Just a little less than a week here now, and this time it’s been quite a different experience – and yet in many ways, everything is so familiarly the same.
For starters, we may have come back to the same physical place, but we’re definitely in a different mental place now than we were in 2014. Back then, we’d been quite isolated in Belize for months, so we felt almost giddy at what amounted to the much-more-comparable “civilization as we knew it” on-island. And we also knew it was our last hurrah before returning to America; with the adventure winding down, we made the most of those six short weeks.
This time, we’re in almost the opposite scenario – coming from just a bit much social stimulation during our stint as motel managers (it goes without saying that I now have a much broader appreciation for customer service employees). Fortunately, we also had a month before our arrival here to decompress, thanks to visits with family and friends, a few re-energizing trips to the beach, and especially because of a gracious offer from Ray’s sister for us to park ourselves at her home in rural north Florida for a few weeks. So we’re generally mellow vs giddy this time; and the fact that I am working remotely this time (ie, a paid gig, not just blogging for myself) and need to establish a new work routine has kept us from more than immediate settling in so far. Seriously: We haven’t even made it to Bojangles yet – what’s up with that?!!
Anyway – even with very limited forays out, some changes in West End are obvious: There’s quite a bit of new construction, and there’s also places that have become different versions of themselves (Foster’s, I’m talking about you). So far, we’ve only briefly re-connected with a few local friends, but already we can tell that their lives have had significant changes (new marriages, different jobs) – whereas I bet to them, we probably seem pretty much the same (all right, except older and fatter).
There’s a time difference this time – we’re two hours ahead of Florida – so that’s been a gradual adjustment, too. But there’s mostly been this very trippy time warp of feeling like we never actually left; both of us feel so completely comfortable, so instantaneously again. We keep having these weird little deja vu moments, like turning to reach for the right light switch before realizing that it IS the right light switch – or our completely inane excitement at the “Happy Days” song blaring from the gas truck this morning (however, we won’t really be in Roatan until the Cintas gas truck comes – Ray is waiting). And the ‘I-remember-this’ feeling of swinging in the hammock while Ray is taking sunset pics from the front porch.
So, what we’ve been doing the most so far is just looking at each other and smiling: Yup. We’re baaack.