ROCK FEVER: The hemmed-in, claustrophobic, trapped feeling one gets when you spend too much time on an island.
The natural impulse is to pack your bags, lock your door, throw out the keys, get on a plane and never look back. Then you remember you have pets to feed, marriage vows you committed to, a job, and other responsibilities. Reality can then feel like an ice cold shower.
I just returned home from 4 glorious days in beautiful and tranquil Anguilla. The island is super laid back and the beaches scream for you to just come and veg out on their white sands. Believe me, I did exactly that every chance I got, but I was also taken around by locals this time who showed me another side of Anguilla.
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.
I started blogging mainly because therapy is just too expensive and I already mentioned countless of times how I had a sudden revelation when I turned 40 (It’s a Big World out there) and how I was searching for myself (How to find yourself on a tiny island) and what all I planned to do to be a happier person (7 new year’s resolution I intend to keep).
Well, my kitten died on Sunday. It was yet another devastating blow in what has been a devastatingly crappy year so far. I lost a total of 3 pets, I had one major car accident, owe a small fortune in bills and have too many heavy arguments with my husband. So in other words Code Red on the stress level and hitting the reboot button has never been more appealing.
I was born and raised in the Caribbean and with the exception of a brief stint in the Netherlands have been an island girl pretty much all of my life. Even though I have not yet experienced each island in the Caribbean, I have come to the realization that we have quite a lot in common. This is mostly based on the different island nationalities I’ve encountered here on St. Maarten or the different islands I have visited in my lifetime.
What makes one earn the title of a true Island Girl, I wonder? I thought long and hard about this question and I came up with a few different attributes and have jotted some of them down below. Whether you were born and raised in the Caribbean like me or decided to make these magical islands your home, you are bound to identify with a few. And if not, you will hopefully at least get a good laugh out of it. There, my good deed for the week is done. You’re welcome.
La Belle Creole was a long time dream of Claudius Charles Philippe, the once general manager of the famous Waldorf-Astoria and a man obsessed with luxury, who had a vision of building a little French hideaway on a French St. Martin peninsula. A dream that unfortunately was tangled in a nasty financial web right from the start, when shortly after construction started it ran into money trouble, which eventually halted the project for several years until it was picked up again by other investors.