As we wind down our high season here in Roatan, I thought I’d sum up another island truth for you: you will work hard just to make ends meet here. Nobody is making it rich on an island, so don’t move here thinking you’ll just be basking in the sun and casually working on your laptop to make your millions. Ain’t gonna happen, kiddos. Everyone here works 6-7 days per week during busy season, which is half the year. Divers are in the water 3-4 times per day, 6 days a week. Bartenders work 2 jobs. Full time gigs are FULL time. The cost of living is pretty low but the wages follow suit.
The national minimum wage is $350 per month. Think about that for a second, and then think about what you make at home right now. If you move here with grand plans to just sip cocktails in your hammock and live the good life, you better already be retired (or live in that hammock). If you still need to work to support yourself, know that you will work hard. Work hard, play hard. That is the island way. You probably won’t ever have savings, you probably won’t ever fully retire, and you sure as hell will not have a 401k through your employer. (I’m sorry, did I just hear you say stock options? HA!)
You want to know what you will make though? You’ll make someone smile in absolutely the most sincere way when you hand her a delicious frozen cocktail to sip while the sun sets over the water. You’ll make someone two-step outside of their comfort zone to dance along to your music on a Tuesday night, just because it’s an island and – hey – why not? You’ll make enough money to pay your bills, buy some beers, and live life. You’ll make yourself happy. And if not, there’s always that high-paying office job waiting for you back home. Or maybe there isn’t. Either way, you’ll figure it out somehow. Everyone here makes it work. They’re just not making millions.