I do apologize for the silence here over the last 4 months, I can't believe how fast the year is flying by! It feels like the last of our winter holiday visitors just left (we miss you all)!!
It's been almost a year and a half since we moved to Puerto Rico and it has been completely amazing. From moving here in the middle of a drought, to buying a jungle, to making changes at the family property, to discovering the island, to new jobs, to the wonderful people we've now added to our lives. It's truly been a wonderful 18 months and we're both full of gratitude to have been able to move here. The fun just keeps going!
A few updates on our jungle. Last we shared we'd had some clearing done and plans drawn up for a casita, this is what it currently looks like...
We've decided to put the casita project on hold due to a few factors, mainly being that the small amount of money we wanted to borrow from the Cooperativa wasn't available. Construction loans carry higher risks for banks and while we wanted to invest our money in Puerto Rico, the financial crisis here is making most institutions highly risk averse. So for now, we'll let our jungle be jungle and occasionally go pick fruit and say hi to the horses.
In other house news, the renters in Alejandro's family house moved out last month so there have been a lot of changes there and renovations to the house are starting soon. The fun thing has been getting to see the property in its entirety right in time for the cosecha (the harvest). We've made a number of trips to harvest avocados, carambola, lechosa, guineos, pana. There are way more fruit trees than I realized. A million banana trees, avocados, cherries, citrus, breadfruit, guava...the list goes on. There are also 2 really foul smelling Noni trees, and while I understand Noni has certain health benefits, it's not a tree that should be planted near a house. The fruits also implode when they fall and leave a horrid little gelatinous mound of rotten cheese smell for anyone that accidentally steps on one.
beware the rotten cheese fruit...
I started a new job in April that's had me traveling quite a bit off island (with Alejandro joining in the more exciting locations). With the casita on hold, and the other house under renovation, we looked at each other and realized we could go anywhere we wanted. We have no pets, kids, mortgages, or even rent at this point (our lease ends this month), why not travel for a bit while we can? So we sat down and came up with a plan...we call it Houseless 2016.
For the next four months we'll be living out of 2 backpacks and 2 suitcases and exploring this big world. My job is taking us first to Amsterdam, and then to Frankfurt. There is a week in between Amsterdam and Frankfurt where we will stay in Cologne, drink some Kölsch and discover the Rhineland. After I wrap up work in Frankfurt we've decided to spend the month of October discovering Ireland. We'll be in a different location in Ireland each week. The locations in Ireland vary from bustling cities, to small fishing villages, to a small island with three permanent residents and a 6 person cable car that takes you to the island. Once we finish up our tour of the Southern Irish Coast we'll spend a week in London so Alejandro can meet with his coworkers there. From there it's off to NYC, Philadelphia, Austin (for a wedding!), Fort Worth (for Thanksgiving), Austin (for work), and then on to California for the holidays. There might be some other stops here and there, but we're pretty sure we've got enough places in there to keep us busy for three and half months. Should anyone need an escape or happen to be traveling to any of these locations already let us know!!
In addition to Houseless 2016, we'll be looking for House 2017 at the same time. Neither of us have been known to stay in one place very long, it's not a lifestyle for everyone, but there is something about packing and cleaning that apparently appeals to us...(I hope the sarcasm comes through with that comment...). The longest we've stayed in one apartment is 1.5yrs. We think we've come up with a plan that will satisfy both our needs to be on the move, get in our tropical lifestyle, and get our fill of metropolitan culture. The House 2017 plan is to live in NYC 50% of the year and Puerto Rico 50% of the year. We'll probably do 3 months in each place depending on how our work travel schedules playout and hopefully we can time our trips with our other part-time island friends.
We are so looking forward to continuing our adventures and adding to our book of experiences. We will try to keep up the blog with our finds as we go global.
Our first flight takes off tonight to start learning more about this big ball of rock we call home!