Originally published on Women who Live on Rocks as 6 Do’s and Don’ts when visiting the Caribbean.
Aaaaah the high season is here. The time when St. Maarteners start practicing their smiles and hellos in front of the mirror. Be ready y’all, the tourists are here!
Every winter season St. Maarten and other islands in the Caribbean get a mass influx of visitors arriving from Europe, North and South America and all other continents of the world. Winter season is high season, and we call it high season for a reason: higher tips = higher pays, for some of us in the hospitality industry at least. When you think Caribbean, you think beaches, sun, sand, sea and friendly people and we islanders have perfected the art of friendliness. After all, we have a rep to protect since St. Maarten is generally known as the Friendly Island.
However, it has come to my attention in recent years that although we value the arrival of our dear friends from all over the world, our friends don’t seem to know much about us at all. They don’t know what makes us tick, so to speak. So I’ve decided to put together a list of do’s and don’ts when vacationing in St. Maarten.
When I told my bff that I would be visiting Curaçao last October at the same time that she would be there for work, she insisted I stay with her in her condo at Palapa Beach Resort, her family’s hotel. Knowing about this project from when we were little girls I was more than happy to accept this generous offer. How could I resist? After all I had spent most of my youth looking at the plans, which her dad had hanging on his office wall way before the first block was ever laid.
Home. It is a word that means the same to most: a place where you live permanently. To me it has different meanings. St. Maarten is my home in the most traditional meaning of the word but when used referring to Curaçao, it means where I am from, where my family is and where my roots are. “Mi dushi Korsou” or my sweet Curaçao is a magical place full of culture, history and beauty and I am honored to have come from its land.
I had the chance to drop by Curaçao to see my family a few weeks ago. It is a trip I try to make at least twice every year. Each trip home used to be the same: visit mama and papa, see some friends and family, drive by places I used to frequent when I still used to live there and of course stuff my face with all the delicious food I miss while living away. I decided that this trip should be different. After all, I am different now. I realize that I hate routines. Routines to me are lethal. This trip I wanted to explore and see places I haven’t seen in years or ever and accompanied by dear friends I did exactly that. This is Curaçao Unknown.
Toronto: the big TO, home of the Blue Jays, the CN tower and ethnic diversity.
I had the immense pleasure of visiting Toronto for two weeks last September for a wedding. It was my third visit and by far the best and most awesome. I made it my mission this time to explore this grand city and neighboring Niagara on the Lake and I am not nearly done. Toronto, you were amazing and I cannot wait to walk your streets again soon.
Some time ago I posted a piece on Bogotá. The Amazing City of Bogotá through my Eyes has received quite some hits and great reviews from friends and family, who took the time to send me texts and emails. This Colombian city has seen an increase in visitors in recent years. Especially from Caribbean islands like St. Maarten, Curaçao and Aruba and mainly in the Medical Destination area. I too traveled with a patient twice now to Bogotá and have completely fallen for this city and its people. So if you are planning to visit Bogotá for pleasure or God forbid for medical reasons this blog is a must-read.