Like many Americans, I try to take a vacation every winter. We like to head off to somewhere warm with beaches, fun, and sun. Seeking the sun each winter makes sense, considering the reduced exposure we experience in northern regions. Being from North Dakota, the winter solstice is still a time for many Native American traditions of rest and reflection. Wherever you find yourself on the shortest day of the year, make time to reflect on both the sun-filled moments you’ve enjoyed, and the areas of your life that could use a little extra light.
Jim and I have a favorite vacation spot. It’s the place we got married, barefoot in the sand at a place called Nature’s little Miracle in the British Virgin Islands.
This place just radiates kindness! We have returned frequently since our wedding over a decade ago, and I look forward to many more visits. The people who live there are known as “Belongers” and it is such a fitting name; they are kind-hearted, welcoming, and resilient.
Sailors from around the world come here as it’s one of the top global sailing destinations. Even the government seems to understand and follow a motto of ‘business in harmony with nature.’ How cool is that?
Kindness Begets More Kindness
I once ran into Richard Branson there at 7 am on a Saturday morning. Jim and I had taken our tiny dingy boat in to get some supplies at Soper’s Hole. We parked it next to a large dinghy, not paying attention to the smallish man in the big dinghy on our way up to the West Indies inspired storefront. We heard laughing, and turned around to see Sir Branson filled with laughter at the sight of Jim’s shirt which read, “Don’t judge a man by the size of his dingy.” The memory still makes me chuckle.
Sadly, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and both of Richard Branson’s islands; Mosquito and Necker island, were devastated by Hurricane Irma.
We figured the area could use some kind support, so we packed backpacks for a 5 day stay this month!
It was heartbreaking to see the damage, yet inspiring to see the resilience as Belongers worked together rebuilding. Hundreds of families are still without roofs, or their former incomes to rebuild, although you’d never know when looking into the faces.
Preserving the Good
The healthy return of tourism to the area is the only real path to a full recovery. So, if you are planning a vacation, and have the resources to visit this magical place, I encourage you to go.
Oh, and don’t forget to pack the bug spray! EarthKind has you covered with Stay Away Mosquitoes, an unscented skin friendly spray made with CDC recommended alternative to DEET.
Keep it kind my friends!