Island Wise: Book Review …getting my Island Groove on -Part I

I recently discovered a book I purchased in 2007 at Hotel Del Coronado called “Island Wise”.  Lessons in Living from the Islands of the World.  I don’t believe I have read it, and now was the time.  As we recently went through a home remodel (a story for another day), I’ve been trying to pull from the calm and serene from my recent trip to the Bahamas to keep my sanity through this transition.  Perfect timing.


This book takes us to 25 different islands around the world.  One of my favorite shows is International House Hunters.  I specifically love the episodes in distant faraway beachy locations, as well as big cities in places I will never visit.  How do other people live their uniquely different lives?  I am fascinated.

That is what I love about this book.  It shares how others live, in uniquely different places, and shares how they find their joys. I have been to three of the islands listed.  By the time I finish the book, no doubt I will find new places I want to visit.

The very first island in my new favorite book is Taha’a, in Tahiti. Oh how I’ve wanted to go to Tahiti and stay in a bungle over the beautiful turquoise water!  One look at the website for Taha’a and I’m ready to pack my bags!  Although I may never be there in person, I have already snagged my “take away” and am working to surround myself with more natural simple surroundings.  My newly acquired fountain brings a serenity to the still and quite of my home.  Consider surrounding yourself with a new plant or flowers, and enjoy the power of nature.


When we travel to the next island in the book, we land on Nassau Bahamas!  Yes, my most recent tropical adventure (click here for post).  Here is mentioned the importance and reverence given to one’s faith.  This was experienced on our brief visit as we saw several churches downtown, and the value placed on presentation with proper attire.  Even our tour bus driver mentioned the high focus on faith.  Although primarily Christian, all faiths are honored. We were even told that many businesses would be closed on Sunday. Bahamians do it with “flair” and “celebration of spirit”!



The next island we travel to is Sark, the Channel Islands, United Kingdom. A fascinating little island, Sark is a trip back in time.  No cars, a population of about 500, and a determination to be independent and fight for what they believe in.

Next we travel through Prince Edward Island, Canada and then to Anegada, the British Virgin Islands.  Anegada jumped out at me with their peaceful, quite living. There is trust, friendliness, rest and fresh eating.  And quietness.  Do you often turn off everything, and just listen?  When I am alone at home, more and more I will leave the TV off, music off, and listen. This is most effective in the spring and in the fall, with the doors and windows open.  And now with my camera in hand, many of my weekend walks include no music, and the beauty of nature and sound.  I want to go visit Anegada.

Next on my virtual trip, is Key West.  Another place I have visited, and enjoyed the uniqueness of who they are.  Although we visited in May, during record or near record breaking temperatures, I would welcome the opportunity to return.  However, not in May!  I agree with the author on this one.  Key West is unique.  My take away is to be my true self, the unique person that I am, and enjoy life!

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I continue my travels to Crete, the Greek Isles.  Oh how I would love to visit the Mediterranean! Years ago I started eating very simiar to the Mediterranean Diet and have stuck fairly close since.  According to the author, Cretans eat similar howerver they eat four to six times more fruit that other Europeans, and three times for vegetables.  That is my kind of eating! And add in healthy olive oil.  Happy day!

Now Oahu, Hawaii is the next destination, and the third place I have visited.  We have visited Maui, The Big Island, Kaui and Oahu.  All of them are amazing and beautiful. The take-away on this chapter is to “sieze the day”, make the most of every moment.  Hawaii is where we have zip lined, I swam with my first Sea Turtle, we have taken helicopter rides to experience Hawaii by air, and done our best to experience the locoal traditions such as a luau.  We have been several times and enjoyed every visit.

Below: the coastline of KauiHawaii A 698

The next island we visit is Hong Kong Island, China.  The writer describes Hong Kong Island as one of the most exotic ports of call, mysterious and electrically charged.  I know very little about this area, but the focus in this chapeter is the value of tradition.  Enjoy the customs and traditions of others, indulge in individual rituals, and value your own traditions.  I, for one, do enjoy my simple regular rituals and traditions that help me focus on what is important to me.

I will end my journey (for now) on the island of Jamaica.  Somewhere that I have often wanted to visit based on the exotic tropical beauty I have seen in pictures and on travel shows.  We have traveled in the caribbean and have experienced some of that culture, the laid back, kick back and relax “island time”.  In Jamaica they cultivate patience.  Forgive the imperfections of ourselves and others.  Relax and enjoy.  Yes! One of the take-aways in this book is “stop whining”! Set aside one day a week specifically as “no complaint day” with a mission not to utter a word of compliant for twenty-four hours.  I say this is something to be considered every day!

I would like to visit Jamaica, and maybe someday I will.

For now, I will continue my travels through this book.  Can you still purchase it?  Yes!  I found it here, on Amazon.

I am a beach lover.  A sea lover.  Something about the sea brings me joy and overwhelming appreciation for the majesty of the water.  How the warmth of the tropics and discoveries to be found, intrigue me.  I am forever grateful of the memories that bring me back to these places.  They warm my sole, and inspire me in my daily life.

Copy (2) of Hawaii A 418

Take me to the beach. 
Let me breath the sea air, taste the salt, feel the sand, hear the ocean roar, see the end of the earth.
n experience like no other. 





One Comment Add yours

  1. N Walker says:

    Thanks for letting me feel something about island life as I read your blog. The beauty and lifestyles sound pretty appealing.


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