Meditations in a Tiki Bar: Lessons Learned in Paradise

[Originally published 2013, Manarchy Magazine]

Not that long ago I wrote up an article on selling all your worldly possessions and throwing deuces to the mainland grind in exchange for island life. It was one of those essays full of promise, risk, naïve enthusiasm and reckless abandon.

I wasn’t merely paying lip-service to the notion, I really waved those deuces to SoCal and sold basically everything; the 46″ flat screen, the surround sound, almost every stick of furniture (that a relative didn’t want) and even a couple hot rods. Landed in Saint Lucia hit the ground running. I had a job lined up, which like most jobs, had ups and downs, but on the whole, it was great. I loved it. The family joined me only a few weeks later and it looked like we were set for life.

However, as those of you following me on Twitter or Facebook probably already know: It didn’t work out. In less than a year, I found myself hurled back in the first world. Now I’m looking for a nine to five on the other coast (where 4 or 5 tiny states share a football team, apparently), freezing my tail off and dreaming of the beach.

What happened? Continue reading

How to Sell Everything You Own And Move to the Caribbean

[Originally published in November, 2012 at Manarchy Magazine]

First, you have to realize this is life: Nobody gets out alive. If you’re like most people, you hate your job almost as much as you hate the drudging commute that makes you late on a semi-regular basis. Sure, you’ve got your TiVo and that super fast internet connection, but when was the last time you spent three hours on Facebook and felt good about it afterward? There must be more to life than merely passing the time between birth and death with vapid entertainment and forgettable distractions.

Junk mail, leaf blowers, telemarketers, MPG estimates that never add up and political ads that go on for months: What’s the point of a high life expectancy if you’re not enjoying yourself? First world problems may sound petty, but the ulcers they induce don’t hurt any less on account of their source.

Aim for blue skies and white sand beaches, where rum is cheaper than milk and there are more holidays than you know what to do with, and don’t work unless you absolutely have to. Do this for a year or so, and if after that you decide to return to the first world grind, you’ll have amazing stories to tell and your outlook on life can only have improved. Continue reading