Story of Todo Vallarta and how it and why it was started
The story of Todo Vallarta is a long and complicated one. Here is a brief overview and a look at our staff. I’m James Murray, a photographer and filmmaker from New York. I returned to Vallarta during the pandemic and I saw many local business struggling. Many did not have the technical skill or money to keep up with ever-changing technology and digital marketing. I wanted to create a platform where any business, big or small, could share their products and services to the world. The magic of Puerto Vallarta is the people behind the businesses and I wanted to highlight the energy and spirt of these brave entrepreneurs.
there’s so many wonderful things to experience here in Vallarta but sometimes they are difficult to find. I tried to create a platform where all are welcome and visitors can easily access all of the wonderful things that Puerto Vallarta has to offer
James Murray has a uniquely curated eye for travel and lifestyle having trekked a vast part of the globe over the last thirty years. Often times with just a carry on bag and a camera.
James has lived most of his life in New York City’s urban jungle as a fashion stylist, art director and visual designer. “I always had a connection to this crazy world of chaos and unpredictability. I felt most alive when I was being being creatively challenged.”
Over the course of Murray’s foray into the cosmopolitan world of fashion shoots and global ad campaigns the opportunity to travel for work was a perk few are blessed with. “It really took ahold of me, I couldn’t get enough, I knew I somehow wanted to incorporate traveling into all that I do.”
That dream was realized a year before the pandemic when James was invited to Anguilla to film a video for a resort on Meads Bay. He quickly discovered the secluded coves that could only be reach by boat where he sat down at the waters edge and started writing.
The article morphed into a travel Blog with his journals filled with stories from the north to the south of India often in a three-wheeler auto rickshaw, known as a ‘Tuk-Tuk’. Eating with the locals ,to a terrifying video traveling in an overcrowded bus on the Manali.Leh highway, one of the most dramatic roads in the world that hugs the cliffs and ravines of the Himalayas. .
James would stop at nothing to take his readers on this exciting ride. From Thailand to the Middle East he quickly found a cult of loyal readers actually suggesting where is next destination should be.
Nobody saw the pandemic coming. James’s father was in the declining years of dementia and volunteered to relieve the home health aid two days a week so his mother could see her friends and get out of the house. He was by no means a professional caregiver, but the only person his mother trusted to be alone with her husband. The diagnosis and denial are both clinical and profoundly human.
The weeks blended into one another and his father slowing faded away. “When memory disappears, something more than memory gets lost. This is how I saw the world beginning to unravel and I as a part time caregiver unwittingly became part of the chaos”.
When his father passed he made a vow to get back on the road and travel. It become a game to see how much foreign currency James could amass on his wall at home.
The travel bug soon took him to Mexico and the beautiful seaside of Puerto Vallarta. Here he found a sense of tranquility that had eluded him since his fathers passing.
This where Todo Vallarta was born. “The pandemic obliterated my business and I have nothing but time on my hands. I wanted to create something that could lift the spirits of the wonderful people of Vallarta.”
What first started as a blog to help local businesses soon became the perfect resource for restaurants, tours, vacation rentals, events and much more. His images of Vallarta became the inspiration for a line of clothing and accessories featuring iconic images of Puerto Vallarta.
“It is the people that makes Vallarta so special. They need to be celebrated.” He created a weekly feature to celebrate the local born and raised people called “Pata Salada de la Semana”.
“It is my wish to bring to the forefront all the extraordinary talents, diverse cuisine and the infectious smiles of the locals. It has become more than a home to me, it is a prosperous thriving metropolis that happen to have some of the most beautiful views in the world, welcome to my Mexico “. James Murray.