Looking Ahead: A Future Move to St. Thomas
I love the Caribbean. Angeleno blood runs through my veins, but I’m an island girl at heart. I just feel a certain connection to the Caribbean that I can’t really explain. I’ve always had a keen interest in the Dominican Republic, I’ve been in love with Bermuda from the second our plane landed there (and it remains my favorite destination that I’ll return to again and again), and I’ve felt at home in Jamaica from the first time I floated on my back in its warm, clear waters. I feel a certain peace and oneness with myself whenever I’m in the Caribbean.
So last Memorial Day weekend, it’s no surprise that the Caribbean was my destination of choice for a short getaway. Feeling the urge to escape and take a break from everything and everyone except each other, Jave and I traveled to Puerto Rico because neither of us had ever been, and the prices were right. As I was researching things to do in Puerto Rico, I realized just how close it is to the U.S. Virgin Islands which caught my attention since Jave and I have been researching Caribbean destinations where we can move in the very near future to start a family.
Why the U.S. Virgin Islands? Well, for starters, it’s a U.S. territory, so relocating there wouldn’t entail any visa drama. Also, the U.S. Virgin Islands would provide our future kids with the best of both of the U.S. and the Caribbean. It’s important to us that our kids grow up with pride in both their African-American and Jamaican cultures. Jave really wants our children to grow up speaking and understanding patois. We both want our kids to have a simple way of life – with room to run and play, fresh air to breathe, and a sense of security in their environment. Lastly, while the U.S. Virgin Islands is not without its problems, unlike many other Caribbean countries, it has the advantage of having sound infrastructure since it’s a U.S. territory.
So on our second day in Puerto Rico, we caught a quick 30 minute flight from San Juan to St. Thomas where, following breakfast at Bumpa’s, we embarked on a tour of the tiny island. The U.S. Virgin Islands is comprised of three islands – St. Thomas (the touristy island), St. Croix (the “town and country” island) and St. John (primarily a national park).
Jave and I were the only people on the tour, so we had our guide all to ourselves. As we sang and danced in our seats to the tunes of soca, our guide took us to various lookout points around the island and gave us the typical facts and details that tours provide.
The highlight was definitely when we made our way up to Mountain Top for a breathtaking view of Magen’s Bay below.
Afterward, we stopped by our guide’s house to pick up his son (see, that’s the kind of intimate island service you get in the Caribbean) before making our way to Coki Point Beach for a look around. Throughout our tour, I kept asking Jave, “Can you see ourselves living here?” Jave reminded me that he’s from the Caribbean.
Our guide dropped us off at Magen’s Bay so that we could relax for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to catch our plane back to San Juan. As we walked to the sand, we noticed that a church service was being held in one of the picnic areas. How awesome is that!! Church at the beach in shorts and flip-flops? Amen to that!
We spent some time kayaking in the gorgeous waters and chatted with the owner of the kayak rental stand. We discovered that she’s from California also and that she moved to St. Thomas about twenty years ago although she still goes back to California for extended stays. Later, as I waded in the water, Coldplay’s “Paradise” played on repeat in my mind. We truly were in paradise as we eventually fell asleep on the sand in front of the kayak shack for an hour or so. I roasted and burned, but didn’t mind one bit!
I know that Jave and I have to do some more research before picking up and moving there or wherever we decide, but our visit to St. Thomas left us both really looking forward to our next chapter in the Caribbean! Stay tuned as we plan our move to St. Thomas…