Living on a tropical rock has its perks. For one, wearing flip flops all year round is awesome. It saves you a lot of time: no need for shoelaces, washing dirty socks or spending hours trying on all kinds of different shoes till you find the perfect one. Flip flops are easy; they always fit, and come in a humongous variety of colours and shapes. A pair that matches your outfit is easily found. Moreover, who doesn’t look good in flip flops? All you need is a summer dress, and you’re good to go.

Having an outdoor shower is pretty sweet too. Not only can you rinse off the salt from a day at the beach; you can rinse off the salt from a day at the beach whilst watching the waves, the sunset or that hot surfer dude that’s been distracting you all afternoon. Even the indoor shower is awesome: the sun’s sizzling rays warm your skin whilst chirpy birds serenade you.

Even the food on tropical islands is worth emigrating for. Fresh, juicy fruits are available all year round, barbecues can be thrown every single day, and having dinner on the beach is actually possible.

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But things aren’t always what they seem.

Flip flops are indeed awesome; on holidays. Whereas flip flops have some great cushioning right after you buy them, you’ll feel like you’re walking on concrete rather soon. Your legs will start aching, and your feet will be craving some proper boots. Yes, wearing flip flops does mean spending less time on shoelaces and washing dirty socks, but you do need to spend some serious time (and money!) on pedicures. A few hours spent on the beach, and you can start all over again. If only mankind had created indelible nail polish.

Outdoor showers, sizzling sun rays and singing birds are great too, if there is water. Nothing worse than returning home after a salty day at the beach, only to discover that there’s no running water. Especially after you just shampooed your long, salty locks, and your boyfriend emptied the last bottle of emergency water.

Oh, and those fresh, juicy pineapples are absolutely to die for. They make great deserts, yummy midday snacks and fabulous carnival decorations. But to discover that the container, filled with all kinds of goodies, hasn’t made it to your rock (once again), whilst you’re craving risotto with creamy mushrooms and spicy Parmesan cheese, is like food suicide. Unfortunately, my tropical rock has not yet invented a way to grow risotto with creamy mushrooms and spicy Parmesan cheese, so we’re completely and utterly dependent on the neighbouring islands for supplies. It shouldn’t be a surprise that – when the risotto does make its way to our island – it’s gone within a day.

Then there are the mosquitoes that spread illnesses with funky names (chikungunya and zika) and, above all, itch like a whole bunch of swear words. There’s the iguanas that eat your apples, and the salamanders that devour your sandwiches. The never-ending cloud of dust that covers every little thing on the island, down to the last ant. Even the cold water in my colourful IKEA cups turns a yellowish brown if I don’t drink it within a minute. Oh, and let’s not forget the absence of stores. Either gnomes ate all the underwear, or someone forgot that island women do need panties, hipsters, knickers and thongs too.

But hey, who worries about underwear when you can wear your bikini 365 days a year!

Written By:

Kaj Schut

Current Rock of Residence:

Bonaire

Island Girl Since:

March 2015

Originally Hails From:

Utrecht, the Netherlands

Kaj has had the travel itch ever since she was 18 when her parents were on the verge of killing her as she moved to Latin America. With a backpack bigger than her very petite body (not all Dutch people are tall!), she traveled around the continent and came across a whole lot more adventures than her bag could hold.

Bitten and smitten by the travel bug, in 2012 Kaj packed her backpack once again and moved to the world’s least tropical rock: Scotland. Over the next year, she got a university degree and – more importantly – discovered that the weather in Scotland is indeed as bad as they say. Hence, to increase her Vitamin D levels, Kaj and her backpack buddied up for a new adventure and made their way to a somewhat sunnier rock. And that’s how she began her life on Bonaire with her boyfriend, Jeff, and Attila, their guard iguana. You can read more about her adventures on her personal blog.

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