Home is where the heart is, as they say; where memories are made, where we form solid lasting friendships and even create our own ‘families’; and for some of us home is where our roots are, and much more.
Those of us that are rock dwellers will all agree on nearly everything that is a pro and con of island living: the exorbitant costs of living, frequent power outages, patience needed in many situations and oh, that humidity. (Actually that can feel good on some days when one wants to dance and frolic on the beach spur of the moment). The pros often outweigh the downsides – the glorious weather, having a beach/ocean within a few miles radius at every turn, nature just blooming, alfresco dining almost year round, the general laid back attitude from residents. Of course these lists could go on. There is component of living ‘where everyone vacations’ that I view as both a drawback and amazing plus- which would be a nice, overwhelming, consistent itch to travel (i.e. ‘wanderlust’ as it’s known).
I have never really had this urge until I moved back ‘home’ to Bermuda. Sure, when I commuted on the subway in what felt like Arctic weather, or sat in snarled traffic on a congested motorway with motorists flinging f-bombs at each other whilst beeping- hey, at least in Bermuda a toot with the horn only means ‘Hey! Great to see you mate, have a Bermudiful day!’-or even sat in my office overlooking the Manhattan skyline, I often daydreamed of living on a tropical paradise or another metropolitan community halfway across the world.
But I’m more of a doer than a daydreamer so I had to throw my old procrastination habits by way of the fax machine and get moving to a new life!
For anyone that is not aware or living under a rock (pardon my pun) islands are generally small and everyone knows one another so it feels rather congested several months out of the year, or several hours out of the day depending which way you look at it. When one sneezes, almost everyone catches a cold; when one sprays perfume on the east end of the island they smell it all the way up west with barely a days notice, if you know what I mean. (I like metaphors in my writing style)….
Therefore, the need to escape is quite rampant. Whether it’s a long 3 week or month stretch to one place or several cities, countries and even continents; or even a quick long weekend away. It takes less time to jet to Miami or NYC than it does sitting on the road to Long Island or Jersey shore. It is within us to recharge our batteries. Need, not a want, you might ask? Well, to each their own on that perspective. But the loss of anonymity and less options of things makes one more stir crazy than a toddler. For our own sanity, yes, it is a need.
“But! You live on an island, in paradise! How could you ever feel you need to escape?!” There are a myriad of other reasons in addition to what’s mentioned above, not the least of being unable to take a quick road trip or train ride to the next country where we can go from London shopping to a Glastonbury festival to quaint art museums and Paris cafes whilst pretending to be in a nostalgic movie (I’m missing you, London tube). Sometimes in all honesty we just like to disappear for a little while.
As I look out of one of my office windows at the beautiful tropical aqua waters, I remind myself that one of the most splendid things of living on a rock is most certainly that we are a global melting pot. More so now than ever before. We have the standard expats – Brits, Canadians, Americans (saying standard as they have made up the majority for years on end – they are a fabulous mix of peeps); and now more and more from Scotland (love them Scots, some of my favourite people on earth) to Ireland, Wales (part of my ancestry), Greece, Romania, Armenia, South Africa, Philippines, Portugal, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Israel, India, Denmark, Norway and many others, some I couldn’t even point on a map. I have had the pleasure and wonderful fortune to work with many of these amazing people, and let me tell you they have such immense passion for their home countries! Everyone has their own stories, and I am increasingly intrigued and fascinated by what they share. It adds to my list of new places to venture.
Over the past few years I’ve added Germany, Costa Rica, Canada, Dubai, Lebanon, Nicaragua and the entire UK to my passport, with plenty more to come. Did I ever mention I have 3 passports, which is always a fun conversation starter? 🙂 I love new cities and cultures and meeting new people. Don’t even get me started on trying new cuisine and spas. I’m considering tackling a new career of secret spa shopper or restaurant reviewer worldwide, or travel writer/photographer (the latter is always a necessity on travels). Travel teaches us so much. I would most definitely most prefer a passport full of stamps than a house/apartment full of ‘stuff’ any day. Besides, on an island there’s little room and extra money to accumulate too much; I simply don’t have the space.
So, as I’m browsing some Airbnb spots for Brazil and Iceland for possibly early next year, I have to get back to booking my flight for British Virgin islands and Italy for later this year. Then back to work, which today is massages in a cabana over looking the beach. I love my job, and my island life- but soon enough it’s time for my escape!