When it comes to Caribbean travel, I’m all about taking it sloooow. Whether I’m in the region for some off-the-beaten-path adventure or just taking it easy with a rum in my hand on one of the many spectacular sandy beaches, there’s never a need to rush. Being on island time isn’t just a part of the whole experience – it’s essential.
One common sight that always strikes me as truly sad is when I spot a couple down from my home away from home, New York City, being impatient at a small island restaurant. Yes, the service is slow. Life is slower in the Caribbean. Get used to it. Embrace it. Immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings at that very moment, in the exquisite taste of the finest rums on your tongue, in the fresh West Indian air filling your lungs. Don’t fight it with scowls, foot tapping and dirty looks.
Whose precious time in paradise do you think is being ruined?
Tomorrow, the waiters will still wake up surrounded by some of the best nature (and local rum distilleries) has to offer long after you’ve gone – back to dodging dog crap on the sidewalk while making your way to work in the rainy, cold, filthy city.
All that said, there’s one part of traveling to the islands that almost never seems fast enough: getting there.
Luckily there are plenty of direct flights to my true home from New York. Aboard JetBlue alone, I’ve flown direct to St. Martin, St. Lucia, Barbados and Puerto Rico over the past year. But sometimes your Caribbean adventure can begin before you reach your final destination. This was the case when flying to Montserrat last year for the Volcano Half Marathon. Dave and I flew direct to Antigua, then quickly transferred to the tiny wings of Montserrat air where we met new friends as we buzzed and bounced over to “The Other Emerald Isle.”
But even this need of mine to get to my next Caribbean destination as quickly as possible was mellowed when it was put to the test during our sailing adventure through the Grenadines. Suddenly, I realized getting to the next island as quickly as possible wasn’t the goal. Instead, it was soaking in every moment. That instant of realization is when you know you’re on a true journey as opposed to just a trip, or especially a vacation. Journeys are, in my opinion, the holy grail of travel and in case you thought otherwise, they can be found throughout the West Indies… For those who aren’t in a rush.
So, for this week’s Caribbean Wallpaper, we have what could have been a fleeting moment of that journey – frozen. Now, we can all just relaaaaax, taking in the marvelous blue, magenta and orange glow signaling the approach of another cool tropical evening as little lights twinkle softly in St. Vincent’s inviting interior.
Go slow, download and enjoy.