A Love Affair with the Honduran Island of Roatán

It isn’t hard to understand the love affair expats have with the little island that I’m happy to call home: the blue skies and turquoise seas, the endless sunshine, and lush, jungle-covered hills.

It’s a love affair that continues to suck more North Americans and Europeans into its vortex. Those expats who live on the island of Roatán, Honduras will tell you they couldn’t stand another harsh winter, or another day in their fluorescently lit office, or yet another advertisement telling them what else is missing in their lives. Roatán offers an escape from all that.

I made my escape two years ago. Do you want to know how many times I’ve regretted it since? Not once. Not when the polar vortex hit North America, not when the iPhone 6 came out and people waited in line for hours to be the first to buy it.

Instead of spending my life waiting in line for the next best thing, I spend it soaking up the sunshine and salt air, reading in my hammock on the beach, watching the sunset over the water, and chatting with friends and strangers alike.

When is the last time you went to a restaurant and didn’t see people sitting at the same table but paying attention to their phones instead of their friends or family? You almost never see that here—we live in the present. We don’t spend our money on gadgets, but on experiences. Maybe that’s why life is so affordable—we don’t waste money on things. Rather, we enjoy the experiences of lounging at a seaside bar to watch the sunset and perhaps spend $2 on a local beer to cool us down from the day’s sunshine.

A Low Cost of Living on Roatán

We don’t spend tons on rent either. Even living right on the beach won’t cost you an arm and a leg here. My two-bedroom, beachfront apartment runs me about $750 per month with all utilities included (including HBO, Showtime, and STARZ in my cable/Wi-Fi package that runs me $75 per month). I even pay for a maid service—something I never could have afforded back home.

Because of the low cost of living in Roatán, I have been able to purchase a scooter for transportation, as well as a small boat just for fun.

I also go out to eat several nights per week, share drinks with friends, and I regularly host barbecues at my house—all without flinching at the cost. And, no, neither I nor most of the expats living here are independently wealthy… Yet because of the low cost of living here, we not only get by—we enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle.

As I said, it certainly isn’t hard to understand the love affair expats have with this little island…

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