Sometime this summer, Don and I realized that life could continue plodding along indefinitely with only marginal happiness (okay – we’re actually pretty happy, we’re very blessed, but we were NOT living the life we wanted to live!). Unless we did something about it. For most of our relationship, we’d been escaping down to the Florida Keys several times a year to scuba dive, fish, and generally enjoy the beauty. But, with Don’s health issues and kids, careers, and day-to-day life to deal with, those trips were becoming less frequent. I wish I could point to a certain day and say “that’s when we knew!” but it didn’t work that way. We just realized it had been over a year since we’d had one of our mini-escapes to the Keys, and that was unacceptable to us. My job was already quite flexible in terms of work location, and with Don no longer working, every time we would head back north we’d wonder why, and feel as though we were going the wrong direction. So, one day, we decided – let’s reverse the timeline. Why not spend most of our year in the Keys, doing what we love to do, and sprinkle in trips back to Tampa as needed? I should mention – we already live in Tampa, a mere six blocks from the beach, a place most people would consider a semi-tropical destination in its own right. We know we’re blessed, incredibly so – but wanted to decrease the stress and need to “keep up with the Joneses” while at the same time increasing the activities that brought us both the most joy. I’ll go into more detail about what we’ve decided to do, and when, but for now suffice it to say – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we know what the goal is, and that’s a huge relief!