What is it Really Like to Live in the Caribbean? (The Humid & Sandy Facts)

IMG_5358In some ways, living in the Caribbean is a dream come true. In other ways, it’s a nightmare. Check out these 10 facts about what it’s really like to live in the Caribbean.

  1. No matter how much you shower, sand will always remain on your body.  This includes in your scalp, behind your ears, in between your toes, on your sternum, and everywhere (yes everywhere) else.

  1. Furthermore, you will always have sand in your bed sheets.  You can whisk furiously with your hands in a grand attempt to rid your sheets of said intruders, alas, it is a pointless endeavor as they are ubiquitous and plentiful.

  1. You will have an incessant and annoying cough for over a month if you sleep one night in an air-conditioned room. It must have something to do with your body being accustomed to humidity and then suddenly being blasted with cold, dry air.  The way your body deals with it is in the form of a scratchy throat and a nasty cough.

  1. IMG_5505Sweat is a part of life.  A soaking wet tank top after a ten-minute bike ride on a road with absolutely no inclines whatsoever is acceptable no matter if your destination is the beach or a nice restaurant.

  1. You can wear a bikini to a bar or out to dinner, the grocery store, heck, maybe even to a job interview, and no one thinks this is strange.  “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service,” is a sign you will never, ever see here.

  1. The salt, sun and humidity will change the color and texture of your hair.  Whatever hue your locks are, that hue will become lighter and lighter the longer you’re in the Caribbean. If you have always had straight hair, it may actually become curly.

  1. Your face and neck will always be greasy due to sunscreen and sweat.  This means you will have a constant supply of pimples.  When you have been traveling for as long as I have and feel an instant bond with strangers in hostels, you will think nothing of asking someone you’ve known for a day to pop the massive pimple on the back of your neck.  Your reality check is when this person hesitates and says, “Uuhhh, I’d rather not.”  (She did, however, hold up a hand mirror behind me so I could attend to it.)

  1. IMG_5376Something in the ocean removes body odor.  If you swim everyday, you need not wear deodorant.  Even a quick frolic in the sea gets rid of any unwanted scents emitting from your under arms.  This is a complicated mystery to me and one I ponder often, especially on the stinky days when I don’t go swimming.

  1. You will become an expert mosquito hunter.  They are as bountiful here as beads of sweat down your forehead. You will learn the feeling of the exact moment when their little pincher pierces your skin.  And WHACK!  Death becomes the little rascal. Pure satisfaction.

  1. You will probably get parasites at some point and you will think nothing of sharing your horrifying bathroom stories with a complete stranger who has also gotten parasites at some point.  It creates an instant bond.  There is nothing so special as sharing a deep belly laugh with someone who became your friend over the topic of severe and relatively debilitating intestinal issues.

Bekka Burton

About Bekka Burton

Bekka Burton is addicted to conquering fear, stepping outside of her comfort zone by traveling and acquiring rusty bikes and riding them everywhere. She sold everything she owned in Rochester, NY and moved to Central America on a one-way ticket to teach English, write, learn Spanish, eat fresh mangoes and papayas, swim in the Caribbean everyday and meet other global wanderers.