“Not all those who wander are lost.” This J.R.R. Tolkein quote has appeared around me quite a bit lately. And it’s one I’ve thought of regularly for the last nine months or so. I spent most of that time feeling lost, at least a little out of place everywhere I went. When I left the Philippines at the start of March I was happy, relaxed, in a healthy state of
Return to Utila
Others have written about not returning to a place where they had a great time – a place where they fell in love with a country or a culture or they lucked into meeting amazing people who remained friends for years afterward. Some worry that returning will tarnish the experience because it’s never the same when you go back. So they leave it in their memories, a shiny joyous moment
The Joy of Diving
Floating peacefully above a tube sponge, I lift my legs above my head and drop my hands down, my fingers extending to the edge. Slowly, two cleaner shrimp scuttle up the inside of the tube, curious about what I am and whether they should give me a manicure. I’m hanging upside down, about 50 feet underwater. Jen is nearby, taking photos of a spiny lobster. I breathe slowly, enjoying my
Housing on Utila
In our two months on Utila, we lived in four different places and if you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter or read Jen’s post about life on Utila, you’ve seen pictures of our favorite neighbor, Marcella. We have countless photos and videos of the adorable pet brought to Utila by the landlords of Tropical Sunset, the apartment building we lived in the longest, and thought we’d share a
Living the Dream: Bartending on Utila
The following post was written by a former contributor to Chasing the Unknown. The views expressed are not those of the site’s owner. Three months ago, I would have never imagined that I would be walking home through Utila Town at 5am from my job as a bartender at an “after party bar (read: gets busy at 12:30am and the dance party doesn’t stop till after 4am),” named Coco Loco.
Becoming a Divemaster
“All right guys, get your weight belts on. Don’t bother suiting up just yet but make sure your weight belts are on properly. Right-hand release and all that.” I wanted to ask, “why are we putting our weight belts on?” but before I could, all hell broke loose. The DMTs were flailing about in the water calling for help, our instructors were yelling that we needed to jump in and
One week ago, the only living things Jen had killed were insects and arachnids, things that crunched beneath a shoe or flattened between two hands or a fly swatter. As of today, she has taken the lives of four lionfish, two of which we’ve eaten. A third is sitting in our refrigerator as we write and will make a lovely appetizer this evening. The lionfish is not native to the
Will new friends become old friends?
Jordan and Zach boarded the plane from Atlanta to San Pedro Sula right behind us and sat down across the aisle. Zach and I exchanged words once during the flight but nothing of substance. Weeks later, we were sharing an apartment on Utila, talking about diving, travel, and the cheeky monkey who lives in the apartment building. Zach and Jordan came to Utila booked into an Instructor Development Course with
An Indefinite Stay
As any backpacker knows, there’s a common conversation among travelers that starts with a routine set of questions: where are you from, where are you headed, how long have you been traveling, and so on. Around here, we have plenty of those exchanges but almost as many that go something like this: New friend to us: “Where are you from?” One of us: “The U.S. Boston. And you?” New friend: