So, my husband and I have just relocated from the “big” island of 60,000 people back to one of the smaller “sister” islands with a population of 2,000 people. We left here 20 years ago after the birth of our first child. The return has definitely felt like a homecoming. Happily, not much has changed on the 10 mile long, 1 mile wide rock in the past 20 years, apart from internet service that isn’t dial up anymore.
However, there are some things I have had to re-acclimate to:
- The need to wave at every car you happen to pass. This is one of my favourite things about this rock. Not that you see too many cars, but each one you see sends you a little finger wave to brighten your day.
- The fact that fresh produce is really only fresh”ish” the day the barge comes, which is once a week (and if the sea is rough, it is delayed). Side note: Yes, I have bought some slimy spinach in the last few weeks.
- As for grocery stores, there is a choice but finding basics can still send you on a scavenger hunt and forget about Greek yogurt!
- It is impossible to hang out at the local watering hole incognito. Everywhere you go, you know someone. Restaurants and bars are full of people who have all the time in the world for a cold one and a chat.
- The fact you don’t need to lock your house and you never need to lock your cars. Back in the day, we used to leave our keys in the ignition and didn’t even own a set of keys to a house we rented.
- Everything takes longer! Life is just slower so there is no reason to rush anything.
- You can see the sea from basically everywhere (and if you can’t, just drive or walk two mins and you can). The big blue totally surrounds you and with it the sounds of the waves.
- Small island residents have elephant memories. It seems everyone remembers us. We’ve been welcomed back with smiles and open arms.
- The quiet – oh the quiet – no sounds of traffic, no leaf blowers. The odd time you may hear a scuba tank compressor doing its job but not for long and then it’s back to the soothing sounds of the waves and the occasional popping of a beer top.
Small island living ….. if you’re lucky enough to know, you’re lucky enough!