Leland and Zoey Pierce made the move to Sayulita with their two small dogs nearly two years ago. In fact, their two year anniversary will be on October 1st. Originally from Idaho, they didn’t know one person living in Sayulita upon their arrival. The couple share with El Sayulero why they moved to Sayulita, what they like about living here, and much more.
How did you first hear about Sayulita?
We had Idaho friends that would go to Puerto Vallarta for a timeshare, but they told us we should check out Sayulita. So, Zoey, of course, turned to Google and researched everything about Sayulita. She also used SayulitaLife.com to do her research. It became her go to site and she saved it on her bookmark menu. Sayulita looked awesome, so we booked a vacation and it changed our lives. Later, when Zoey was having a cold or bad day, she would check out SayulitaLife.com and daydream about our move. She loved it and how it kept her aligned with our dream.
What was it about Sayulita that made you want to move here?
We were already living in a small ski resort town, Sun Valley, Idaho, and Sayulita had a similar vibe; carefree, the living is easy, and the people are friendly. But, Sayulita stole our hearts because it is a surf town. We were more than ready to leave the cold winters.
What was the hardest adjustment you had to make when you moved to Sayulita?
Well, since we arrived October 1st 2013, it was the humidity. Whew! Now that we have been here for almost two years, we are still not used to the humidity, but we know how to cool off. The noises, colors and smells of Mexico have become something familiar and something we enjoy.
What do you find most rewarding about living in Sayulita?
Freedom and accomplishment! We got rid of everything in our old life; our house, car, furniture, you name it. We did not even keep a storage unit. We jumped full board and moved down with our car “Big Red” and our two doggies. Also, it was so rewarding to move to Sayulita because it was our dream. It took a lot of action to align ourselves with such an amazing dream. We accomplished a dream and so can you. “You have to dream it, plan it, do it” - that was our motto.
What do you like most about living in Sayulita?
There are many cool beach towns all over the world, but for us Sayulita has a beautiful community that we are so grateful to be a part of.
Are you involved with any local organizations or do volunteer work? If so, what do you do?
There are many wonderful organizations here. We concentrate on loving animals. We foster doggies through SayulitAnimals. Zoey also donates artwork to the Pro Sayulita auction and Costa Verde fundraiser.
What do you do for fun and relaxation? Any favorite restaurants or favorite places to go?
We are avid paddle surfers, so if we are not taking care of dogs, you can find us on waves. We love to eat, but our ultimate favorite place is Kilometer 5 after a paddle surf session.
How do you support yourself in Sayulita?
Leland works as an independent sales consultant online and has an office at Sayulita Cowork. Zoey is so honored to say that she is a thriving artist, and has an art gallery, Z Galeria. This past season, Zoey, who was an art teacher for eight years prior to moving to Sayulita, also taught a variety of art classes to children and adults. Her focus with children is to expose them to a variety of art media so that they can develop their own artistic license. (She did several 6-week after school classes with Costa Verde students at her gallery). Her adult classes are based on teaching encaustics (the process of painting with warm pigmented beeswax), which is the medium she utilizes within her work.
How does the cost of living in Sayulita compare to where you used to live?
Sayulita is less expensive than the ski resort town we came from. Going out to eat is cheaper and surfing is free compared to buying a ski pass.
How has the experience of living in Sayulita changed you?
Wow, we both have answers for this one. Leland says he is less stressed and completes more in four hours of work than his normal eight hour day in the States. He also says that he is a better person and enjoys being more present. For Zoey, she is much more mindful of consumption, such as the things she buys, etc. She really uses things to their potential rather than just buying things new. Living in Sayulita has helped open her eyes to a different way of life…a better, more compassionate view of people and their stories.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to move to Sayulita?
What are you waiting for? Come down, but leave the United States mentality at the border.