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My Escape: Island Living in the Dutch Caribbean

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on the experiences we’ve had on this little island over the last 16 months. With only 14 days left until we leave I’m such a mix of emotions about going home. On the one hand I’m beyond excited! Excited to see our families, excited to walk into a grocery store where I can buy all the bananas I want and yogurt cups for less than $1.50 each! How cool will that be!?
I’m also a bit sad to leave this pretty place where we’ve created so many special family memories. Sure, there are things I’m not going to miss for a second -  the ants currently invading my kitchen come to mind – but our time here has been such an incredible experience, one that we’re going to treasure for years and I guess it’s only natural to feel some sadness at seeing this adventure come to an end.

I’m also feeling a touch of nervousness about going home, which I didn’t really anticipate. I’m nervous for the kids and how they’re going to transition back into school in Canada. I’m nervous that we’re going to freeze {it dipped down to 26 degrees Celsius last night and I was putting on a sweater!? What is that?} I’m nervous about the plane trip with a two year old and I’m just feeling nervous about heading back to reality in general.  
Living here has been a bit of an escape for me and I’m reluctant to dive right back into the life I was living before we came to Statia. Leaving behind thoughts of the medical issues I’d been dealing with, taking a break from all the doctors appointments and putting aside my fears of the unknown, has done so much for my health and I feel like I’m in a much better place now to deal with whatever might come way in the future.  
Leaving my photography business and taking some time to just do my own thing has been so freeing and I’ve fallen in love with photography all over again during our time here. Without the stress of client deadlines and the expectation of perfect photos, I’ve felt my creativity behind the lens come back to me and taking pictures feels fun again!
Having four kids still keeps me busy, but I’m not functioning at the same crazy pace I was back home before we left and I’m determined to do all I can to maintain the simpler way of life that we’ve embraced here. I’m not too sure how I’m going to do that. It’s probably going to require a few “no’s” on my part and a whole lot of discipline when it comes to collecting “stuff” again. I haven’t done any REAL shopping in 16 months and I’ve already been fighting the urge to make up for lost time. ;)
So many blessings have come into my life as a result of our time here and the changes we’ve experienced over the past 16 months. Even though I’m nervous for what’s to come, I’m also excited to be moving on to the next step in this journey and to take the lessons we’ve learned here home with us.
I’m putting together a post summing up our experiences in the Dutch Caribbean and wondered if you have any questions you’ve been dying to ask me re: life here. If you do, feel free to email me or leave a your question in the comments and I’d be happy to answer what I can.