Written By:

Ashley Phillips

Current Rock of Residence:

Trinidad

Island Girl Since:

2013 off and on until 2018 when I became a full-time "Island Gyal"

Originally Hails From:

Charlotte, North Carolina

In 2013, Ashley found herself in Trinidad during a crazy rum-infused girls trip with her college roommates. She had no idea that 4 1/2 years later, she would be jumping – no, let’s say leaping – out of her warm and fuzzy Charlotte comfort zone and into a life she now calls “normal.”

Even though she had been stopped dead in her tracks and found herself head over heels in love with a Trinidadian, she still had to finish college… such a bummer. But she did and 4 1/2 years later, Ashley moved her whole life (or at least what she could fit into a security checkpoint-approved suitcase) down to “Trini.” She seriously left her family, friends, job, car, and Chick Fil A to live on this island that she was completely captivated by.

Ashley loves the year-round warmth, the unique fruit stands found every time you turn a corner, the way everyone calls neighbors and elders “Aunty and Uncle” (so cute), and the euphoric soca music that makes it literally impossible for her not to move her feet. Her favorite island sayings include: “steups” – a noise made by sucking your teeth when angered (she usually does this when they run out of water or when the electricity goes out at least twice a month); “lime” – which means hanging out; and “small ting” which translates to no big deal but sounds much cooler. Her list of Trini slang could go on and on. Trini slang honestly deserves a blog post of its own.

Moving to a new place is never easy and moving to a Caribbean island from North Carolina might as well be crazy town, party of one. She simply can’t put into words why she felt like she had to leap or why she is obsessed with this island –  there are so many reasons… Ashley does know that she plans to stay for a while because it has challenged her and changed her in ways that she is so thankful for. Now, if you’ll excuse her –  she has to go down the road and grab a roti with slight pepper. Yum! 

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