My husband Joel and I are no strangers to moving every few years—so in 2009, when the opportunity arose for us to venture to the island of Curacao, we jumped at the chance.
Grabbing the opportunity with both hands, we packed up a few necessities, our beloved pups and our open minds.
Curacao, in the southern Caribbean, is 35 miles north of Venezuela. You gaze out at the most beautiful turquoise water you’ll ever see. Beaches there tend to have just as much coral as sand, and snorkeling became a weekly affair for us. We never knew what we would see next…a spotted eagle ray, octopus, or sea horse.
Our house—about a two-minute drive from the beach—was in one of the oldest neighborhoods on the island and our most used “room” ended up being our rooftop patio overlooking the sea.
We discovered that Curacao has access to many of the conveniences we enjoy in the U.S., only with different packaging. There was a variety of grocery stores and shopping centers in town, although you will be more apt to find the locals at their favorite corner stores stocking up on groceries.
I made it my job to become as familiar with the island as I could. I participated in Spanish classes and tried the local language, Papiamentu. Being able to speak someone else’s native tongue really enhances the multi-cultural element of living abroad…even with my blatant American accent and limited vocabulary.
It was fun to venture out to local beaches and off-the-beaten-path places to explore the local terrain and soak in the unparalleled beautiful water. I travelled around in our 14-year-old Jeep Wrangler, the perfect vehicle for the less than modern roads in many areas. But I still don’t have a handle on what exactly all of the road signs mean…but then neither do any of our friends from Curacao.
I tend to be a gatherer by nature so it was no surprise that I started to accumulate random bits of nature’s bounty. It wasn’t long before I rekindled my creative spirit and found inspiration in those local finds…like driftwood and sea glass.
One year I made our Christmas tree out of driftwood, which graduated into a small business as all of my friends wanted me to make trees for them and their friends.
So I thought it would be fun to detail how everyone could make their very own tree, and my blog—the space between—was born. From making driftwood trees, to other projects using “up-cycled” materials—like our rooftop pallet bed—I started to chronicle all of my adventures and people started to follow along. Advertising on the blog now brings in around $1,000 per month thanks to the growing number of people following.
We have since moved again, but that experience in Curacao brought so many wonderful things into our lives. Through the blog I now have a way to sustain my own career and grow my own business.
The blog is a place to follow this DIYer’s journey in attempting to make the most of every space. Because we’re always in the space between…that little space between what has been and what will be.
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