Monday, December 07, 2009

GUEST: Malana Ashlie

About Gringos in Paradise

Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey by Malana Ashlie is a delightfully amusing and lighthearted autobiography chronicling her move from Hawai’i to the Caribbean Coast of Honduras. When she and her husband decide to relocate to a more secluded paradise the fun begins. She shares the trials and triumphs of building a new life in Central America, in what can best be described as a spiritual journey of faith.

Of special appeal to the swelling ranks of expat retirees in Mexico and Central America (over one million strong, according to 2005 census estimates), Gringos in Paradise shares the adventures — and misadventures — two retirees face as they set off to the Caribbean coast of Honduras in search of financial freedom, personal fulfillment, and peace.

Malana Ashlie:

Just over thirty years ago I was given an intuitive reading as a birthday gift. The reader of runes told me that she saw papers all around me and asked if I was a student or a writer. Since I had dragged myself through school and deplored any form of script my response was a resounding “NO WAY!”. I was known to refuse gifts rather than write a thank you note. At the time I was a busy wife, mother of three and a horticultural entrepreneur. I immediately threw all credibility related to psychics out the window.

My elementary school librarian was the influence that saved me from myself by introducing me to books about animals. I read about the wild Chincoteague Ponies that inhabited islands not far from my Annapolis home. Black Beauty aroused my first curiosity of faraway places but it was when my interest expanded from hooves to paws that I moved into the world of adult reading. I discovered “White Fang” and the rest of the Jack London series. They planted the seeds of adventure in my soul.

Along with the librarian’s dedication was the pressure of having a teacher for a mother. My mother loved words; I found writing and composition B-O-R-E-I-N-G. However pressure from each of these women finally wore down my rebellious resistance. I’m sure that Mom’s steady influence and chronic correcting saved my grades in grammar and English.

The fifteen years that followed the psychic reading were filled with numerous life events that altered my philosophy and direction for life. My horticultural experience introduced me to medicinal herbs. I began the study of natural healing and earned a degree as a doctor of naturopathy. My husband and I began a monthly natural health newsletter which we still offer on-line. Later I was asked to write articles on health and healing for a local monthly publication. But these were all short (1,300-1.500) word articles. The first writing of any size was my thesis and dissertation. They were the hardest projects I had ever faced yet they helped dispel the negative belief system I had formed around writing as well as psychics.

Writing “Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey” was an adventure in its own rite. It was the first non-clinical piece that I had attempted and was by far the most fun. It was an exciting challenge to find words that could draw readers into the emotional roller of our transitional experience. I wanted others to experience the alternating waves of near-panic to exhilaration. Who would have ever thought that writing could be so much fun?

About the AuthorMalana Ashlie holds degrees in naturopathy, herbal sciences, subtle energy as well as a PhD in Metaphysics. Those studies along with tutelage from traditional Elders has given her insight that she offers in her consultations, articles on health and spiritual growth, workshops and through her independent study program; Dynamics of Healing and Happiness. Outside of the time she teaches workshops and retreats she enjoys her home along the sunny coast of Honduras.


  1. What an interesting tale! Here's a shout out to another Maryland native! You've gone a long way from home. ^.^ Thanks for sharing your tales with us. I look forward to reading.

  2. I live where the Chincoteague Ponies roam! Incredible place, Chincoteague. It's my own little paradise. We had a flood recently (nothing unusual) and I was hoping the ponies had found higher ground which they did. If you take the beach road, it takes you through the wildlife refuge before you get to the beach and that's where you can see them roaming around. They're beautiful creatures. You really ought to visit during Pony Penning week the last week of July every year when they auction off a few to lucky pony lovers to help support the volunteer fire department. Talk about paradise...this place is it.

  3. This sounds fabulous! I love the idea of learning more about something exciting and real!

  4. Your comments confirm my belief that there is beauty, mystery and adventure in every corner of the globe if our souls seek it. Thank you for hosting my journey on your blog and for all those sharing my odyssey with me.

  5. From boring to enjoyment...quite a trip. Your story is anything buy boring. It happens so often that one ends up doing something one never dreamed they would do.

  6. It is very late, but I should have taken time to edit my post. Of course I meant "anything BUT boring."

  7. Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

    Gladys, I had to laugh when I read your second post...How many times have I wished that I could use an eraser on a computer screen? Love ya all. Malana

  8. A toast to all of who have stepped out into the darkness of the unknown...that would include moving to a new place, having a first child, getting married, etc. Each is an adventure.


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