Two locals approached me while I was laying on the beach, taking a break from surfing the famous break in Sayulita, Mexico. Each of them were holding tablets.
"Do you mind of we ask you a question for our research? What brings you to Mexico?"
"Really?? We haven't heard that one before..."
On December 15th Brad and I finished the majority of our vans, packed up, and headed back up north to Salt Lake City, Utah in time for our friend's and family's Christmas festivities.
Our plans for the next month or so were pretty much nonexistent because we had no idea when we would be finishing up our vans. We had originally hoped that we would have the vans done in November so that we could do a road trip down throughout Mexico, but obviously that didn't happen. My intentions were clear though-I needed to get a job ASAP and I needed to figure out where I was going to live before I got stuck in Utah for the winter. Florida seemed like the best option, but my teeth were hurting and I needed to take care of them first.
If you don't know me very well, then you probably didn't know that my parents spend the majority of the winters living at their house in a small fishing village located about an hour and a half north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I lived there when I was 15 years-old for six months, and last year for two months and I have visited their house consistently every year for over ten years.
If you're familiar with the American health care system then you know that health insurance, particularly dental insurance, is very expensive. It is difficult for people that are self-employed to receive affordable health insurance. Both my Dad and myself are self-employed, so it made more sense for me to get my own crappy health insurance regardless of the fact that I am under 26 years old.
So for the last ten years, my family utilized the international health-care hack: travel to Mexico for affordable health care. The travel expenses and visit to the doctor costs hundreds of dollars less than an appointment in the United States-plus you get a vacation.
So when my teeth started aching while I was in Arizona, I concluded that I needed to visit the dentist and knew that my best opportunity for an affordable dentist was to catch a ride with my parents down to Mexico after Christmas and see my dentist there.
On January 3rd I crammed myself into the back seat of a packed sedan with my parents and hitched a ride down to Chacala, Nayarit, Mexico. It took 30 hours of driving over the course of three days to arrive at the Mexico house.
I took a 6'10" surf board with me because the part I was looking forward to the most was visiting the surf breaks in Sayulita. Sayulita is a great place to learn how to surf, which was perfect because I have only surfed a handful of times and I knew that the shorter board was going to be a little bit more challenging.
I stayed in Mexico with my parents for about 10 days. I surfed on 8 of those days. It was nice to get back on the water on a surf board rather than a SUP since I was still trying to give my inflamed muscles a chance to recover. I still don't consider myself a surfer, by any means, but I know that it takes some time invested to get to the point where surfing comes as second nature. I am already looking forward to the next time I visit Sayulita!
I went to the dentist, as per the entire mission of the trip to Mexico. It was scary. It is always scary. But the verdict was no cavities and my teeth were aching because I slacked on wearing my retainers at night over the summer. I didn't wear my retainers consistently so when I did put my retainers in, my teeth shifted and it made them sensitive. So the dentist just cleaned my teeth and fixed up some fillings I had. It cost about $30 USD when all was said and done.
I don't know if the dental care I receive in Mexico is considered top notch, or if it's all a mind game that American culture deems that dental care in the United States unnecessarily superior to all other country's dental health care. But I can attest that since I started visiting the dentist in Mexico it's given me extra incentive to take care of my teeth. I am happy to report that all is well in the land of no cavity Cami! I know you all were probably getting pretty worried there...
I flew to Utah from Mexico right in time for Brad's birthday on January 14th. We celebrated Brad Appreciation Day, then we packed up my van and left town three days later. We embarked on a road trip across the country with Sarasota, Florida as our destination. Sarasota is a city with deep roots embedded in circus arts. I knew that I could ride horses, practice aerial, paddle board and surf all within an hour drive!
Over the next few memoirs, I will post trip reports of the different adventures that Brad and I did as we traveled across the country.