TRAVEL BLOG

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.

…1 MONTH LATER…
Well, can’t say I kept up with this blog very well. I’ve been on Saba for over a month now. Since then, I’ve made friends with marine park staff, marine biology and agriculture students, tons of locals, and crazy enough; pilot whales. What an absolute journey this has been. I’ve managed to get an apartment here, in an area called Hell’s Gate, which if you know me at all is very fitting. If you had of asked me a month ago where I’d be, it wouldn’t have been riding on the back of an electric scooter through the rain, slightly intoxicated. I’ve met some truly great friends, most of which I can say I’ll have life long friends in. The locals here absolutely adore me, referring to me as “The tattoooed Canadian”, and many of them exclaiming, “You’re still here?!” when they see me in town. My apartment is about a 20 minute walk from the shops and most of my friends, so its keeping me active. I did a lot of hiking, which I quickly learned is not my favourite thing in the world due to my asthma and jello ankles, but it has been so amazing to see every inch of this island and its beautiful foliage. It’s funny seeing all the plants I once had crammed in my tiny Toronto apartment growing wildly here.
I am starting to get a little antsy though. I haven’t worked in about 2 months, which is a little stressful, but I knew that I needed this break and I needed to be able to focus on myself and what direction I need to be in for the coming years. I do miss Toronto and all of its conveniences but I find myself getting very anxious of the thought of having to go back. But for now, I’m enjoying the sunshine, too much beer, and some great company. See you in a bit, maybe.  



 …TWO MONTHS LATER…

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. 

…3 MONTHS LATER…

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.