An island...

10.21.2011

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I felt like sharing a little part of my past with you all. It's been a very busy month and I decided to take a break from "work" photography on the blog. As autumn and winter start to kick in I always tend to remember how it was when I lived in the caribbean and how the seasons didnt change all that much. When I was seventeen years old I packed my bags and showed up on the island of St John. I had just graduated high school and my friends were leaving to go to college. I had just finished school I thought, why would I want to go back? Unsure of which career path I wanted to take I decided wasting money on a college education at that point seemed careless. I had always had the itch to travel but was unsure how to move forward. An old friend had recommended me going down to St John. So I did exactly that, I saved just enough money to get a small place of my own and the necessities. I had some connections and packed my bags and left.

I was scared, a mess and nervous. Though that all seemed to change the second I landed on to St Thomas. The air was warm and humid on my skin. The sea turquoise, the sand white, the hills green. I arrived on St John via ferry and jumped in the back of a pick up truck of a new friends. Driving along St John's winding and somewhat insanely steep slopes was completely exciting. The life on the island turned into visiting the beach every afternoon. Showing up to work at the restaurant, sandy feet and in a wet swimsuit. Working a few hours for dinner, to then frequent the small local bars. Which were mostly open aired, filled with beach chairs and hammocks. The local bar would have a "pour your own" motto because the booze was cheaper then the juice. So they would happily fool people into making their drinks uber strong. We all used to hitch hike around the island. It was the way and it was safe. Instead of sticking out your thumb you would point in the direction you wanted to go to.

St John is a very small community filled with people from around the world. Some people come to work for a season, some last a few seasons, some never leave. While living on an island like this may seem like total perfection, it does have its flaws like everywhere. As a young adult you can get easily bored and uninspired. There isn't much going on in the fun stimulation part though its great for outdoor activities. The food is ridiculously expensive, because everything has to be shipped in from Florida. When I was visiting three years ago, a noticed a head of raddichio was 8 dollars. There are no farmer's markets, and they don't grow much. Not to say there aren't great restaurants and food you just have to pay a pretty penny for it. I spent two years here working in restaurants and living the life. To then crave more excitement, I decided to travel more. I traveled through out South America and ended up in New York after. Moving to St John, opened my eyes, showed me that traveling is easily done and changed my life. I cant imagine how different my life would of been had I gone to college. It's amazing how things fall into place.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful pictures! I want to be there right now :)

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  2. My husband I got married on the beach, Trunk Bay on St,John

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  3. Beautiful photos and glimpse into your life. I always love hearing how people ended up in NYC!

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  4. Wow, you were such a brave young adult!! These pics are amazing, they make me feel like I'm there!

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  5. I agree, you were very brave, especially at seventeen! It never would've crossed my mind to not go to college after high school (but I'm not saying it's a bad thing that you didn't). I really admire that you knew what you wanted in that sense, though not exactly what you wanted to DO. Living on an island and traveling is such a dream of mine, one that I hope can happen someday. If only money wasn't always an issue :)

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  6. Guau, qué lugar más precioso! La verdad es que a mí me encantaría viajar pero me parece super difícil, viviendo en Uruguay donde todo sale carísimo, cualquier lugar del mundo parece muy muy lejano y ahorrar para viajar es bastante complicado, pero tengo mucha fe en que voy a poder hacerlo en algún momento de mi vida, o simplemente cambiar la manera de pensar y verlo como algo no tan difícil y just do it!
    :)

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  7. thanks for sharing your story. such an interesting read!

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  8. wow ! quite the adventure....gorgeous pics :D

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  9. There is so much pressure on young people to identify what they want to do in their early teens and rack up huge debts for college educations. While this is one route, how good to be reminded (so beautifully) that it's not the only one.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this story. I'm always really fascinated when people take a different path after high school, and it really inspires me when people forge their own path. I certainly wish I was brave enough to do that when I was 18.

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  11. I love this post.
    My 'gap year' lasted for 4 years!;)
    From Poland I moved to London, then San Francisco, New York but this year it was time to go back to school...
    I chose to study food and consumer management in Birmingham, UK and even though I hate studying, for the first time in my 'school life' I know that I'm on the right path with a plan for my future career.
    It wouldn't have happened without that break and all the traveling I've done:).

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  12. Amazing pictures and lovely story.

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  13. Nicole, not a lot of people have the ability to find their destiny at 17 and leave, all alone. Good for you! Great read, incredible journey! Amazing pictures.

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  14. It takes guts to pack up and move country, you picked a great one by the look of it :) I moved from England to New Zealand 2 years ago - but like you say, there's drawbacks no matter where you live and I miss my family terribly, so although I met my other half here we know we'll be moving to Europe sometime in the future. Happy 2012!

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