Saying that you come from a tropical Island sounds exotic and exciting, but there’s a lot to it that many people don’t realize. I was born in the second largest Island in Mexico and although my life was mainly normal, there were some things that I could have only experienced because I lived in the middle of the ocean.
Here are the 5 things I learned from growing up on an island:
1. The ocean can be your best friend or your worst enemy
Let’s face it you are on a tropical Island, it’s warm all year round, and the ocean is right next to you. But as much as it can be your salvation from the heat or even your only form of recreation, it can also be your worst enemy.
Living in a place surrounded by saltwater means that all your precious belonging will be touched by salt at one point or another. This means that things tend to get rusty or just wear out faster than if you lived on the mainland and away from water.
2. Canned food, Canned food everywhere
Because it’s not as easy for trucks to deliver fresh produce to the island, you will end up getting a lot of canned goods, and packaged foods. They will become part of your diet which is not super fun.
There are of course other options like eating endemic fruits and vegetables (fruits and veggies that only grow in the place) or fishing for your food.
Do take into consideration that when I grew up on the island it was the 90’s so I’m sure fresh produce are more easily available now.
3. Jungle animals become your pets
The island I grew up in was almost all jungle. People there only used 30% of it to build the town. The rest was all jungle so you can imagine the amount of wildlife that lived there.
Growing up I had neighbors that owned deer as pets, exotic birds would fly into the house, crocodiles and snakes would cross the street like it was nobody’s business, and I even had iguanas chase me to try and steal a banana from me.
It’s no wonder many of the jungle animals became my friends and pets. Thankfully that made me immune to getting scared by insects, reptiles, and basically all animals (except cockroaches).
4. Everyone leaves
People love visiting tropical Islands. A lot of those people are incredible and interesting humans who you become friends with. I feel as though growing up on the island I grew up in gave me the chance to broaden my horizons and learn from all the cultures that visited us.
I made friends with people from all over the world, but the only downside to it was that everyone eventually left.
All the friendships I had made were now long-distance relationships. On the one side, that is amazing because I have places to stay all over the world with dear friends but on the other hand, it is kind of sad when you make connections with people who you know eventually won’t be physically close to you anymore. It’s kind of a double-edged sword.
5. Buying certain things can be a hassle
As I already established, in order to get things into the island there are car ferries that transport big trucks with everything from produce to beer, furniture, clothes, etc.
If I wanted to buy a pair of Nike shoes or get a cool sofa I would’ve had to cross over to the mainland, drive an hour to a city, buy what I wanted and then get back by ferry.
There were only two ferries when I grew up there so you could either cross one day to the mainland at 7 am, buy your things, then stay the night, and in the morning at 6 am cross over to the island or you could cross at 7 am do everything and try to get to the 3 pm ferry to get back to the island.
Either way, buying things that you couldn’t get on the island was a total hassle.
If you are thinking that you can just buy things from Amazon and get them delivered, well, that can also be a hassle because things sometimes can’t be delivered to the island, don’t get there in time or at all, or cost more to deliver.
If you grew up in a tropical Island, have you had the same experiences?
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