Island Living: a Response

Written as I read this piece entitled ‘9 Definitive Reasons Why You Should NOT Move to the Caribbean’ by a freelancer who describes herself as living an “accidental ex pat life” in Honduras.


  1. The cooling breeze of the trade winds keeps the heat down…and the enduring and yet ephemeral beauty of every sunset makes every moment worth it…plus Vitamin D is good for you and the sun’s good for Vitamin D.
  2. It’s san’flies not sand fleas. And yeah insects are called pests for a reason… but you know what we also have … hummingbirds and hibiscuses hibiscus2butterflies and whistling ducks and frigate birds…nature can be a nuisance but she’s also kind of magically beautiful too…and part of living here is learning to cope with the nuisance and see the beauty …everywhere has something and insects (which are lots of places NOT Caribbean and can be controlled) are a small price to pay for a far from perfect world, true, but on its best days just this side of paradise..
  3. Bureaucracy’s a bitch everywhere…and island bureaucracy can be a pain in the ass …and sometimes you’ll lose your cool…but mostly you’ll adjust your rhythm…and learn to dodge those potholes. There’s no excuse for the power outages and water shortages though (you didn’t mention that but I will)… it’s 2015 for crying out loud.
  4. True, small town sometimes means not enough room to breathe… but you know what it also means, none of the alienation and isolation of big city living. Small towns (or islands) appeal to people who need people…and don’t we all from time to time. And if you want to get away, hey, hop across to another island where no one knows your name for a little getaway
    Pic taken by day tripper Brenda Lee Browne on an island hop over to Antigua's sister, Barbuda.

    Pic taken by day tripper Brenda Lee Browne on an island hop over to Antigua’s sister, Barbuda.

    …or, if the budget don’t cut it, turn up your music and tune out the world …and as we say here in Antigua, learn to see and don’t see…hear and don’t hear.

  5. Yes, getting things can be hard…but it depends on what you’re trying to get. Sure, the mail is slow. But you know what, in summer you can literally step into your back yard, reach up and pick a mangomangomenu170606_104
    and bite into it, just so.
  6. When it comes to aggression it’s actually not the strays you have to watch out for…it’s the owned dogs who tend to be territorial, rushing you as you walk by their yard, in government street…now that’s annoying. Strays tend to hold their side. But yeah, we could do a looooot better on animal control.
  7. Tourism is the lifeblood of the island and we …accomodate …plus, live here a lifetime and you too will learn the secret spaces where privacy can be found, know the best times of day or night to get the beach all to yourself
    Guy Fawkes, 2013.   (photo BYZIA Photography)

    Guy Fawkes, 2013. (photo BYZIA Photography)

    and though “tourism is everybody’s business” you can go whole days without a sighting. True true.

  8. Yeah, disasters can be gravely serious…I think the same thing every time I see a twister blowing through the midwest or a snow storm crippling the east coast…meanwhile I’ve gone years at a time between hurricanes…and when they come, and they do, we cope…because God know disasters happen
  9. The latest gadgets, TV shows, and films, come on now, we got you, in fact, we get some of them before you. But yeah, the roads do come to an end, and can all be all too familiar, and there’s all that water hemming you in… the rhythm gets familiar though but never routine, and even along the well-travelled path, there is roast corn at the side of the road and a beach at the end of it, a beach!… and, if you keep your eyes and your heart open, there is always something new to discover …so go for a lime, sip some cane juice or wadadli, and just chill …and you’ll discover that 8 times out of 10 it feels comfortable …not claustrophobic.
  10. ..I see what you did there…tripled down on the bad to get to the good. Might have oversold the bad though, creating a caricature of island living …but good that, even with the bad, exaggerated or not, you’re also seeing the good of island living. But as someone here in Antigua pointed out, one tiny correction, Honduras is not the Caribbean. And whew, because, leaf cutter ants, that sounds kind of intense.


Joanne is a lifelong resident of Antigua, and, for a time, Jamaica. She loves island living more than cook food because every day she breathes fresh air and is reminded that no two sunsets are alike but every sunset is life. She is an author, and, in her books, she doesn’t sugar coat island living but she doesn’t make it into one giant cliché either.


7 thoughts on “Island Living: a Response

  1. I saw the title of the article in passing, but somehow wasn’t tempted enough to read it. Confidentially, I kind of thought that it was actually going to be the opposite of what it said. But I suppose titles like that one is how you get read.
    I like your review and the way you did it – slightly annoyed, but not overly sensitive. I thought it quite well balanced.

  2. So basically, you just expanded and rewrote the second part of her article. At least you read the second part, unlike (apparently) most of those indignant island defenders. Living in the Caribbean (STX, STT, Culebra) for over 20 years, I thought her article was great and needed no reiterating rebuttal.

  3. Hi Joanne! I couldn’t agree more – you pointed out some wonderful aspects of island life that I absolutely adore. I’m glad you read the article all the way to the end to see that many of those so-called negatives still do not detract from the paradise that can be found on a Caribbean island. I love living on Roatan, and I’m glad to have found your site now, too!

    Be well,

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