Together, let’s explore day-to-day island living through my eyes as a “recovering lawyer,” along with the musings that these life changes have brought about for me – all peppered with the striking characters, funny oddities and other random tidbits that cross my path or come to mind.

Thank you for joining me on this amazing journey. May you also choose the Better Life for yourself, however you define it!

BEFORE; liking life okay

BEFORE Choosing the Better Life:

I am a born-and-bred American woman. For the entire decade of my 30’s, I lived in a big Midwestern city, working long hours as a partner in a downtown law firm. I enjoyed the “success,” felt fortunate to like and respect my colleagues and our clients, and I didn’t mind the work most days. Privileged to have wonderful friends in the area, I nonetheless whined about the ridiculously cold winters and long grey days, and I lamented the distance from my family in South Florida. But life generally clicked along okay, though I suffered the nagging feeling that there should be something greater to life than just okay.

After a brief but tumultuous period in my personal life (that I’d really rather just forget), I settled back into this comfortable routine. Yet, as my 40th birthday also neared, I began to seriously question if this is how I wanted to spend the next 40 years. Turns out, the answer was, “No.” Please know that I was not having a mid-life crisis. Rather, very calmly and clearly, I simply decided to choose a better life for myself.

AFTER; loving life

AFTER Choosing the Better Life:

Now, as I (gasp) cross the threshold into my 40’s, and for the foreseeable forever, I am happily ensconced on a tiny island in the Bahamas. And I mean TINY – as in less than five square miles and fewer than 100 full-time residents.

My days are spent running errands in a temperamental golf cart, hanging laundry on the line to dry in the sunshine and ocean breeze, taking my dog to the backyard beach for an afternoon swim, cooking fresh-caught fish and lobster, seeing more friends in any given week than I typically would in a month in the big city, pursuing freelance writing projects, skimming over the turquoise waters in small boats, participating in sailboat-racing mania and all other local festivities, and generally experiencing far more peace, fulfillment and happiness than I ever have. While this is not necessarily “the better life” for everyone, it most certainly is for me!

More About Me:

  • I am organized to a fault and really like lists.
  • I especially love bulleted lists.
  • Strangers and friends alike often ask me, “Why Did You Quit Your Job?” and “How Did you End Up Living On An Island?” and “Is There A Target Store?” and “But What Do You DO All Day?” and “Do You Miss It?” and so on. This blog will (eventually) attempt to answer these – and other questions you may have about island living or choosing a better life.
  • Angel is my 7-year-old King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who happily transitioned to “island dog” status, remains spoiled as ever and makes frequent appearances on this blog.
  • My mother hates it when I reveal my age because anyone doing simple math can figure out she isn’t as young as she fabulously appears.
  • One of my prized possessions is a beautiful guitar that I never really learned to play, but keep thinking I need to get back to.
  • My high school graduation quote was “Keep your face to the sunshine and you’ll never see the shadows.” 20 years later, I’ve learned that the shadows add depth to our life experience, but I still believe in keeping my face to the sunshine.
  • I’ve lived in 8 states and 3 countries.
  • Singing and a variety of music satisfy my soul.
  • I am a native English speaker, fluent in Spanish and Pig Latin, and can claim only rudimentary Italian and French.
  • A strange lilt to my voice and occasional Bahamian dialect is beginning to appear in my speech these days.
  • I am blessed with wonderful, loving and supportive parents, brother and extended family.
  • My formative years in a Southern state instilled in me a passion for sweet tea, biscuits-n-gravy and southern cooking, an appreciation for southern manners, and a strong preference for “y’all” over “you guys” or the collective “you.”
  • Although I won’t talk much about God here, spirituality is an important part of my life. My faith has deepened throughout this journey, and my soul thrives in this serene environment.
  • Books, books, books – reading is a passion.
  • My young adult self never would have predicted it, but I’ve turned into a morning person.
  • I wear far more sunblock than I used to, but probably not as much as I should.
  • While I may talk casually or flippantly about much of this, I am extremely thankful for so much good in my life.
  • I’m thrilled that you’re joining me on this journey!

Angel, enjoying life as an island dog

Did you notice it’s a leftie guitar?

6 Responses to About

  • Lisa Bdidi says:

    Hi, Is wonderful to discover your blog, as in less than six months I am relocating from my birth country of New Zealand to my husbands country of Morocco., He relocated here almost 3 years ago, a few months ago I decided it was time for us to live in Morocco, for a better life.:) Lisa

    • Dawn says:

      Lisa, delighted to have you join us! And GOOD for you for making decisions for your own Better Life. 🙂 I look forward to hearing how it goes. Please keep me posted!

  • Ashley says:

    I read your YouQueen article about your experience switching from lawyer and hardworker to island freelance writer and a more relaxing lifestyle about a year ago, and I have just come back to it because I am thinking about making almost similar changes in my life (I’m the esthetician/wax specialist who always wanted to be a writer) and am very unsure and afraid right now, yet completely inspired and encouraged. I had to find your blog after that to see how things are going for you and I am glad to see that things seem to be going great 🙂 God bless you Dawn!

    • Dawn says:

      Ashley! Thank you so much for your comment. I am sorry it took my so very long to respond. I’m afraid I’ve neglected my blog terribly. However, being appalled at myself may have the silver lining of kick-starting me to post again! All is well; just got busy with new projects. I also popped over to your blog to see how YOU are doing! I hope you continue to feel the inspiration and encouragement (more than the fear and uncertainty)! All the best to you, Ashley. Thanks so much for writing. Dawn

  • Julee Felinski says:

    I love your blog, Dawn, and am so happy that you’re sharing your experiences there with us. (It only makes me miss the Bahamas more!) Your stories are compelling and fun to read. And I didn’t know you offered all those writing services. How much of your time do you actually spend writing for others now?

    • Dawn says:

      Thanks for your comment, Julee. I’m so pleased you like the blog! I spend very little time writing now – not on this blog and not freelance either! Life has become quite “busy” with other things, but I still try to maintain that “balance” that is central to the theme of this blog and to reap the upsides of island living! For now, however, that means pushing writing to the back-burner. I’m confident there will be a day when it takes on a stronger focus again. Meanwhile, I’ve maintained the blog site, intending to get back to writing. And that’s why I signed on today at long last . . . to write! Thanks for your support.

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