Retirement Purgatory (Episode 1)

Written by David Howell

After spending 25+ years successfully leading application development activities at an enterprise level, David moved toward pursuing his own passions full-time. He travels the world with his wife, Leslie, exploring nearby shore dives and remote atolls from liveaboards. Together, they document their adventures at

1 June 2020

2020 has been bittersweet at TropicLens.   What started as a pair of much anticipated retirements representing a combined 75+ years of work between us has slowly been absorbed by a global pandemic impacting family, friends and coworkers.  It has been challenging to temper what would have otherwise been unabated exuberance sharing our Hollywoodesque global travel plans.

Bonaire International Airport - May 27, 2020 Update
Bonaire International Airport – May 27, 2020 update extending air traffic restrictions through June 15, 2020.

Pulling those reins in came easier mid-May when we almost simultaneously closed on our house and heard that the travel ban to Bonaire was extended to June 15.  The shift from our home for the last eleven years and all its creature comforts into a 504 square foot one-bedroom hotel room for what could potentially be a series of unknown time frames has created an unsettling anxiousness that has been hard to shake at times.

Our temporary living quarters seem even smaller as self-isolation and social distancing throughout the hotel have the eliminated pool, workout facility and lobby couches as alternative views to the four white walls we have upstairs.  But hey, we can still visit the second-floor laundry room, although its contrasting size (small) and noise level (significant) diminish its ability to function as an effective/pleasant gathering location.

Days are spent taking walks (with the occasional wildlife sighting), playing with our Oculus Quests, studying new things, redesigning the web site, getting better overall at social networking, watching TV, writing, shooting video, taking pictures, learning new things about our equipment, organizing the storage locker, visiting family when possible and generally trying to readjust our psyche which was envisioning a second floor beach view with endless sunny days and frequent excursions underwater, but is now faced with a seven day forecast of rainy isolation.

To be sure, these are not the greatest of challenges in the world, country, state or even city.  We are very thankful that we have our health as do our immediate family and friends.  We hope that everyone reading this stays safe and healthy.  This is but a temporary hurdle and we have no doubt that we will begin the cliched journey in the relatively near future.

View from our rental unit in Bonaire…when we get there.

In the meantime, we will continue to provide updates about our status and share our experiences as they occur.  We hope you enjoy them.

As always, make smart decisions and if you have the ability to positively impact someone’s day, please do so.

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