Hello from the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands where I’m one week into my Caribbean island hopping adventure!
I have been excited about this trip for quite some time. I’ve always had a fascination with small countries and islands. When I began my travels in 2007 I started in the Pacific for exactly that reason. I wanted to visit the small places I had only seen as small dots on a map.
Since then I’ve gone out of my way to visit places like San Marino and Liechtenstein but have never bothered to visit many large countires like Russia and China. This trip is my chance to visit a part of the world I’ve so far ignored as well as scratching my itch for visiting tiny countries.
You can get a rough idea of my route in the map I created above. I’m basically working my way south through the Lesser Antilles. My transportation between the islands will be a combination of short flights (often very short flights) and public ferries.
In doing research for this trip, it was interesting to see where there are ferries and where there are none. From USVI to BVI there is a ferry, but from BVI to Anguilla, which is only 40 miles, you have to fly. Some of it has to do with distances, some of it has to do with the conditions of the seas between islands and some of it has to do with economics and how popular a route is.
Planning this trip was extremely difficult, which is why I left it to my manager Amy. Because the trip is sequential, a 1-day delay on one island will have a ripple effect through the rest of the schedule. Also, we are working with almost 20 different tourist boards was extremely challenging. Some are totally on top of things, others….not so much. The end result is a frankenstein trip which will be half backpacking and half luxury. That should be interesting in its own right.
My schedule is still a bit in flux, but I have the basic plan for where I’ll be and when.
- St. Martin
- St. Bart’s
- Sint Eustatius
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Antigua and Barbuda
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos
After Trinidad I also may spend some time in Suriname and Guyana if time permits.
I’m guessing I’ll be in Trinidad somewhere around the middle of August. As I have nowhere to be after this trip, I have plenty of flexibility in my schedule.
My goal for this trip is to try and learn what makes each island different. Many of these islands get lumped together in people’s minds. In someways they are similar (climate, geography and history) yet in other ways they are very different (Dutch vs French vs British colonies). I’ve already noticed some subtle differences in accents between the Bahamas and St. Thomas.
I also hope to come away with some great photos :)
Hopefully I’ll avoid hurricanes and make it through August without any major incidents.
If you know of any out of the way spots on any of the islands you think I should visit, please feel free to give me your suggestions.