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Travel Tips

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Sunday reflections: What a difference a year makes

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.

Chasing Murals: Toronto

CHASING MURALS

Graffiti has long been considered a “bad thing” mainly because of words like vandalism and property defacement. Hip Hop helped bringing it to the mainstream, spinning people’s views and opinions of it from a negative to a positive. It is now referred to as Street Art and is even used to beautify or add character to neighborhoods.

How to survive Wanderlust while not Wandering

Surviving

Confession: I’m The Traveling Island Girl that hasn’t traveled in 4 months. I’ll patiently wait till you pick up the bottom of your jaw from the floor and let that sink in for a while. Say what???? Yes, you read that right. Why, you ask? I guess for the same reasons you are not on a plane to your dream destination right about now. Financial reasons, family obligations, work commitment, and the list just goes on and on. One can always find a reason or excuse not to just up and leave.

An Island Girl’s Guide to Gustavia, capital of St. Barth for the day

Shell Beach, St. Barth

Oh La La, St. Barth, playground of the rich and famous.

This beautiful French island lies in close proximity to St. Maarten, making it an ideal destination for a day trip. With the demand for St. Barth being quite high, especially around Christmas and New Year, there are several ferries leaving daily from different parts of St. Maarten. The reasons for visiting for the day are mostly the same; the ever so popular Plage de St. Jean, home to the infamous Nikki Beach, celebrity spotting and not to forget shopping, or at least window shopping if you’re like me and on a tight budget.

3 reasons why I would trade my island life for the cold

Ok, ok, I admit I am overreacting a tiny bit. I don’t think I will trade in my cozy life under the Caribbean sun, at least not permanently but sometimes I do fantasize about living in a cold country again. Right about now a reader in some colder weather, all bundled up and holding on for dear life to a hot coffee mug is screaming: WHY?
I hear ya, my dear Popsicle. I do. Blame it on the whole “the grass is always greener” BS or perhaps it is just human nature to always want what we do not have.

The Do’s and Don’ts when vacationing on St. Maarten

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.