My Anguilla vacation – a 24/7 event

This is the first of my blog posts written while vacationing in Anguilla.

I’m in the middle of a three-week idyllic vacation in Anguilla, a tiny Caribbean island. Colonized by the British in the 17th century, Anguilla today is an internally self-governing overseas territory (Google it!) that still retains charming traces of its colonial past: driving on the left, Cadbury’s chocolate, the ubiquitous use of “Good morning”, etc.

It’s getting harder to think of topics for blog posts as Celia & I are plied with fiendish rum drinks concocted by Susan, one of the three women doctor friends who are visiting us this week. (Yes, I know I’m on vacation, but, after lying for hours on a stunning powder-sand beach in the shade of a coconut palm, watching the hypnotic ebb and flow of perfect blue translucent waves, I begin to worry that I will never be able to think a coherent thought again – and, alarmingly, this is starting to seem O.K.)

This is our fifth vacation in Anguilla. And besides some of the most beautiful beaches in the world (with almost no one on them), goats that ramble all over the place, excellent restaurants, and plentiful mango coladas, there are about 14,000 other reasons why we keep coming back.

The people.

Just about everyone I’ve met who lives here has been friendly and engaging. Once in a while, all of us have a bad day, but Anguillans seem to stay upbeat regardless. There is a sense of acceptance of life’s realities here, and a tendency to look on the bright side of everyday trials and tribulations.

Anguilla’s economy is almost totally dependent on tourism. So how locals respond and interact with tourists like me is critical to their livelihood. In my experience, Anguillans are uniformly pleasant without being obsequious. From my outsider’s point of view, they are running a 24/7 event which I’m attending. And they do it with style and an open heart, just being themselves.

Event planners like me can learn a lot from them.

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