“Why St. John?” “What made you decide to move?” “How did you pick that place?”
Almost every time we introduce a new person to the idea that we will soon be boarding a one way flight to an island, we receive those questions. To be honest, it was difficult to answer at first. Because yes, it was super random and rather spontaneous.
Our family has always been geared to the laid back lifestyle that comes with tropical places. If it wasn’t a warm place with a beautiful beach and endless ocean views, we weren’t going. The sun, sand, and salt were things we began to crave. Nothing has made us feel more relaxed or free than being somewhere by the sea. So it was no surprise that if we were going to move, it would be somewhere that embodied all that the ocean has to offer.
We often had conversations of moving some where new and tossed around Hawaii and Florida quite a bit. We had discussions like this for years but for some reason, we never seemed to follow through. Many of those reasons were entirely based on the idea that we couldn’t do it. That it was a nice but completely unrealistic idea. We spent our entire lives checking the boxes: graduate high school, get a college education, and start a successful career. All of which we were blessed and proud to achieve. By no means did either of us have a bad life lined up. However we hit a wall of thinking, “what’s next?”. Do you really just work until you retire? Build an honorable career, make good money, and look forward to the limited paid vacation you are allowed. (To clear the air, we do not think anything is “wrong” with that lifestyle. However at this time in our lives, we longed for something a bit more daring.)
Each time we discussed the idea of moving, we were brought back to “reality”. We think sometimes society forces you to build a box around yourself as limits of what you can do and are capable of achieving. Our thoughts were, “Sure we want to move to an island (who doesn’t), but we can’t leave our careers, we aren’t courageous enough to leave everything behind, we don’t have the money saved up for that kind of adventure, and we weren’t sure we wanted to quit our current life with a chance we could fail at our new one”. We built these viewpoints and fully believed in them; telling ourselves that one day those circumstances would be different and at that point we would be able to take the risk. We pushed the island idea to the back of our minds, and continued to enjoy the life that we were living.
Then Marci met someone who shattered her walls of limited thinking. “I was at a get together with a friend and was introduced to one of her guy friends. We were all casually talking and the subject of what the two of them were going to do upon graduating was brought up. My friend proceeded to tell us of her plans and the exciting job she had just accepted in another city. When it was his turn to talk, he simply said I am moving to St. John in the Virgin Islands. My eyes went wide and all of sudden I was all ears. I probed him to tell me all about it, begged to see pictures, and I am sure annoyed him after the millionth question but kept asking them regardless. (Thankfully, he was a good sport) It was as if a light bulb had just gone off. I know people say that a lot, but seriously I have never had a more ah ha moment in my life. Every excuse I previously leaned on as to why this wasn’t possible was just shredded in front of my face. The reality was I was entirely capable of moving as well, I just had to turn it from an unachievable idea to an executed plan.”
And so it began.