St. Maarten: Wake and Wander’s New Hometown?

When I returned from Orient Beach today and took my notebook and a rum and pineapple juice down to the beach, I began to feel nostalgic about leaving tomorrow and my pen scribbled more words associated with those feelings than it did with my impressions of the nude beach I had visited just hours earlier.

Story to come on Orient (see Facebook for a preview photo), but I realized something that rather surprised me. I’ve been wondering why I am having such a hard time letting go of St. Maarten – I am truly feeling the post-trip blues already, and I still have another night ahead of me.

Travel writing has certainly taught me how to move on, yet it seems I’m suffering somewhat of a setback. I did some thinking about this – why here and why now do I feel this way – and an answer surfaced, although now it is obvious to me.

The 15 days I’ve been on St. Maarten is the second most consecutive days I’ve spent in one place since the beginning of August.

Check it out:

Aug 3rd-17th: Santa Barbara, California (15 days)
Aug 18th-21st: Las Vegas, Nevada (4 days)
Aug 22nd-Sept 1st: Santa Barbara, California (11 days)
Sept 2nd-5th: Los Angeles, California (4 days)
Sept 6th-12th: Santa Barbara, California (7 days)
Sept 13th-19th Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (7 days)
Sept 20th-27th: Santa Barbara, California (8 days)
Sept 28th-Oct 2nd: Los Cabos, Mexico (5 days)
Oct 3rd-11th: Santa Barbara, California (9 days)
Oct 12th-20th: San Francisco, California (9 days)
Oct 21st-26th: Santa Barbara, California (6 days)
Oct 27th-31st: Finger Lakes, New York (5 days)
Nov 1st-4th: Eagle Island, Georgia (4 days)
Nov 5th-8th: Santa Barbara, California (4 days)
Nov 9th-13th: Nassua/Exuma Islands, Bahamas (5 days)
Nov 14th-26th: Santa Barbara, California (13 days)
Nov 27th-Dec 5th: Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, Mexico (9 days)
Dec 6th-10th: Santa Barbara, California (5 days)
Dec 11th-20th: Cross Country Road Trip (10 days)
Dec 21st-Jan 8th: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (19 days)
Jan 9th-10th: New York City, New York (2 days)
Jan 11th-17th: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (7 days)
Jan 18th-28th: Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico (11 days)
Jan 29th-Jan 31st: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (3 days)
Feb 1st-5th: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (5 days)
Feb 6th-11th: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (6 days)
Feb 12th-26th: Saint Maarten, Caribbean (15 days)

Indeed, Santa Barbara became somewhat of a home for me, but I never stuck around for too long – and now that I’ve relocated to the East Coast my frequent stints there are over, for now. These days, any place I spend an extended amount of time sort of becomes my home, part of me seems to get attached. Since I’ve been on the road, I’ve made deep connections with places and those feelings can start to become confusing, albeit wonderful.

I suppose St. Maarten has set in as a place of residence rather than a place of travel, given the circumstances laid out above. I’ve driven the roads and fought traffic jams, climbed to the highest peak and taken a mouthful of sand from an airplane. I’m not complaining – I set it up that way – yet it’s crazy when you put it out there on paper and really look at it.

I love it, though – and I’ll move on from St. Maarten until I return. Once I’m on the plane and strapped in, I’ll set my sights on a few nights out in Philadelphia this week and a trip up north to Syracuse next weekend. March is filling up now – I’ll have the official schedule announcement in the coming days.

It doesn’t look like any extended stays are on the horizon.


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