The BVI is paradise. But every so often non-native residents are susceptible to island fever. The best way to cure this ailment is to get off the rock. This can be as simple as booking a daysail to one of the smaller islands, taking a ferry to Peter Island, St John or St Thomas for the day, chartering a seaplane, or flying to Puerto Rico, St Martin, Antigua or St Kitts for the weekend.
Even better, go someplace cold – sometimes we need to get off the rock and escape the climate to appreciate why we live on it.
Sometimes there’s no reason to go too far to feel like you’re miles away from home and work. Many residents choose vacation options within the BVI. These sorts of next-door-getaways have been coined “staycations” by local businesses and the BVI Tourist Board. Many villas, resorts, dive centres, charter companies and watersports centres offer year-round local discount rates that make staying close by a feasible option for a vacation choice.
In the summer, most businesses drop their rates considerably—from 10 to 50 percent or more— so it’s also a good time to invite family and friends for a visit. For many residents, preferences like North Sound Virgin Gorda where for a reasonable rate you can enjoy the prestigious amenities at Bitter End Yacht Club, Biras Creek, or Yacht Club Costa Smerelda, will transport you worlds away from your responsibilities, allowing true island fever therapy.
The BVI is bursting with culture and energy, not to mention the hustle and bustle of tourism. Boredom isn’t usually a problem. It may just be that you’re getting the fever—the island fever.
Island fever is different for everyone, as is the cure. Some people find it similar to claustrophobia, or a desire for a new landscape or setting. For those who have moved here, it can be homesickness, sometimes brought on by forging new friendships and suddenly aching for the ones you’ve left behind.
However it hits, most island dwellers experience it at some point. While we adore the beautiful ocean with its alluring shades of turquoise and blues, it’s a border nonetheless. Certainly we can traverse it by boat or plane, but somehow not being able to just drive and drive to make a drastic scenic change makes a difference.
Is it the ocean that creates the insidious feelings leading to island fever? Or does it save us from it? Many islanders believe that to keep the fever at bay, you have to dive right into island life, literally. Get involved in all that the island and its ocean border offers—surfing, fishing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling—the key is to enrich your island experience – fully challenge yourself to take the road less travelled. Try out a restaurant you haven’t been to yet, head to a part of the island you haven’t spent much time on. If you live near Josiah’s Bay, then make sure you are discovering all that Smuggler’s Cove on the other side of Tortola has to offer, or vice versa. The island has so many beaches and beautiful sites, it is important to shake it up a little.
If you just can’t shake the fever, remember the cliché: “Wherever you go, there you are.” So if your fever is more internal than external, there may be more to it than just getting off the rock. Some problems can’t be fixed by simply switching jobs, or starting a new relationship or even moving to a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean. In this sense, it’s not really island fever at all. It might be a signal to take stock of what you need to do for yourself, revaluate your choices, and maybe even talk to a therapist. A lack of purpose in life wherever you are can translate into paradise lost here.