Happy Bastille Day! The 14th of July or Le Quatorze Juillet is a pivotal part of the French Revolution and thus French history that has developed into the Fête Nationale Francaise or the French National Day. It is celebrated with military parades, various activities, lots of food and gorgeous fireworks displays in Paris and all over France, and the French territories in the Caribbean are no exception.
This was my first Bastille Day celebration on French St. Martin. I am usually away around this time of year but was quite excited to finally be home to witness the activities and document how this day is celebrated the creole way.
So you’ve decided to take a trip. You have even decided on the destination and general area in which you would like to stay. Now, all you have to do is book your ticket. Expedia is the obvious choice for most Caribbean people but you’ve heard of some great apps and booking sites thanks to social media or perhaps from friends abroad. Not to mention that most of us receive US TV and have access to youtube. Then….frustration. Most of the sites don’t offer special deals out of your island or worst yet, the site doesn’t even recognize your island’s airport code. Shocking!
Well, don’t despair. I’m here to let you in on some of my secret apps and travel sites that will definitely work for you, regardless of the tiny size of the island you might call home.
“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” – Albert Einstein –
The best part of being a hostel owner is the interesting people you meet. Travelers from all nooks and crannies of the world. Most come to St. Maarten to witness the spectacular plane landings at Maho Beach, others are here for relaxation, while some are just passing through. My absolute favorite type of traveler to welcome to our hostel is by far the female solo traveler.
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.
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.