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. Chrissann your blogs are whimsical and a fun to read also other blogs are fun and educational especially if you are thinking about making a move to an island. I have visited many caribbean island’s and have come to understand the Idiosyncrasies island living can have. My husband and I hope to some day retire in the USVI. There will be challenges, attitude adjustments, learning curves but as long as there is “Happy Hours” and good friends and neighbors then we will be just fine.

  2. 4 couples coming to nevis early November- questions:
    Recommendations for safe transport from St Kitts to Nevis?
    Approximate Cost?
    How about the Ferry? Cost?
    Transport to Charlestown? Safe in cabs?

    I frequent Mexico (not tourist areas) Nicaragua and Panama but traveling with 7 newbies (ugh)
    Please advise.

    • There are a few water taxis round trips between both islands (100.00 US for the boat) and you split it between however many people you have. .also when ever you need it. I have the name of a man we use every time. also, there is a car ferry, called “the sea bridge” you can find them on line. Oualie on Tuesday nights is where the “action is” see you there!

  3. Love this blog! We are taking the plunge into Island life this February/March depending on when our QRP paperwork arrives…our first dealings with Island beauracracy! Not being the most patient person (putting that mildly) I’ve actually been “preparing” myself by driving in the slow lane, seeking out the LONGEST line in grocery/department stores…driving in rushhour traffic and generaly looking for anything to test my patience. So far I’ve done OK and I’m training myself to laugh off things that I simply can’t control. Hopefully by the time we get there, I’ll be “Island trained”. Thanks for keeping me focused on the prize!

  4. Hello everyone, I am looking to move to st. Croix in the near future. I have done a lot of online homework, however I’m having a bit of a problem. I’m looking for a place to stay somewhat “cheap ” until I can find a job and more permanent housing. But of course I need the job first so that I will have a better idea of what I can afford in the long run. A boarding house or something for just temporary. Any advice would be appreciated thanks.

  5. Wow, Beach Babe! It is as though I am in residence!
    Remembering, Herman Wouk, “Don’t Stop the Carnival”.
    The hard, impossible daily decisions of a ‘Cool Kalik’ or Rake the Beach?
    Often undecided by a ‘Beach walk and swim.’
    Looking forward to infinite updates on the ‘hardships,’ of
    island living. Eager to return and perhaps we can ‘suffer’ together?

  6. I would love to finally read about a person that actually has to work for a living, instead of standing in line at a post office and wine about the way they are treated or the amount of time and money spent there. I can not believe what all of the rocky women find frustrating. Half of the people live only 6 months out of the year on their rock, that is how you never get used to the live. We working girls have other things to be frustrated about. I work in a pharmacy on Aruba and I get really mad about the wining about how come everything is soooo expensive here, and how come everything you don’t carry this or that. Ladies, start really living on that rock of yours and you will never want to leave again.

    • Hi Marle,

      We actually have a wide range of women contributing to the site – some who live on their rock full time and work like you do, others who live a different version of island life. All perspectives are welcome here! 🙂 Perhaps you might find this post more relatable: http://womenwholiveonrocks.com/anything-but-a-permanent-vacation/. I’m also in the process of revamping the website to make it easier to find posts within topics that might interest you, so please stay tuned. Thanks for checking in to the site! Chrissann

  7. Hello Ladies!
    First off, I love the stories! Though I have no experience on a Caribbean Rock, I have spent my share of years on an Alaskan Rock…which has most of the same frustrations (and joys), but none of the sunshine and flip-flops. Anyhow, I am desperately trying to find some good sources of information about ROATAN. My husband is receiving an early retirement from the military and we have decided to take this “once in a lifetime” moment (while we are young) and make the leap…to an island. As I have already read as many blogs and webpages that I have been able to find (I Amanda Walkins) I am really hoping to find someone that I can ask specific questions to.
    1) How much does private school actually cost (for 1 child – 7th grade)? I have read that people were only paying like $100 for two children/month, and from the very little research I could do, it seemed more like $200-$300 for one child/month.
    2) We’re really worried about the expense of having to leave the island every 90 days for visa purposes…What do you all do for this requirement? How much do you typically have to spend?
    3) How much does it cost to ship a vehicle, approximately? A shipping container of household goods?
    4) Is a budget of $2K to $2.5K per month realistic?
    5) Has anyone attended any college courses there? Is online schooling an option?
    6) Does mail (such as online orders) actually take as months to arrive? How much do you typically have to pay for shipping when ordering something?
    7) Lastly, who can I get in touch with about a long(er) term rental home? All websites that I’ve seen are real estate sales or vacation rentals ($$$). I’d prefer to find a place when I get there, but would at least like to get a few things lined up, if possible.
    *I know some of the questions are going to be on a case by case basis, but I am just curious as to anyone else’s experiences.

    Sorry for bombarding y’all, but I’ve only got about six months to pull this together…Wish me luck!

    • Aaaaaand I just stumbled upon the “So you want to move to an Island” article. haha. My bad. I think I over did it just a little, but, I’ll take any answers that I can get. Questions 1, 2 and 7 are the important ones, I suppose. Thanks again for your time!

  8. Hello, I was wondering how you get to live on Virgin Gorda for an extended period. I was under the assumption that Americans could only go there for 30 days. It looks like you have a great life down there. I love Virgin Gorda.

    • Hi Jeff, Thanks! Yes, VG is a special place. 😉 I live here on a non-working resident visa attached to my boyfriend’s work permit that has to be renewed annually. You’re right – it’s not easy to get permitted to live here, but certainly possible if you set out to do it. Have you seen https://bvinewbie.com/? It’s a great resource about the logistics of moving to the BVI. All the best to you, appreciate the note! Chrissann

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