Welcome to the Islands

Can we offer you a cocktail?

Welcome Cocktail

Before we begin, that’s one thing we should probably make clear from the get-go: we are significantly funnier if you are imbibing in some sort of an adult beverage. Raucously funnier, even, if you’re on your third. The fact of the matter is that here in the islands, we don’t really do coffee. It’s just too hot.  Besides, that extra amped energy burst from the java juice monster actually makes it monumentally more difficult to cultivate the patience required for an island lifestyle that has the tendency to move at the speed of a hermit crab. Or seemingly not at all.

Here, rather, we meet for happy hour – which admittedly, has a tendency to too often commence before noon, but… you catch the drift. Please understand that we don’t intend all this cocktail talk to come across in an alcoholic sort of way; it’s more indicative of our way of life – anthropologists will one day look upon island societal remains and attribute Heineken as being one of the official sponsors of our evolution. The fact of the matter is that we simply handle our liquor better than most people handle their caffeine. But, we digress. About this blog.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to actually

live  on a tropical island?

Most of us have allowed that daydream to pull on the kite strings of our minds whilst on holiday at some point in our lives. You find yourself glamorously soaking up the sunshine in your idyllic hammock du jour, gazing out from beneath your over-sized shades upon the turquoise sea and there it is – with a definitive exhale, you think, Yeessss, I could do this forever.  It is this stream of consciousness that compels tourists to marvel upon us on an almost daily basis, HOW do you LIVE here?  They want the full story – the inside track, some magical formula that will get them from their comparably drearier existence onto the Path to Paradise. But, as women who have actually seen that fantasy all the way through, we’re here to confess:

It’s not all sunshine and umbrella drinks.

At least not all the time.

Island Life Saver

For this is the essential paradox of paradise. It is freakishly beautiful here, but these postcard-perfect views don’t come for free. It is also freakishly frustrating to live on an island at times. So much so that you will find yourself actually proclaiming phrases you once thought improbable such as  screw the beach!  and  just give me some rain, dammit!  in a fit of fury. Perhaps it’s all a part of nature’s delicate balance – if island living didn’t sometimes beat the shit out of you, everyone would live here. And there simply isn’t room for everyone.

So we’re here to give it to you straight up, on the rocks. It may not always be pretty. It may not always be convenient (for us at least), but by God, it will be entertaining. For you. The person living in the Land of Convenience who does not have to wait in line for 3 hours in the sweltering heat only to be told to come back on Thursday because what you need is not available on Wednesdays, only to come back on Thursday, wait in line for 3 more hours, only to be told that the only person authorized to give you what you need will not be back until next Thursday. Seriously, laugh it up.

If we do not celebrate the absurd, we will not survive. At least that’s what we’re hoping. Thanks for joining us, please feel free to LOL unabashedly at our expense.


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177 thoughts on “Welcome to the Islands

  1. I just joined the group after reading a few of your blogs. You have it nailed but I think I could “one up” you on island living – which is really a step down! HA.

    I’ve lived on Guanaja (where is that you say?), off the coast of Honduras in the Bay Island group. Have lived here since 1997 developing a tough skin, an acceptance of things you cannot change and having a laugh as the British would say!

    I wrote a blog for over 7 years (Featherridge.blogspot.com) and finally came to the conclusion that I was not repeating myself. So, laid back and took the island way out – mañana and now I post whenever I have free time, am board, drank too much or, hey, here’s a novel idea – when I want to let people know what is going on here!

    Love your blog – best wishes and keep the cocktail hour going!

  2. We are looking to move to Roatan and buy or start a business. Are there business for sale and how hard is it to start our own business. . We are front the UK. . THANKS IN ANTICIPATION.


    • Be careful. I lived on Roatan and watched businesses come and g, people investing their life savings and moving away with nothing. There is the occasional success but that is the minority! Also, there are crooks and imposters galore so don’t trust anyone! It’s a beautiful place but don’t do what I did. RENT before you buy anything house wise. I bought and could have rented care free for 10 years and come out on top
      Good luck to you.

    • Be careful. I lived on Roatan and watched businesses come and g, people investing their life savings and moving away with nothing. There is the occasional success but that is the minority! Also, there are crooks and imposters galore so don’t trust anyone! It’s a beautiful place but don’t do what I did. RENT before you buy anything house wise. I bought and could have rented care free for 10 years and come out on top
      Good luck to you.

  3. Thank you for your reply . I will take on board what you say.. we are planning to spend two weeks there next April to look around…. It seems very good value property wise. Very cheap…. is it easy to sell your property on Roatan?

  4. Absolutely love your blog. I am a double rock woman I guess you may say, born and raised in Jamaica until I was 18, lived on the mainland NY, FL, PA and GA. Now here I am 9 years later in ST THOMAS. Today was my first official day as a resident and your blog gave me comfort, thanks!!!

  5. Read one blog I identified with so completely. I’ve lived on islands/rocks – Nassau, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Moorea, Guadaloupe, but I’ve also lived on a real rock – a cay in the Exuma chain in the Bahamas – two of us, a few small rocks, no water, no power other then generator – curly tails and gullies were our pets. I can relate! And as big of a mental, emotional, physical change that was for this city girl, I learned to love it, be possessive of it, hate to leave it yet … Yes! I now dream of going back and being alone on that cay where I learned I could survive anything!

  6. Love reading all the comments as much as the articles. My husband and I will hopefully be visiting Tortola the end of August or early September with an eye to
    retiring there. The idea of living on the water somewhere that is warm year around is very appealing. We have not led a pampered life so the transition might not be too bad. Our first home after we were married was on the island of Guam where my husband taught school. Those truly were the “good ole days”. If anyone has any advice or suggestions for resettling in Tortola, please let me know. At 70 years of age, I am more than up for the challenge.

  7. I am so happy to come across your blog I am preparing to relocate to St Thomas within two weeks and have been looking for a realistic perspective on how it is to live on the island…. I’ll be working as a hotel manager and I’ll be honest I was a little bit intimidated but couldn’t turn down the position…. I’m originally from South Florida and I’m hoping to enjoy the sunshine but I must ask you are the Cockroaches really that bad ?! Lol I pray not. Well I was wondering if you had any advice on where to live as a single young woman moving to the island… & I also wanted to know what grocery store do you shop at ? & what is the cost of water….so many questions so little time ….of course I’ve been to visit the island but never to live so this is definitely an adventure but I’m looking forward to it once again so happy I stumbled across your blog! Really enjoyed the Piece about The man that will try to sleep with you there very good to know in advance! Lol.

    • Hi Skylar, Thanks so much for the note, glad you’ve found our site to be both entertaining and useful. 😉 As for advice on moving to STT, I would definitely check out the VI Moving Center’s website – it’s full of current info on grocery stores, water costs, etc. Wishing you all the best on your upcoming move, island girl!! 🙂

  8. Hi from Boston! I’m a history enthusiast and I not only enjoy researching Boston’s colonial and revolutionary history, but the colonial history of the Caribbean, as well. Somehow during my research I stumbled across this amazing website and I’m so happy I did! Great writing, wonderful tales…I’ve been poring thru the site for several days now.

    I am an icy New Englander and my heart will forever belong to Boston. But the Islands fascinate me, in all their complexity and astounding beauty. How my soul soars when I venture to end of Long Wharf and gaze out into the cold, gray North Atlantic. I imagine all the Caribbean ships that docked at that very spot in centuries past, loaded with exotic produce from far-off tropical ports. I think of all the people from northern climes who sailed in ships and felt the punishing heat of the Caribbean sun on their flesh while laying eyes on the incomparable beauty of the tropics for the first time.

    We live in such fascinating corners of the globe. Thank you for creating this wonderful and exciting portal into your world!

    • Hi Katie, What a cool mix of fascinations you have, I’m intrigued now too!Thank you for reaching out and for the kind words, you made my day! Always wonderful to hear from people reading and enjoying the site. 🙂 Sending you sunshine, Chrissann

  9. Great read!

    As an island native, I sometimes get annoyed by the pace of us island folks, especially at Government offices. I spent my teenage years wishing I could live in the Big Apple but now that I am older I appreciate my little rock even after standing in line for 3 hours only to hear foolishness.

    P.S. I love your website!

  10. Greetings from Las Vegas, Nevada… where we have everything a woman could possibly desire, except the sea. And anything remotely green. And clean air. And summer temperatures below 110 degrees. I have a like-hate relationship to Vegas, and have lived here for over 35 years. My husband and I feel ready for a move, hopefully a last move. We’d love to live on or very near a sunny beach, and with most sunny beach towns on the mainland having a sky-high cost of living, we’re seriously considering relocating to St. Croix. He spent winters there as a child, visiting his grandmother. I am delighted to have found this blog, and have already devoured most of the the St. Croix stories. Your writing style is so very engaging, Chrissann! We’ve been thoroughly entertained… and all too informed as well! Seriously, despite the injections of levity, more than a few of the stories depict what seem more like harrowing and ongoing struggles, rather than merely “charming eccentricities” of island living. Sheesh, I’m afraid we’re a bit discouraged by some of the more nightmarish tales (and I must confess that the BIG HAIRY RAT in the BED one really freaked me the f*** out… if that makes me a pampered sissy, so be it!). And here’s the thing… I don’t drink… even just two sips of any type of alcohol makes me feel sick and dizzy. A blessing and a curse, I suppose. So I wouldn’t be able to combat the rigors of island living with rum, as is ever so helpfully suggested by some of the authors, ha ha. I’d need to face island life with no such crutch, unfortunately. Decisions, decisions. We continue to be fascinated by the prospect of moving to St. Croix, and I look forward to (bravely) reading more of the island tales! Maya

    • Thank you, Maya – I appreciate the compliment so much! Your note cracked me up – sorry to terrify you (though happy to help you get better prepared! lol). Rats are certainly not merely a charming eccentricity, haha – you got that right. 😉 I wish you both all the best in your decision-making process – everything’s a tradeoff! xo, Chrissann

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