Greetings Loved Ones,
Welcome to another installment of IslandER Feature Friday! I am thrilled to be featuring my friend Danielle for a few of reasons. First and foremost (as this is unique to Danielle alone amongst our island friends) is that she is from (since 3 years old) St. Thomas. Secondly (and this is my favorite) is that Danielle was the first friend I ever made in St. Thomas, and I therefore credit all of my other friendships to her inspiring me to overcome the extreme awkwardness that is Megan trying to make new friends. And thirdly (and least valid to you) she is Aunt ‘Nelle to our fur babies as she house sits every time we leave island, so she’s a Carp household favorite 🙂
Danielle and I met when I worked at Bolongo Bay Resort. She is a wedding planner there (and one of the heirs to the Bolongo Bay Resort dynasty!) After several weeks of me telling DJ and all my friends back home that there was a nice girl at work who was my age that I may ask to hang out (like a boss), I finally awkwardly blurted out in ramblish fashion that I’ve been trying to find a (cool) moment to ask her if she wants to hang out and one never comes, so would-you-please-humor-me-I-have-no-friends-here-and-we-could-maybe-do-something-or-go-somewhere (awesome sauce). She said YES!
And this is her take on growing up on island:
1. What do you think is the most unique aspect of growing up in the VI versus the states?
One of the (many) things that I’m thankful for in growing up on St Thomas is the exposure to different cultures and people. That might sound cliche, but it’s true! From my experiences with schools on island, to friends, family, extended family, coworkers, and everyone in between- there are so many different people that make up this community, I think it’s a truly unique experience to grow up around it.
Of course the opportunities that come with living on an island are pretty unique too- my family vacations were usually spent boating throughout the British Virgin Islands with 5-10 family members for weeks at a time. So much fun!
2. Do you feel safe in the VI?
The short answer is yes. Of course there are places I wouldn’t go by myself or late at night, but that’s true of almost everywhere. I think the biggest factor in your safety here comes down to common sense. If you are aware of your surroundings and not looking to cause trouble, you’ll (probably) be fine!
3. What do you think is the biggest challenge of living on an island?
One of the biggest challenges for me has been the transient nature of the community. St. Thomas attracts many people who want to live in paradise, but it’s very common for people to ultimately go back to the states or keep moving to the next destination. The younger local population is often in flux from students deciding to stay in the states after school, or to spend a few years back home before moving on. There are amazing opportunities for lifelong friendships in St Thomas, but it’s also very common to see friends come and go!
4. How would you compare the island to places you’ve visited in the states?
In general things feel much more relaxed in the VI than anywhere I’ve visited in the states. Of course that isn’t always a positive, like when you’re waiting in slow moving lines at the drive through, or when offices are randomly closed during the week. For the most part I really enjoy the slower pace of life in the islands, it’s comforting to me!
5. Name your top 3 places to see/things to do in the VI.
– I love spending time near the water, whether it’s boating to the BVI, hanging out at the beach, or just watching the waves from my porch.
– Escaping to St. John! I love spending the day in St John, even though it’s so close, it always feels like a break from reality. I really like hiking over to Solomon or Honeymoon for the day, and catching the sunset while at happy hour in Cruz Bay!
– Showing people the island! I love having visitors, and sharing my home with guests at work is something I really enjoy. When I tell a guest that I’m from St Thomas their reactions are usually annoyingly surprising, but I love being able to answer questions about things to do, history, random facts about the islands, and my family’s history here.
Danielle is here on island indefinitely for now. And for that I am so grateful 🙂 I hope you enjoyed another islander perspective. Thanks for stopping in folks! More to come!