Have you ever lived in a tiny place with a million-dollar view? Were you sacrificing common, everyday amenities that weren’t even luxuries because you wanted that view? Well after 10 months of living in a tiny, hot, shoebox-like house with stunning sunset views from the front deck, I am here to tell you that the view is overrated.
I had grown to accept that everyday island life included trips to the laundromat, mosquitoes constantly biting me while inside my house, a landlord that was slowly driving me insane, and a living area with no seating. It was my reality now that my family had uprooted our life in Charlotte and moved to St John. And for a while, that surreal sunset view almost tricked me into believing I was OK with it all.
Late July 2015: I just sold the hammock and am in the process of making sure I have a buyer for all of the patio furniture that we just purchased earlier this year. I’ve packed up most of my clothes and am starting to bubble wrap the dishes.
“Are you leaving island?” people ask. “Why are you moving? Where are you moving?”
It actually does seem like just yesterday we arrived on St. John to begin our lives as residents of the Virgin Islands. October 11 will be a day we forever remember, the day we had the courage to step outside the box and take a big risk.
Nearly 10 months later, we are so happy that we made the decision to give island living a try. We have tested our marriage (and our patience) in ways we never had. We’ve learned to drive left and drink right. We have new friends and new experiences that we’ll have for life. All such amazing blessings.
But something was missing during our first ten months on island. And now that we have moved into our new apartment I know exactly what it was.
5 things that have made me realize that the view is overrated:
1) A washer and dryer INSIDE my home. I’ve written several times about my trips to the laundromat. At first I enjoyed them; then I realized I was an ill and sweaty mess when I left. I don’t miss it. At all. 2) A couch and a love seat. I am married. I am married to another full sized adult. Both of us like to stretch out. We had a couch and a love seat stateside, and now we know we need them wherever life’s journeys take us.
3) Friends nearby. My current living situation is a bit like Melrose Place and you won’t hear me complaining about it. I love apartment living and I love easy access to friends. Hello, Friday night cookouts and spontaneous game nights.
4) Television. Scandal, Orange is the New Black. Not to mention new fall episodes starting in September. I know now that distractions from everyday life are important to me.
5) Privacy. I don’t always like to be fully clothed anticipating a surprise visit from my landlord next door. I sometimes just want to relax and be alone. That can happen here. Enough said.
These five items, while certainly not things I considered luxuries in the past, now top my list of what I love most about my current living situation. What I realize though, is that they are all things I would most certainly be taking for granted right now.
Everything is relative, and I am relatively thrilled to be writing this while sitting on my couch, not swatting at mosquitoes, while my dryer quietly does its job.
Ashley Cates, St. John USVI Blogger