One of our goals of coming to Mexico was to take advantage of our work-from-home situation and enjoy life here without taking our precious vacation days. During this time, we’ve developed a routine that balances enjoying daily life as well as our busy work schedules. While every day looks a little different, I wanted to share what a typical day looks for us as digital nomads. 🙂
Joe and I typically wake up around 7:30-8am. We’re morning people so we don’t set an alarm, and most days we wake up within 30 minutes of each other.
Then one of us will put on the coffee maker, and we’ll enjoy a cup of coffee together. Almost every morning that Joe and I have spent together since we started dating, we’ve shared this coffee time together. It’s one of my favorite habits that we naturally fell into as we’ll spend 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted quality time before our day starts. We’ll chat about whatever’s on our minds: our plans for the day, current events, our friends, etc.
When I was younger, I liked eating a big breakfast in the morning, but now I prefer starting my mornings on more of an empty stomach (especially if I work out). These yogurt drinks have been working well for me in Mexico – I’ll usually split this bottle into 2 days.
Around 8:30am, I’ll pull out my yoga mat and stretch for ~20 minutes, focusing on my glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors since those are the tightest for me. I like to listen to a podcast while I’m stretching. I have a rotation of 9-10 daily news podcasts, so I’ll pick one topic that interests me for the day.
Next up – sunscreen time. We go through a LOT of sunscreen. We literally put it on every time we leave the house, even for a quick errand, which means we’ll typically reapply 3-4 times a day. It gets a little gross but being diligent with sunscreen has gone a long way especially with the strong sun in Mexico.
By 9am, I’m usually out the door for a morning activity. But first, once a week, one of us will drop off laundry at a wash & fold that’s conveniently right across from our house. The laundromat literally has one washer & one dryer in an outdoor shack…for 70 pesos ($3.50 USD), I’ll take it. 🙂
Most mornings, my activity of choice is surfing right here on Sayulita Beach. We’ve been renting at Lunazul Surf Shop which I think has the best selection of boards and price.
My daily surf sessions has led me to recognize the other morning regulars. But I will say, our surfing on Sayulita Beach has died down over the last few days after we realized that this time of year is tricky to surf in Sayulita. The water is very shallow and rocks are everywhere, so you basically have no room for error as you need to catch the wave and surf to the shore in order to avoid rocks. The winter months are much better for surfing here, as we found in our last visit. My foot is totally abused at this point, including an incident where I stepped on a sea urchin and needed medical care! So we decided to surf less in Sayulita and do day-trips to Punta Mita when we can.
Side note: the medical clinic I visited in Mexico was a wonderful experience. I literally paid $200 pesos ($10 USD) and got treated right away. Why is the American medical system so difficult?!
On days we don’t surf, I’ll typically take a walk instead. It’s nice because the town is emptier in the mornings so there’s not as much traffic to dodge.
The beach is also much quieter in the mornings and we’ll enjoy watching the waves and surfers.
I’ll usually finish up surfing or walking around 10:30am, and then I’ll head home to shower and clean up the apartment. I do sweep every single day because sand/dirt collects quickly here. It’s also a habit I formed in SF as I sweep my studio every day. 🙂
Then it’s time to log onto work. We’re in Central Time in Mexico but working Pacific Time hours, which means we’re typically working 11am-7pm. This has actually turned out great because we stay inside during the hottest part of the day.
I start work by checking my emails and creating my to-do list for the day. I used to check my email on my phone first thing when I woke up, but recently I’ve been trying to “reclaim” my time and not check emails outside of work hours. I think it’s important when working remotely to draw these boundaries and claim your personal time.
Joe’s and my jobs differ a lot. We both work in tech, but he is an engineer and I do business development. For Joe, his work is centered around completing projects, which means he can make his own hours as long as the work gets done (with the exception of his on-call shifts). Sometimes Joe will start his workday earlier here in Mexico so he’s not working as late.
On the other hand, my job is external-facing as I work with clients, so my day is filled with lots of calls. I’d say my job has more emphasis on output vs input, so as long as I’m achieving certain results, I have flexibility too.
Joe and his dual laptops 😉
An hour after we log on is lunch time. Joe and I have been making our own lunch every day – usually a sandwich, ramen, or leftovers from dinner.
Then it’s back to work. 12pm-5pm are heavy on calls for me. I have my makeshift standing desk, while Joe works on the other side of the house. It’s so big we can’t hear each other’s calls.
In the middle of the afternoon, usually one or both of us will run an errand: groceries, pharmacy…it’s just an excuse to get out of the house and take a break, so we both happily contribute to these chores. Although, in the heat of the day, we’re usually out-and-back pretty quickly. 😛
Grocery stores in Mexico are not large like in the U.S., so we go to two separate stores. This kiosk is for meat, eggs, snacks, and packaged/prepared food.
And this produce stand is for fruits and vegetables. The produce in Mexico is sold very ripe, so we find ourselves shopping frequently.
When we come home, we wash the produce right away and stick it in the fridge to avoid pests. We use a disinfectant solution called microdyn for extra precaution.
And any open bag of snacks goes into tupperware. We learned the first day that ants will make their way into anything if we don’t do this!
Around 7pm, we’ll finish work, and then it’s time for dinner. We go out for dinner almost every day because by then we’re eager to get out of the house. Also, the food is so cheap here that we don’t save much money by cooking. We know this town very well at this point, so we have a few restaurants on rotation: local Mexican spots, street food, upscale fusion restaurants…whatever we’re feeling that day.
Our #1 favorite restaurant is this unassuming local Mexican spot near our house. The ingredients are so fresh and the family that runs it is always joking around and singing with each other, and somehow they always mess up our order, but we love them anyways.
Some days we will cook at home if we don’t feel like going out. We pulled together this chorizo pasta on the fly and it might be my new favorite meal. It’s basically a bolognese sauce but instead of ground beef we used chorizo.
Almost every night after dinner, Joe and I will go on a joy-ride with the golf cart. By then, the temperature has cooled down and it’s one of our favorite ways to explore the city. The golf cart has really opened our horizons as we’ve explored the jungle-roads and smaller beaches outside of town.
One of our favorite spots is this rocky cove that rarely has other people there. We’ll sit around and watch the waves while dipping our feet in the water.
Some nights we’ll indulge and grab dessert too. We found this man who sells fresh churros – the best I’ve ever had!
And of course…ice cream. We love to grab a cone and walk on the beach during sunset.
Sayulita beach at sunset is something else…the beach-side restaurants close down and remove their tables/chairs, so you’re left with the wide open sand. The people who come out at night are the younger/backpacker crowd, and we’ll see drum circles and night-time surfers on the water.
Between the joy ride, dessert, and walk on the beach, we’ll typically choose one of them for our evening activity. 🙂
Finally, we’ll wash off the 5 layers of sunscreen and watch Netflix in bed. I’m currently watching My Unorthodox Life, and Joe and I like to share an episode of The Office before falling asleep around 10-10:30pm. And then it’s wake up, rinse, & repeat. 🙂
Thanks for following along this day-in-the-life post, and have a wonderful week!