I met a man on my walk today.
He said "hello" (Bon Dia in Papiamento) as he passed me. It had been days since I had a conversation with a stranger, let alone with an Aruban native. We shared our fondness for morning walks, entrepreneurialism and the opportunity to be in an environment that brings us complete joy.
As we discussed my love of Aruba and my desire to come back, he shared with me that he owns rental properties and helps other realtors connect with buyers. My ears perked up at the timeliness of this encounter. We continued our walk toward Arashi Beach, which is where his property was located. Not only did I get a tour of the property, but he showed me the top deck, which had a 365 degree perspective of Aruba. This view was my kind of eye candy.
Besides the beauty he showed me, during our conversation, one thing really stood out for me.
My new friend Herbie said, "I am so grateful to wake up to this every day. I can enjoy the most beautiful place in the world."
As the words were coming out of his mouth, I returned to an earlier occurrence. As I sat with my dinner for one last night, I said a prayer of gratitude for the life I'm living.
The decisions to get here were not easy.
I left my own apartment. I gave up my belongings. I accepted help from others.
In doing so, I gained access to the beauty that is all around me and a level of freedom I could not have expected.