Have you ever been on vacation, toes in the sand, drink with an umbrella, staring at the ocean and think, "how the hell am I going to go back to work next week?"
For many of us its a chicken and egg problem, we want to be on permanent vacation but we need to work to be able to put our feet in the sand. So we sit in the sand and we dream (its free to dream right?), we finish that book that’s been sitting on our nightstand for way too long, we recharge. For most of us we close the book, pay our bar tab, and get back on a plane to somewhere less sandy. Perhaps even somewhere that looks like this in May…
That, my friends, is the vacation we fully expected to be on last week in Mexico.
As we made our way back to our hotel in Cancun from an overnight excursion I came back to a barrage of work emails and text messages - I had been fully ignoring my phone all week, but the situation could no longer be left until our return. What I had received electronically was some unfortunate news from work about the state of our team and it took me into a bit of a spin. Confused and heartbroken we headed off to a light dinner where even my beer tasted bad. Over a disappointing ceviche Alejandro and I began to talk about our future, and we started asking questions…
“are we where we want to be?”
“are we happy in our daily routines or are we just settled?”
“if we could be anywhere in the world, doing anything we wanted, would it be what we’re going home to?”
I couldn’t answer yes any longer to any of the questions so we started to talk about what we’d do instead…
As it happens, I decided to answer the “how the hell do i go back?” question with “I’m not going back!!” Ok maybe not literally but pretty much sums up how I felt.
Alejandro’s family has a few plots of land in Puerto Rico. One of those has a house that needs to be renovated. So over the last few days of our vacation we talked through the details of how that could be done and we’ve decided to move to Puerto Rico to take on the task of remodeling the house. I will be the project manager/ general contractor and Alejandro will be keeping his day job but will become a remote worker. What comes after the house is done, I don’t know…what I do know is that I also get tasked with cutting down fruit for breakfast from the house farm. This means one thing, MACHETE!
Nope, never wielded a machete before, never overseen a construction project before, in fact haven’t even seen the house…So, as all adventures go, there is a little apprehension but I’m up for the challenge. I fully expect nothing to go as planned (fine because its a very loose plan), or stay on schedule (which we still need to come up with). I know there will be days where I will ask why I did this, and days I’ll feel extremely happy I did, but as long as we can keep our eyes on the bigger picture of living our lives how we want I think we’ll be ok. If not, I’m sure I can find a Starbucks in Puerto Rico to work at…
As sweet as all this might sound on e-paper, there is definitely a little bitter that goes with it. I’m sad to be leaving wonderful friends and co-workers in a city I’ve loved for so long, and I am sad to be leaving a job I’ve grown up with and that has definitely shaped a lot of who I am professionally and personally; but when life hands you an opportunity to live on a tropical island and possibly get a little sand between the toes when not directing septic tank reconstruction, you look around, assess your situation and if you think you can stick the landing leap with your eyes open and a smile on your face.
Hasta Puerto Rico!
I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be ― Douglas Adams
P.S. If anyone has stock in bug spray or sunscreen companies, we’ll gladly pay you in coconuts and sunshine for copious amounts of your products.