Living in Paradise Ain’t Easy

Living in paradise ain’t easy.

My feet have big, deep, and possibly infected cuts from walking barefoot several miles a day. The antibiotics do their best, but the constant tearing of the scabs from scuba diving coupled with the far-from-sterile humid environment of West End makes recovery a month-long process.

I would be wearing shoes if I could find a single sandel in size 13 in Central America. My Chacos— supposedly indestructible—fell apart after nine months. (Not bad, actually: the average lifespan of my sandels down here is three months). So while I wait for the next RAS shipment to arrive, I am officially shoeless.

Shoes wouldn’t be such a problem if my scooter worked. Things come in threes, I guess. I’ve plunked down over $100 with Captain Van’s to get the Nitroxmobile repaired, but their fixes have only lasted a few days before she sputters out again. So now my beloved yellow-and-green POS sits, useless, in my driveway a mile outside of town— which, by the way, happens to be a very long way to walk on busted bare feet.

No, living in paradise ain’t easy. Living is still, after all, living. Like the lapping waves, it is a cycle of bittersweet ups and downs. I have sacrificed so much in the last four-plus years to pursue this dream— careers, relationships, financial security, mental sanity, etc— that I find myself exhausted. So I sit here at my office and ponder, “Is it all worth it?”

Then I look around.

Oh, wait, that’s right, I live on a Caribbean island. My office is my MacBook opened on a picnic table at Sundowners Beach Bar. My cubicle is the white sands of Half Moon Bay. My window view is the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea, where, at the present moment, a class of beginner scuba divers are practicing their first breaths underwater.

My co-workers are a small group of island children playing futbol on the beach and doing backflips into the bay. I’m dressed in business casual today: no shirt, no shoes, just my board shorts, turtle necklace, and Roatan Marine Park bracelet. My customers often wear even less.

My commute was a barefoot stroll down the beach. My only stop-and-go traffic was waiting in line for Keith’s Beachside Barbecue to make me a fresh-off-the-grill sausage baleada. My only red light: when I sat beneath a coconut tree to eat it.

No, living in paradise ain’t easy. But man, it’s worth it.

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