A tiny island floats just 100 feet off the coast of Mexico, with palm trees and mangroves bursting from the sand-covered surface. In the center is perched a small three-story, two bedroom house. This is Joyxee Island, near Cancun, Mexico—and it is the perfect paradise for anyone with a Swiss Family Robinson fantasy.
Joyxee is truly remarkable because it was entirely built from hand by 61-year-old Richart Sowa. The island itself was constructed using 150,000 recycled plastic bottles, wood pallets, and sand, the Daily Mail reported. The house, also built by Sowa, has running water, a hot tub, electricity, and a wi-fi connection. A vegetarian, Sowa planted palm trees, mangroves, fruit trees, and edible herbs and plants which he can live off of—although he admits to riding his bicycle into town when he craves more variety.
He said the plan has always been to become self sufficient, and has always dreamed of living on an island like this. Joyxee Island is actually the Yorkshire Native’s third bottle-island—the first two having been built in open water and destroyed by hurricanes. Joyxee is tethered via a 100 foot “umbilical cord” that also carries electricity and an Internet connection.
Despite the success of his island innovation, which has taken him seven years to create, Sowa sought one thing to complete the idyllic picture of paradise—a soulmate to share it with. When he met Jodi Bowlin on Facebook, a 47-year-old former model from Tennessee, all of his dreams were about to finally come true.
Bowlin agreed to visit him on his island and it seems the two were made for each other. Bowlin has a love of Mexico, architecture, and uses for recycled and reclaimed materials. She said that when she met Sowa she was amazed to have found someone “already living my dream life.”
And fortunately, Bowlin is up for the demanding physical work that the island’s upkeep requires. Bowlin and Sowa work together on repairs and improvements–she helped him equip the island with solar power resources, and in planting and cultivating the island’s vegetation.
“Luckily, I’ve always liked that Swiss Family Robinson experience,” she said.
Together the two enjoy living their island dream.
Sowa makes a living through his art and music, and gives tours of his island to visitors for voluntary donations.