Wellbeing

How (And Why) This Guy Moved His Life To A Tropical Island

In September 2009, a then 29-year-old Canadian, Rob Lloyd, sold everything he owned and left to travel the world indefinitely. He would soon find himself on a tiny remote island where he’d be living for the next five years. He has since laid down strong roots on the island, building two homes there.

His life motto is right there in the name of his blog: Stop Having A Boring Life. Seems simple, right? But is this an achievable life motto or an idealistic philosophy? KATE McCABE spoke with him about money, career and the concept of home.

Life at home was good

In his home city of Ottawa, Rob’s life was pretty sweet. “I had a nice girlfriend, a good career, I owned a home, a nice Mercedes and played one hundred rounds of golf a year,” he said. “But I hated the winters and hated knowing my life was basically going in only one direction. I wanted adventure, I wanted the unknown. The plan was always to be gone forever.”

Rob’s family were supportive of his nomadic life. “I like to think raising an independent child is the ultimate reward for a parent unless they are selfish and want their kids down the street for company. I found being far away brings people closer mentally because your forced to keep in better touch.”

How does he feel about missing out on monumental moments back in Canada, like weddings, parties, birthdays, those sort of things? In his straight-forward response, he makes the concept of FOMO seem, well, dumb. “I believe that whenever you go anywhere, that’s when you were meant to be there.”

So he left

With his family’s blessing, he left Canada with little more than a small 58 litre duffel bag. “I’d been talking about it for years before it actually happened but at most thought I was all talk.”

“Most people just want to do it, just like most people want to have a fitness model body. Those bodies don’t come overnight and neither do large savings.”

“Most people just want to do it, just like most people want to have a fitness model body. Those bodies don’t come overnight and neither do large savings. Dreams take time, this was a dream that became a burning desire and well, 7.5 years later I’m still in it.”

And found a new home

The Caribbean island that Rob calls home is Little Corn, 70-kilometres off Nicaragua’s eastern coast. It’s accessible via a small plane to Big Corn Island, followed by an (often dicey) boat ride to Little Corn. There are no cars, there’s one tiny market and a handful of hostels. Less than 1000 people call Little Corn home, with locals making their living from fishing or tourism.

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“When I walked across the island to the east side on a picture-perfect day and I saw the beaches for the first time, I instantly knew this was it, I had found what I had been subconsciously looking for all along.”

He settled into island life

“The last two years on Little Corn I have been really living here as I accomplished a monster project, which was building two houses.”

“There are power outages, I don’t drink the tap water and internet used to be horrific.”

“If you choose to live here it’s because you love it. Little Corn is particularly small so no power from 6am-1pm daily, produce is near non existent later in the week and pretty slim even when the boats come on Saturday. There are power outages, I don’t drink the tap water and internet used to be horrific.”

But what about money?

 

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Rob didn’t win the lottery. Instead, he worked. “I saved for years. And years and years.”

Rob has a business management and science degree and began a successful career as a lobbyist. But he couldn’t shake the thought that nine-to-five just wasn’t for him.

Living on the island is relatively cheap day-to-day, but he now funds his lifestyle through advertising on Stop Having A Boring Life and his video blogs. “I started the blog for fun and it’s still fun. If it ever stops being fun, I’ll just stop doing it and focus on other things.”

So, what has he learnt?

Living on he island has taught him a lot, “I can do anything I put my mind to it, building a house from scratch isn’t particularly easy, doing it somewhere remote like this with no motorised vehicles, a different language and an intense heat is a whole different game.”

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“I’ve learnt the value of a friend, a friend is someone you can call at anytime and who will help you with anything, anyone else is just an acquaintance.”

Find what suits you because a situation that would make you miserable might make someone happy.

But Rob admits that although he’s confident in the decisions he has made for himself, he knows they wouldn’t suit everyone. His advice is to look inwards, “Follow your gut and remember that happiness is what it’s all about. Find what suits you because a situation that would make you miserable might make someone happy. Get to know yourself, figure out what you want in life and go for it.”


Kate is a coffee-obsessed traveller who gets by in life as a publicist but finds time to regularly contribute to The Cusp and AWOL. Follow her travels on Instagram @katermac and Twitter @krmcc. 

(Images: Stop Having A Boring Life)