Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Latitude Adjustment

"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Nothin' remains quite the same…"-- Jimmy Buffett

As I floated in the clear turquoise waters over the coral reef, I observed a school of Blue Tangs, which were accompanied by several other fish, like Yellowtail Snappers, Grunts, and Sergeant Majors. It had taken a few days, but I was finally unwinding and relaxing, which was the purpose of my getaway to a tropical Caribbean Island where I could go snorkeling, play with dolphins, and practice some 'hammocking'!

Anthony's Key

Blue Tangs

Murray the Dolphin

The fine art of 'hammocking'!

My husband, Ashton, had 'planted the seed' a couple of months ago. He thought―quite rightly―that I was suffering from caregiver fatigue and needed a break. My mother, who is 87 years old, has Alzheimer's Dementia, lives with us, and I am her primary caregiver. Ashton very generously offered to take a 'staycation' so that I could have a proper vacation (going on a vacation together was simply not feasible). He was witnessing my downhill spiral into caregiver depression and knew I was burnt out. He was worried about me and knew the cure: travel! 

Coincidentally, I had been having recurring dreams about being on a tropical island, surrounded by aquamarine waters, and colorful fish and corals. In my dreams, I wanted to get to the water and go snorkeling but there was always an obstacle in my way. It was not unlike the dreams I used to have, nearly 30 years ago, which had led me to a move to the Caribbean in the first place.

At first, I dismissed the idea, but Ashton finally persuaded me. What clinched the deal was that one day, while we were on the phone discussing this, an e-mail from Anthony's Key Resort in Roatan, Honduras, popped into my inbox. Paying attention to signs has always served me well in the past, and I took this as a sign. Maybe I really did need a change in Latitude to change my growing unpleasant attitude!

I found myself booking a trip to AKR, which is a renowned dive resort that also caters to snorkelers like myself. In addition this is where the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences is located. So there would be ample opportunity for interactions with dolphins, which I was very excited about. Also, I needed to have good communication with the home front. This was not a time to 'fall off the grid'. The trip I booked seemed to meet all of our requirements.

The Blue Tangs moved in unison from one coral to another. As they did so, I followed them with my gaze, calmly breathing in and out through my snorkel as if practicing meditation. And, like meditation, I have always found snorkeling to be very therapeutic, calming tense nerves and an anxious mind. Yes, this was exactly what I needed.

Please note: I will be blogging about my experience in Roatan over the next few weeks. 
So, stay tuned for more.

In addition, I want to be clear that although I enjoyed staying at Anthony's Key Resort, I was in no way comped for the experience. All views are my own.

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