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Simply Puerto Vallarta - Making the Move to Mexico
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September 2, 2011
In this edition of Simply Puerto Vallarta, Laura talks with Nicole Majewski, a young American expat who lives and works in Puerto Vallarta. (Video Diva Productions)

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - A declining U.S. economy, poor job prospects, not only for college graduates but for everyone, sky rocketing health care costs and you have just some of the reasons why people are moving to Mexico. It is not just baby boomers retiring any longer.

Walking a path seldom taken by young Americans, Nicole Majewski began the next phase of her life's journey when she left her home town of Buffalo, New York.

"I moved to Puerto Vallarta when I was 21 years old," says Nicole, "A couple of friends of mine and I took a bus all the way down to Puerto Vallarta. "I didn't know anything about Mexico and I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I just knew I wanted a change and wanted to travel a little bit."

It's not only baby boomers moving to Mexico, there is a surge of younger expats relocating. Many are disillusioned by the current job prospects in the US and living is simply less expensive south of the border. Nicole spent some time working at various restaurant jobs before diving into the tourist industry.

"After that first year of working various restaurant jobs I found a job with Vallarta Adventures and I kinda stuck that out, and that was my commitment, my time when I knew that I was going to stay and work it out," says Nicole. She worked as a guide in the Dolphin Center because she spoke English and Spanish and would be able to communicate will all tourists.

Nicole found living outside the US refreshing but at the same time adjustments were made. "When I first moved down to Vallarta, there were a lot less health food stores and vegetarian options," says Nicole, "It was really hard to find a box of tofu or it was really difficult to get organic soaps, and so that was my goody list for when I went back home. And of course we still can't get Reese's Pieces and licorice or things like that but that's not survival. It's funny because you hear people saying, how can you survive with this or how can you survive without that, but you're like 20 blocks from the beach and it's sunny all of the time, and you can see the mountains and the ocean everyday, so you just have to make some sacrifices."

Lack of consumer goods does not discourage Nicole from the time she has spent discovering herself and a new life focus. "I feel really lucky to be here," says Nicole, "I've met young people between the ages of 20 and 40, everyday. I have friends from all over the world. I think Vallarta is a very transient town for young people and they just kind of pass through. They are either coming for a vacation, coming for a month, coming to volunteer or intern and then they are gone. I feel very lucky, my friends here are my family and we have a really big family."

After working for about seven years in the tourist industry, Nicole found a new job, which satisfies many aspects of her personality, and she continues to strive toward emotional fulfillment. "I have been working for the last year with the non-profit called PEACE, (Protection, Education, Animals, Culture, Environment) based out of the Punta Mita area," says Nicole.

"I am the volunteer and events coordinator and it's been something I have wanted to do since I was a little girl, and I've known Molly Fisher, the director for many years, and always tried to make it work, and finally the day came when I could make it work, and I've been working with them full-time for a year and it's a very gratifying and exciting job, and I love going to work everyday, I feel very lucky," she adds.

Living and working in Mexico is not for everyone and Nicole recommends giving it a test drive before committing yourself.

Simply Puerto Vallarta is a multi-media promotion campaign that highlights the richness and diversity of Mexico's premier coastal tourist town. Unlike traditional PR efforts, the video series was designed to put the media message back into the hands of those it most affects - area residents.