Living the Dream Part 3: What’s It Like?
(DiverWire) Writer Paul Mila has explored “Living the Dream” for the last three weeks. Here’s his conclusion – What’s It Like Living the Dream! Enjoy!
I soon learned, as Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” That is certainly true anywhere in the world, whether you are buying property, living for an extended period of time in a foreign country, or just visiting on a short vacation. We take so many conveniences for granted living in the U.S. that surviving these changes in latitudes definitely requires a change in attitude, to paraphrase a well-known songwriter.
Whether you are trying to buy fixtures for your tiki hut or waiting for someone to repair your washer/dryer, familiar concepts such as “today” or “now” don’t seem to exist in Margaritaville. Instead, the local norm is “tomorrow,” or “later,” or sometimes, “I’m sorry we cannot do that.” In those situations you must imitate a palm tree in a hurricane and bend with the wind; otherwise your dream could become a nightmare.
In a nutshell, Living the Dream has meant having the personal freedom to do the things I most enjoy: the freedom to spend the day writing; walking on a nearby beach when I feel like connecting with the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean; taking off on a dive trip to an exotic location, experiencing the culture and meeting the local sea life; or making frequent trips to my Cozumel beachfront hideaway. It has also meant making new friends all over the world, an unexpected bonus.
A typical day in Cozumel begins with early breakfast on a large balcony watching dive boats journey to the reefs and then making my way to the pier for a morning two-tank dive on the Maximus, my dive instructor Alison’s boat. After lunch I’m back on the same balcony, or sitting under a tall palm tree.
I spend the afternoon writing chapters for another dive adventure or the next Sea-gram newsletter, while watching the sea change into more hues than exist on a painter’s palette as the sun plays hide and seek with puffy cotton clouds sailing across the sky. Late afternoon occasionally includes a single-tank dive or possibly a night dive. At night I’m in the town of San Miguel, dining with local friends in one of Cozumel’s many affordable restaurants.
Living the Dream has meant experiencing more adventures than I ever imagined, and meeting amazingly interesting people from all walks of life. My adventures have become situations for the characters in my books, and some fascinating people I’ve met diving occasionally appear as those characters. So beware! If we meet you may find yourself between the pages of my next adventure novel. My once well-ordered, structured life has become one of serendipity, requiring a personal evolution into a more open person – open to whatever curveballs life throws.
For example, stepping away from the daily corporate grind I never considered teaching underwater photography. Yet at least once a month I’m in a classroom and then in a pool, teaching divers how to shoot that good close-up of a hawksbill turtle munching on a sponge. I never intended doing public speaking, but I’m frequently visiting school groups, museums, libraries, and conservation organizations explaining what it’s like diving on Bonaire’s coral reefs, swimming with Pacific humpback whales, or being in the middle of a Bahamian shark-feed.
One thing The Dream has NOT been is boring. I’m busier than ever. Writing is work; and marketing and promoting is even more difficult and time consuming than writing. But the difference compared with my past life is that I’m following my passions. Best of all, the commitments, deadlines, and obligations are now on my terms.
Living the Dream, I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but I’ve learned to go with the tide.
Thanks for letting me share my Dream with you!
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul J. Mila
Carle Place, New York
Paul’s dive adventure books are available in print format, and also electronic format, on Amazon’s Kindle Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and all other e-book platforms. Signed copies are available from his website, www.milabooks.com