Banana Hammock Escapades

…Your reality is what you make it.

New Kid on the Block

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Exploration of the new neighborhood.

Exploration of the new neighborhood.



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Well, this is the post that I thought was never going to happen — me, writing from Costa Rica. Aside from some major hang-ups, I made it.  Sara and I are officially living in Costa Rica – and I must say – it is beautiful!  My cat, Briley, even made it safe and sound here.  That though, is an entirely different story.  Due in part, to a lack of information and some minor hang-ups, Briley’s arrival was much more difficult and expensive.  Originally, I was set to take her aboard the plane with me as a carry-on, but that didn’t quite work out as planned.  I had paid to have her health certificate expedited to Austin, in order to make sure it arrived on time and within the specified ten-day time period for which it is valid, but UPS completely botched that one.  Instead, I ended up having to fly her on another flight AND shell out an additional $1,200 in flight fare charges and taxes.  Lesson learned, I will never use UPS again.  I had intended traveling and exploring the country whenever I arrived, but that episode drastically depleted my savings and unfortunately put quite the damper on my initial travel plans and whatnot.  Instead, I have hardly had two colones to rub together.  On the bright side, I am quite impressed with budgeting skills.  I am always impressed with myself when I can wiggle out of a tight space unscathed.

I had to immediately start looking for a job whenever I arrived.  It was a little more difficult than I had actually anticipated.  I filled out countless applications and went to a hand full of interviews, with no luck.  I began to panic and I started to wonder if I had gotten myself into a debacle that even I would not be able to wiggle out of.  My money was dwindling quickly and I had absolutely no job prospects in the foreseeable future, I was convinced that perhaps I had made the wrong decision in packing up my life and going into the unknown.  Each passing day I grew more and more frantic, what was I going to do?  I didn’t even have enough money to change my “in case shit hits the fan” flight ticket to go back to the States.  Just as I was more convinced than ever that everything was quickly going down the drain, I got that phone call that changed my entire outlook.  I had another interview and I had a good feeling about this one.  Perhaps it was my positive outlook that helped me land the job; along with being qualified for the position but either way, I landed the job!  It had happened, the moment that I had fantasized about for longer than I care to admit.  I am an English teacher.  That is still a weird statement for me to say – for more reasons than one.  So, I am now teaching English for Berlitz language school in San Pedro.  I’m officially a grown-up, when did this happen?  I’m the girl who has long been buying “professional” clothing with the anticipation of having to wear it some unknown day in the future, perhaps never.  I have been “professional” for less than three weeks and I have already almost fallen in my heels more times than I can count and worn my pencil skirt the wrong way (luckily I figured out how my skirt was actually intended to be worn before I made it into the classroom.)

Who know 2013 would get off to such a great start?  I am quite proud of myself and I don’t say that too often.  I have accomplished everything I set out to do AND I did it in the time frame that I mapped out for myself.  I wanted to be living in another country by the start of 2013 (check, I moved on New Year’s eve,) I wanted to find a teaching position by my 27th birthday (check – I started teaching on Monday, which just so happened to be my birthday,) and I wanted a new perspective on life (while that is still a work-in-progress, I feel I am evolving as a person each day.)  Salud to new beginnings!  I am not typically one for New Year’s resolutions, but it looks as if some of the pieces are falling right into place.  I hope everyone’s New Year’s resolutions are working out as well as mine have been.  Inch by inch, everything is a cinch.  I saw that great little saying on the back of someone’s car a few years back and ever since, I have made it my mantra.  I would say that it’s working out quite well.  Now, if only I could carve out enough time and energy to stay on top of this blog.  I hope you’ll decide to stick around and tag along for the adventure that is unfolding.

Ah, how could I forget, for all you Southerners out there in the blog-o-sphere, I hope you are drinking in (pun intended) all the wonderful festivities that go along with time of the year in the Deep South.  Although I am not able to partake in all the festivities this year, I am celebrating in spirit.  I have made sure to wear my green, gold and purple attire.  For those of you who are not familiar with Mardi Gras, it is only the most stupendous time one can have in the South.  Mardi Gras for Southerners means grandiose costumes, King Cakes, millions of plastic beads and toys, MoonPies and drunken debauchery.  If this tickles your pickle and you ever find yourself in the Deep South during this time of year, make your way over to New Orleans, Louisiana or Mobile, Alabama and partake in the South’s deeply rooted tradition!    Laissez les bons temps rouler!


This photo is intended only to illustrate the scenery of Mardi Gras, I do not own this photo.


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——» Moving Hoopla

Today marks a great day to start officially blogging on my new blog.  Welcome, readers!  I am delighted that you have chosen to make yourself acquainted with my little corner of the blogosphere, I hope you will stick around.  I have been trying to work diligently on creating and banging out ideas for what it is that I really want to blog about but working as much as possible, while also managing and completing everything that goes along with such a huge move is quite difficult – as most would guess – and I am still currently banging out those ideas.    I would have to say that my life has been pretty chaotic these last few months, which have been leading up to my first international move.  Last weekend I made the move, I moved all my belongings to Austin, Texas!  Just my buddy, Sean, my kitty-cat, Briley, and myself and the long, chaotic drive.  I say chaotic because chaos seems to follow me – it’s been this way since my grand entrance into this world (my mother loves telling stories of my clumsiness as a young child and anyone who knows me can attest to my clumsiness/bad luck.)


It was a cramped ride all the way to Austin in the Uhaul.

I should bring you up to speed with what lead up to this last statement, because if you’re like most I have told this story to – you too think I may be a bit off my rocker or be very excited for me and the adventure that is about to unfold.  Those two reactions seem to be the most common reactions whenever I tell people what I am preparing to do.  You see, I live in a rather small town on the coast of Mississippi, Ocean Springs.  It’s a particularly quaint and quirky town, there is no shortage of wonderfully eccentric people.  Many people in the United States have heard of Hurricane Katrina and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I live in the area that has been devastated by both of these events.  Katrina wasn’t what made me really want to leave Mississippi, it was the BP oil spill that happened nearly three years ago that really was the final reason that I needed to make this difficult decision.  While most in the area seem to be uninterested in what the short and long-term effects of the oil and the use of dispersants in our water really mean for us and the people that we know, I am on the other end of that spectrum, I completely disagreed with the Government’s use of Corexic to fix the disaster.  That is a whole other discussion – perhaps for a later date?  I graduated from college a year-and-a-half-ago with my bachelor’s degree in journalism and since then I have had little luck in locating a remotely decent position within my intended field.  South Mississippi is a rather difficult area to pursue a fulfilling career in environmental journalism.  The April following my graduation, I decided to make the leap I had been talking about for quite some time and sold my car.  I now commute by bicycle and carpooling with friends.  So, let me make my way back to topic, this decision to commute by bike also helped in deciding what it was that I wanted out of my life and what I am willing to do to achieve that.  Also, lack of any real job opportunities made it that much easier to make the needed leap for such a grand move.  It also helps that my boyfriend is always down for a little adventure as well – so here we are – at the turning point I have been working towards for over a year-and-a-half.  I am going to be joined in my new life adventure with my boyfriend, Daniel, our two dogs, Brady and Leila, and our cat, Briley; along with our friend, Sara.  Now, we moving ourselves, our lives, and our animals to Latin America in search of new beginnings.  I hope you will decide to follow along as I embark on this new journey in the great game we call life.

♥ Alexandra Cathlin