We’ve all seen quotes like this floating around the internet:
“I’ve decided I no longer want to be an adult. If anyone needs me I’ll be on the beach building sandcastles.”
There are so many images and quotes about dropping out of the real world to move to an island. As if you no longer have to “adult”.
As if the sand and salt air are some sort of “force field”, protecting you from any pain or challenges that life throws at you.
Sure, you can drop out of the real world – but you can’t drop out of life. Even though we dropped out, we have friends and family back in the states still fighting the good fight. As we are living here, they are living there. And since we don’t live in a bubble, we know all about their challenges – their illnesses – their sadness.
You can leave a job, a house, a car, and even an ex – but you cannot leave life behind.
Life follows you wherever you go.
You can’t escape life
You have to be happy with living
When people go on vacation to a tropical island they CAN escape life. That’s what vacations are for. We see tourists in San Pedro having the time of their lives – drinking up every moment of their tropical escape (and rum) because they are here to escape their real world life. (and yes, we participate in this from time to time.)
But when you live in paradise?
It’s not a vacation. It’s life in a vacation spot.
It’s a big difference.
Despite what most people think, we don’t spend every day lounging in hammocks, drinking umbrella drinks, while wearing floral shirts and listening to Jimmy Buffet music. (Shocking, right?)
We LIVE here, which means, we really LIVE here.
We work and pay bills.
We grocery shop.
We volunteer at schools and clean up the beaches.
Our golf carts break down.
Our boat docks and businesses get destroyed by hurricanes.
Our sweet dogs get old and arthritic.
Our dear friends get sick. And some even pass on before it’s their time.
For some reason, our friends on the island are more than just friends. They are our island family. And when one hurts, we all hurt. We feel such a close bond with everybody….it’s hard to explain.
Just yesterday we lost Big Eric. The most loving, generous and happy soul. Our little island is grieving because we all know our home will never be the same.
When you see people almost every day and wave to them as you pass by on a golf cart, it is glaringly obvious when there is a missing nut from your coconut tree.
We don’t like losing our coconuts.
Some we lose to new life adventures and others to divorce. Maybe it’s because our island community is so small, that the voids (missing nuts) are more obvious.
Here’s a picture of part of our island family before a Christmas Eve toy giveaway –
We are all a bunch of misfits – but we all fit together just right.
We also feel as if everyone who works at our home is family too. Whenever employees leave – whether they worked security, groundskeeping or housekeeping – we feel a void in our day. We miss seeing and talking to our friends every day.
Here we are with some of our Grand Caribe family after cleaning the beach.
We wish it were possible to put into words why it is that everyone we know is family to us. There is just this incredible connection we feel and are so grateful to be so accepted and loved by all of them.
Through all of the best times and worst times and the “can’t really remember what happened” times – we always have each other.
If you’re planning to drop out of your “real world” and move to an island – don’t forget:
Life’s better on the island
But, it’s still life