1. Things grow way differently than I thought. I had no idea how pineapples, cashews and coconuts look when they're growing. I'm well educated and have read a lot, but there are some things that had just never come up before. I thought pineapples maybe grew from trees, that the hairy brown spheres of coconuts that are sold in the supermarket were how they looked on the tree (maybe blame that are cartoon portrayals of coconut trees), and I don't really know how I pictured cashews, but definitely didn't imagine them anything like how they really are
2. I had no idea that the sky could hold so much rain. Incredible- it can be dumping buckets for hours, and then going on even longer!
3. The concept of 'tomorrow' is different when you live on a Caribbean island. Tomorrow doesn't necessarily mean the day after today- it just means some abstract time in the future.
4. Little things I used to take for granted are actually luxuries and blessings, so I've learned how to be thankful when I have them: hot water showers, clean drinking water right from the tap, electricity that doesn't go out, going to the grocery store and being able to find everything on your shopping list.
5. There's no need for mail. On Roatan, we don't have street addresses, no mail delivery- the electric bill gets tucked in by your meter, your water and phone bills also get dropped off by guys on moto, and if you have someone write to you, it eventually will arrive to the post office in Coxen Hole, though might take a few months to get there. No flyers, no mailbox jammed with crap.
I love the simpler lifestyle of living here. Lying out in my backyard, gazing up at the stars without any city lights to block them, taking my dogs for a walk along the beach in the morning. I like people smiling at me when they pass by, saying good morning, good evening and good night. I like seeing kids running around outside playing, instead of glued to their electronics. I like the sweet smell of plumerias in bloom, seeing hummingbirds dart around the garden, hearing the sounds of nature, the warm feel of the sun on my skin, the taste of juicy mangoes and pineapple. And I love, love, love not having snow. Ever.