Escape The Winter Trip 2020: Day 15

Ughhh…today was “go home” day and it sucked. For two weeks, I’d been saying that things didn’t suck, but that changed today. We headed for our last breakfast at the resort’s buffet and, despite the smiles in the selfies, we were all pretty bummed that our vacation was coming to an end.

The final Bonaire 2020 trip selfie. The smiles are a bit forced…
Happy to be together in paradise, but, sad to go home.

After breakfast, we packed up our stuff (record timing of less than 1 hour, I might add!) and headed to resort’s Coconut Crash bar for some frosty, frozen pina coladas before heading to the airport. The reality of leaving paradise, heading home and closing on the sale of our house in less than a week started to become more clear and pressing. It’s pretty easy to forget all the “stuff” going on at home when you’re in such a beautiful place for two weeks. We are SO happy that we decided to make this vacation two weeks instead of just one. And, if anything, it ignited a fire inside us to get back to Bonaire in the future, next time on our own boat, with a timeline and length of stay that we choose.

The rest of the day was pretty mundane and expected. We turned in rental car around lunchtime and headed to airport to get through security and get seats in the small airport to wait for our flight. Our flight departed shortly after 3pm (local time) and we arrived back in cold, miserable Newark, New Jersey around 8pm. After collecting our luggage and clearing back into the country, we found our truck, loaded up and headed to our soon-to-be-sold home.

I will confess that I spent the majority of the day speculating at our future, wondering where we may be next year at this time and what adventures may lay in store for us. While two weeks in paradise was just what we both needed, it was much more than that for me. It was a time to consider the huge and exciting changes we’re getting ready to experience. It was a time to evaluate how much I’ll actually miss being in Central Pennsylvania. And it was a time to start really opening my mind to the idea that in just a few weeks, we will be free to visit this (or any other) tropical paradise whenever we choose. I loved my life before, but, once we committed to breaking away from the rat-race grind to do something different, life and the possibilities of our future have become so much cooler!

A few quick thank yous…

West Shore Scuba – Thank you, again, for putting this trip together. While we won’t be able to officially make next year’s trip, we’ve got our fingers crossed that things may work out for us to catch up with the crew while you’re in Bonaire in 2021. Ron and Jamie – Congratulations on your engagement and good luck with wedding planning! We’re rooting for you to break the largest underwater wedding world record!

Plaza Beach & Dive Resort Bonaire – Thank you so, SO much for your hospitality, kindness and service during our two weeks at your resort. We wanted for nothing while we were there and we will be happy to recommend the resort to anyone looking to travel to Bonaire. Mr. Vincent – If you happen to be reading, we’re so happy you were at the resort while we were there! It was a pleasure meeting you. Thanks for taking interest in what we’re doing. We hope our paths will cross again in the future.

Toucan Diving Bonaire – Thank you for EVERYTHING! Keeping our Nitrox tanks full, offering great boat diving experiences and providing top-notch instruction for the Lionfish Hunter course, you guys are AWESOME! We appreciated seeing your friendly and helpful faces and knew that you would help with anything we needed. Hagen – If you happen to be reading, THANK YOU for everything! You have a great crew of people working for you and we appreciated seeing you around the resort and getting to chat.

Bonaire East Coast Diving – Your operation unlocks some incredible opportunities to divers and we’re thankful to have had the opportunity to experience Turtle City with you. The unique experience of diving the east coast of Bonaire is one of Josh’s “stand out” experiences of the trip. We’ll be back to see you in the future!

Bruce Bowker’s Carib Inn – On this trip alone, we visited our dive shop three times to have malfunctioning gear repaired. And, all three times, we left your dive shop with repaired gear, having paid next to nothing to have it repaired. Thank you for your ridiculously reasonable rates and your help in getting us fixed up and back in the water quickly.

Uncle Touchy and Aunt Joan – Thanks for being the best dive buddies and great friends. We’re thankful to have shared two weeks in paradise with you, taking in some incredible sights and making some life-long memories. We count you among some of our very best friends and can’t wait to keep adventuring with you! We love you both!

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