It’s no secret that island driving is a beast in its own right. Between curvy roads, wild taxi drivers, and tourists running amok, no road could possibly be deemed “safe” on any island. But that’s all part of the adventure, right?
Here’s the little bonus part of that adventure: no road signs. Do you know how hard it is to give directions when there are no road names or signs? Let me give you an idea…
To get to my house, turn down the dirt road by the church in the big field near the horses. Go up the pothole-ridden hill and then follow the Silver Surfer sign. Turn right between the two houses with fences and barking dogs, and then turn left before the big white gate. Continue through the jungle – you won’t see my house until you’re suddenly in my driveway.
Super easy, right?!
Any time we order delivery (Yes! That is a real option here!), we usually try to get them to our house but give up after hearing the motorcycle zoom around in circles through the whole neighborhood. And, yes, it’s that quiet in my paradise that I can hear the single vehicle throughout the entire area! We usually just meet them at the entrance to our neighborhood to save them the trouble.
When there are no road signs, directions are instead given by landmarks, which may or may not be real or stationary. “You know where the school used to be on the beach? I’m past that.” Or, “I’m across from the old mechanic shop before the big houses but after the speed bumps.” Or my personal favorite, “Turn left after you see the monkey hanging on the zipline, and then dodge the black iguanas on your way down the hill until it turns into beach.”
Even offering directions for places in town can be a challenge. “Turn left at the roundabout (which, in reality, is a completely illogical statement), pass the church, and we’re just after the Thai Place – look for a door and a staircase above West End Divers.” That place is appropriately named Cafe Escondido (Hidden Cafe).
So what can you possibly take away from all this creative direction-giving? I’ve learned that directions are simply unnecessary. We live on island time, and we enjoy our small, intimate communities. This means you don’t have to rush from Point A to Point B, never taking a wrong turn so as not to waste time. You don’t have to always know where you’re headed or why.
You can meander, and follow a butterfly, and show up hours later than you intended because it’s okay. It’s okay to live life slowly. It’s okay to chat with a stranger to ask what’s farther up the road. It’s okay to get lost.
Getting lost allows you to find something. That may be a beautiful beach, or a new hiking trail, or a field full of goats giggling at you while you scratch your head in confusion. Whatever you find will be better than what you lost, which was merely your way.