Hi, I’m Paul.
I’m from San Diego but I have been in Guadalajara for the better part of the last decade. I have been fascinated with Mexico since I was a kid exploring the Baja Peninsula. My parents gave me a touch of wanderlust and San Diego’s proximity to the border gave me the means to explore. My dad’s hand-me-down Baja California travel guides were written before the transpeninsular highway was paved and he taught me to drive in the dunes south of Rosarito Beach. Back in the 1960’s my mom and her friends drove a VW bus down to Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara where she developed a love of Talavera tile and started our collection. My mom still loves going to Tijuana to check out the restaurant scene and the latest art exhibit at the Centro Cultural Tijuana
My catholic high school was 20 minutes from Mexico and had few dozen privileged kids from Tijuana that would make the trek across the border everyday to study in San Diego. The combination of some local tour guides and a liberal minimum drinking age made Rosarito Beach a fun place to hang out during the summer.
I have been exposed to the Spanish language since I was little and spent a fair amount of time in Mexico but didn’t decide to really learn the language until I was in college and saw the list of study abroad destinations.
My first big trip was to study in Costa Rica and spend some time backpacking and surfing through Central America. This trip gave me a chance to practice my Spanish in the real world, evaluate my progress and focus on what I needed to reach my language goals. As soon as I started school at UC Santa Cruz I was already planning my next study abroad program and the Spanish classes that I would need to take to be ready for economics curriculum taught in my second language. Through the University of California’s education abroad program I spent six months in South America studying at the University of Chile and exploring the continent. This is where I came to value the combination of classroom theory and real world application for language learning.
After college I found myself working in Silicon Valley recruiting engineers for Google’s global army. I was looking at resumes for some of the best engineers on the planet and saw a pattern of international education that I wanted to emulate. I applied to the Tecnológico de Monterrey campus in Guadalajara for grad school and quickly fell in love with Mexico.
After grad school and another contract with Google I ended up with a restaurant back in Mexico. I sell wine, teach my servers a technical vocabulary to describe and romance wine. Most importantly I teach them to be storytellers. All of this in my imperfect second language. Teaching is something that I enjoy and my students tell me that they enjoy learning with me.
I spend my free time learning about Mexico; history, culture and a whole lot of food. The restaurant has allowed me meet a lot of talented chefs and hear about the food and beverage industry from all angles. The recommendations I get from guys and girls in the kitchen blow any guide book out of the water.
I also like to surf. Mexico has a lot of coastline and there are some spectacular breaks in these parts. There are waves for surfers of all levels of experience and adventures to be had.