Written By:

Penny Novak

Current Rock of Residence:

Long Island, Bahamas

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

Northern Ohio

Penny and her husband of 40+ years have lived on an out island in the Bahamas since 2000. The only reason they ever leave is to go and visit those dang 10 grandkids back in the US. She admits to having panic attacks upon arrival in Florida – just too much stimulation where no one ever acknowledges one another. However, back on her rock, the usual greeting no matter the time of day is “Good afternoon” or “You all right?”, and people actually listen for the answer. The gas station, food store, and even going to the bank are social events that take most of the day in conversation and laughs. That is what captured her and her husband’s hearts back in 1993 when they first vacationed for only 5 days to the island – slow pace and locals who looked you in the eye to speak to you. Try that in the city, and they think you are going to rob them!

Deciding to buy land when they had no money, still raising 3 kids in private school, and mortgaged up to their eyeballs with businesses was a dream they lived for years until the house (which her husband designed and built with the help of a few locals) was finished enough to live in. Word passed through friends and family they were in a “midlife crisis”, but they replied, “Well, at least we’re in it together.”

Penny has learned a love for gardening in the rocks and poor soil of the island and creating good food with less ingredients. She has given time to her love for reading and writing while discovering the beautiful beaches of the island. Born and raised in the Midwest, she was unaware of recycling but most of their solar home is decorated with “beach trash” in a whimsical theme with an outdoor shower of bottles off the beach and cement big enough for 6. You can read more about her island life on her blog.

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Keep in touch with the tropics!

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