22 Mar

Running Out Of Runway

Here’s the thing. When you step up, step out, and try, you never really know how it’s going to turn out.

Truth is, we’ve been struggling for a while. We’re not making enough money, our ideas continue to fall flat, and the long term outlook doesn’t suggest that continuing to push through is the answer.

We’ve been trying to get this beast (whatever that is) up in the air for long enough. We’ve run out of runway. We’re going home.

Yes, it feels like failure. Like we didn’t try hard enough, or push far enough, or simply do enough. Like we’re giving up.

Yes, it hurts. A lot. Giving up on a dream is terribly painful; in my heart, in my head, in my gut.

Yes, it’s for the best. We’re not happy; the goal has always been to be happy so moving toward that on an altered path is better than continuing to push along a path that’s not working.

Yes, we’re excited. The future always holds such possibility; we still don’t really know what it will look like for us but, as always, we’re excited to see what it holds and how we can shape it for ourselves.

We do know a couple of things.

We’re looking at Vancouver or Toronto as our next new home. Each has tremendous pull for us. I adore Vancouver and have long dreamed of living there; Toronto holds some of our dearest friends and connections abound. We’ll be happy in either place.

It’s the job that will decide. Jason is looking for work in either city; first to the post wins! Here’s where you can help! Jason is looking for work as a Senior IT Business Analyst. He has experience in health care and transportation with skills in business transformation and change management. It’s a mouthful, I know, but if you know of a position, or a company, or a contact that you can let us know about I would definitely owe you a beer in return. :)

I’ll continue trying to build my new business. I think it’s the first thing I’ve started that really has legs. I’m excited to see where I can take it and what it will look like a year from now. If only it had come to me a little earlier, a little farther from the end of the runway. We can’t think like that though; looking back does no good, we can only look forward.

And so, here we go, taking another Giant Step in this journey of ours. Wish us luck.

16 Mar

A Yoga Convert

Just like dating, it all comes down to time and place. You can date the biggest a$$hole for months on end because you have nothing better to do, and you can let a gem go by because it just wasn’t the right time.

That’s how it’s been with yoga and I. We’ve dated on and off for years and, quite frankly, I was probably the a$$hole during our early attempts to get to know one another.

A self confessed adrenaline junkie, I would have rather hurtled down a mountain on my bike or a wooden plank than sit in contemplative silence pretzeling myself into un-natural shapes. Yoga didn’t offer any blood-pumping, lung-stretching, adrenaline-inducing effects so I dismissed it as a useless waste of time.

Fast forward to this year. We’re at a crossroads. I’m anxious a lot of the time. It’s not crippling; more like a low lying  bass vibration that’s with me all the time. It bubbles to the surface occasionally but mostly it’s just there. 

And then yoga calls. Just at the right time.

“Let’s give it another go. I think you’ll like it this time.”

And thank goodness that, for once, I listened.

For me, it’s the whole ritual that I love. Riding my bike through the streets to get to there. Sitting quietly waiting for class to start. The hippy-dippy incense burning, singing bowl ringing, and ommmmming. The meditation that comes through the repeated movements of my body through sun salutations, chaturangas, and downward-facing-dogs. The quiet reflection of savasana.


It brings sweet relief; a quietening, a focus, a sense of calm.

I’m as surprised as anyone, believe me, but I’ll take it.

When a chance for a yoga retreat came up I didn’t hesitate. A whole week of quiet, focus, and calm? Yes, please.

With El Coco Loco Resort as the backdrop and an amazing, eclectic group of women gathered together, it was sure to be a great week.

MJ of Dynamic Retreats is one of the most positive, uplifting, and endearing women I have ever met. She definitely set the tone for the week; offering an open, supportive, and relaxed environment not only for yoga and meditation, but also for each of us to share our stories, help each other, and, of course, have fun.

I relished getting up before the sun rose to sneak down to the beach for a few minutes. Early morning meditation was new to me but I enjoyed both the struggle of it and the quietness that it led to. The yoga was challenging, meditative, and restorative; held on a platform overlooking the jungle toward the ocean, it was easy to succumb and let it all go.

Dynamic Retreats

I had a lot to think about during the week. A new business venture on the horizon, our continuing struggle to fund our travels, and the underlying question of what-on-earth-are-we-doing?

I’m so glad I took the time. Things are so much clearer now. I’m ready to take on the future.

Dynamic Retreats

Have you ever done a yoga retreat? I have often thought of doing a silent yoga/meditation retreat…I feel like this was the lead up to actually doing it one day.


07 Mar

El Coco Loco Resort, Nicaragua

El Coco Loco, Nicaragua
It’s the story of a place that often holds the most appeal. Much like my infatuation with the Cave Lodge in Northern Thailand, El Coco Loco drew me in with their story of friendship and commitment to a vision.

As three Canadian college boys, Jamie, Earl, and Ben travelled together experiencing the world and dreaming of how their lives might turn out. Unsurprisingly there was more than one conversation that ended with ‘Dudes! We should totally open up a place down here!’. Okay, I’m not exactly quoting them here but I’m pretty sure that’s totally how it happened. ;) What is surprising is that they actually did it!

El Coco Loco started out as a barebones backpacker stop along the deserted beaches of Nicaragua and has grown into a warm, friendly retreat for both surfers and yogis looking to get away from it all if only for a short time.

I was there to attend a yoga retreat but spent much of my time lounging by the cooling pool, wandering the still-deserted beaches, and indulging in my new found love of surfing.

The resort may be rustic but it offers up some of the warmest hospitality around. From endlessly trying to get me up on that surfboard (and high-fiving me at any attempt that even suggested success!) to packing coolers of beer for our game of kickball with the local team, the staff were tireless in their dedication to us having a good time.

But it’s the guys themselves that really set the place apart. Their stories of finding the perfect piece of paradise, setting the first corner post, sleeping in hammocks, and finally welcoming their first guests made me realize the depth of commitment they have both to each other and to their dream. Learning about their Waves Of Hope organization and the work they do with the local community to increase education and job prospects was encouraging; they are here to live, not just to enjoy the beaches and surfing. It’s about stepping up to the responsibility that comes with being here. It’s inspiring.

I asked Earl if it feels as good in real life as it had for so long in their dreams. Was the reality worth all the hard work and sacrifice? A slow smile crept across his face as he looked around and said ‘Yeah, it does. It feels just as I imagined it would.’

They all have families now. Wives and small kids round out the group and add to the feeling that we truly were their guests in this special place. Watching them rock their kids in the hammock, have family dinners together along with us, and sharing so many parts of their lives with each other I wondered if I could do it? Would I have the commitment to a dream that they’ve had. Could I stay the course so long? Could you?

El Coco Loco, Nicaragua
El Coco Loco, Nicaragua
El Coco Loco, Nicaragua
El Coco Loco, Nicaragua
El Coco Loco, Nicaragua