June 30, 2017

The Island Escape

After shades of pink and orange ruled the sunset sky, nighttime quietly swathed the island with a blanket of stars and the roaring sound of the ocean breaking the shore. The ambient melody pulled me to the beach one late evening and I laid myself down on the cool sand to view the stars. The palm trees grew into towering behemoths gently swaying in the twilight breeze. Thoughts are drowned under the rhythmic ocean break. Traces of civilization vanished from my scope and it was just me, the land, sea, and sky.
It’s at this moment I felt closest to the omnipotent beauty of nature that surrounds us everyday, at the edge of the world under untouched skies. The moment made me feel no more than a grain of sand in the vast universe and it was the most restorative experience I’ve had away from home.
This was my only visit to the Caribbean islands; far from enough. I’m planning to return to the Caribbean Sea and explore the stunning and diverse destination of the U.S. Virgin Islands. As I sit at my desk and write, I’m often daydreaming of white, powdery sand, crystal clear waters, and a true escape to seclusion amongst beauty. The U.S. Virgin Islands comprise of three distinct islands that carry its culture and rich history from the 17th and 18th century all throughout.

The island of St. John is the most untouched, with more than half of its land dedicated as a national park and laden with the most picturesque beaches and flora and fauna; it is the epitome of slow and idle island life, with no high-rise hotels or hordes of tourists, perfect for the nature lover like me. In St. John, you can go horseback riding through the scenic hills of the island for what I’m sure is to be unforgettable views or soak in the sun at Trunk Bay, one of the best beaches in the world. St. John is only accessible by ferry from the other islands, but I love going the extra mile to a vision unseen.
St. Thomas is where you can do it all — shop and relax or be adventurous in the Caribbean waters with the multitude of resorts, nightlife, and activities. It’s home to the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, where you can explore incredible historic landmarks like St. Thomas’ oldest standing structure Fort Christian and Blackbeard’s Castle. Don’t leave without trying local island flavors, like conch, fish and fungi or Kallaloo.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, take an excursion to Buck Island off the coast of St. Croix. Here you can explore the best of what the Caribbean has to offer - turquoise blue waters and rich marine life in its surrounding coral reef - by snorkeling through its popular underwater trail. Sounds like such a dreamy experience! The best thing about traveling to The U.S. Virgin Islands is that it is so effortless for U.S. citizens, as it counts as a domestic destination (no passport or visa necessary!). And how can I forget to add that each island celebrates its own festive carnival: St. Croix’s in December, St. Thomas’ in April, and St. John’s in July, so there’s never a bad time to visit. Are you reading this Kyle? One year anniversary trip, perhaps?

This post was brought to you by U.S. Virgin Islands and POPSUGAR.


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