Between the unusually frequent trips and the parties to celebrate our wedding (did I mention I got married late last year?) in 3 different countries on 3 different continents, I haven’t really been able to sit down and unwind until now. No trips planned for the near future. It’s actually quite a bizarre feeling.
However, since perhaps December last year, we’ve been fighting with a very temperamental Internet connection that finally decided it couldn’t live with us anymore and just ditched us. RUDE! What’s a blog without Internet access? A big fat nada. And I deeply apologize for the seemingly endless silence. I promise I am trying to catch up on some very delayed posts. But when I think that I haven’t finished blogging about Nepal and that was the first trip this year – in February!! – it kinda makes me want to cry!
But enough with the whining and moaning! When I was in Florida last month, I got a wonderful email from Stacy asking about the lack of content on the Caribbean area. Yes, there is a surprising lack of information about that area, and all of Latin America…
I think it’s time to make a confession, I have never been to the Caribbean, nor have I set foot on the South American continent. And until 5 years ago I had never been to the USA. There! I said it! It’s funny to think that I have been to so many places around the world, but there’s this whole side of the map that’s still in the dark, like I’m stuck in the 1400s and the American continent wasn’t even on the map.
It’s not for lack of interest, just practicality and life. I did have a trip to Brazil in the works way back in the day, but that fell through the day before I was supposed to leave… And I have actually been to Cuba and that quick stint to Chichen Itza. And I did live in Canada for a year... But that’s about it. Ok, no more rambling. The point of Stacy’s email was to ask about a Packing Guide for St Lucia where she will be going next month.
As I said, I have never been to the Caribbean, but when I looked up pictures of St. Lucia, I was greeted with picture after picture of beaches and mountains (which I found out to be the Pitons and Soufriere Bay), I also looked up pictures of their traditional clothes and the markets of Castries. The vibrancy of colors really struck me so I decided to go with some bold yellows and orangey-reds and a more toned down turquoise-teal color on a base of white to mitigate the other 2 primary colors.
The second half of the year is pretty much considered the rainy season in St. Lucia, which doesn’t stop it from being nice and hot so the combination will create a pretty humid atmosphere. For that reason, it’s best to pack light cottons and wools. These fabrics will let your skin breath and will also dry the fastest if they do get wet making them great options for beach cover-ups.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Indeed the beaches are truly stunning and I have no doubts that they are where people spend most of their time. If beaching is one of your main planned activities, then bring 3-4 bikinis, as you will be spending most of your time in them. I find it utterly miserable to change into a wet bikini, so give yourself the option of putting something dry on. You may even find that you spend the whole day in them, so they effectively replace your undergarments. In fact, a colorful bikini top is more effective under a slightly sheer top than a regular bra. Make sure to pack bikinis that can be mixed and matched and that go with your general color scheme so you can also incorporate them into your daily outfits.
A bright kaftan, a sundress or romper make great beach cover-up options as do large summer scarves. I’m a big fan of scarves as they are such versatile items (I’ve said this many times): they can be worn as dresses at the beach, as turbans to protect your hair and face from the sun or rain, as cardigans if visiting religious sites and of course they can be the finishing touch to complete any outfit. As I selected a lot of patterned items and plain white items, it’s good to bring one patterned scarf and one plain one so you’ll always have an option.
In terms of separates, I stuck to mainly patterned bottoms and plain tops to facilitate the mixing and matching. Bringing patterned tops and bottoms will generally limit your options (there are of course some exceptions to this – stripes, spots, leopard and camo can act as neutrals). Try to bring things that are easy to throw on and comfortable for both the beach and walking around markets and eventually walking around the beautiful nature. Pack a light blouse which you can slip on over any outfit for any cooler evenings.
In terms of shoes, a pair of closed flats, flat sandals and wedges should cover any situation that may arise. As it is the rainy season, make sure at least one of those pairs is waterproof and/or easy to clean. Wedges are an easy option, which can dress up any outfit, without losing practicality and comfort necessary when traveling, especially at the beach.
On the topic of rain, pack a light jacket for those rainy days as well as a fedora that can protect you both from the sun and sudden rain, and bring a light, folding umbrella.
Throw in a couple of fun, colorful accessories, and you’re all set! Have a great time!