Living Abroad – Allyson

I met Allyson back in 2010 while working at Urban Outffiters. She since then has travelled quite a lot. She is a free-spirit that has incredible drive and determination. I admire the way she speaks and listen to her truth. She is a super positive person, that is on the move and is now living from her passion, yoga. I approached her to participate in this series as we Quebecors tent to go in Mexico only for vacation and I was curious to learn more about her lifestyle. I hope her passion and honesty inspire you to always follow your heart and dreams. If you’re ever in Zihuatanejo, I suggest you stop buy her studio for a yoga session Ynergia !

YUL-ZIH

Name/ Allyson Germain
City of residence/ Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico
Astrological sign/ Gemini
I’m often perceived as \ people tell me I’m/ really smiling and friendly

What does a day in your life looks like?
Waking up a bit before sunrise to open my front door and watch the sun rise sitting on my rooftop, make coffee and meditate, write, talk with my doggy Tanny, check on my plants. Mornings are “me time”. Then, comes normal life, social media, emails, plan somewhat the day, errands, cook, see friends. At 4ish, I head to the studio to clean the space of practice and wait for the magic to happen, see who is going to show up to class 🙂 Sometimes this “me time” is shorter due to morning yoga classes I could be teaching or me wanting to jump in the waves to surf and connect with the power of the ocean.

Why did you choose Zihuatanejo, Guerrero and how long have you been living there for?
I came to visit for the 1st time this place 2 years ago for surfing. A friend suggested me Saladita, a nice quiet surf spot about 20-30 minutes drive from Zihuatanejo and an easy in and out access to the airport. Being in the retail world at the time, we all know we don’t get much vacation 😉 so I was always looking for easy access new surf spots to get away and disconnect from my everyday life. I was put in contact with the owners of LOOT and got to meet these lovely people, and waouw, oh so lovely they were. And when I realized I had to redirect my life, I automatically thought of them and they welcomed me with open arms. Zihuatanejo was once called Zihuatlán, which means the home of the goddess women. So it’s undeniable and evident that the feminine ancestral energy is really strong here and attracts strong powerful women.

Would you say there is a difference between people living on pacific rather then the atlantic side? If yes, how so?
Totally. Like everywhere, we also feel this in Canada. Guerrero is still a really alternative destination for Mexico, apart from Acapulco. And Mexico is generally known for it’s east coast, the calm blue ocean, diving, senotes, pyramids, and with all that comes a lot of tourism, and energy, and party scene, money trades in USD. The Pacific is still a bit more rough around the edges, raw, authentic, real, the power of the waves in the ocean brings in a totally different energy to the coast.

You have started your company, could you tell us a little bit more about it ?
I opened up a Yoga studio in Zihuatanejo, a space to make yoga accessible for the local people. A space to connect, regroup, exchange, discover, explore, a space to feel ourselves into time and space.The 1st 6 months I was living here, I lost touch of my personal yoga practice, it not being accessible in Zihuatanejo and the other places charging in USD was just too much for when you’re reality is in pesos. I realized the importance of yoga in my life when I went back to Vancouver last summer, and it just got so clear that that’s what I needed to do next. Yes I do have tourists come to do yoga, but I’m more working towards building a local community and going hand in hand with the flow of wellness that’s evolving here in Zihuatanejo.

How is dating different in Mexico?
There’s a lot of dancing, men are “hot” you know chilli and seafood are these foods… Men are really sexual. As a white women you can also be perceived a lot like some “fun times”. Until they realize you’re here to stay hahaha well that changes the dynamic. You be nice, you set your boundaries, because abundance is overflowing all over Mexico in all its aspects and forms.

Thoughts on food/eating habits
Food is a passion in Mexico. Every state has it’s food culture. Mexican food is all over the world. And Mexican mama and grandma’s food is like our mama and grandma’s food. Not always the healthiest choice for us but oh so Jummy!! Unfortunately, education towards food and it’s importance and what it does to your body is really low. A lot of processed food, a lot of packed food, a lot of Coca-Cola. But it’s slowly shifting. We have a vegan cooperative that’s doing amazing education by introducing vegan options of  Mexican dishes. Getting the local community to work with what they have, use all the abundance of coconuts around and it’s oil in cooking and foods, etc.

Did you feel it was hard to make new friends and integrate yourself and how different are human relationships? (what differences have you noticed)
I’ve never had issues with this anywhere 😉 And with my LOOT family I’ve been introduced to so many lovely people. LOOT is an incredible networking place. Most of all my strong relationships here in Mexico comes 1st from this place. People in general are really open to new people, to meet you, to get to know you. I have a friend that loves to meet new people. As if everytime he meets a new person, is as if he’s going to explore a new place, a new culture, and going travelling without leaving home.

What is ‘’home’’ for you, as your family is in Quebec, Canada?
Home is where the heart is. hahahahahaha super cliché. For real though, Quebec is a “physical” home in a sense that that’s where I was physically born and raised. Vancouver and Mexico are “nature” and “spiritual” homes as in everyday they make me connect more with the nature around me and deepen my spiritual self. They are all really precious for me and make me feel at home in different ways.

What are myths (violence, poverty or else)?
Guerrero and Michoacán its closest state up north are heavy in Narco traffic. You need to be aware of it and live with it. It happens everywhere around the world. To not live in fear, change your perspective on life, trust your instincts and give it love. That’s the only way.

Do you have access to a lot of cultural events if so what kind?
Zihuatanejo was back in the 1970 was a artist backpacking hub for artist to regroup and create. It is known for it’s Guitarfest every year. 2 worldwide guitar musician are from here called Rodrigo & Gabriela. We have access experience a Temazcal ceremony (Mexican sweat lodge and natural cleansing medicine) every Sunday. There’s fishermen events also as Zihuatanejo all started from being a small Fishermen village. There’s a lot of art exhibitions in the Museum of Archeology. There’s a lot of surf events from all the different waves we’ve got available around here. And much so much more, especially in High Season (during winter time) there’s just always something going on.

 

Suggestions of what to do, eat and stay when there
To do /

Temazcal ceremony
Sunset yoga at my studio Ynergia, where you start with the sun, practice through sunset and finish savasana in the night
Massage on Playa la Ropa for 10$
Boat or walk across to Playa Las Gatas and discover some totally different waters and sand from the rest of the bay
Do snorkelling ot diving with my friend Poto and explore the oceans around and if you’re in whale season (spring) you might see some close by and hear them singing underwater.
Roadtrip to Troncones and/or Saladita, feel the surf towns and wellness energy. Maybe even discover the secret natural Hot Springs 😉

To eat /

Carmelitas Cafe, best Mexican breakfast and lunch in town
LOOT, best coffee and general vibe for everything, chilling, dancing at night, eating and drinking jummy cocktails
Angustina, best place to discover mezcal
El Manglar, in la Ropa for the best beachfront Tiritas (traditional ceviche’ish from here) and guacamole and michelada
Eco-Tianguis Sanka, every Saturday at 9am there’s a local organic market with organic, vegan or raw food options, all homemade and also some arts and natural products

To stay /

Well that depends on your budget because there’s a lot of options.
Cheap deals: my home, El Rincon del Viajero a lovely hostel filled with permaculture and love, El Pirata in La Ropa for a more touristy vibe.
A bit more upscale: La Casa Mx owned by my LOOT family, Hotel Real de la Palma in Playa La Ropa owned by my friend’s family with a lovely quiet energy a bit away from the direct beachfront and super jummy food.

What is the question you wish people asked you and what is the answer?
What do you do everyday to serve your higher self? My higher self is my everyday guide, but sometimes it’s not always what happens. We just need to see these moments as learnings and part of the process of being human.

What tradition/ trait in people would you like to bring back with you in Canada?
Lightness of living, simplicity, enjoying life first and what it has to offer. Its beautiful people, its beautiful nature, take care of it, love it all. Undig your families traditions and rituals, come back and connect to it and step away at times from today’s technology.

all photos by Allyson Germain

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