I feel like a kid on the first day of school again. I’m wearing shorts and flip-flops. I’m not wearing the fresh scent of Aqua di Gio, as I have been for the last 20 years. No, Armani has taken a back seat to SC Johnson; more specifically, the musky scent of OFF! I walk down the hill with my backpack towards the main road that runs along the beach. “Buenos dias!”, I say to the caretaker of the beach bar just down the hill from our place.
It’s a strange feeling going to work in a place where most people are on holiday. It feels surreal. I’m going to work, but the sights, sounds and smells feel like I’m on vacation. The vibrant colours of the businesses along the main road in West End, the crystal clear blue ocean as far as the eye can see, a couple of stray dogs, workers sweeping up preparing for cruise ship passengers, the sounds of a variety of tropical birds, of reggaeton with the background of waves hitting the sand on the shore all scream “Vacation!!”.
It’s a strange feeling and I can’t help but remember that quote:
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should setup a life you don’t need to escape from.”
– Seth Godin
A Typical Day at the Office
I arrive at our office, an old barn that has been converted into office space, and meet my international colleagues. There’s an American, a fellow Canadian, an islander, a main land Honduran and an Australian.
My day is spent conducting user interviews, mapping processes and collecting business requirements to implement a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. While this isn’t much different from what I’ve been doing for the last 17 years, the industry and environment are new to me!
The rest of the day goes as you typically would in any corporate office except that everyone is far more relaxed and I head home once my tasks are done rather than sitting around waiting for 17:00. I’m being measured on results rather than time in the office now…
That Small Village Feeling
Our home is just passed the Sunset Villas condo complex. I wave to my neighbor Van who is spending quality time playing Connect Four with his young daughter on their porch. He tells me he has bananas that are about to ripen and his family won’t eat them all. He cuts off a bunch and hands them to me. How generous and friendly! I thank him and continue on my way.
As I walk up the hill to our home, I have a big grin on my face thinking how different this life is from a month ago. I would have never imagined a Monday like this:
I went to work in shorts and flip flops, rather than semi-formal attire. My walk to and from work was past a beautiful beach, rather than traffic in a big city. I had a friendly interaction with my neighbor, rather than silently walking into my condo complex with no interaction, despite hundreds of residents. Finally, I was walking with the sun in my face, surrounded by coconut trees and a bunch of green bananas in my hand!
Here’s my favourite part: None of us (you, Paula or I) know how this experience will turn out. We have no idea how this chapter of our lives will end. What I DO know, is that regardless of the outcome, we will come away with some great experiences, fun stories and most importantly, wonderful friendships! We’re looking forward to sharing all this with you!