I’ve heard that “once you visit a place, it becomes a part of you or some parts of you are left there”.  Most times I end up in places I truly love, knowing that I may never visit them again as the world is big, filled with amazing destinations calling me by name, also, because some opportunities are once in a life time.

Same with St. Maarten, I enjoyed my time there when we were crossing over to Europe with MS Independence last year, to a point where I was certain that I was not going to make it back there again. You know some experiences are felt as once off moments, like “it doesn’t get better than this” kind of feelings. I loved the food, the people, the parties, the green, the aura; it had just the right vibe!

When on vacation I read the devastating news, about what hurricane Irma had done to the island. I could not help but feel for the people.

Few months down the line I was glad to know that the island was back in business. Revisiting St. Maarten with Eclipse I gathered that no report had made any of us aware of the damage Irma left. The island is not the same anymore, nothing much to do but you can survive. It lacks the green, yet the positive energy is there because people are willing to rebuild together. Since their economy truly depends on tourism, it is important that they still receive all sorts of visitors, by land, sea or air.  That is how they will get back to their feet.

I always want to offer a helping hand where I can, but I cannot do much yet I know that few dollars I spend on the local vendors will go a long way. When you visit, do the same, buy local, talk to the people, it goes a long away.

~Elelwani N