Have you ever wondered what daily life is like here in Roatan? I know you have, because I get emails and messages from you guys all the time asking about the mundane stuff: the ins and outs and all the little details. You want to know how I fill my hours and what makes this place so special.
I get it: it seems so strange as you sit there at your office desk dressed in normal adult clothes planning your week with meetings and dinner parties that people actually live in a place you consider a vacation spot. Yes, we live here. Full-time. In a place others simply visit and then return to their desk jobs and dress suits.
So what’s it really like living in Roatan? I’ve decided I should just give you a glimpse into my life here on a weekly basis. A Day in the Life on Roatan. Once a week, every week, I’ll give you basically a diary of my day or of other people’s days, just so you guys can see that we do actually have normal lives (sort of…). Obviously it won’t be published the same day it’s written since, you know, I have to sleep at some point. But here’s your first version of this new series: Week One.
Today, I woke up to sunshine streaming through my bedroom window, blinding my sleepy eyes but prompting me to get my day started. The sun sets early here, so I like to take advantage of as much sunshine as possible. It was about 6:30am – a time my parents would have loved to wake me up at during my school days, rather than the time I actually got up (which was somewhere around 2 minutes before I would be considered tardy).
I slowly and deliberately got out of bed, hearing the Irish-Colombian already in the kitchen making tea. Lina was still lazily lounging in her bed, but she, too, slowly got up when I came out to say good morning. We both stretched and rubbed our sleepy eyes as I opened the front doors to let the breeze (and bugs) in. I keep the doors open until around dusk when the bugs get really bad. For the handful of flies or mosquitos we get inside, it’s worth it for the fresh air inside the house that is so lovely.
I started the coffee, bid the SCUBA diver adieu as he headed off to play with the sea turtles and stingrays, and settled into a chair on the front porch. Breakfast was a homemade wrap with eggs, salsa, avocado, rice, and cheese. Yum!
Checked emails, scrolled through Facebook, WhatsApp’ed my friends back home, and got to work. Kind of. “Work” means watching the world, observing everything and translating it through pen and paper.
A sudden thrumming noise by my right ear made me stop abruptly – it was loud and it was not going away. I realized that turning my head toward it could mean getting a pointy hummingbird beak in the eye, so I let him hover by my head for a minute before he buzzed off to a much more appetizing flower.
The neighbors started some music; it was a really smooth, Caribbean cover of an Adele song. Can’t complain – it was quite beautiful as it floated out along the water. I swept the porch of sand and fur and met Lina on the beach. She had been sunbathing by herself for the last hour or so, but she wouldn’t move to the shade yet. The day was still early and had yet to reach its hottest point. We walked along the shoreline looking at shells and bits of coral together.
A few more hours of reading articles and blogs, writing my own, emailing with readers and family and friends, and then it was time for some neighborly visits. Breesha and Ella usually come by in the early afternoon. Breesha is from the Isle of Man and Ella is her island puppy whose energy never seems to fade. The dogs (mostly just Ella) ran around the beach while Breesha and I chatted in the shade.
Later, Greta and Diego came over, too. Greta wants her puppy, Diego, to learn to swim but he is hesitant. That is, until Lina chased him into the water and he realized she wouldn’t follow him there so it was safe. Lina is an unintentional swimming coach now I guess.
Suddenly it was late afternoon – a perfect time to do a short workout. A jog through the neighborhood and a turn through our makeshift gym of lead dive weights, a yoga mat, and resistance bands were enough for me to be pooling sweat. A workout on your own front porch overlooking the beach is pretty fabulous.
By the time I’d showered and headed back out to the front porch to relax in the hammock, the Irish-Colombian was home and we grabbed some beers to sit on the dock and watch the sunset while catching up on our days. Lina loves the dock, so she’s always the first one out there. We spent time watching the world, sharing our stories, and enjoying moments as they happened. Dinner tonight was grilled chicken; we use a charcoal grill – a smell that always makes me smile and remember childhood summer days spent in Bar Harbor, Maine. Add in some rice, homemade salsa, and a tomato/cucumber/avocado salad and we were both happy and full!
We tried to watch a movie on Netflix, but both of us started falling asleep only part-way through. I can’t count the number of nights we’ve intended to watch a movie that ended up dragging into three or four evenings’ activity. But I suppose when your days are so filled with life, it’s hard to stay awake just to watch someone else’s interpretation of life.
I’d say it was off to Dreamland for me, but I hardly ever dream. I don’t need to. My dreams happen every day.
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