So come to find out, island time is a real thing and, despite the clever name, is not strictly limited to people who live on islands. The renowned online knowledge repository Urban Dictionary defines island time as “The time vacuum created by the ocean’s presence” and it is a very real and dangerous thing. Typically when we move from one house sit to another there are a few off the grid days for us as we drive to our new location, meet the new homeowners and pets, learn the ropes of the new house and city and then get ourselves settled in and into a routine of sorts. Well, we did all of that with our new house sit, but this time it’s taken several weeks rather than days to get settled. Our new routine seems to involve a lot of lost time which I’ve decided to attribute to the evils of island time and the great time suck of the ocean.
Yes, we’ve gone back to the beach and the ocean. Mahahual (or Majahual), Mexico to be exact. For the record, Mahahual is not an island but that hasn’t stopped us from acting like it is nor has it stopped visitors from asking us how long we’ve been on the “island” (I guess we’re fitting in okay so far). And while we went off the grid while traveling, we also went back to literally living off the grid here. Solar and wind energy, rain as our water source. Yep, this kind of living is sort of beginning to feel like our destiny.
And we’ve been here a few weeks, which is normally more than enough time to get settled, but I keep getting distracted and I’ve already spent countless hours just watching the water. I can literally sit and stare at the ocean for hours on end. The great thing is, I do not consider that a waste of time. At All. These days life for us has slowed down. A lot. There is just something about being next to the water that makes us move slower. And talk slower. And think slower. And type slower. So this post has taken a while to get to. Maybe it’s because we have to stop every few minutes to take a look at this?
Or it could be that we’ve been indulging in some of our favorite activities. Fishing, snorkeling, walking up and down the beach for hours on end or just chilling in the hammock.
After spending the last few months in cold (oh so bitterly cold) Copenhagen and London followed by some time in the beautiful mountains of Mexico, we were ready to get back to the Caribbean which we love so dearly. We’re starting to realize that our passions revolve around the water – fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving – and we feel more centered when there is some body of water close by.
So we have landed just south of the tiny town of Mahahual on the Caribbean coast near the border with Belize. The town itself is located about 250 kilometers south of Playa del Carmen and just about 45 minutes away from the remote town of Xcalak, where we’ve house sat before. And while it might be relatively close to Xcalak, there is a world of difference between the two places. Mahahual is a cruise ship port with a lovely malecon full of shops and restaurants, some really nice places to stay and bunches of little abarottes or grocery stores, whereas in Xcalak, groceries come in the back of a pickup truck.
Don’t let the cruise ship thing fool you though, Mahahual is still a sleepy little beach town. It just sometimes has to wake up when a ship comes in. Because we are about 14 kilometers away from town along the beach road, we get the best of both worlds. We get to live in privacy on a remote stretch of beautiful beach and yet we can be sitting down in a restaurant for dinner in a matter of minutes. We have awesome new dogs to take care of, a beautiful home to tend to and the ocean just steps from our back door.
Even our conversations have changed, relaxed if you will. While walking the beach or laying in the hammock (staring either at the water or the backs of our eyelids) we sometimes talk about big picture things like our long-term goals and desires. But we also spend a lot of time discussing and debating things like whether or not the waves or too big or too small, why Jason can only catch tiny fish and whether or not the sunrises or sunsets here are more beautiful. That last one is a toughie and one we’ve debated endlessly. Everyday in fact and each morning and evening we have a different answer. Maybe you can help us decide?
Which did you pick? Yeah, I can’t decide either. I guess the debate will continue and we’ll keep doing our research by watching massive amounts of sunrises and sunsets and keep you posted.
In the meantime, when we’re not working we plan to snorkel the great reef behind our house, fish, walk the beach, explore the town of Mahahual and, probably more often than not, just lose time by sitting and staring and the water. So, yeah, getting settled in and back to being productive has taken a bit longer than normal. I’m pretty sure you can see why. We are in love with nature, particularly the ocean and will be taking and posting a ridiculous amount of pictures of stunning sunrises, sunsets, beaches, oceans and once in awhile an adorable dog because, let’s face it, those things just never get old.
And who knows, we might even get adventurous enough to travel the 15 kilometers into town someday. No promises but if we make it, we’ll let you know. But for now, my special island time watch reads “hammock” and that’s right where I’m headed.