AS A MID-MARCH SNOWSTORM pummeled my northeastern U.S. hometown with eight inches of snow, I stuck my toes into the cool waters of several Caribbean islands. I wasn’t sorry to miss the fluffy white snow, instead preferring the white sand I strolled along as the waves clipped at my heels. A leisure vacation feels even more satisfying when you know you’ve left the unpleasant weather at home.
My Caribbean itinerary included island-hopping mostly in the Lesser Antilles/Leeward Islands: I began in Sint Maarten, and made my way to St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua, Anguilla, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Barbados. Each was a new island to me, and I took the chance to both kick back and also actively discover a bit of what each island offers.
While my time in Sint Maarten was limited to its Dutch side, travelers to the island, half-Dutch and half-French, enjoy the best of both worlds, relishing in the cultures of both countries as well as the unique blended culture the island affords. Sint Maarten-Saint Marten is, in fact, the smallest land mass in the world shared by two nations, and the most-visited of the Leeward Islands.
From the United States, I arrived in Philipsburg, the capital, and a busy port city bustling with not only people but duty-free shopping, resorts, villas, activities and, of course, beaches. The airport is well-served from destinations around the globe, and the island is a huge draw for yachting, one of the biggest in the Caribbean.
I would be sailing between the various islands on my agenda, and as I made my way from the airport hub to the port, I spotted areas of the island still affected from 2017’s Hurricane Irma; however, it was clear from the airport and the port, both crowded with visitors, the island is largely back in the business of welcoming leisure-seekers.
I really dug my toes into the sand during my time in St. Kitts, enjoying a beach barbecue on Carambola Beach in Basseterre. As I enjoyed Champagne served in the surf and freshly grilled lobster, then read a book under an umbrella while sipping from a drink boasting one, I finally had that ah-ha moment of release that a week-long Caribbean vacation in March (or any month, really) requires and demands. This was island living at its finest, or “limin,” the St. Kitts & Nevis word for hanging out.
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Dr. Clayton Martin entered full-time ministry in 1987 as a pastor and district overseer in the Cayman Islands. He later served on the Biblical Doctrine and Polity committee for the COGOP and national overseer for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands prior to being selected as general presbyter for the Caribbean and Atlantic Ocean Islands. He received a Bachelor of Religious Education from Christian Bible College and a Master of Arts in Religion with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Sonia, have one daughter.
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