Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Roatan deal

The summer after Matt and I got married, we were bums. I had quit my job at the newspaper the week before the wedding, and Matt didn't have a job yet because he graduated from college the week before the wedding. We spent a lot of time by the pool, brainstorming ways to avoid getting real jobs yet earn some income.

His dad somehow knew about this company called Tropical Pathways that led investment tours to places like Belize and the Dominican Republic -- places that weren't hot spots yet, but might be eventually. Matt's dad and his then-girlfriend signed up for a tour of Roatan, Honduras, and somehow we wound up going too.

Clearly, Matt and I were treating it as a vacation, not as an investigation of potential investment opportunities, especially since we were living below poverty level at the time. Around day three the guy who put together the tours, Lyle, pulled Matt and me aside and asked us why were there (in a nice way). We told him Matt's dad had organized it and paid for it and we were just along for the ride. (Matt's dad did propose buying a small oceanfront inn there and leaving Matt and me there to run it, but we declined, me emphatically, Matt less so.)

As we were talking it came up that I would love to find freelance-writing work, and Lyle told me he was looking for someone to write a monthly newsletter for Tropical Pathways clients. That's how I got my first freelancing job.

It lasted just a few months -- I don't remember why it ended, but possibly because $250 per month is still well below poverty level -- and I hadn't thought about any of that for years until a few days ago, when I was flipping through my Rolodex and noticed Lyle's business card. I went to the Web site out of curiosity and there we were, on the Roatan page.

And that's the story of the Roatan picture.

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