by Jennifer Pobiak

For the third year in a row, Cozumel 4 You is proud to host this weekly series, which features island residents – written in their own words, describe how they came to call the island home and what they love about Cozumel.  Running from June – August, you can find the 2 prior years in our archives, 2013 & 2012.

It all started at a Club Med on the island of Martinique in 1989. I was there with my boyfriend and after two years together, even a vacation in tropical paradise couldn’t provide the remedy necessary to save the doomed relationship. So, I decided to look at some of the various activities offered at Club Med which would guarantee me copious time away from “Mr. Wonderful”.  Discover Scuba seemed to provide just the ticket I needed to get away from the obvious, so off I went!

Well, my first experience with scuba was not great, to say the least. Things were moving much too rapidly for me, and from my initial terror at doing a giant stride off the side of the big boat (which appeared to be two stories up) to enduring much pain in my ears because I could not equalize when descending, I finally decided to give up. Luckily, that night at dinner, we were seated next to several doctors who were vacationing as a group from Las Vegas.  They were also experienced scuba divers. Over the course of the evening, we all became fast friends and for the rest of the week I heard them tell tale after glorious tale of their scuba diving experiences in various exotic locations of the world. I was mesmerized and smitten.  Ummm, truth be known, I was also smitten by the “hottie” doctor who invited me to join him and his fellow anesthesiologists at their annual convention at the El Presidente Hotel in Cozumel, Mexico.

Apparently, they reconvened there every year to “study” the effects of nitrogen in the bloodstream. (wink) I quickly agreed, based on the prerequisite that I wouId be returning to my home in Washington, DC, to sign up with my local scuba shop for my open water dive certification. From there, I would meet them in Cozumel and do my final open water dives. So plans all made, I went through my dive certification and off I went to Cozumel. When, I landed I was truly mesmerized by the energy of the island, charmed and delighted by the warmth and genuine friendliness of the people and astounded by the beauty and clarity of the water, the reefs and its creatures! I was smitten and head over heels in love. (With the island, not the doctor!)  To this day, I still have my first dive log, my first passport and a photo of me right before my very first open water dive here in Cozumel!

Back in Washington DC, I was constantly planning my next return trip to Cozumel. When I met my husband in 1995, I told him that I loved to travel and scuba dive, that Cozumel was my second home and if he wanted me, he would have to learn to love Mexico, as I planned on coming here for the rest of my life. Of course, we spent our honeymoon in Mexico! Well, 11 years later after my first dive in Cozumel, I finally did the inevitable and bought a home here.

Three years ago, my marriage was ending and I decided to make the really big jump and started making plans to return to Cozumel permanently and call it my home. I planned on driving through the entire country. It was an incredible road trip through Mexico and the greatest feeling was standing on the ferry headed back to Cozumel as the sun was starting to set, watching the island coming into view and knowing that this would be my next home. It was two years ago in May that I moved here permanently and opened my acupuncture practice.

Many of my friends back in the states are still incredulous. They ask me, “How can you just pack everything up and move to another country where you don’t know the language and do not know anyone?” I tell them, “You’ve got it all backwards. I know all my neighbors here! I make new friends every day and not a day goes by, no matter where I go, that I do not know someone and get a warm ‘Hola’ and a hug and a kiss on my cheek. My Mexican friends are so gracious with my struggles to learn Spanish and are always kind and humorous to help me learn. They include me in their events and make me part of their family…whether it is sharing a mole recipe handed down from their grandmother, a baby shower or birthday celebration. I am included as one of the family. I love every moment.”

The thing I love the most, is the laughter. I cannot go anywhere on the island where I am not reminded of its constant beauty, energy and incredible history and it’s warm-hearted, high-spirited, proud people. Mexico has taught me how to live in the moment.  There is something that this island gives to me that I have never had in any place that I have ever been.

I can sum it up in four simple words: Cozumel feeds my soul.

Jennifer Pobiak is the owner of Blue Dahila Wellness Center.  Jennifer is an acupuncturist specializing in Traditional Chinese Medicine and also a practitioner of Arvigo Mayan massage. Her focus is on sports medicine, fertility, women’s health, nutrition, and general health and wellbeing.  

The name Blue Dahlia was created with respect to Mexico as the Dahlia is their official flower. Look closely at the logo of Blue Dahlia and you will see a small dragonfly hovering above the “i” in the word Dahlia. This is our way of also paying our respect to the Mayan goddess, Ixchel.

This story originally appeared in the weekly Cozumel 4 You NEWS – the island’s number one source of positive information about our island!  Be sure and subscribe to the weekly NEWS to find out all the island events!…

Laura Wilkinson

Author at Cozumel 4 You
An ex-Connecticut Yankee who has called Cozumel home for over 18 years, Laura ran away to the Caribbean years ago, bumped around the islands teaching SCUBA diving, lost some time in Jamaica, and finally stopped in Cozumel for a 2 week vacation that hasn’t ended yet. With a degree in Journalism from a fancy private college she convinced her parents to pay for, Laura writes, edits, and creates the weeklyCozumel 4 You news,social media, and promotional articles about the island, as well as moderates the Cozumel 4 You Facebook group, which currently has over 25,000 members. Her long suffering husband, Fabian, has long since resigned himself to having zero private life, as he’s been involved in her various schemes and plots since his arrival. Proud parents to a variety of rescue dogs and cats, Laura continues to be the bane of her traditional Mexican mother-in-law’s existence, as she muses her way through life in the Mexican Caribbean.
Una ex yanqui de Connecticut quien llama hogar a Cozumel desde hace más de 15 años. Laura escapó al Caribe hace años, desplazándose de una isla a otra dando clases de BUCEO. Se dedicó a perder el tiempo en Jamaica y finalmente se detuvo en Cozumel para pasar unas vacaciones de 2 semanas que aún no terminan. Convenciendo a sus padres que pagaran una elegante universidad privada, obtuvo su título en Periodismo y Laura crea semanalmente Cozumel 4You, medios sociales y artículos promocionales sobre la Isla y también es moderadora en el grupo Cozumel 4 You en Facebook que actualmente cuenta con 25,000 miembros. Fabián, s umuy tolerante marido, desde hace mucho tiempo se resignó a no tener vida privada, pues se ha visto implicado en los diversos proyectos y planes que urde Laura. Son orgullosos padres de diversos perros y gatos rescatados. Mientras contempla su paso a través de la vida en el Caribe mexicano,Laura continúa siendo la pesadilla en la existencia de su muy tradicional suegra mexicana.

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1 Comment
  1. Tam Warner Minton 5 years ago

    Hey, Jen! I love your story! I need to visit you at Blue Dahlia and see if acupressure is right for me! I’ll be in town July 28. I’ll make an appointment!

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