What Is It Really Like To Live On An Island Paradise?

Uncategorized / Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Maybe you have a dream of living on an island. Living the slower life, writing from your desk at your cottage and enjoying warm evenings while sipping a refreshing drink. Or maybe, at some point you plan to experience or may have experienced vacationing on a sunny Island Paradise.

Most people have a similar picture when they think of island life… The good life.

Here is what living on an Island Paradise is like from islander’s perspective… As a matter of fact, a local.

First and foremost, island time is real! On my Island Paradise, if someone makes an arrangement with you for 10 o’clock, do yourself a favour and turn up early at 11 o’clock. Because it is quite normal for that other person to turn up an hour an a half later than the time arranged. It happens that way with most events too. Seriously now, islanders do work and turn up for work early. But they are more laid back with the clock when it comes to their personal time and social lives. And tourists easily fall into the same attitude.

The language can be misleading. I am a local, and at times I get confused about what other locals are trying to say when they speak the creole. It’s a cultural thing, but different types of families speak the creole differently. And sometimes you would think that someone is trying to be offensive, when it was a friendly gesture. It can be the opposite way too. If someone calls another ‘gal’ on this island, it is disrespectful. If a man calls a woman ‘fatty’ it is a compliment! I was surprised when I delved into the online world, and saw women calling themselves and others ‘gal’!  The creole here is called Patois, and our first language is English. But most times it seems the other way around.

The sunny life is so wonderful. Actually… We get tired of so much sun at times. And when we have a few days without much sun, most islanders pray for the sunny days to come back. I am still not sure which side I am on. Maybe I will just stay in the middle… I feel safer there 🙂

Mosquitoes are a real pain! Yes… It’s true. Picture this- Sitting in your garden on a warm, cozy evening, sipping some nice drink. But every so often you have to be shooing mosquitoes. If you don’t be careful you splash that drink all over yourself and break your pretty little glass! Gladly, there are seasons when mosquitoes aren’t so much of a bother.

Getting supplies is one of my favourite things to do. But it requires time and patience. I live in one parish, and usually have to travel to another parish to get simple things like yeast for baking, and certain kinds of milk or even mozzarella. There is no pizza shop in my parish! But I often make a road trip out of getting supplies, and make it fun.

Animals are everywhere. It is not unusual for dogs to bark at vehicles on the highway. Neither is it unusual for goats to occupy a parking space in town. No kidding 🙂 That really happened! Sometimes they have owners, and sadly, sometimes they don’t.

Electricity and good water supply is important for modern day islanders. But we learn to live without electricity and water a lot. It is also a must that we store water, even if we live in the middle of town. Most homes have a plastic tank or at least one barrel for water storage. It is not about if we don’t have any, it is about when we don’t have any. So we learn to make do, shower outside when the water pressure is low. And it is never a big thing when the electricity goes. It happens quite often in the town where I live.

The food is absolutely delicious. Islanders love flavour. And we are famous for jerk 🙂 Most children here learn to cook from an early age. I started cooking my own lunch for school by the age of nine. I guess all those flavours drew me in the kitchen from early. An islander’s kitchen usually have all the necessary spices including scallion, garlic, onion, thyme, pepper and pimento. Those are our essential and everyday spices. And we love using natural turmeric for our curry dishes. I know it is normal for food to bring people together in any culture, and on this island it is quite that way.

Anyways, excuse me while I get into my evening routine. It looks as if it’s about to rain. Later, I will pour myself a drink in a pretty glass, and relax and watch the stars with Charlotte (my dog) by side. I hope the electricity won’t go out tonight. If it does, I’ll just light my favourite scented candle. Maybe my cute vintage lantern too!

Happy Wednesday 🙂


P.S. The Real Life Of An Island Girl

12 Replies to “What Is It Really Like To Live On An Island Paradise?”

  1. It's been lovely to read about your Island life! Many years ago we had two days in Jamaica and I loved the warmth of both the temperature and the people. Stunning scenery too! We went along to a market – can't remember exactly where – but I do remember standing for ages with Mum listening to the music, the steel drums were mesmerising and they even let me have a go on one of them!!

  2. {{grinning}}…When we lived in southern Fl. it was the same frame of mind. I think it really depends on where you live…as some folks here in the states feel the same way. When we moved from Alabama to upstate NY 5 years ago (6 hrs west of NYC), talk about a culture shock…things are more slow here than Alabama. Just saying.

    Great post, Summer…and I heard on the news that the islands will be without power for 4-6 months thanks to the latest hurricane…sigh. I'm just not sure if I can go that long, lol.

  3. Summer, I enjoyed reading this this morning. I haven't seen anything slow in Florida! LOL! It's living in a microwave world! Every one in a hurry to get no where! Well see here, if they called me "fatty" I would cry! Ha! Went I went to Nicaragua I was sorta shocked at their being so lain back. No hurry whatsoever! And they their siesta's quite seriously. It is amazing how every culture can be different but I do love how others do things. Love it that you learned to cook so young. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. How lovely, Summer…We enjoyed Jamaica and its Island Time…and I do so miss the beaches…I was just notified that our Florida house is in the path of the hurricane…thankfully we have a property manager who can put up the hurricane shutters…it is tough from 2000 miles away. Hope you are safe from the storm…this sounds like it's going to be a big one.

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