Happy 2016 & 1st Blog Birthday!
Whoa – that went by fast. I created this blog exactly one year ago today. If you told me then that I’d be writing the first post of 2016 from Key Largo outside on our deck I wouldn’t have believed you for one second. Last year it was freezing on New Year’s and we were getting serious about changing our lives for the better (and warmer). Looking back on 2015 it was a whirlwind of a year for us! A year filled with travel, adventure, diving, productivity & a whole lot of change.
We have a New Year’s Eve tradition of reflecting on the year gone by – both the good and the bad. I can’t remember how it got started but we’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember and it’s absolutely my favorite tradition. Of course not all years are great (good riddance to 2012) but 2015 was exceptional. Last night we did the annual recounting on a dock with a cold beer watching the post sunset glow.
We have so much to be thankful for this year!
- Amazing trips – Saba, Utila, Key Largo & Mahahual! Saba is one of the most magical places we’ve ever been, we’ll definitely be back!
- Live music & some great weekend getaways including a final chance to see Neutral Milk Hotel live.
- Attitude adjustments
- We started living all of our time outside of work like we’re on vacation. We used to stress about work in the evenings & on weekends. You know what that got us? Nothing except a loss of our free time – let go of what you can’t change and enjoy your time!
- New jobs – that allow us to work from anywhere in the US
- A year ago I was applying for a big promotion, one that would have kept me in the office full-time in a demanding job with long hours & travel. I made it to the final two and the other candidate was selected. I was disappointed at the time but talk about a gift in disguise! I knew then I was only doing it for financial gain to accelerate our move where it’s warm. Now a year later, I’ve made a lateral move with no direct reports into a job I like much better with the ability to work from anywhere. So grateful for the way it turned out!
- A week in the OBX with our family – priceless
- Paddle boarding with dolphins – we were really lucky this year to get close to a pod with babies (I should say they got close to us, they move much faster!), it was really special to watch the adults protect and teach the youngsters
- My first seahorse sighting – finally in Saba!
- We strengthened some relationships & let others go
- We took the next step toward becoming dive professionals, Rescue & EFR certified!
- A lot of great diving and unique sightings including green morays fighting and also mating (not the same eels, haha! the first was in Saba and the 2nd in Utila) – such great luck!
- We renovated our master bedroom & bathroom in anticipation of selling our much loved little cottage
- We sold our final rental property – another step closer to freedom!
- I focused a lot on inner reflection, mindfulness and Buddhist practices overall – we both have, and we’ve become more peaceful for it. It’s a great feeling. I don’t write about this much (or at all) but maybe I will in 2016.
- Many gorgeous hikes, a ton of time spent outside & a whole lot of time gazing at various bodies of water.
- I went parasailing for the first time & loved it!
- We learned to say ‘no’ more often
- Be honest with yourself & start staying no to things that you don’t want to do! Of course some things aren’t optional but in our over scheduled world many things are – take your time back! It’s a limited commodity!
- We absolutely fell in love with Mahahual & have finally decided on a location to go when we make the big leap. Everywhere else we were a bit conflicted about but Mahahual was a slam dunk!
- Saved some wildlife
- We rescued two cormorants, one tangled in a fishing pound net & one with a broken wing in the surf. The first swam off happily as soon as we freed it & the 2nd went to a marine bird rehab and on our check-ups was recovering well.
- We also saved a sea turtle in Utila! I never wrote about this because it was very controversial but those who participated know who you are and that turtle looked stoked as hell to be free!
We thought 2015 would be our last full year in the states but we’re in for a bit longer now that we’re moving to the Keys. It’s warm here & we can dive every weekend! Hopefully our place will sell quickly. We don’t want to be tethered to our laptops forever but we can make it a little longer if we’re here. It’ll also give us a chance to save up a bit more because once we leave the rat race we never want to come back.
Thanks for coming along for the ride & sharing our adventure with us! Who knows what 2016 has in store for all of us? We’re looking forward to finding out!
Wishing you all a happy, healthy & adventurous 2016! Let’s make some changes, take some risks and see where we land a year from now.
We’re off to go diving 🙂 What a difference a year makes!
Warm thoughts to all!