Life is meant to be celebrated. Every week I have International Sunday Funday, when I make an effort to have a lovely end to my week. No matter where I am, if I am alone or with friends, at work or on vacation, I always celebrate Sunday Funday. It is a day to remind myself how lucky and grateful I am for all that I have. A day to laugh and smile and get into mischief. It can be something simple like bringing a bag of sweeties to work or watching one of my favourite Bill Murray movies, or something bigger like spending the whole day having a sesh at one of the best pool parties in the World. Here is one of my beautiful besties Emily and I spending our Sunday on having a photo shoot on a gorgeous private beach.
You know how your parents are always like, “You don’t know how good you have it, I didn’t even see a banana until I was 35″ … well living on Little Cayman I finally understand where they are coming from.
Here on LC it is hard to get stuff. I have gone from a comfortable life of 24 hour supermarkets, deli’s, street food, boutique restaurants, to an island with one little convenience store. Despite the store being the size of a 7/11 I still like to wander around window shopping like I am at the mall everyday. We are reliant on things coming by a barge once a week. Bad weather equals no barge equals rations for all. I have learnt to live without Starbucks, Burger Kings, Pizza Hut and Scottish brands I miss dreadfully. I can not live without bananas. If I don’t eat enough bananas I get leg cramps during the night which make me jerk upright and cry out like I have been shot. Well disaster struck and Little Cayman ran out of bananas. I call it the Great Chiquita Shortage of 2014. I was ransacking people’s homes and sniffing fingers, bribing the guys in the shop, “Just give me some bananas, man”. But that first taste of banana when they finally got shipped in… oh so sweet. Totally worth the $1.50. Yes parents you are right … I didn’t know how good I had it!
Luckily the store always has chocolate milk, also known as my crack, in stock. I like to unwind after a long day of iguana whispering with a cool, glass of the brown stuff. If the island runs out of chocolate milk I will have to leave. At the moment I am having separation anxiety from Mountain Dew Code Red. It is currently out of stock on the island and I want it more than oxygen.
The cost of living in the Cayman Islands is crazy expensive. The cost of living in Little Cayman is soul destroyingly expensive. The prices in the shop are beyond belief. Especially for me coming from Mexico. The problem is it just costs so much for the store to ship stuff over. A cartoon of milk is $5.00 CI, as is a pack of 4 toilet paper or the cheapest washing up liquid. Toothpaste is about $9.00 CI, I am currently putting aside money every week saving up for my next tube. A pack of bacon costs $12.00 CI. Most places in the World you can buy a pig for that and have bacon for a lifetime. You go to the local store here and buy a few basic items and you find yourself 50 bucks lighter. Luckily, I can’t cook! So I never have to spend any money on buying food. I do enjoy some spicy Jamaican Cock Soup from time to time. Making it is within my skill-set, it costs a dollar and I can get two whole meals out of it.
I get all my meals at work, just like in previous job, and for that I am so grateful! Without regular ready to go food I am worried I would starve (or as my dad always warns me about, get the pirate disease scurvy). Usually the food is good, school dinners style. In an island where everything is a scarce resource including food there is not always a massive choice. For dinner last night I made a meal from white rice, brown rice and pasta … wait, no potatoes? I was in a day long carb lull and bloated like a little Santa Claus. Sometimes it is a little too fish-heady for my liking. But it is free. If I don’t like what I see, I can buy ingredients and create a meal in my own kitchen. Luckily, I have not had to yet take such drastic action. For now, the only thing I keep in my oven is shoes.
Last year Facebook and the whole World forgot my Birthday. It was traumatising!
That was certainly not the case this year, my friends and my family near and all around the World helped me celebrate my 29th year. My Little Cayman birthday was perfect. I am living in a different universe than my last birthday in Cancun. I woke up to hundreds of Facebook messages. Thanks for not forgetting this year Mr Zuckerburg. I highly recommend having friends in lots of different time zones. It guarantees almost 2 full days of birthday love. I spend the morning at work which I really didn’t mind. It guarantees maximum birthday attention. People have to be nice to you on your birthday. After work I spent the whole afternoon in the spa, a present from my beautiful friends. We may not have a supermarket or stop signs or bananas, but Little Cayman does have a really beautiful little spa. Clearly an island with its priorities straight. I had a facial and a massage (which I was clearly in dire need of after months sitting on a tropical beach doing nothing). I did need to get my eyebrows done though, they were starting to look a little angry, a bit too Boris Johnson-esque. Then it was time for my first party! I put on a party dress, heels and the first pair of false eyelashes that Little Cayman has ever seen. You can take the princess out of Cancun … I had a great night of beautiful friends, cupcakes, my Spice Girls heavy party mix, Code Red Mountain Dew and cupcakes. My friends made me the two best cakes in the World. A candy coated cake from heaven and then a second goat-themed cake (I am a big fan of goats … don’t ask). It was such a great night that I cried a little tear of joy as I gave my birthday speech. As Darius would say, there was so much love in the room!
Two days later it was time for my desert island party. Yeah, I had two parties, what?! A short swim away from Little Cayman is Owen Island. An actual untouched desert island. How wonderful to have a party that you can arrive to by kayak. Just like Pocahontas. My girls and I had a lovely day tanning and gossiping. That is how we do birthdays in LC.
My birthday was not only on Friday 13th, it was on the night of the Supermoon. Apparently that is super good luck. I certainly feel very lucky. According to my passport I am now 29. Pretty sure that is a lie, but I have learnt to live with it. I may not be where I thought I would be in the last year of my 20s, but my life is undeniably pretty awesome. I have made a deal with myself to really make the most of this year. Yes, I have fine lines and sometimes I lie in bed panicking about my finances and if I listen really carefully I can hear my biological clock quietly ticking, but I want to make the most of this year of freedom. When I turn 30 next year I will reevaluate my life choices … from LAS VEGAS!!!
It was my first day on Little Cayman. I was laying out on a sun lounger on the paradise beach of my luxury hotel basking in the spring sunshine. I was thinking to myself, really, life does not get better than this. I was nodding off when … SPLAT. Something had crashed down on my bikini clad body. I HAD BEEN SHOT! I looked down in a panic, it was worse, much worse than I had thought. I was staring at a mass of bird poop all over my naked stomach. A bird circling about a mile over my head had been using my belly button as target practice. Needless to say that was my day at the beach over! A fine welcome indeed.
A couple of days later, I was walking along the road, thinking of coconuts and full moon parties, when … SPLAT. Yep, you guessed it. Another little bird gave me a treat all down the back of my neck. I have done a scientific poll amongst my closest friends (all 3 of them … hey you guys!) and it seems that I am getting crapped on much more than the average person. The first time I visited Isla Mujeres, I was shit on while eating a hotdog in my bikini, again. My last day in Cancun, same thing! In 5 months, I have had a bird crap on me at least 4 times. I really should start playing the lottery … or carrying around an umbrella.
P.S Little Cayman has the largest breeding colony of Red-footed Boobies in the Western Hemisphere. The National Trust keep them safe with their very own Booby Pond Nature Reserve. You can read all about them here. Pretty fascinating journey these little guys take. They are cute enough that I can forgive them not only for pooping on me but for having a pond that smells like egg mayonnaise sandwiches.
Ah … the view, THE VIEW!
Little Cayman is a tiny island filled with contradictions. Largely uninhabited and untouched, but very livable. There may be no stop signs, but the roads here are in pretty excellent condition. The problems you presume would come with living on a tropical paradise are just a non-issue here. Clean, drinkable water comes straight out of the tap, the electricity always works, mobile signal is good, even the wi-fi here is great.
That level of comfort certainly extends to the hotels here. With 40 rooms, Little Cayman Beach Resort is the biggest hotel on the island. Guests come here for the diving, but it is the beautiful surroundings, scrumptious food and fantastic service that keep them coming back year after year. I was lucky enough to get to stay there for my first few nights. The beautifully furnished room, in creams and oceanic colourings, had a picture perfect view. Although honestly, It doesn’t matter where you look, everywhere on Little Cayman is postcard worthy.