298 – days spent living in Puerto Rico
6 – days left until I return to Denver
8(ish) – beaches that have been within a 10-minute drive of our house
10 – sailing lessons the boys had (más o menos)
90 – baby sea turtles we watched safely get to sea
3 – forms of schooling my two children have experienced in a year
12 – cities and towns on the island we’ve explored in some way
2.5 – average number of nights per week I’ve eaten Thai food since September
45 – farmers markets we’ve had since I arrived
1 – number of Saturdays I did not spend at the market
5 – farms visited to see agriculture in action
6 – iguanas in the schoolyard at any given time
17 – family members and friends who came to visit since September
We joke in our family about having our nature mom and our nurture mom – the one who gave birth and the neighbor whose house was our home base for times when our parents were working. In a way, Colorado is our nature home and Puerto Rico is a nurture home – a place that has shaped our worldview, provided us new experiences and helped us all grow, even just a little.
For those whose reaction is, “I wish I could do that,” quite simply – maybe you can. I left a job, packed our house, sold most of our belongings and moved away, practically at the drop of a hat. In the end it’s been a little less than a year. We will return to live with my parents until our house is open, refurnish it once it is and find work again stateside. Was it all a bit of a hassle for a small amount of time? Maybe. Did it cost us more to go than it would have to stay? Possibly. Was it worth it to live on an island, around the corner from my brother and his family? Without a doubt.