how did you know it was time to go?

Outside of questions about the cost of living, employment, health insurance, hurricanes, sharks, clean drinking water, healthcare, zika virus and crime (wow … people carry around quite a few anxieties) the most thoughtful question I’ve been asked is how did I know it was time to sell everything and move to an island.

It goes something like this:

  1. Acquire a college degree and then graduate degree
  2. Get a career
  3. Get a house, cable television, and cars
  4. Do the career for twenty years
  5. Realize things aren’t as fun as they were when I was kid
  6. Start traveling around
  7. Get rid of the car and bike, bus and walk everywhere
  8. Downsize to a small apartment
  9. Downsize to a smaller apartment
  10. Realize you only need to make what you spend

The year I hit step ten I took a trip to the US and British Virgin Islands and my daily spend rate was less there than it was in Colorado. Step ten sunk in with the weight of something akin to a spiritual obligation. By this time I had spent roughly seventy days on trips to the South Pacific, Mexico, Bahamas and Caribbean. I saw how those people lived. Hung out with the locals: a Rastafarian who ran a juice stand on Marigot waterfront. Another Rastafarian who lived in the jungle on a small island in the Bahamas and cared for injured animals. A man who taught swimming, snorkeling and surfing lessons. A guy and his gal living on a sailboat and eating fresh-caught food every night.

That’s how I knew it was time to go.