Last week I was still shaking sand out of my hair. My only real plan for the day was to get to the beach at some point. I smelled like a mix of mosquito repellent and sunscreen and my skin stung a little because of the rookie mistake I made the first day of being there (I forgot to re-apply).
My wife, Tara and I were blessed with the opportunity to once again visit our good friends Joneb, Zandra and their amazing children Nyah and Adesh on St. Croix, USVI. We lived there about 8 years ago for about 8 months and fell in love with the island. My wife hadn’t been back since then but I had an opportunity to travel back a few years ago to help out with the islands public school system cafeterias when I worked with Chartwells. (https://homebasecooking.wordpress.com/)
Tara and I haven’t been to a ton of places in this world but maybe more than some and definitely not as many as others. I love being able to travel and I think it’s an extremely important part of life. It’s good to step away from your reality, and swerve outside of your lane every once in a while to gain a larger perspective. To see how life is lived in other places, to become humiliated by misinterpreting certain local etiquette simply because the etiquette is different than where I’m from and what I’m used to is an important step toward personal growth. I’m always hopeful to present myself as humble, open minded and courteous as I go and yet realize this is sometimes impossible in the eyes of the locals of where I’m visiting. I think it can be destructive to become too set in our ways, thinking the way you live is the only correct way. Being truly open minded can be difficult but making an attempt is what will help us find common roots among our differences.
Sometimes we gain appreciation for where we live by traveling and sometimes we see things or scenery that we’d like to have become part of our own lives. Before dropping everything, selling all of our belongings and hopping on the next plane, bus or automobile as I’ve done a handful of times, I’ve now learned that paradise may only really live in our dreams. What happens when what we once considered paradise becomes our reality? After time passes, does that idea of paradise start to fade? There’s always a give and take. There’s always positives and negatives, no matter what our scenery looks like from our window. But I’ll tell you what, St. Croix will always have a special place in my heart. There are some places you can actually absorb a feeling from. Walking around some parts of the island you can feel the heavy history that it’s had. You can feel the mystique when in the rain forest. You can lose yourself in the ocean, feel weightless and become swallowed up by the blue sky and expansive vista.
For a week this was my view, my reality or just a glimpse of paradise..
We had a chance to stop by our friend Zandra’s families food truck, Ruki’s Roti for a bite of chicken roti and double’s and chatted it up with Uncle for a bit. Such kind people, please stop by if ever close to K Mart West.
I’m really glade we got to make it to the Lareine farmers market! I could have learned so much from each vendor. We found Nyah’s favorite fruit snack of Guineps, became star struck from randomly running into Ron Benjamin, bassist for the islands famous reggae group Midnite (http://www.midnite-culture.com/). Picked up a snack of some ital vegan ice cream made with local fruits. We selected the banana, gooseberry and passion fruit flavors.
If you’re considering making the move and would love to try making this Caribbean dream part of your reality you’ll probably need a place to live. I’m sure that my friend Joneb, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker can help you with any questions you may have and when you’re ready to purchase your home or snow bird getaway, he’s your man to help make that happen. (https://www.coldwellbankervi.com/page-joneb-cohen-hamann—st.-croix-real-estate-specialist-60.html)