company and was working remotely from home. When the opportunity arose to move to Sayulita, Wendy got approval from her employer to continue to work remotely from Mexico.

This required a home with solid internet connection and a phone line, as Wendy’s job required numerous teleconferences. Through 
they found a long-term rental and made arrangements to rent the house.

Nick Sherman, former President of Pro Sayulita, was their property manager and became their first Sayulita friend. He provided invaluable information to this couple. “He made our transition so much easier. He showed us how Mexican houses differ from Canadian ones, helped us roll with the punches during our first rainy season and a million little things like how to pay our CFE bill and Telmex bill. He really helped us in so many ways,” the couple says.

Gabriel and Wendy also relied on
 forums and other social forums for information about transitioning to life in Sayulita. “So many people, both Mexicans and foreigners, are willing to help. They share their experiences with what works and what doesn’t. They offer suggestions as simple as where to purchase things or as complex as how to change over car titles and plates from Jalisco to Nayarit. Some foreigners believe there isn’t a lot of health care here, but there is on a lot of levels, which we have found through the referrals of others,” says Wendy.

Networking in the community was another immense source of helping this couple transition to their life here in Sayulita. Gabriel and Wendy have found that volunteering has been a great way to get involved with the community and meet a lot of great friends.Through SayulitAnimals, fundraisers at Costa Verde International School and river clean-ups through Eco Sayulita, they have met some of their closest friends.

“In Sayulita, locals are likely to have friends in various age categories. There is no border on age when it comes to friendship here. We have friends that range in age from 20 years old to 70 years old. Even the neighborhood children regularly stop by the house,” says Gabriel and Wendy.

While a lot of people do speak English in Sayulita, language can still be a barrier. Wendy is currently taking the intensive Spanish course at Experiencia Sayulita Spanish School and is very excited to be improving her Spanish and ability to communicate. Both Gabriel and Wendy have been able to pick up some key Spanish by spending time with Mexican neighbors, shopping and getting out in the community.

The couple feels that it is important to try to communicate in the native language and learning new Spanish words can be very rewarding.“After several months of ordering bacon a kilo at a time it was a big day for me when I mastered the word medio and could order just half a kilo of bacon” joked Gabriel.

Gabriel and Wendy have made Sayulita their home and have no regrets about their decision to move here. “This was the best decision that we have ever made. That is why we are still here and we are so happy to be here.”