A Lifestyle Change where the climate is always tropical
When it’s cold, grey and wet and you’re stuck in traffic on your way to the office for the fourth time in a week, there are few places that seem further away than the Caribbean. Bathed in tropical sunlight, blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth and boasting a wealth of unique cultures, Caribbean countries are effortlessly enchanting and wonderfully welcoming.
Next time you’re sitting in your strip-lit office watching the rain pound at the window, take a minute to imagine what it would be like to swap the gloom, traffic, concrete of home for life in the Caribbean. Though this may seem like a daydream, more and more people are turning it into a reality. With a bit of imagination and a touch of courage, you too could leave the cold, grey world behind and start a new life in the tropics.
Life in the Caribbean
To help you see just how easy a move could be, we’re taking a look at life on one of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ most beautiful islands, Bequia. Pronounced ‘bekway’, it’s a million miles from the hustle and bustle of big cities like London and New York. Located around ten miles from Kingstown, it has a population of 5,000 and is the second largest island in the archipelago. Bequia is accessible via a ferry to Port Elizabeth, the island’s capital, and via the airport at Paget Farm.
The warm, clear waters of Bequia are very popular with the yachting fraternity. Every year during the Easter Regatta, you can see numerous yachts around the island. One of the most popular spots is Admiralty Bay, one of the Caribbean's best-protected natural harbours.
Devoid of gaudy glitz, Bequia boasts a bohemian sophistication. Rumour has it that the infamous English pirate Blackbeard had his base on Bequia, hiding from the Spanish amongst the island’s many hidden coves and white sandy bays. If you relocate to this Caribbean idyll, you could spend your weekends retracing Blackbeard’s steps and exploring the island’s coast in your very own boat.
Work in Bequia
Thanks to its excellent communications network, Bequia is perfectly suited to professionals who need only an internet connection and a phone line to operate. Bloggers, writers, software and website designers, artists, tech people, coders, text translators and accountants will all find the island offers everything they need for their day-to-day operations. In fact, any professionals who don’t require regular face-to-face meetings can easily make a new life for themselves on Bequia.
Imagine replying to emails by the pool, heading to the beach for a cocktail at the end of the day or relaxing in the warm Caribbean sun while you enjoy your morning coffee. When you’re not working online, you can explore the rest of the stunning archipelago or head to neighbouring islands like St Lucia, Barbados to really make the most of life in the Caribbean.
If the internet, a computer and a phone are the tools of your trade, a move to St Vincent and the Grenadines could be just what you’re looking for. To find out more, please visit www.grenadinesinvestments.com or call on +44 (0)20 7566 2193 or +44 (0)7960 211765
The 27th October is Independence Day in St Vincent and the Grenadines. To celebrate this important date, we thought we’d take a look at the fascinating history of the islands and the characters who have helped to shape this unique Caribbean nation.
When Europeans first arrived in the Caribbean in the 15th century, St Vincent and the Grenadines was inhabited by the Carib people. They, and other similar native groups in the region, had likely moved to the area from the Orinoco Valley in South America.
Up until the 18th century, the native population aggressively resisted any attempts by Europeans to settle the islands. Some escaped slaves from neighbouring islands like St Lucia and Grenada did find their way to St Vincent where they were given sanctuary and gradually married into the local population. This created one of the first mixed African-Carib ethnic groups, now known as Garifuna.
The French were the first Europeans to occupy St Vincent and the Grenadines. Early settlers began cultivating coffee, tobacco, indigo, corn and sugar. African slaves were brought to the islands to work in the plantations located on the main island.
In the late 18th century, the British and French struggled for control of the islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines changed hands a number of times. In 1783, the islands finally came under British control, however the French continued to disrupt life on St Vincent from nearby Martinique, supporting a number of uprisings and rebellions in the late 1700s.
In 1790, a man named Alexandre Moreau de Jonnès was one of those charged with surreptitiously visiting St Vincent to train the native population in the use of firearms. An agent of revolutionary France, he made two secret visits to the islands and in late 1795 spent several months living in a Carib village near the east coast of St Vincent.
Moreau was interested in the social lives of the native population and the tropical vegetation that surrounded him. He was also fascinated by the beauty of the chief’s daughter, 18-year old Eliama. He later went on to become a distinguished historian, writing extensively about his time on the islands. He wrote "This was truly Eden, with its perpetual spring, it's shady forests, its magnificent views, its flowering groves, [and] its singing birds. Nothing was missing, since a second Eve lived in this pleasant retreat."
Today, little has changed in the landscape of the islands and St Vincent and the Grenadines remains a lush tropical paradise.
Self-rule and independence
The British continued to rule St Vincent and the Grenadines until the mid-20th century. In 1834, slavery was abolished in the islands and in 1877 a Crown Colony government was installed. On 27th October 1969 St Vincent was granted associated statehood status giving it complete control over its internal affairs and finally, in 1970 it became the last on the Windward Islands to gain full independence.
The unique history of these islands has helped to shape the culture, people and landscape of the archipelago. Visit our site, or plan your own trip to the Caribbean, to find out more.