Jun 21, 2012

5 Favorite Things: Island Life

We moved to the Caribbean nearly two years ago so that my husband could attend medical school here.  Currently, we are lucky enough to live on the beautiful nature isle of Dominica {pronounced dom-in-eeka} where everyday is an adventure.

Here are my five favorite things about island life:

1. The tight-knit community.  Dominica is a small island, measuring about 290 square miles with a total population of about 71,000.  I volunteer at several local schools and community organizations, and I love the small community here.  On any given day, I see a handful of friends, neighbors, students, and other familiar faces, and this is one of my favorite things about the island.  I love knowing the cashiers at the grocery store, and then seeing them on the weekends when I go to town or spend an afternoon at the beach.  These familiar, smiling faces are what make Dominica feel like home.

2.  We have fresh fruit here everywhere, all the time.  These papayas are from my neighbor's tree across the street.  Our garden is laden with grapefruit, star fruit, guava, passion fruit, banana, and plantain trees.  During mango and avocado {locally called pear} season, my husband and I collect fruits that have fallen off nearby trees, or climb a tree in our yard or up the street for some fresh fruit.  You can buy all of these treats at the store or the market, as well, but you can't ignore the fresh goodies straight from the tree, either! {Also, the fruits and veggies here are abnormally large.  Sometimes I yell at them...}

3.  Dominica boasts 365 rivers, one for every day of the year.  There is no better way to spend a hot summer day in Dominica than by hiking in the rainforest to one of the island's many rivers and waterfalls for a refreshing swim.  Some of my favorites are Bense Pool {pictured above} and the Seven Waterfalls Hike

4.  Island Hopping by plane or ferry to one of many nearby islands makes for an easy adventure and an exotic vacation.  Ferries travel from Dominica to nearby islands like St. Lucia, Guadaloupe, and Martinique on a daily basis.  It's also easy to hop a quick plane to other nearby islands like St. Maarten, Barbados, or St. Vincent {above}.

5.  The laid back, island lifestyle and attitude is one of my favorite things about Dominica.  This photo of happy, carefree Rastafarian dancing on the beach at sunset sums this up perfectly.  Life here is simple.  People here are happy and they live with much, much less.  This is one of the greatest lessons that we have learned while living here, and I hope that we continue to appreciate this simple lifestyle even after we return to the U.S.

So there you have it, my five favorite things about life in Dominica.  

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Photos by Clare Wilkinson for C Squared W.

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