One surefire way to make yourself crazy living on an island is to spend your time trying to understand why things happen the way they do around here. More often than not, it is a complete waste of time and energy, as there is no valid explanation. Which is why my new #1 Rule for keeping my sanity on the island is to simply, Stop Asking “Why?” For the last month, I have experimented with a change in perspective. Every time I catch myself on the verge of a why? , I replace it with why not!  This small change is credited for awesome results in my life. I find myself no longer stressed about the things that don’t happen and instead, I’ve been able to find amusement in the things that do.

In the spirit of enjoying the small things in life, might I suggest you try a few of the following:

  • Take a moment and enjoy the comments’ section in the online edition of your rock’s local paper. Why? Why not!  Laughter has never come so easily as when I started making this a part of my daily routine. It doesn’t matter what the article is about, you will find the same general theme of comments: “Its da NDP’s fault”; “Dem need to get dat buoy to church”; “We saw dis ting come months now”. Turn it into a game while you’re at it – don’t even read the story, just read the comments and try to put the story together on your own!
  • Sit somewhere and appreciate the barnyard that is surrounding you. Chickens racing through town; cows taking a stroll down the road; here a goat, there a goat, everywhere a goat-goat. Why? Why not!  Until you’ve seen a chicken plunge its neck forward and go forth posthaste into a race for seemingly no apparent reason, or until you’ve rounded the corner in your car to see a herd of cows taking themselves for a walk in the middle of the road and had a laugh about it, you are truly missing out on a small happy oddity about living in these tropics!

cows in road

  • Start tracking the number of times you’ve ran out of water (yup, missed my morning shower today!) or the number of times your electricity has gone out. Why? Why not!  After a year here, you start to think of yourself as a survivor contestant – all this practice has made you knowledgeable beyond your years. I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find a stateside friend that can flush a toilet without water or power, light a stove in the dark with a match that has swelled twice its size from humidity, or that have perfected the ready-for-work look with nothing more than a wet wipe and a ponytail!
  • Go to the grocery store and challenge yourself to find at least two items on sale that have not passed their expiry date. Do it, I dare you! One… one is easy, but two… two is a true scavenger hunt. And if you are feeling adventurous enough, go ahead and buy something you have never seen before, attempt to identify it, and then make yourself eat it. Why? Why not! Maybe your stars have aligned for the day and you get lucky enough to lower your grocery bill, or maybe you have just found your new favorite food, one that you know will always be in stock because no one else has a clue what it is!

Maybe enjoying the small things is what keeps us from going entirely nuts, or maybe it’s the small things that do in fact make us nuts……either way, I’m done with why? and will continue to enjoy all the why nots! my island life has to offer.

*click for image credit

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Tortola, BVI

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

Western Canada

Melissa lives on Tortola in the BVI where she finds there is never a shortage of oddities and quirks that often make her question her thought process, or lack thereof, which got her here in the first place. While adapting to the ways of the island, she finds herself smiling and nodding regularly while having no idea what someone has just told her, drinking far more fermented beverages that one probably should, and in constant struggle to avoid the island’s one rogue white horse. Her life on a rock may not be what she had first imagined, but it comes with no shortage of amusement, delight, and the occasional good lesson.

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