“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Which sums up the reason I decided that our family needed an extended vacation in a country outside of the US. After much research and planning, we just arrived at our home away from home, for the next two weeks, in San Pancho, Mexico. San Pancho is a small town just north of Puerto Vallarta, with a population of just under 1,000. It is safe to say that the town moves at a pace much slower that our entire family is used to, which is precisely the reason I chose the destination. We were lucky to find a lovely rental home, Casa Asoleada, located right on the outskirts of town. The cost for the 2 weeks is extremely reasonable, equivalent to what we pay for a long weekend in Central Oregon, mostly because it is the off-season for travel to Mexico.
Though I’ve not written much about the recent change in my view of life (inspired in part by reading The Art of Nonconformity, by Chris Guillebeau, and Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts), this blog in itself is one part of my resolution to live, and in this case, parent, with intention. One of my biggest concerns with the way we are raising our children, is the fear that they will grow up with a sense of entitlement, or the expectation that life should come easy to them. Given that we live in one of the more affluent parts of Portland, OR and that none of the kids have ever known what it is like to ‘need’ anything, the point of this summer trip is to spend an extended period of time ‘living’ in a different part of the world to 1) give the children a global perspective of a world that does not center around Lake Oswego, OR, and 2) to introduce them to opportunities available to them outside of the US. If they come to appreciate all that they are lucky to have in their lives, then that is a bonus!
Big Son N will enter 10th grade in the fall and before long will need to begin thinking about colleges. What better way to demonstrate why 4 years of Spanish language is so valuable, than to live in a Spanish speaking country. We want to give him the chance to practice speaking Spanish, to build confidence in his ability to communicate with other cultures.
I must say that there were many reasons we chose the sleepy town of San Pancho, not the least of which was the ability to tie in some volunteer work with the Project Tortuga conservation project. This amazing program recruits volunteers from around the world, to monitor the Mexican beaches for Olive Ridley sea turtles, who come to shore to lay eggs, and move the eggs to a hatchery to maximize the number of surviving turtles that make it to sea. The hatchling season is from June – August, so our timing was perfect for this opportunity.
Tomorrow I will post on the adventures we’ve had since we’ve arrived in San Pancho, there have been many, so stay tuned…