A thank you note to Utila

There are times in life when seemingly unimportant decisions lead to huge life changes, changes you couldn’t have anticipated in a million years. Changes that are totally disconnected from the event that started the ball rolling. Our move to the Keys is a great example of this…

We were both feeling pretty let down after a Thanksgiving trip to Roatan in 2014. We wanted to dive, a lot, but the weather had other plans. It was the worst storm I’ve ever been in. 20ft seas, whipping wind & torrential rain. When you can only dive a couple times a year on vacation this is a huge bummer! So we decided to take a makeup trip.

The only problem was an extra trip wasn’t in our budget so we needed to go somewhere cheap and do-able for a week long trip. That’s a no-brainer – it’s Utila! Utila is known to backpackers all over as a low cost destination and one of the cheapest for dive certs. We wanted to take the rescue class anyway so it was a great fit. What could be better than a tiny tropical island surrounded by dive sites, covered with bars and full hippies from all over the world? We were in!  We booked our trip and off we went. You can read all about our time in Utila here.

Our flight home connected through Miami so we flew right over the Florida Keys. Looking down at the gorgeous turquoise water dotted by tiny islands we decided we had to check it out so we started making plans as soon as we touched down to dive there.  It was easy to get to with a short direct flight from our home airport to Miami so we planned for Labor Day weekend. I wasn’t totally in love after our first trip which had more to do with me than our trip. I loved summers in our old neighborhood and September was one of my favorite times there. Not ready to make the leap and move after the short visit, we decided to try it out for a winter. If you’ve been reading a while you know that winter was my least favorite time in the old hood. I really hate to be cold. It was the best winter of my life – the only one I can remember not having S.A.D. since I was a kid. We lived outside; diving, paddling and taking day trips. We watched the sunset with a cold beer. We found home. We went back to the mid-Atlantic and made plans to be here permanently – well, as permanently as anything is in our life right now which isn’t saying much.

And that is how we ended up living in Key Largo. I can honestly say if not for that trip I wouldn’t be here right now. Sometimes you just have to let life happen and see where it takes you. Take a chance. If you want something, make it happen. I realize you can’t make anything you want happen (the Secret anyone?) – I’d like to be a billionaire but that hasn’t happened yet. But we do have more control then we let ourselves believe sometimes. It took us 10 months from the first time we came here to moving into our house. It wasn’t trivial. We had to change jobs, sell our house & get rid of all of our stuff and that’s just the logistics of it. Moving away from a place I love & the people I love was the hardest decision I’ve made in a long time. Even good change is hard! That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through this process.

So thank you Utila! Not only did we have a fantastic time visiting you, you opened a door we wouldn’t have seen without you! We’re on a new adventure, diving all the time and enjoying everything the tropics has to offer.

 

Until next time …

 

Warm thoughts to all!

 

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