The first thing that struck me on arrival on my first Caribbean island was the smell. The sweet smell of fresh earth after a rain, the fragrance of the tree's in full bloom, wood smoke, and OH MY GOD.... a bakery! I could smell fresh bread breaking.
We were making landfall in Tobago, after a journey of 55 gruelling days at sea. I was finally arriving in the tropical heaven I had been dreaming of for 2 years.
After securing our little sailboat to the customs dock, we made our way on wobbly legs to the immigration office, where we cleared in to PARADISE. We were granted a 3 month stay, who would have guessed this would turn into a 10 year stay!
I fell in love with the Caribbean. Not just the clear turquoise water and palm fringed white beaches. I fell in love with the easy pace of life, the laughter, the spicy food, the cheap rum and of course the people.
For those of you heading to the Caribbean for the first time this season, the number one tip is to leave your first world pace of life at home. Accept the pace of island life is different. Its unhurried, there is no rush, there are no deadlines. As good as this may sound, if you are not used to it, this can be the most frustrating. The Caribbean people are on island time, and when in Rome.... do as the Romans do. So switch off your iPhones and switch on Island Time.
Accept that the sun comes up, the water is warm, the beaches are white and the beach bars are welcoming. The Caribbean people are in no hurry, and if you try to hurry them up, they will slow down. So make a joke with them, make them laugh, make them smile, and you will be served with the biggest smile and best service you have ever had.
One Love island friends... x