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Roatan Vortex

20 Jan

Did you ever see the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind?”

When I saw it (a million years ago) I found it quite humorous when the character played by Richard Dryfuss became obsessed with recreating an image of a mountain that consumed his every thought. He started sketching what he saw in his minds-eye. From there he moved on to building it out of mashed potatoes, and ultimately dug up his back yard to construct the mountain out of mud, chicken wire, and just about anything else he could find around his yard. To the complete dismay of his wife, he built it in the kitchen.

He had to understand the vision and ultimately get to this mountain.

While I never went that far…I did become obsessed with Roatan. One day, in late 2004, I was sitting at my desk (at work, in Cambridge, Ontario) when one of our Company sales-reps came in and mentioned that he was going to Roatan for a diving holiday. I had never heard of Roatan, and I’m not a diver. That should have been the end of it. But I couldn’t get the word Roatan out of my head. I started Googling every possible way to spell Roatan that I could think of.

R-O-A-T-A-N, that must be it! References to an Island in the Caribbean Sea and the quality of diving offered there started popping up. Once again I need to stress that I’m not a diver…heck, I can hardly swim. And if I’m going to be totally honest…I’m AFRAID of water. I had visited other Caribbean Islands before (enjoyed them all) but never felt the draw to them like I did to Roatan.

Once I discovered Roatan, without ever having been there, I knew that someday I would live there…I just had too!

For the next while, life carried on as usual. But every chance I got I continued to research Roatan. The exact location, the towns and villages, the people, the history. I intrigued and bored family and friends with my obsession. And then in July 2006 the most tragic event imaginable happened and for the next year I didn’t give Roatan a thought. As my soul healed, my obsession resurface…I had to go to Roatan.

Once I made it here in August 2007, I knew I had found home. The Roatan Vortex had pulled me in!

So is that the end, was getting here the culmination of my obsession, sit back and relax, I’m finished. Since moving here I have encountered (and become good friends) with many people who felt the same pull to the Island. From all over the world we have been drawn to be here. Is it just a coincidence?

I don’t think so!!!

17 Responses to “Roatan Vortex”

  1. Jenny Blenny 26. Jan, 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    Hi Genny,
    Just found myself on your page and read your story of coming to Roatan, I love it, it is so similar to mine, in that I was ready to come but had a set back of over a year but kept talking about the place (had never been, and knew noone that had!).
    I think Roatan is very involved in who stays and who goes!!
    And all the wonderful people who have been drawn here, sometimes seems like a soul reunion!
    jenny xx

  2. gennyca 27. Jan, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Exactly. Within minutes of meeting someone new to Roatan, I can sense if they will be staying…there is definitely a connection.

  3. Pam 05. Feb, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Now that I am back in `reality`I miss my experiences and new found friends in Roatan even more. I wonder how long it will take me to re-assimilate (sort of like an astronaut returning to earth- maybe). I am so enjoying your blogs.
    I bought `Roatan Odyssey` while there and since coming back I have not been able to put it down as much because I can almost taste the island again. Who knows. Now that my clothes are clean again maybe I should return and seek out the parts of the island and mainland that I did not experience.


  4. gennyca 06. Feb, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    Be sure to let us know if you make it back here…it can grab you!

  5. Pam 06. Feb, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Vortex is a good word.
    I cannot believe the pull I am experiencing to return to see all the parts of Roatan that I did not get to and do all the things I left undone. Who would have thought.
    I am reading your blog faithfully so keep up the good writing. Kids poem/story taking shape with pictures almost all in now. I will send you a copy when it is done.

  6. Patricia Lemelin 21. Feb, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    ROATAN I remember it well.
    I was given the gift of it one year, where two, lovely, single ladies walked the beautiful beaches and dreamed, laughed and danced in the sun. The following year these same two ladies walked the beaches and laughted in the sun with their newly wedded husbands!!!!!!! Hummm……is there a magic in the tropical winds of this beautiful, exotic ROATAN?

  7. James McGinnis 23. Feb, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Hi Genny

    As you know the vortex has got me too. Tell Dave I said hello and see you all in April. Retiring this year and moving to our beautiful island. Can’t wait Roatan is allways in my head. My family and some of my friends cannot understand. But if we can we must live or dreams!


  8. gennyca 23. Feb, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    When you have to come here…you have to come here. Family and friends will accept it soon enough, ours did. See You in April.

  9. Johnny 22. Mar, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    Hi Genny,

    Just finished reading, and it’s quite incredible to find out that I’m not so crazy after all… I have been researching Roatan for five years and pestering everyone about it. I have even forgotten how it all started, but yes, there is a very strong pull!!! What could it be?
    Will be there in June, at last and I just cant wait.


  10. Gennyca 22. Mar, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    Sounds to me like the Roatan Vortex got you Johnny! Don’t try to fight it…it pulls…you’re in!

  11. Johnny 22. Mar, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    And how!!! Bear in mind, that I’ve never been there before and I live on the other side of the world. Never the less, I have a vivid picture in my mind about living there… It just mskes me wonder… mmmmm!!!

  12. Gennyca 23. Mar, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Be sure to submit another comment after you get here Johnny. I’d love to hear how the “vivid picture” of Roatan compares to the real thing! Might help us solve the mystery!

  13. Shirley Rick 06. Sep, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    Hi Genny:
    Love your website. The Roatan ‘Vortex’ ….I love it! Describes what happens perfectly…came to Roatan on a 2 week vacation in 2004 and ended up buying a lot and building a house. Never had one second of buyer’s remorse. We winter there every year and we are heading toward retiring there soon. Funny, this after saying we would never vacation at the same place twice because there was a wonderful, big old world to see. Now all we want to do is get back home…body in Canada…heart in Roatan. We have many, many wonderful friends there from all over the world, with many different backgrounds and yet……..there’s that commonality. We often talk about what it is about Roatan and we can come up with a list of many things, weather, people, food, etc. etc. and yet there is something else….something you can really express and really I don’t ever want to figure it out.

  14. Genny Ross-Barons 06. Sep, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Hi Shirley,

    Always love to hear from those who feel it too. I tried to describe it as best as I could. You’re so right…no need to figure it out…we’re just glad the Roatan Vortex pulled us in.


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