Life on Pine Island, Florida

Bokeelia Sunrise

Life on Pine Island is pretty much awesome. 

My day started at 6:30 a.m. with a meditation. Then, I exercise for 60-90 minutes while watching the sun rise. Because I hurt my knee running a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing a lot more low impact cardio, yoga, and strengthening exercises. After showering, I savor my breakfast of oatmeal with cinnamon, nuts, fruit, and homemade coconut milk. Breakfast is my favorite part of every day.

I write while drinking tea, watching the dolphins swim, and listening to mullet jump.

Morning Writing

Then the work begins! Preparing to leave the United States takes a lot of time and energy! 

The Plan

After spending two months on Pine Island, we are flying to Cancun, Mexico to spend a couple weeks discovering Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala via bus. I hope to see some Mayan ruins (like Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Tikal), visit Playa Del Carmen, and celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I’m trying to find the balance between no plan and all plan.

Through we found an opportunity with a chocolate business outside Antigua, Guatemala, a small city brimming with tourist activity. We work a few hours a day for room and board.

I’m stoked.

When we began this journey, I wanted to learn about local food. I wanted to meet people. I wanted to learn about other cultures. This opportunity gives us the chance to do those things. I don’t know much about Antigua or making chocolate or running a business, but I’m looking forward to learning more when we arrive mid-November.

The Preparations

Traveler’s Insurance: Since our medical insurance provides no coverage outside the U.S., we need traveler’s insurance. Most people choose either World Nomads or International Medical Group. We went with IMG since they had a better price for seemingly the same coverage as World Nomads. I hope I never have to use it.

While we got immunizations last spring, we needed the last Hepatitis shot yet. This ended up being a big deal since our insurance coverage is crappy. We tried going to the pharmacy, but they couldn’t do it. We tried going to a clinic, but they were too expensive ($400!). We went to public health. Unfortunately, we chose a day when there was no school…So many children! Two hours and $134 later, we are immunized. A steal of a deal.

We sold the car! It took less than a day. Thanks Craig’s List! 

I practiced packing everything I wanted to bring with me to Guatemala. I dream about fitting all my stuff into just my purple 35 liter backpack… I’m so close!!!

Practice Packing

Remembering to Have Fun

I try to mix in something fun into everyday – it’s all about balance! I loved our excursions to Miami/Key West, New Orleans, and most recently Orlando/Tampa, crashing our friend’s and our family’s vacations.

Orlando Swimming

On Tuesdays, we walk to the Post Office to pick up the local newspaper, The Pine Island Eagle; this paper is seriously entertaining. 

Pine Island Eagle

Sometimes we swim, go for a kayak ride, bike to the grocery store, or walk down to Captain Con’s to catch the sunset. 

Kayak Ride

Caya Coasta Sunset

Happy Hour begins promptly at 5 p.m. This usually consists of rum mixed with whatever fruit juice we have on hand. With pomelo, pink lemon, and key lime trees nearby, happy hour is always delicious. 

Pomelo Pink Lemon

We have one week before we leave the U.S. I know I’ll never feel completely prepared for our trip through Central and South America. I just keep repeating to myself:

“If it’s not scary, it’s not worth doing.”

Have you been to Mexico, Belize or Guatemala? If so, what should we see/do?


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8 Responses

  1. Amy says:

    So many great things! I loved snorkeling in Cozumel and the ruin sites along the coast. I highly recommend going through Chiapas if you can (let me know if you do – no joke I might meet you there). Guatemala – Panajachel and everything else around the big lake there (Atitlan). Also – the little island of Flores in Lago Peten Itza (I really really loved this place). Tikal is near there – another ruin site that I thought was pretty incredible (sprung for a tour guide too and it was worth it).

  2. Krissy says:

    Tulum is super great. Iguanas climb all over the ruins and you can swim in the ocean with the ruins right in front of you.
    Playa Del Carmen is pretty neat too, if I remember correctly. Have fun!


    The only thing you need to do while you’re in Mexico is keep us posted! Safe travels, and hope to hear more soon. <3

  4. danielle says:

    Wow! So much hs happened since the last time I tuned in!!! Leaving the US?? The car is sold?? So exciting, you two! Congrats on starting a new chapter of this adventure; your hard work in preparing and sense of adventure is paying off! Keep bloging and pushing forward!! 🙂