So 2018 is bringing big changes to our lives!  If you’ve followed us on Facebook, you’re already familiar with these, but for those of you who only follow the blog, we’ve moved to the Bahamas!

I guess this requires a little bit of a backstory….

Back in October of this year, Darcie got an unexpected call from a recruiter with a very intriguing opportunity to interview for the position of club controller for a private membership club on a little island called Great Guana Cay (pronounced “key” like in the Florida Keys).  After a couple of phone conversations, they asked that both she and I fly out so that she could interview in person, and we could both get a feel for the type of lifestyle that we’d be expected to have.  Over Halloween weekend, we snuck out of town and took a four day weekend to come out and tour the island.  We definitely got a chance to experience the challenges of island life when the little inter-island airline promptly lost Darcie’s luggage, which meant that she had to spend the first day of interviews in the same clothes she’d been traveling in for the past 36 hours!

The top secret resort where Darcie now works!

She must have made a decent impression because she got an offer a month later right before Thanksgiving.   With a start date of January 6th, that meant we had just over a month to plan to pack up both of our houses and figure out how to move us, two dogs, one cat and a bunch of stuff (mostly water sport toys and a few clothes!) across the country and over 150 miles of ocean.  Oh yeah, and we got engaged somewhere in there as well!

We’d received advice from her new boss to be minimal and take as little as possible.  The Bahamas charge crazy import taxes for everything you bring in so we really tried to knock it down.  But, we wanted our bikes to get around, my paddle board and kayak to play with, our SCUBA gear for exploring the reefs, and most importantly, my home-brew gear to make beer with actual flavor!  And, she needed work clothes…for me its just shorts and t-shirts.  Turns out that getting all that gear plus three animals on a commercial flight is stupid expensive!  We also didn’t want to put her 12 year old black lab in cargo on an airplane in the middle of winter, which meant we had to find other alternatives.  Turns out there are a ton of little charter airlines that will do flights on demand for not all that much money, and you can bring anything you want in the cabin for the short 150 mile flight.  Well, once we heard about that we were sold!  We ended up renting the biggest SUV that Budget could supply, filled the entire back seat plus the roof rack with gear, loaded the animals into the back seat and headed off on nearly a 2000 mile road trip from Denver to Ft. Lauderdale.

Seconds before take off. Moe had no idea what was about to happen.

Once we got to Ft. Lauderdale it was a mad dash of vet appointments, last minute packing and of course a day of exploring the local brewery scene.  Finally it was time to head to the airport,  and find out if everything would fit into the plane that turned out to be a lot smaller that we’d expected.  Luckily the loaders were masters at Tetris, and somehow fit everything inside, leaving me sitting up front next to the pilot, and Darcie in the seat right behind me with two large dogs basically on her lap.  We both thought that my dog, Moe, was going to have a heart attack when he watched the ground disappear beneath us!

Luckily the dogs eventually settled down and we had a pretty uneventful flight.  The pilot let me take the controls for a half hour or so of the flight and I had fun doing a few S turns and banks.  Made me miss flying a bit…perhaps I’ll have to look into a seaplane rating while I’m down here…hmmm…

We’ve decided this is the way that we need to travel from now on.

Anyway, we eventually landed in the Marsh Harbour airport and completely overwhelmed the poor customs agent with all the stuff we brought.  Eventually she just gave up and told us to write down a value of everything we brought and she’d charge us the lowest duty on that amount.  We picked a number that made it feel like she was able to get a decent amount of revenue for them and was a lot cheaper for us than we feared!

One 30 minute ferry ride brought us to Great Guana Cay, and then about a dozen trips in a golf cart got all of our stuff to our new cottage.  We were delighted to find that our home (named “Sea Escape”) is in a prime area of the island with the Atlantic ocean about 50 feet away from the front door, and the Sea of Abaco about 500 feet in the other direction.  It’s a lovely two bedroom two bath house although the 2nd bedroom has quickly turned into gear storage.

Our little home here in the Bahamas.

Since our arrival, Darcie has started her job, and I’ve busied myself setting up the house, unpacking all the gear and doing the initial food shopping.  The weather has been a little on the stormy side with a lot of rain and wind punctuated by the absolutely beautiful days that we’re going to get a lot more of over the next few months.  We’re just having to remind ourselves that this is January, and it’s still better than freezing our butts off back home!  We’re also getting used to frequent power and internet outages.  It’s not a big deal at the moment, but we’ve been warned that in the summer time it’s going to be hot without A/C.  Luckily the house seems to be pretty well designed for natural ventilation, and we’ve got a small gas powered generator to keep the refrigerator cold.  I’ll want to get a gas or charcoal grill for cooking without power, but that’s something any man needs in his arsenal anyway!

Our first island beer as residents.

The best thing we’ve discovered in our short time here is that the humidity and warm air (compared to Colorado) is like a fountain of youth for Darcie’s 12 year old black lab.  Back in Denver he walked like an old man…hardly able to do a 4 or 5 block walk and limping just about everywhere.   Within a week he’s discovered that trying to chase waves on the beach is the best thing ever!  I’d call it pretty close to losing his mind crazy about chasing them.  He’s actually running for the first time since I’ve known him and the goofy grin that Darcie remembers from his youth has returned with a vengeance!  My guy, Moe, is loving it as well.  He’s always been an active mountain dog, but I’m pretty sure that in his mind, this is WAY better!

Mr. Mattox has always known that he is indeed the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

In contrast to the more stately Mattox, Moe is happy to lose his mind daily.

We’ll be exploring both our island and the nearby islands over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned for further updates.  We both plan on 2018 being a lot more active on the blog than 2017 was!

 

There is going to be a hell of a lot more of this in our future!

About The Author

Henry has spent three winters living in Antarctica which funded his early explorations and adventures around the world. Now he holds down a full time job in Denver, CO and continues to make travel a priority in his life, both internationally, and on weekend warrior type trips.

23 Responses

  1. Joe Hill

    Henry,

    Congrats on the engagement! I’m happy for you and Darci and glad that things have worked out!
    Enjoy the weather, it is cold and crappy here right now

    Reply
  2. Amy Andrews

    Henry!!! Congrats on the engagement buddy!! And another congrats on getting out of Denver!! Just know I will be making my way down to visit you two 🙂 My 40th bday is in August so be ready.

    Reply
  3. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    Reading your article made me a bit envious. I’ve always wanted to live on an island and you guys not only lived in an island you lived in one of the best places around. More power to your blog.

    Reply
  4. sumit walia

    such a lovey article and i think the relocation has indeed worked out very well considering the tone of the post … glad that the pets are enjoying too .. that is a pleasure to read about

    Reply
  5. Travelquartz

    Congrats on new destination and home . The airplane looked just amazing. This is such a nice place to move as I always thought what its like to move permanently to a place like this . I bet summers will be amazing too?

    Reply
  6. Rachelle

    Congrats on the move and engagement! Such the dream, isn’t it? I really hope you look into a seaplane for yourself. My little brother is about to start on his path to becoming a pilot and studying aviation science at University. So much fun!

    Reply
  7. Miranda

    What an awesome opportunity!! Definitely sounds like you guys will be making some great memories down the road. That’s too bad they initially lost your luggage, but the interviewers must have been pretty understanding too. Hopefully you’ll have fewer bumps down the road as residents! 🙂

    Reply
  8. neha

    The house looks beautiful. You and your pet both look happy 🙂 It definitely takes some time to settle down in a new place. But looks like you will soon be extremely comfortable in the Bahamas like it is your home. All the very best.

    Reply
  9. Bharat & Supriya

    What an adventure that sounds like Henry. I have always wondered what island life is like and you’re living it – the good, the bad, the ugly! Congratulations to all of you (including the dog) – this was such a fun read!

    Reply
  10. Katchutravels

    This is beautiful to know a first person account to move to an island paradise. I did know about the import taxes being expensive. Your house is very nice by the beach. the joy your dog experiences is similar to the reaction my 6 year old son had when I took him to the beach with its wide expanse and sea for a week. My son was so different in that time! Have a great time in the Bahamas

    Reply
  11. Clara

    I’m very happy for you, it seems you’re living a great change but also a great beautiful adventure! Wish you all the best for this new life! 🙂

    Reply
  12. umiko

    Congrats on the new place and I would say a new chapter in your life. The moving sounds interesting. Small plane with you sitting next to the pilot and Darcie with the two dogs at the back. Hope everything will go well.

    Reply
  13. Anthony (One of FourFriendsOneWorld)

    Aren’t you two living a dream! Congrats on these big life moments. You will never forget this time in your life and it is great that you are experiencing it with your dogs.

    We look forward to hearing more about your adventures in the future.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    Reply
  14. Lydia Smith

    Congratulation in order! I agree with you, there’s so much to explore in your new home, Bahamas. I read it has a lot of beaches, how true? And your dogs will learn to love their new environment and I love Moe more. All the best to you guys!

    Reply
  15. Marge Gavan

    First, congratulations on entering this new chapter in your lives. Living in another country is one of my biggest dreams so I am quite envious haha… That plane is so small, I think I’d be like your dog, become extremely nervous if I ever ride there. You guys are living the dream, and the dogs seem to agree. Goodluck on everything!

    Reply
  16. Bruce Schinkel

    I loved reading about this adventure! We had a 17 year old dog up until recently and wish I had found the private charter trick so we could have travelled more with her. I also appreciate your love for making “good beer” a priority … something I always make time for too 🙂
    Special congrats on the engagement too!

    Reply
    • Henry

      Thanks Bruce! As soon as the yeast I’ve ordered clears customs, the beer will be starting soon. Fingers crossed it happens soon….

      Reply
  17. Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten

    Congratulations on your new home in the Bahamas! You are right it is a huge change for you all from Denver. I live in Florida so I know the 1st summer can be a little rough as you get used to the heat. Good luck!

    Reply
  18. Harini

    Congratulations on moving to the Bahamas.I wish you good luck in this new place and with this new chapter of your life.I am amazed by the fact that you can ride a helicopter and the dogs are extremely cute.The Bahamas is indeed a wonderful place to move to.I hope you enjoy your stay in the island.Every day is going to be like a vacation for you guys.

    Reply
  19. David

    Looks like an amazing place to live! Glad he dogs are adjusting well. My dogs starting to show his age and I wonder if a few days at the beach might be just what he needs to recharge his batteries. Interesting to get your take on the local beer as well.

    Reply

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