I'm coming out of Retirement to go into Ponderment

Published: November 10th 2008
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As so it goes from one great adventure to another... I look forward to sharing this international relocation adventure with you! But first, a recap: After returning from ATW, over the summer I visited most of my friends and family all over the country and the world! My sister Alyssa and I took a 2000 mile road trip through Utah, NV, and CA and took in hikes and awe at Bryce Canyon, Zion, Lake Tahoe, San Fran, and Yosemite! Ryan came out to Vegas and we decided it was about time we checked out the Grand Canyon! It turned into a great road trip with my ATW friend Johnny, and we managed to include some hilarious desert towns and the Hoover Dam into our tour!
Also, Bonnie, Megan, Kristina, and I also joined some friends in Three Rivers, CA for a pontoon boating day and a weekend of hiking in Sequioa Ntl Park! Those trees are some of the most impressive nature I've ever seen! My dad made it to Vegas 2 days before I moved, and we couldn't resist a side trip to Death Valley! An amazing expanse of sand dunes, salt flats, painted mountains, and a granite canyon hike! We highly recommend it!

Then last month I had the incredible fortune of going back over to Europe to meet Bonnie for Oktoberfest, and visit seven different around-the-world new friends in their hometowns! If you were reading my blogs before, you may recognize some of them! After 2 weeks of jungle-clearing, mangrove replanting, and machete work in ecuador with Caro, it was a hilarious reunion in Berlin! I was so excited to see my Two Crazie Dutchies, Marcella and Saskia, in their new homes of Munich and Amsterdam, respectively! I was Stuck on zurich Dance Floor with my love and Borneo dive buddy This-is-not-a-Discoteque Darren! After milking cows and making cheese with Samson in the Andes of ecudaor, it was great to find we had just as much fun climbing bell towers and playing foosball in Koln! My last days were spent with Anne, the six year traveler from Iguazu Falls, in her hometown of Copenhagen! Sooo awesome!

Phew! So that was Retirement.

And now I arrive in Belize, and thus begins the Ponderment. 😊 I've acclimated really quickly, and I think its because I've been traveling for about 15 months and its great to finally have a spot locked down. But only locked down to the point where I can shove everything in two suitcases and move on if I want, right? So far, I can't see any reason I'd want to leave ... THIS ... lovely spot! Of course there are adjustments to living in a third world country, but nothing that the natural beauty, awesome people, and way of life can't trump!

The peninsula we are living on has only one road down the center, and you either live on the seaside or the lagoon side. I can't see any wrong side of that road! Right now we (myself and Aly and Zach) are renting a small 2 bdrm apartment behind Charro's house on the lagoon side. Charro is the home grown local who is a big jolly Belizean with whom you would NOT cross. He owns quite a few properties on the peninsula, and the Barefoot bar, and he does good business, but he reminded us that first we are neighbors. We feel super safe on his property! 😉 He also has a 2 man and 1 man kayaks, so we just carry them a few feet down to the lagoon, and can wander around the mangroves and explore the expanse calm waters! Aly and Zach did a great job of meeting a lot of the people in town already, so I feel super welcome and a part of the family already. After the election on Tuesday, the town was electric with excitement and jubilation all day Wednesday! The local bars had Obama drink specials, and a chalkboard in town said "Yay! Obama! Congrats World!" There were spontaneous parties all over the village! It was so exciting to be American and talk to the locals and international tourists who were all commenting on their "restored faith in the American people" and were "proud of our country!"

A few nights we have gone out to a private island that has a small restaurant and bar at the end of the pier! Tranquilo is accessed by boat only, and you just wait on the end of the dock on the hour, any hour after 4, and they will pick you up and take you over there! We are of course friends with the owners, bartender and chef, and know most of the other patrons by now. We were even offered the chef/boat captains jobs already, but that's another story! 😊 Aly and i have been doing lots of yoga on the beach, and the locals in the village all like to stop by and show us their balancing moves before moving on. Everybody's an expert at everything! Our apartment has US Virgin Islands NBC and Puerto Rico FOX, so we were lucky enough to get the Packer game last week as well!
Although....The lack of basic household supplies available on the peninsula is more noticable each day. We can't find a can opener that works more than 2 turns, and no shop sells a coffee mug, but if you need a potato presser thingy or a small frying pan for $25, every store has a dusty open box just for you! The dishwashing soap is "non-ultra" Joy, really!?! I was wondering why it didn't sud up very much... And the bread tastes a bit like cardboard. Dusty cardboard. But that's OK!! I've been a baking maniac; foccacia, beer bread, pizza doughs, and pineapple coconut bread! From scratch! Zach and Aly are also chefs, and we take turns cooking, cleaning, and sweeping! The ant situation is almost under control, and we just continue to fight the battle to prove our supremecy in this house!

So of course there are adjustments, but there are also new friends whom are all genuinely happy and kind hearted. There's many great times on the beach and water, and with Aly and Zach!! And most of all, there is supreme relaxation and clear minded planning, thinking, and learning! Ponderment.

I will be sure to keep in touch via this blog, so if you are interested in what are sure to be sparse updates, subscribe to the blog and recieve emails when I post pictures and stories ! I also included a random slice of some pics from this summer! If you are interested in more pictures, aly and Z have a great site at www.thegreatbelizeexperiment.shutterfly.com and you can leave comments and see more of the village and beautiful surroundings! I hope everyone is doing awesome, and keep in touch!

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10th November 2008

YAY you, blogs are back!
finally my friends can keep track of your life's adventures again, they have been waiting!
10th November 2008

Whaa!! I'm so proud of you!! Wow I love the pictures :-). Soo beautifull there!! I'm going to send the Munich pictures soon. It was amazing to see you again (our little danceparty in my flat :-)) and I hope you'll have an awesome time there. And some day I will come to visit you!! I'm back home in Amsterdam (so good to be back home :-)) All my love! xoxox
10th November 2008

unretired? I don't think so
As one who knows, being retired isn't jetting around the world, as you seem to think. You are living in a paradise with no job - you are still retired, ponderment or not! Make up the couch for me!

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