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Who is El Scott Harrell?

I’ll save you a rehash of what you can find out about my professional history on my LinkedIn profile and give you more of a personal look about who I am today

I am currently writing this blog page from Atenas, Costa Rica; Utila, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico, Panama City, Panama; Curaçao, Aruba; Cozumel, Mexico where I live with my wife, Julie, to whom I’ve been married for almost 20 years, and daughters, Maddie and Max, who are currently 4 and 6 years old. I turned 42 years a few days ago and feel great!

We left our home in the United States (Pensacola, Florida) in October of 2011 after we sold or gave up EVERYTHING we managed to accumulate living together:

  • Family and Friends.
  • Julie’s job as a shopping center mall manager
  • Ford Expedition
  • Chrysler Minivan
  • My Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
  • Home and its ENTIRE contents (Pool Table, Hot Tub, Home Theater System, etc, etc)
  • Yacht club membership
  • My guns!
  • A very high-end pre-school / day care for the girls.
  • And so much more…

It would not be a stretch for me to tell you that we used to spend A LOT of money on stuff… shit that we just owned because we were trying to let our rich friends know that we belonged in their circles.

Fucking silly really.

Since we left, we’ve lived in Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Belize, Panama, Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire; next up we’ll be in Columbia or Ecuador – maybe Southeast Asia. I’ll let you know when we’ve made a definite decision.

We’ve become a family of “nomads” and because I own several online businesses while we are traveling, the term “Digital Nomad” might be applied, too. Undoubtedly we earn a very comfortable living online and I still own a private investigation agency in Pensacola, FL that my assistant manages and runs via a few independent contractors who handle the heavy lifting.

We’ve simply become location-independent and we are blessed to have been able to enjoy the experience thus far. Many great things have happened as a direct result:

  • The girls are both rapidly becoming fluent in Spanish, Julie is really working on hers and mine is coming back.
  • I’ve really gotten back into scuba diving, diving almost every day and have resurrected my scuba instructor certifications.
  • I’ve become a partner in a Cozumel scuba diving business.
  • We are learning to live better with less stuff.
  • The girls have learned that giving away their stuff when we move on, is exciting and feels GREAT!
  • We are actually SAVING money!

Being a working nomad has not been a complete bed of roses by any stretch… finding schools and activities for the girls to give us a break every once in a while is never easy and the language barriers make the process even more difficult.  We often struggle to find adequate Internet service, which is still temperamental at best, but is really necessary to stay connected. I struggle to find a quiet place to work and think that is free from distraction. We struggle to find a balance between traveling at a speed that is affordable and keeps us interested, but also allows us to feel like we are all absorbing some of the culture of our host countries.

We learned that there are two very distinct faces of every place we’ve been… There is the illusion of a splendid life of luxury you get while you are staying at a resort or hotel in a beautiful vacation destination like Cozumel, Roatan or in Costa Rica and…

There is poverty.

My “first world” problems, when put into the perspective of living in third world (emerging) countries, seem small. The side of Cozumel I see is not the same Cozumel you are seeing from a lounge share or hammock on the beach while sucking up margaritas and blended fruity drinks. The roads are often crap, electricity is expensive and goes out without explanation, the mosquitos can bring disease and flooding can be a problem. The petty theft is rampant – PROTECT YO’ SHIT!

I suppose what is also true though when you make a “first world” income in a third world economy, it’s easier to enjoy many amenities that are otherwise not within reach back home. Consequently, we are living better, if not easier, lives as a result right now.

We are looking forward to leaving Latin America in a year or two, but not until we feel like the girls’ fluency in Spanish is set for the time being. I suppose that Julie and I consider this a gift we are giving them though they certainly do not understand that right now. I REALLY want to go to Thailand and study Muay Thai full-time for 6 months .

My goal is to step into the ring on a REAL fight card in Thailand!

In a few short weeks I am turning In November of 2012, I turned over my online private investigator school and e-zine website over to new managing partners and for the first time in over a decade I cannot see what’s next.  So while I define myself as a high-profile private investigator, mentor and thought leader in my profession today, what will I be tomorrow?

Losing my professional identity is a bit disconcerting not because I see a void in my life on the near horizon but because I see so much opportunity!

I’m like a puppy in a room full of fire hydrants!

Which  opportunity do I jump on first? Of course, there is the dive shop but after having been in Cozumel for 5 months, I am increasingly feeling restless and we need something more location independent. I’m diving almost every other day or so and while Cozumel is one of the top diving destinations in the world, I need a change.

So, who L. Scott Harrell is today is in flux, however who El Scott Harrell is not. I’m pretty much the same guy I’ve always been, though  I’ve added a few titles to the list – Daddy, Nomad and “Pinche Tooreest!”

I’ll let you, Dear Reader, develop your own sense of who I am if you’ll just take some time to read my blog.