Aaaaahhhh, island life. Nothing compares, take it from me.
Shortly after arriving at the Princess Juliana International airport 15 years ago with two very large suitcases in hand, my first reaction was that of freedom. It was the first time I had followed my heart and followed through on something I said I would do. I felt exhilarated every time I would see an Air France or KLM take off without me on it. It meant that I was here to stay, at least for a little while. I left behind my stressful life in a cold country with gray skies and grayer people and was happy to start a new life full of sunshine and sunny people. Bright days were definitely ahead and I was excited to live them to the fullest.
Now having survived more than a decade on this particular island I can safely say that I completely understand why island life is not for everyone. Only the toughest survive and the weak run safely back to a life of convenience and back to “civilization”. A life with Walmarts and CVS stores on every corner.
After 15 years I have learned that there is a good, a bad and definitely an annoying side to island life.
Most people do not know that March is Endometriosis Awareness month. Fewer people still know what Endometriosis is and just a handful know that I have Endometriosis and that I have been suffering from this incurable auto-immune disease for almost 20 years now.
What exactly is Endometriosis?
Be True to Yourself!
Name: Germaine Celeste Gibbs
Nick name: “GG”
Occupation: VP Business Development and Marketing at IBIS Management Associates
Current home: Curaçao
She is a gorgeous island girl. There is no denying that and glam shots taken of her for popular brands during her modeling career prove that. What these glam shots fail to show however, is her inner beauty and strength, her passion for animals and her kindness. She is a super woman that achieved her goals with sheer determination. She may look like things were handed to her on a silver platter but you have no idea how hard she worked for it all. She is beautiful, funny, kind and strong. She is Germaine Gibbs and this is her story.
My fascination with urban decay continues with part two of my new photo series, St. Maarten Abandoned.
These photos were all taken on the French side of the island where most of the abandoned buildings are found today. Charming buildings that were once upon a time undoubtedly beautiful jewels in the middle of the center of town, now stand here slowly deteriorating into nothingness yet still somehow maintaining their majestic stature.
I sit here in my office at the hostel I now run, coffee in hand thinking back on where I’ve been and where I am today. I should be doing some filing or at least prepare next week’s schedule, but it’s Sunday and my body knowingly goes into lazy mode.
I am a month away from my 41st and what a crazy year it has been. It all started around this time last year. (read also: How to Find Yourself on a tiny island). I was nearing 40 and had a sudden revelation that I was not doing any of the things that make me happy. I was too busy living for everyone else, being the person everyone around me wanted me to be. I’ve always been a very adapting person but there is a thin line between being adapting and being someone you’re not. So I rebelled and demanded to be heard. If it wasn’t for my love for food I would have probably gone on a hunger strike too. Anything to make myself be heard. I now realize that behavior was more a scream for help than anything else. Help me find myself.
If you are reading this I can only assume you recently got engaged, or you know someone who did, or at the very least you have already purchased the rope and duct tape to kidnap your boyfriend and hold him in captivity until he comes to his senses, drops on one knee and proposes.
If you do happen to have gotten engaged recently: CONGRATULATIONS. I wish you and your partner a lifetime of happiness but most importantly an eternity of patience.
As an ex island wedding planner turned blogger I have the inside scoop on what to look out for when planning a wedding on this beautiful 37 square mile rock called St. Maarten. I have seen many brides arrive here thinking that it would be super easy to plan a wedding here. It can’t be that much different than planning a wedding back home, can it? WRONG!!!! First of all to think that planning any wedding any where is an easy task is ludicrous and to think that planning a wedding here in the Caribbean is easy…….well, let’s just say that you, my friend, are in for a big surprise.