The INSIDER Summary:
Kelsey and Joey Coleman honeymooned in Nicaragua, then decided to quit their jobs and move there.
They spent six months renovating a «pirate ship» and sailed 2,500 miles back to Nicaragua from San Diego.
For the past two years, they’ve been living near the beach and taking tourists on sunset cruises.
Kelsey and Joey Coleman weren’t even supposed to be in Nicaragua.
The couple had been planning to spend their honeymoon in Colombia when their flights fell through. Family members suggested they go to Nicaragua, instead.
For them, it was love at first sight. They were so captivated, in fact, that they decided to live there full-time. After buying a «pirate ship,» fixing it up, and sailing it down from San Diego, they’ve spent the past two years living on Nicaragua’s pristine shores and offering sunset cruises to tourists from around the world through their company, Two Guys Adventures.
Here’s how they turned their honeymoon into a full-time gig.
Kelsey and Joey Coleman met in college at Boise State University.
Joey’s love of the outdoors (particularly cliff jumping and mountain trekking) inspired Kelsey’s own sense of adventure.
«He helped me find my wild,» she said.
They vowed to explore the world together, and for the past eight years, they’ve done just that.
They both studied abroad in Australia, then moved to New Zealand and backpacked around the South Island.
«We bought a car for $800 and with a few bucks left over for gas and food we took off,» she said.
They also lived in Singapore and traveled around Southeast Asia.
Joey proposed in a temple in Angkor Wat, Cambodia, and they married in 2014.
They married in Joey’s home state of Colorado.
They had originally planned to honeymoon in Colombia, but their flights fell through. Family members suggested they visit Nicaragua, instead.
Kelsey had never been to Central America.
«We had no plan when we hopped in to our rental car on our honeymoon, just an old-school-map and each other,» said Coleman.
They ended up falling in love with the country.
«We passed kids riding horses to school; men on ox-carts selling milk; a half dozen volcanoes, and even more empty yet pristine beaches,» she said. «The entire journey was like going back in time. Life seemed slow and intimate… We decided right then, on a dirt road with pigs, cows, and chickens running wild, that we’d move.»
They purchased a sailboat and spent six months renovating it with the goal of sailing back to Nicaragua.
They redid the piping and electrical work and rebuilt the engine. Courtesy Kelsey and Joey Coleman
«Those six months were some of the best,» she said. «We’d have floorboards up, tools scattered everywhere, dust over all our dishes, but we’d sit in the middle of it all making homemade sushi and laughing until our bellies hurt.»
«It was essentially our first house as Mr. & Mrs.,» said Coleman.
Kelsey admitted that Joey did most of the work.
Joey had some sailing experience, but Kelsey had never stepped foot on a sailboat.
«It was the definition of a crash course,» she said.
On their journey from San Diego to Nicaragua, they faced hurricane-force winds, got stranded in Acapulco, and got boarded by the Mexican military.
«I had no idea how unpredictable and relentless the ocean was,» she said.
When they did finally make it to Nicaragua, they turned their boat into a tourist attraction and founded Two Guys Adventures.
They give visitors from around the world the chance to appreciate Nicaragua from the sea while enjoying ceviche and Flor De Caña rum cocktails.
While the boat does have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, they live in a casita in the jungle just a short walk from the beach.
«One of our biggest fears is monotony,» said Coleman. «Some people work their entire lives to have a safe, predictable future, but we embrace the unknown.»