In 2004 we were trying just about everything to get out of this town. Somehow (long, unnecessary story) we got hooked up with The Caretaker Gazette. The newsletter advertises jobs all over the world for butlers or caretakers or nannies and even home swaps (think The Holiday, which I didn’t ever see). Anyhoo, we were deep in talks with a couple who own a “resort” on Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua. Take a minute and check out their website. (Pause) Looks awesome, doesn’t it? I totally chickened out. I mean, the details of living there just seemed so loose. What exactly were the jobs? How many planes/boats will it take to get there? What do you mean you’ll only pay us $200/month? Really, there’s nowhere to get my birth control prescription filled or buy tampons?
Now it just seems so silly. I am picturing Papa slapping his forehead, “Shoulda hada V-8.” Obviously, my biggest fear was the unknown (and of getting knocked up). And of falling in LOVE with this amazing island and never, ever wanting to come stateside again. Which pretty much sounds like heaven now.
So Daniel signed up for The Caretaker Gazette again sometime last year. He’s such a dreamer; I wish you could know him. I’m serious, I think he’s probably researched just about every island community along the South American coastline. He’s completely enamored with the idea of moving to someplace tropical and quiet . . . like Belize. He’s all like, “What? Normal people retire to Florida. I don’t want to be normal.”
Therein lies the problem.
I believe Daniel’s biggest fear is living this typical life until the sad day he dies. I think there’s something in him that just itches to be so different, and we’re just so not. I tell him he’s already special, what with his anti-social vibe and his cute beard. “Aww, Honey, you’re already mysterious.” I’m kidding, I’ve never said that.
The Caretaker Gazette comes out every couple months. But Daniel signed up for their online newsletter, so he gets updates on new “job openings” at least twice each week. Now, I sarcastically “air quoted” the “job openings” back there because the positions are things like “Handy man needed to perform lawn care and general repairs around my huge-ass mansion” or “caretaker couple desired to feed my dogs for the month of April while I am on holiday.” What about that sounds like a job? To be fair, he mostly looks at house swaps with the idea of taking a short-term vacation somewhere exciting, but sometimes he sends me emails like this with the latest postings (subject line of the email “I love you”):
I do love you. Wouldn’t this be a good place to start writing a book?
CARETAKER OF SWAN ISLAND required. Swan Island is a privately owned island located in Banks Strait, 3 km off the northeast coast of Tasmania. Swan Island is surrounded by sparkling turquoise seas, has eight white sandy beaches, and many granite outcroppings. This isolated and remote island requires a ‘Jack of All Trades’ caretaker. Self sufficiency is a must! To apply, please mail a letter explaining why you are the ideal caretaker candidate for this position, along with your resume to Swan Island Property Manager . . . .
What’s a girl supposed to say to something like that?! Remote island, sparkling turquoise seas, eight white sandy beaches. Uh, no thanks; I just love Chattanooga. Write a book, you see what he’s doing, right? Like I even know what I’d write about. Probably I’d document for Bill Bryson’s next book about Australia all the many ways I’ve rescued myself and my family from the deadliest things on the earth (you know, because Australia has more deadly critters than the rest of the planet combined or something).
So, obviously we never went to Little Corn Island, but obviously Daniel hasn’t stopped dreaming about doing something like that. One day we will take the year off and see the world. And maybe I’ll fall so in love with it that I’ll just never come home.