5 Important Life Lessons Living in Paradise Taught Me

When Amanda Walkins moved to Honduras, she started approaching life in a completely new way. She reveals how you can do the same without changing zip codes.

message in a bottleNick Ferrari for Reader's DigestEver since I quit my job at a legal association in Washington, DC, for a life of warm weather and adventure in Roatán, Honduras, my whole outlook has changed. Anyone, anywhere, can cultivate the calm that vacationers and expats like me famously find in the tropics.

Electricity is overrated. Power outages are fairly common here during rainy seasons, and I’m not living off the grid—I have a laptop, an iPhone, and a Kindle. But when I’m faced with no electricity, I remember to breathe, reflect, and listen to the waves and the wind.

Make Do—it’s fun! Sometimes I go to the supermarket, and there is no chicken or bread or milk or tomatoes or whatever I intended to buy. I’ve learned to get creative. Thinking of new culinary concoctions is a favorite pastime.

Needs are different from wants. I might want new clothes, but unless my current ones are falling apart, I don’t need them. Stains and holes happen. It’s liberating to realize that I don’t notice what anyone is wearing, what type of phone a person has, or whether or not someone owns a vehicle.

Time shouldn’t dictate life. It’s fun to watch tourists learn to relax while they’re here. Scheduling every minute makes you ask where the years went. When the sun rises, a new day begins. When it sets, a new night begins. It’s that simple.

Trust these words: Author Karen Blixen once wrote, “I know the cure for everything: Salt water… in one form or another. Sweat, tears, or the salt sea.” There’s nothing that one or all of those can’t fix.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest