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Bequia Bound

07.07.20

The global lockdown caught many travelers stranded in countries around the world but some chose to stay put instead of scrambling to get home. A vacationing couple in Bequia, a small island in St. Vincent & the Grenadines share their experience.

The trip from the UK is 11 hours, connecting through Barbados and then on to Bequia. When Susan and Scott landed to enjoy a relaxing vacation in the sun, the last thing they expected was a global pandemic that would shut down the world. With his guitar slung over his right shoulder, Scott greeted the taxi driver who always gathers them at the island airport. And Susan gave him the hug of old friends who have not seen each other in while. This time they would stay at a small villa in Lower Bay, right on the water overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It was time to go next level. Six months before they decided that their next trip to Bequia would be a bit longer and so having some extra room to invite friends for dinner or a sundowner would be really nice. A place to live as opposed to a hotel stay was in order.

They had just settled into villa life with a good base tan and reconnections with the many friends they had come to know over the years in a place that had truly become their home away from home. Then COVID 19. The last flights back to the UK would be on March 21 and all travellers worldwide were encouraged to return before stay-in-place precautions were implemented. Then the decision. Going home would mean being in the country with family although being sequestered inside our own homes, being close to the business and last but not least, being at home with their dogs.

But staying? What would that mean?

It was a decision made by many at the blue painted tables down at Keegan’s Beachside over ice cold Hairoun beers and Juliette’s best ever Bloody Mary’s. The tables were already six feet apart and looking out to the beach, there were only the usual handful of people on a weekday. The sun was shining and the breezes blew as always through the coconut and almond trees that lined the beach. Was this COVID thing really happening? It was the phone calls with friends back in the UK that made the difference. The lockdown was strict. The UK was completely shut down and everyone was shut in.

But here, there were no runs on toilet paper. The grocery shelves were stocked. The market in the Harbour had plenty of fresh local grown fruits and vegetables and the fishermen were still busy being lobster season. Would going home be a better place to shelter?

The wonder of self-discovery and the beauty of reinvention is well known to all who visit Bequia. The idea that you can peel away layers to reveal your essential self is a part of being here. “We’ve been peeling away for many years,” said Susan. “But this trip has truly brought home how blessed we are to have each other and a safe place to be when everything feels like it’s falling apart. Then there’s the guilt of being in such an idyllic place away from friends who are having such a different experience in the lockdown. You really want to be there with them but then you realise that you would be locked down in your house while they are locked down in theirs. Phone calls and emails have been a lifeline that has helped us to stay connected.”

With the early warning about the impending shut downs, many Vincentians living abroad returned to the country while they still could.  Many expats who own homes in the ultra wealthy and islands of Mustique and Canouan made the very same decision, choosing to fly back and ride out COVID 19 in island luxury. To date, the country has fared the pandemic very well with 29 recovered cases and zero deaths.

“The idea that so many people around the world are thinking about the same thing at the same time. What is important in my life? How will I make it through?

It is all very worrisome and humbling - surreal. We’re grateful to have shared this experience with our friends in Bequia with the sounds of the ocean and beautiful breezes which has made it bearable. We’re hoping that this awful thing would never happen again, but if it does, we would make the same decision again.”

Bellegarde Estates is an exclusive agency for private real estate sales and consulting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.  Formerly St. Vincent & the Grenadines Sotheby’s International Realty, the agency envisages what real estate needs to be in the Caribbean - personal, professional, private. Our desire is to share one of the best kept secret destinations in the world. Explore our curated selection of new luxury villas, commercial resort properties and islands privately for sale.

Learn more here: https://www.bellegardeestates.com/

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