Out of the doldrums

There is something so fresh and new about November here in Cayman. It's the last month of our Caribbean hurricane season, and in the four years that we've been on the island, we have personally found that the split second the October calendar flips over into November, the "Christmas breeze" picks up, the rain clouds start to roll away, and a new season is upon us. Mind you, the seasonal shifts on a tropical island are pretty subtle, but after several months of boiling summer weather with very little in the way of a cool breeze to wick away the heat, a gusty day up at Barkers is therapy for our wilting souls.

 photo credit: Maya Ogorzalek
Maya testing the wind and waves while kiteboarding at Barkers, Grand Cayman.

Similarly, November marks a change in emphasis for me and this blog, which, as you may have noticed, have been pretty silent over the past four or five months.

Has the sun set on this blog? Read more to find out.
[Google Auto Awesome'd a set of sunset photos from our trip to South Africa this summer]

Maybe you need a little insight into my creative thought process.

A floral arrangement including protea, the national flower of South Africa

When I started this blog, my focus was to document our lives in Cayman, to keep in touch with friends and family back home, and to inform and educate other new expats moving to Cayman who might be going through similar life transitions. It worked out pretty well - I posted regularly about the big events and the small discoveries, taking copious amounts of photos, documenting almost every event of our lives outside of work. I had loads of fun developing my love of photography and rediscovering my love for writing, and I had a fair amount of time to devote to this creative documentation process, because our personal responsibilities and social commitments were few and manageable.

A recent just-for-fun photo shoot with JW while she enjoyed one of Cayman's simple pleasures: Governor's Beach.

I noticed over time, however, that as we added more and more activities into our lives, as we threw ourselves into our careers, and as we introduced positive healthy practices like cleansing and yoga and Crossfit, my chronological blogging habits had to fall to the wayside, and staying on top of the documentation of weekly and monthly events became more and more difficult. I admit that I beat myself up about this many a time, until finally, this year, I gave myself a break. "No more forced blogging," I said to myself. "It's a hobby, after all, and I control this blog. It doesn't control me."

A beach bonfire to celebrate SM's birthday at Barkers National Park.

So during the summer months, I took a step back, stopped pressuring myself, and mentally relaxed. I thought about blogging here and there, even jotting down some ideas and topics I want to explore (and still hope to do so), but never finished a complete post. Granted, we also were traveling for about four and a half weeks over the past few months, but even when we were home, I didn't push myself or stress about blogging. I just needed to ignore the "responsibility" of it all for a while.

The kind of view that will clear your head. As long as you can deal with heights.  //  Table Mountain, Capetown, SA

But this nagging thought of weeks and months of blog silence kept haunting me. I missed writing and sharing my thoughts in this space, and I had so many photos that needed an outlet. I finally decided: This blog needed a new vision. A breath of fresh air. Maybe even a face lift. And definitely a new direction.

A new vision: Like visiting NYC and only seeing Manhattan via a rooftop bar in Brooklyn.

I had to go back to the drawing board in terms of what this blog is about. Is it about our life in Cayman exclusively? Is it about occasional photo shoots I do of people and products that I love? Is it about our travels? I guess it's been about all those things over the past four years, but with a limited time capacity for posting, I needed to narrow the scope a little.

More Manhattan via Brooklyn

It may or may not be evident, but this was all originally the brainchild of NS. I sort of consider him to be on the blog's Board of Directors, providing high-level oversight, while I'm the CEO, calling the shots day-to-day. I recently called a Board meeting, if you will, to get his valuable input. I told him the many options spinning through my dreidel head - every idea seeming as important and interesting as the next. His sensible, objective advice helped cut through all that chatter.

Beyond the new aesthetics you've undoubtedly noticed by now in the layout and design, my new goals for posting in this space are as follows:

1) To create one post a month that is focused around my photography or videography creations - to give you an idea of what I'm doing artistically


2) To create one post a month that summarizes the month that was, keeping you up to date on where we've been, what we've done, who we've been with, and maybe even what we've eaten. All that critical stuff, ya know.

A preview highlight from October 2014.

Now that I've actually posted all these confessions in a public forum, my goals feel more like a real commitment, which is a little scary. But maybe that's what I was missing - accountability, along with purpose, drive, and inspiration. I was stuck in the doldrums. But now the weather has shifted, and it's time to move with the tide again.

Watching the surfers ride one home  //  in Yzerfontein, South Africa

I hope you're along for the ride with me.


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