We are prepared for different and already have the “cup half full” attitude. The trip reports have been very encouraging to our psyche but I must admit, there’s this something in the back of our minds but we’re very hopeful those thoughts will quickly disappear as they have with all of you that have had the honour of returning. The enjoyment of giving back and supporting the economy will benefit our hearts as much or more than it helps them.

It’s been a helluva ride since September. We can remember looking at each other, tears in our eyes, as we thought about our island friends. We were traumatized as we saw videos slowly emerge. A couple of months later, we were contacted and asked if we wanted cancel our villa booking for this summer. Tears flowed once again as I wrote the email informing them that yes, we were going to cancel. We booked another villa in Costa Rica. It just didn’t feel right. We felt like we were turning our back on SXM and more importantly, her people. At the time it looked as though there was too much work to do as her people dusted themselves off and tried to make sense of it all. There were many reports here from veteran visitors stating that the people were just not ready for visitors yet and may not be for a long time.

Then something happened.

Like a phoenix, SXM started to rise. The will of her people were underestimated by many. The airport began to take some flights...restaurants began to open...accommodations became available. Reports on here were saying that her people were misty eyed with gratitude to those who returned. By February, we knew we had to return. So we happily rebooked. It felt right!

We stay and spend most of our time on the French side. We know that St. Martin may not have her lipstick and makeup on but beauty is only skin deep. Let’s face it, it’s the people that make her truly beautiful.

We fly out Sunday morning and we’re just as giddy as our initial visit. Dinners are already planned with island friends. We’re celebrating a milestone anniversary and there’s no other place we’d rather be.

The trip reports here have been invaluable. I need my SXM fix and therefore, a big thank you to all who have shared their experiences.