First off, you all are super cool for helping me cross the 100,000 view threshold this week! When I started this blog two years ago, I never thought it would be seen 100,000 times. Internet high fives for everyone!
As I hinted to in the last roundup post, I am currently trying to make a decision about whether or not I am going to stay on Roatan. This is something that’s been on my mind for the last few months, and I think something that every expat struggles with at some point. When do you know it’s time to go home?
(One thing I know for sure is I’m not ready to go back to Canada and go back to working in an office there. So my decision isn’t really “should I go home?”, it’s more “should I go somewhere else?”)
Sometimes I feel like I’ve already done everything I came here to do. I wanted so badly to move to Roatan, become a dive instructor and then teach diving. Well, in less than two years I did all that. I moved here, I passed my instructor course, I taught diving, I had an amazing adventure on a megayacht where I dove all over the Caribbean, and now I manage a dive shop. Not bad in 1.5 years, right? But I’m having a hard time moving forward from here, because managing a dive shop was not my goal. It was something that fell onto me because someone else left and I was the most capable person to do it. I dive two times or less a month now, and my job is way more stressful than I’m getting compensated for. My friends who are my coworkers all hate me now because I have to come down on them about stuff at the shop, and there is tension due to the hierarchy in the shop. I am constantly trying to mediate between people, and don’t get me started on the cultural differences I navigate daily with local staff who think I’m an idiot and refuse to listen to me. I take pride in having my guests come and have an amazing diving holiday but I just sit in the hot office all day long and ask them about everything they saw on the dives when they come back while I do paperwork all day and count how many t-shirts we have. I know I’m doing a good job because they guests give good feedback and my managers tell me all the time, but I’m just not sure it’s what I want to be doing.
The flip side of this is that I’m too old and too lazy to go to the party town of West End and try to fight for a dive instructor job where they’re going to work me to the bone 6 days a week diving 4 times a day with backpackers who don’t tip. Granted, I’d make more money (from the volume of divers/courses, not from the cheap backpackers), but I’m just not sure I have the energy for that. Also, the instability of the jobs there stresses me out just thinking about it.
I didn’t have any direction for this post, I just decided to sit down and start writing it and see what came out. By the sounds of the last few paragraphs, I don’t really want to do anything. Maybe I just need a holiday, but I can’t take one from my current position since there isn’t anyone there who knows how to do the basic office work to keep the shop running. Also, I have no money to go anywhere! But I guess I can put it on the list. A friend I ran into in the grocery store the other day suggested that I might just need some time off the island. I haven’t been anywhere since I went to Canada last summer, and I’ve been working 6-7 days a week since then. So maybe I just need a break. Breaks are really important when you live on an island. Whenever I leave here, I always miss it and want to come back!
As I see it, here are my options:
- Stay put, suck it up, cut down to 5 days a week at my job and start doing more things I want to do here that make me happy but never have time for.
- Stay put, try to get a different job, see what happens.
- Leave for somewhere else (dictated by money at the moment, as I have none).
- Leave for Canada and hate life (it’s still snowing there).
- Take a holiday and reassess.
I have a ticket out of here April 3 and I called Orbitz today to change it and then hung up halfway through because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to change it or not. I waver back and forth on this daily, and I seem to get nowhere with my decision so I’m reaching out to you guys to see what you think, and if there’s any expats out there who can offer some advice if they’ve been in the same situation.
I found this on Pinterest:
and tried it to see what happened. All I thought while it was in the air was “I wonder if the boys filled in the boat logs” (I left work early today to avoid a nervous breakdown after a staff argument) and “I’m tired.”
What do you think?