Updated: Sep 13, 2019
This little island has stolen my heart. Rather, our hearts. We thought she might and walked headfirst towards her, eyes wide open, looking for love. Like so many modern romances, we started online. Hours and hours of research, scanning potential places, islands, where we might want to move. Passing over those that didn’t seem to fit us so much and digging in to find out more about those that did.
When Roatan popped up on our radar it was Joey who found her. We read her profile, of sorts: travel shows and house hunting shows about people moving to the island, reviews from travelers and travel sites, news clippings when we could find them, YouTube videos posted by tour companies, tourists, and realtors from the island. We stalked her on Facebook and looked at all of her photos. We took in all the information we could get our hands on. Then we set up our first date. A week in June 2018.
We flew down, anxious and nervous, hoping that what we’d seen online would turn out to be what we found when we landed. That the date wouldn’t be awkward and we’d have plenty to talk about. We hoped that she hadn’t faked her profile pictures, or just chosen the best ones from the best angles. We didn’t expect perfection, we aren’t those kind of guys. We didn’t need make up and fancy clothes, we wanted her to have real and deep beauty. A connection. We wanted the real deal.
Our dream was island life, with some tourist areas when we were looking for more action, some comforts of home if we needed or wanted them, but we also wanted new culture and new people. New food. A new way of life. We expected the unexpected. A jolt out of the world we’d always known and grown up in and a new life in the type of place we’d visited and spent time in. We wanted adventure and we wanted unspoiled and undeveloped beauty to compliment the more developed areas. We wanted peace and seclusion. Like all relationships that go beyond a date or two, we knew there would be a “getting to know you” period if things worked out and there would be bumps in the road.
We landed and she was real. Her profile didn’t lie and she hadn’t selected photos that painted a picture that didn’t match reality. She was beautiful and she was fun and she matched our personalities as well as our expectations. She was kind and she had charm and she had a seductiveness that lured us even further in. And, like when Joey and I met each other so many years ago, we experienced love at first sight. We knew we were hooked. We were thankful that we’d set up time to see homes on that visit with the intent of finding a place to call ours if we did fall in love.
That first date has now been given way to many days and nights of courtship. We did find a home on that trip. A home that was beyond our wildest dreams. So much more than we realistically expected with privacy, beauty, lush jungle falling to rolling sea. We made the purchase and moved down in September 2018. We sold practically everything in Charlotte, hopped on a plane with our dogs and landed on the island.
Like so many relationships there were struggles. Love sometimes comes with a price and a bit of heartache. Though our love was deep, it was marred with profound sadness. We lost our oldest dog and dearest beloved friend, Bamboo, not long after arriving. We found out about family health issues back home. We discovered that though we were in love we would have to postpone diving all the way in for a time. We would need to be in both Charlotte and Roatan, with far more of that time being in Charlotte than on the island. Life doesn’t always let us decide where we will live or how.
But we did find love and a long distance relationship has blossomed. It’s been almost a full year since that first date and we visit as much as we practically can and we send our love when we can’t. We dream of her when we aren’t on the island and we relish the plans for our return. We’ve met beautiful and wonderful people on Roatan, the openness and kindness of the islanders is boundless and they share it with us as much as they do among themselves. We have struggles, but love affairs come with some struggles. Fighting forward is part of showing your willingness to be in love and take the good with the bad. It deepens the bond.
We just took off from our most recent visit. I’m so sad to leave and so excited to go see my friends, family and pups back in Charlotte. Once we settle back in for a few days we’ll plan our next trip down, choose the dates and let our friends in Roatan know when we’ll be there so we can line up time to see them as well as time to spend alone in our home. I’m so happy we are where we are. Love isn’t always easy to find. We realize we are lucky and we relish every moment. See you soon little island. We love you.