Island life or where I would always live
Look, I am an island girl…Haters will say I grew up between mountains in the middle of nowhere, so how can I enjoy the seaside life so much? Maybe they are right, but…this is who I am for now. I love walking barefoot, I enjoy wearing only summer dresses and there is nothing better than catching sunsets. I like the salty air, the sand everywhere in the house, and the warm air..Everything feels familiar on an island after a while. And I am not bothered even when options are limited.
I lost count of how many islands I’ve been to, but I still love it. I will settle on an island, I am quite sure about it. But until then, there are some I would like to explore. So far, what is stuck in my heart?
The island of Cesaria Evora grew in my heart. I am not convinced if I loved this country at first sight, but during my time there, I said I would like to live there for a while. The land of sodade, Fogo wine and mornas holds some of the best memories of my life. Cape Verde is located on the coast of the Atlantic, very close to Senegal. It is formed of 9(?) islands which are very different and it is known for not having hurricanes or tsunamis. What I loved the most was the quietness that it had to offer.
Except for Sal, none of the islands are very touristic. They keep the slow life of locals, who often do not speak English. Stores have little to offer, but tuna is everywhere, so don’t worry about the food. Cape Verde has more than Cesaria Evora in terms of music, with mornas being some of the most joyful music songs I have ever listened do.
I convinced you to give it a shot. Go to Sao Vicente and you’ll love it <3
Check this playlist out!
The favourite honeymoon destination and the country of houses above the sea has so much to offer. The Maldives is one of those countries often underestimated by everyone. With most of the country Muslim and a language which’s origins are not very clear, the Maldives holds in store bunch of tiny islands which you can see the other side almost always. Unlike Cape Verde, everything is well stocked here and the capital, Male, felt like a typical Asian city that has something to offer from everyone: good food, special coffee, fun markets or a scooter ride.
I lived there for almost 4 months, hopping between islands. Whereas the speed boats are still expensive and often uncomfortable, the local islands are a nice mix of local vibes and touristic comfort. The prices are more affordable than I could ever expect and all islands have 4G, so working from there was not a problem. It is often overwhelming which island to choose, but depending on your needs you can always look on the internet. It is a scuba diving paradise, so I already booked my flight back. Dhangheti, here I come <3
This is where the fun begins. Malta is a tiny island in Europe, with incredible architecture and a bit of a crazy history. It has been dominated by almost every big empire, but it feels that only Italians left a strong influence on the language and Brits way of driving. To be more serious, Malta is often underestimated because it is a dry rock. It will not impress anyone with its green scenery or organized way of working, but the Rock has other qualities.
People often go to Malta to have fun. This is why you should go there. Everyone speaks English and everyone is open there. After a while in Malta, it is impossible not to make lifetime friends. The weather is good almost all year round and going to the beach is normal there. With a relaxed attitude, unusual for Europe, Malta still stays my summer escape.
Now that remains an adventure that I wish I planned better. Iceland is unlike any other island. You do not go there to swim and lay in the sun, but rather to explore one of the most scenic countries across the globe. On the total opposite spectrum from Malta, Iceland is an incredibly green country, with tons of geysers, volcanos and a strong belief in elves. The population is spread across the country and during winter, expect to see little hours of daylight.
I went there on a NYE – maybe the best one in my life. I expected nothing. Surprise, I had tons of fun! Icelandic people are big fans of fireworks and there is no doubt they know how to party. Except for that, consider also seeing the Northern Lights, do the Golden Circle and if the weather is good, diving and do some tracking.
I got there with no accommodation after a 12 hours flight. I still question what I had in mind, but besides that, this island is such a blessing. Located between Madagascar and Mauritius, La Reunion is actually part of France. With people speaking mostly French and the local language, you should go there if you like hiking. It is really a paradise. It is the country with the most microclimates in the world (and trust me, you will notice it), having tons of waterfalls and incredibly curvy roads (why did I rent a car, again?)
Unlike most of the islands from the Indian Ocean, this island goes up to more than 3,000 meters and so far, I have never seen so many people into hiking, running and trekking. It feels that everyone goes there for that and everyone who lives there does that. With clear European standards for everything, there is nothing missing here. La Reunion has it all. Don’t be discouraged by the long flight and give it a chance, it is all worth it.
The island which was pioneering marine life protection, is also home to the largest number of wild donkeys and flamingos. Bonaire is situated in the Antilles, with most of the tourists being from the Netherlands. That is quite logical since the country is still part of the kingdom. However, the official language is also Papiamento and the islanders are famous for their cactus liquor. With a huge love for marine life, everyone is a diver on a tiny island. The country (or place, whatever) has a very sad history of slavery, which is still kept in the locals’ memory. Between the capital and the rest of the island, there are huge differences because of that.
Anyway, that is for you to learn more about. Remember that everyone who lands there goes diving…I landed with no clear plans, but except for trying to drive on some small roads, I did the same.
There are other islands that I went to or fell in love with. Madeira is great, Sri Lanka was a blast and Tenerife was fun to stay in. I cannot recall an island that I dislike, but my favorite ones are still in warmer climates. I have tons, especially in Asia and some more in the Caribbean, but all at the right time. For now, I could live in all these places for a while..ok, maybe not in Iceland, but the rest felt good back then. They all have in common that I never truly planned to go there. I let life take me and I really enjoyed it.
Island life is on its own a status quo that I learned while travelling. Nothing is urgent, life is beautiful and stress doesn’t exist. Time is relative. Only sunset time is important. Materialistic things will pass. Life is beautiful. Maybe this is why I love the island life, because I love the entire philosophy behind it. What do you think?