The Perks of Island Living

Written by: Sophie

life of an island girl_WWLOR

A lot of our posts here at Women Who Live on Rocks (WWLOR) tend to poke fun at some of the more trying aspects of island life. As most of us have learned from experience, making light of the arduous tasks and frustrating experiences associated with rock-dwelling is key to survival and to keeping your sanity. It also makes our readers (and us) laugh!

Raised as an island girl and having spent more time on a rock than a lot of the other WWLOR-ers, I thought for this post I would do something a little different and expand upon some of the unique reasons why I love calling this place my home.

The Obvious:

  • The beach! I live a two-minute drive away from the nearest beach. And five minutes away from the second nearest beach. And 10 minutes away from the third nearest, and so on and so forth. I count myself lucky to live in a place that boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, all within reach. Of course, the beach goes hand in hand with…
  • The ocean! I love the sound of it lapping or crashing against the shore and the smell of it on the breeze. After a long day at work, there is nothing quite like heading for the seaside for some instant, cooling therapy.

beach girl_WWLOR

  • Flip-flops. I can (and do) wear them everywhere. To the supermarket. To the cinema. To work (in an office, for a bank). To a nice restaurant. Seriously – everywhere.
  • It’s the same temperature all year round. Not only does this mean not having to deal with balancing multiple wardrobes, but I also don’t need to splurge on a gym membership – I just go outside!

Some Extra Niceties:

  • Everyone says good morning/afternoon/night, no matter where you are – be it in line at Immigration, walking into the store, at the gas station or just walking down the road. Pair your own greeting with a smile, and you’re winning.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to wear a hoodie/sweater when it’s 75F outside. To an island girl, this is borderline freezing (even after just spending Christmas in Maine…I acclimatize quickly). I went out to dinner the other night with three friends to a relatively touristy locale. It was pretty easy to spot the only table of “from he’ehs” as all four of us were wearing some sort of cover-up, and shivering.
  • Driving is fun. I may be alone on this point (having never driven anywhere else), but I actually enjoy driving here. Steep hills, dodgy switchbacks, potholes and livestock to avoid (not to mention the myriad of terrible drivers and taxis) make everyday a mini road rally. You learn to squeeze into spaces and pull off maneuvers that make the faint of heart wince (sometimes whilst located in your passenger seat). Again, it’s all a matter of survival and after driving here, I bet I could roll with the best of them around the world.

rearview mirror view_WWLOR

  • Bar tabs tend to disappear. When you frequent a place often enough, you’re bound to get a few freebies here and there. You know you’ve truly made your mark when your tab for the entire night is dismissed with a slight wave of the hand, no questions asked.

The Things You Wouldn’t Think Of:

  • You don’t have to clean up your dog’s crap. Well…you really should if it’s in the middle of a sidewalk or restaurant or general walking space (though why you would let your dog do its thing there in the first place is beyond me). Otherwise, if it’s outside and outta sight, you’re good to go.
  • “A herd of cows/flock of sheep/concrete mixer/insert-name-of-livestock-or-large-industrial-vehicle-here was blocking the road” is a perfectly reasonable excuse for being late to work, dinner or any other appointment.
  • You’re never short of a good story about something that would never happen anywhere else. For example, recently a gentleman posted on a local Community Board forum enquiring as to whom he might call to remove the cow that was stuck on his roof. After many not-so-helpful, yet hilarious suggestions (“the moo-vers” being the most popular) and utterances of disbelief, the gentleman kindly posted a picture for us all to see that yes, there was indeed a cow stuck on his roof. It was still there come sunrise the following day, as evidenced by another tasteful photograph depicting the sun rising behind the distressed, elevated cow. (The Agricultural Department later herded the poor thing from the roof, unharmed.)

sunrise_WWLOR

–  –  –

The perks of island living are certainly as plentiful as (and sometimes equivalent to) the quirks. Do any other fellow rock-dwellers out there have something they’d love to spotlight that’s unique to island living?

Print Friendly
This entry was posted in General, Island List-icles, Lifestyle, Reflections, Sophie Leroy's posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Sophie Leroy. Bookmark the permalink.
Sophie Leroy

About Sophie Leroy

Sophie was raised on the island of Tortola, having been brought to the rock by her parents when she was just two years old. Despite the fact that she still does not have any formal immigration status, she finds it safe to say she’s “from he’eh” (not to be confused with “bahn he’eh”) and loves calling the BVI her home, for all its quirks and perks. A no-nonsense nerd with an otherwise laid-back attitude, she loves fast cars, SCUBA diving, late night johnny cakes, and has an insatiable desire to adopt every animal on the face of the planet (well, just the cute ones). She was bitten by the travel bug early on and capitalizes on any opportunity to get off the rock in an effort to feed her wanderlust. While she likes to think of herself as a seasoned traveler, the island girl in her still has no understanding whatsoever of public transportation or how to pump her own gas.

CURRENT ROCK OF RESIDENCE: Tortola, BVI

ISLAND GIRL SINCE: 1988

ORIGINALLY HAILS FROM: West End, Tortola

Subscribe Here

19 thoughts on “The Perks of Island Living

  1. Here on St. Croix you see horses EVERYWHERE. Tied up in the field behind KMart, alongside the (one) highway, in the woods; yards, churches, you name it. These are not tourist horses. The locals (mostly guys) ride them, bareback, on the beaches, in the medians, along the roads. They take them to the beaches on weekends and bathe them in the sea. There is a racetrack here and we are planning to go next time they open. The races start at noon, or 1 or 2…ish.

    There are tourist horses available for rides thru the rainforest and down to the beach and into the water. Gotta do that one day!

    A long-time resident told me that 20 or so years ago the local boys would “horse-jack” a mount and race through downtown on horseback, hooting and hollering and then return the horse where they found it. Must’ve been quite a sight!

  2. I love that last night when asked to bake cupcakes for the entire 7th grade class it meant I baked 26 cupcakes and it will cover 8th grade too!

  3. Sophie, love reading your blog,makes me homesick, but will be there soon…….

    Anegada driving story,(from the late Jackie Snell), the very first 2 cars on the island had a head on collision on the only road, and when asked by the police how could this happen,one driver said “I thought he was fishing that day”!

  4. One perk I’ve always appreciated is that you I have grown up here in a truly international port. You meet people from everywhere in the world and experience different cultures all around you. Then when you travel abroad you run into people either from here or who have family here. I’ve always called St. Thomas “the smallest , biggest island in the world”. Because no matter where I go, I always run into to fellow Thomians. Then again you can never escape your neighbors…LOL.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *