Saba - Dutch Caribbean
I found Saba completely by chance. I was scouring the maps and the largest Villa here, The Bottom, popped up on my search. I thought, “Well, I guess I can’t go any lower than The Bottom.” I looked into it completely as a joke, but then fell in love with the idea of going somewhere so unknown where there are so few people that live there let alone vacation. With a population of less than 2000, 1/3 of that being medical students (yes, there is a medical school on this very tiny island) the unique sense of community here is so appealing. Compared to living downtown Toronto for 3 years, this is the complete opposite. It has the smallest commercial runway in the world, one major road (ironically titled “The Road”), and quaint shops, bars, and restaurants. I have been here just shy of 24 hours, but am already concerned that I won’t leave.
Might as well stick with the monthly updates since I seem to be way too distracted to make this a more traditional style travel blog. What I thought was going to be a one month impulsive excursion turned into two, and now planning to overstay my tourist visa for another month. From having hours long conversations at the local coffee shop, hitchhiking in the back of pickup trucks, and learning how to free dive as well as attempting to actually dive… I’ve been keeping myself very occupied. Taco Thursday’s at Chez Bubba, TGIF Friday’s at Tropics, and weekends usually spent on the water leaves me with approximately 2-3 days to actually sit and reflect on one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. Getting away from the busyness of Toronto and the chaos of the film industry was something I didn’t know I needed so desperately. Thankful for the time spent, grateful for the rest of my time here, and feeling rather bittersweet but very refreshed to get back to normal working life for a little while. We’ll see what the next month holds for me, and furthermore, the next year. I sense some big changes in store for me.
Three months on Saba was something I never anticipated when I flew here on Christmas Day. I had no idea what I was planning, but I simply enjoying the direction my life was going in. I knew my tourist visa was only good for three months, so the planning to return home was looming over my shoulder. Being the procrastinator I am when it comes to figuring out big life things, I decided I would balance my daily island life along with taking small bites out of the massive back-to-reality-sandwich. While dealing with these things one by one, I realized how spoiled I had been living on the self titled “Unspoiled Queen” island of Saba. Life is so much easier here. Simple. I know now, after living independently for three months, that this is the kind of lifestyle I’ve wanted for myself. What I’ll do here is undetermined, but I enjoy the idea of making it up as I go along and seeing where this amazing journey will take me. The thought of being back in Toronto scares me half to death, but I know that this is the last stretch until I can finally life the nomadic lifestyle I never knew I needed. Saba, thank you for welcoming me with open arms and being my home. I will be back very very soon. Stay green, stay clean, stay unspoiled.
BACK ON SABA…
Classic case of forgetting to keep up with this “blog”, as if anyone actually reads these things. At this point, I’ve been back on Saba for 2 and a half months. I was pleasantly surprised how little changes happened on this tiny rock, how many people were happy to see me and that I had kept my promise to return and with more tattoos. I think I got 12 when I went home to Toronto, which likely surprises no one. We’ve had the pleasure of house and dog sitting for a lovely couple on the island, who have gone to Holland to have their first child. The dog, Little Miss Coco, has been a joy to have around, though her breath isn’t always the most pleasant and I could definitely do without the many scratches and tail whips when she’s excited.
I spent my birthday here this year, which I normally really prefer not to celebrate. Although, thanks to my good friends at Saba Conservation Foundation, I got the best birthday present I could ask for: tagging my own shark. Well, a shark that circles the island, who is now named after me and will be monitored for the coming years. Jan-Luca even caught me a pretty yellow-fin grouper, who we struggled with for almost an hour due to the fact that the poor dude got stuck on the reef for a bit.
In other news, I am happy to announce that while I’ve been gone, I’ve been accepted into IATSE as a category member! Something I’ve been working towards for 4 years now. I’m actually very excited to return to Toronto after my time here and really get eyeball deep into my career.
Feeling very blessed to be where I am in life.