A year ago I would have said I was late, today I’m right on island time.
On June 8th of 2016 Rich and I landed in Dominica with Dexter, Pierre and 99% of our worldly possessions, a year later we still feel brand new to this island and totally at home all at the same time.
On our 1 year island anniversary I was actually in New York visiting my family while Rich celebrated 1 year STRAIGHT of island life. I’ve been off the island twice now since our move and while each visit has been strategic, for work and family, I feel guilty each time I leave knowing how many projects we are working on that require our presence on island. This is exactly why I’ve gone on these trips alone, so Rich can be available to take last minute appointments with officials, contractors, etc.
Thankfully Rich was around when the Division of Labor called to ask us to come in for our work permit interview. Lucky for me they let Rich come in alone, since we are applying for work permits for self employment at SALT Retreat / SALT Dive. Rich was interviewed and got our work permits approved on the 8th of June 2017, our island anniversary! What a way to celebrate a year in this beautiful place than to be honored with the ability to be a productive member of your new community.
Instead of giving you things we love the most and miss the most about being here, we figured we would recap some of our biggest accomplishments and adventures of our first year on Dominica (in no particular order)
- Getting here- I know it seems vague but moving away and starting over is something a lot of people talk about but never act on. We are proud to say we made the leap and were able to successfully make the move to Dominica.
- Buying our land – We finally have a piece of earth to cultivate and call our own, a place to invite family, friends and guests to share in this natural lifestyle and learn more about themselves and their environment just like we are!
- Starting our business(es) – Even though we aren’t open for business just the process to register the business name and get work permits was enough to have us running in circles, to finally be a few steps closer to opening up for real is a HUGE accomplishment!
- Meeting so many great people & making amazing friends – Making friends as an adult can be hard enough, but move away from everyone and everything you know without the built in community work provides we are lucky to have attracted and found likeminded people to share our time, adventures and lives with!
- Buying our car – Seems like so long ago we bought Polly, but without her we couldn’t have accomplished nearly as much as we have on island, its amazing how much our vehicles get taken for granted!
- Rich learning to Dive – This was great for both of us, a new skill and hobby for Rich, and a new life long dive buddy for me, sharing my passion with Rich is great but to see him love it like he does brings me even greater joy!
- Secret Watering Holes – We’ve been taken down invisible trails to find some really amazing secret river / waterfall / river-pool spots around the island that we never would have found through a guidebook, they’ve all been spectacular.
- Starting OurSaltyGarden – Growing my food is exciting and new, and I hope my passion for this new lifestyle only grows alongside all this fresh organic produce!
Of course there are a million things we said we would do or places we would visit that we haven’t yet. But isn’t that part of the joy of moving to a new place, all the adventures it brings? We will be happy to keep exploring this beautiful island we call home for as long as we live here, and I know eventually we will get everywhere we want to go, everything happens right on time, even if it’s island time.
Kayla & Rich