island life

living in the caribbean takes some adjusting (or RE-adjusting, in my case) to the laid-back, slow-paced, dream-like, wild and simplistic way of life. here are a few quirks that are somewhat unique to island life, in case you're thinking of taking the plunge! ;)

SUN AND SAND // get used to being barefoot more often than not. get used to sand inhabiting every crevice of your belongings. and, unless you're as stubborn as i am, try and get used to sunscreen. the islands are at latitude 18, so the sun is hot and there's a LOT of it. i personally just turned 5 shades darker after two days of monohull training. 

RAIN(BOWS) // get used to the treat of daily rainbows and the mighty winter winds that accompany them---and not just any ordinary rainbow, but the kind that is so bright and vibrant that you see each distinct color clearly, and there is always a fainter "double rainbow" by its side---and not just any ordinary winds, either, but the kind that slam through like a moving wall, bring sideways rain and gruesome clouds, but are gone and done within a matter of minutes.

SAILING // a huge portion of the community either works or lives on a boat of some sort. boaties, get used to seeing sea turtles, pirate ships, and mega yachts in your peripherals on a daily basis. and get your sea legs, quick, to save your limbs from constant bruising (i recently re-learned how to walk around a sailboat speeding over gnarly swells, while carrying arm-loads of fins and rum punch drinks... in other words, i'm bruised from head to toe). once you get your footing, it is an unbelievably rewarding way to experience the islands.

CRITTERS // get used to vermin of all sorts, creepy-crawling around the island---and by vermin i mean spiders, mosquitos, tics, sand fleas, whatever these things are ^, mice, rats, and overzealous yachtie men at the bar. also, cross your fingers you can learn to embrace the sound of roosters screeching at all hours of the day and night ;)

DRINKING // it's legal to have an open container of alcohol absolutely ANYWHERE on the island, including a moving vehicle (it's only really punishable if an accident ensues). so people on the island tend to imbibe pretty often. because after a long day of working or playing in/on/near the water, there's nothing more refreshing than an ice cold beer!

ISLAND TIME // it's a real thing! it seems the closer you get to the equator, the more time just seems to slow down and blur together. so get used to "hurry up and wait". if you don't have a car, get used to waiting for safaris or taxis or rides to pick you up. if you do have a car, get used to traffic (and driving on the left!). so always have good company, music or a book on hand, to make the inevitable waiting game more enjoyable :)

COMMUNITY // st thomas is only about 30 square miles, so the community of people who populate the areas which you'll surely circulate is fairly small. after a month of living on island, you'll know someone almost everywhere you go, including waterways and neighboring islands! it's such a warm, comforting feeling---running into friends at every beach/bar/restaurant, greeting coworkers in the water (mid-snorkel tour), and waving hello to people on passing boats. 

BEAUTY // if you're lucky, you'll never EVER get used to how stunning these bright blue views are! because, well, they deserve the respect of open-mouthed astonishment at each and every turn. ;)