So the big question….. drum roll…… what do you do with your Timeshare when you move to the place where you own the Timeshare?
12 years ago, we took our first big trip to Mexico with our daughters and like many tourists, we went home with the dreaded Timeshare purchase. It had been a great week at beautiful Paradise Village – as soon as we had made the *gulp* expensive purchase on Day 1 of the vacation, they had moved us from the crappy cheap hotel at the Marina to the 2-bedroom beauty on the beach. We fell in love. Not only with the hotel but with the ocean and the bay surrounded by the mountains, with the people, with the food, with the whole Mexico thing. But when we got home, well I just thought we were probably dumb. That we would never use this crazy impulsive purchase. I was wrong. Every year since then we have spent at least a week or two in this favorite spot. As soon as we drive in the entrance, I feel the stress melt and the smell of the lobby just makes me happy. We used the Exchange program to travel to many other places around the world, but every year we were drawn back to our favorite spot on the Bay. We brought family, we brought friends, we even brought a few missions teams who appreciated the peaceful surrounding after a long day of painting orphanages and chopping down fields with machetes where churches would be built.
In fact, we loved that Bay so much that eventually we sold our home and our business, and we moved here for good. We definitely don’t live in a 5-star resort – we live in a modest home on an unpaved street full of chickens and potholes. But we are surrounded by those mountains and a 5-minute walk takes us back to the Bay. So what are we going to do with 7600 points at a Timeshare resort 10 minutes away? At first our plan was to exchange those points for visits to new destinations. But then it hit us….. STAYCATIONS! We can skip the airports, the layovers, the lost luggage, the customs lineups…. we can throw a bathing suit and a toothbrush in a grocery bag and head to paradise. For a long weekend or a whole week. And that is just what we did last weekend. This time, we shared the fun with our two little weekend girls who have never stayed in a hotel. We had a blast. I think they had as much fun on the elevator in the hotel and on the escalator at the mall as they did at the pool with the crocodile slide.
We ate ice cream and nachos, we spent hours in the pool and then swapped for hours on the beach, we collected shells full of tiny crabs and boiled little white clams, and in the evening we watched the dancing entertainment in our pjs. I felt the same magic I had felt on the very first visit to our favorite spot, the same joy I always feel here.
On Sunday night, we left to pick up children and return them all to Manos de Amor and then we returned for one last night alone. We ate a picnic and watched the sun set and reflected on how our lives have changed since our first visit 12 years ago. We both agreed that if we hadn’t found this place, if we had stayed at the cheap crappy hotel, we probably wouldn’t have fallen in love with Banderas Bay, probably wouldn’t have found ourselves here, probably wouldn’t have little children hanging on our necks every afternoon and living in our home most weekends. On this crazy journey, we’ve found that sometimes dumb is actually smart and expensive is actually a bargain. (Ok I’m not talking Economics here – then expensive is just expensive!) So we’re keeping the Timeshare – and the next time you can’t find us, well we might just be in Paradise!