Friday, October 9, 2020

How Blessings In Disguise Can Alter Your Life.

Recently I have set out on my journey to embark on a new chapter of my life.  My dad and I went to Florida to check out where I wanted to live.  My heart was set on Miami or Tampa.  The first night we drove about 1,000 miles from the Detroit area to a small town just south of the Georgia Florida line to a small town called Madison.  

We drove for nearly 23 hours and needed  place to stay and rest for the night.  The room ended up being messy (we didn't even want to walk without our sandals on. But at least we were in Florida).  

Now I was in such a rush to get to Miami, but my dad and I were both tired and he suggested we stay in Southwest Florida for the night so we have less driving time the next couple days and to have a day where we can rest a little bit after driving for so long the first night.

I was pretty against it because I just wanted to get to Miami as fast as possible.  But we ended up staying in Bonita Springs, and this would be the point that changed it all for me.

We booked a small but very nice luxury beach themed Airbnb called Latitude 26, I believe.  The location was on a canal and only a 3 minute drive to Bonita Beach.  So of course I had to go see the breathtaking Florida sunset and spend some time at the beach. 

When we got back to the Airbnb I believe I was looking for places to stay in Miami but ended up just wasting time and not finding anything, so my dad and I went to sleep and just said "we would find something tomorrow before we go".

When we woke up I had coffee and my dad had breakfast and ended up talking to an older couple (mostly the wife) from Ocala I believe, for about an hour.

After talking for a while I decided that I wanted to stay in the area for one more night and we talked to the host of the building and she said she had another room available.  We went around and explored the Naples area for a few hours while they were preparing our new room and went down to the docks to look at some boats and the water.

Another blessing in disguise happened when I was looking for places again in Miami.  At this point I was still a little mad because I wanted to get to Miami still.  The blessing was that it was a Friday night (I believe) and the weekend prices in Miami were higher than I wanted to pay for the places I wanted to book, or the place I wanted to stay were all booked up.

We decided to wait over the weekend and spend a couple nights in Naples.  I found a shared house for an amazing deal.  I believe with all the fees and everything for 2 nights it was under $150!  It was in a little bit dumpier part of Naples but it didn't feel unsafe by any means, and the home inside was basically brand new!

How a blessing in disguise can alter your life

Side note:  Talk to the locals and hosts of  where ever you are staying.  While we were in Naples I found most people to be very open and friendly when talking to strangers.  I would ask people how they liked living in Naples, and a few people actually shared they lived in Miami but they would rather live in Naples.  But from everyone I talked to they all seemed like happy people.  Like I said they were all pretty open and friendly as well.  Our Airbnb host had a great perspective, he told me that Naples is great because its laid back but you can get to Miami or Tampa for the weekend in just a couple of hours.

Over the weekend we went and explored some of Naples including walking 5th Ave.  We didn't go into any of the shops or restaurants on 5th but decided to eat at a delicious low key Spanish restaurant about a half mile away.  I believe it is rated as one of Naples seven hidden gems to eat at.

I also found my favorite healthy place to eat at, The Bowl.  They offer a selection of smoothies, açaí bowls, kombucha, and even fresh Thai coconut.  I went here 5-6 times throughout my stay and had almost every bowl on the menu, the cacao being my favorite.  Oh and it is only a 3 minute drive to Naples beach!


On our way to Miami we took I75 across Florida through Big Cypress National Preserve.  Which happens to be an interesting part of I75, after about 5-10 minutes after getting on the highway you enter the preserve which is basically a massive swamp (which makes sense since its basically the north Everglades).
The cool thing about it is that there are multiple exits where you can get off the highway and actually go fishing or watch gators if you choose to!

When we arrived in Miami, it felt like a different country.  The lockdown was overbearing, most people were wearing masks outside and to be honest, the city was kind of a ghost town.  Although I still love Miami, I realized within about 10 minutes that right now isn't the right time to live there for me as it felt like I was in a really nice prison.

I even wanted to leave the night we got there and just go back to Naples.

Keep in mind, I had first planned a 2 week stay in Miami a couple months back, then the day after I booked the Airbnb it was cancelled as the Miami-Dade mayor put a ban on all short term rentals. (Looking back this was another blessing in disguise)  I remember being pissed at the time this happened, but it ended up being for the better.

Now I wanted to touch on masks being worn in public, as this this something that I see no one talking about when visiting Miami.  

There is enforcement that will go around and fine you, supposedly.  I brought a mask with me but never wore it unless I saw one of the enforcement people.  A couple of them saw me with it off, and when I saw them I put it on for a minute, but both of them didn't say anything or even give me a ticket, and one of them even said "hello" to us as he passed by.  So really for Miami at the time I wouldn't recommend going unless you don't mind wearing a mask, but if you are like me, and don't like wearing one, then I would avoid it all together until it gets better.  In my opinion the mayor's seem to be control freaks.

Back to our stay in Miami.  We really only went outside to walk a couple of times (because of the mask mandate).  But when we did I wanted to do some photography of the skyline and the area just because of how beautiful it looks.  I am a big fan of how the city blends so perfectly with the water.  You get a big city and a nature feel in one place, and with it being like a ghost town, I think it really helped for the nature feel.

Other than that we ate at a smoothie bar down the street from us, and ate at our Cuban food spot in South Beach.  Sadly at the time we went Ocean Dr was blocked off for cars so we didn't get to drive along the beach.  But we did go and take a look at Key Biscayne, and spent some time at a small beach, where we saw a couple of iguanas in the parking lot.

The bottom line

After visiting Miami I still had some money left on the budget I wanted to spend on my trip, and I did want to visit and explore the Naples area some more.  We booked 4 more nights at a beautiful one story airbnb with a mango tree (sadly the mango season just ended).  

At this point I pretty much knew I wanted to move to this area, but also wanted to spend the time I had planned to spend in Florida.

All that being said, I am someone who always "needs" things to go as planned and I'm in a hurry for the things I am excited for, like going to check out Miami.  I had my heart set on Miami, but what I learned is to not rush things.  If our plan of going straight to Miami wasn't changed I never would've considered Naples, and wouldn't have had meet the people I did in SWFL.

Everything had to line up perfectly for all of this to happen.  I truly think this is a blessing in disguise.  I will be living in an area of abundance (just like I would in Miami, probably even more since Naples doesn't have that many dangerous areas), the ocean, nice people, good food, pretty women, warm weather etc.  The only thing really missing from Naples is the skyline that Miami has, but the quality of life in general seems to be better than Miami.

So when things don't go exactly as planned, remember God / The Universe has something even better for you in your future!

Make the best of today,