St. Maarten

I wanted to throwback to a time when I felt complete bliss and was infatuated by my surroundings. Most importantly, I became closer to a group of people who I would later refer to as my closest friends.

My trip to St. Maarten was a completely spontaneous trip. In fact, the plan did not even include me, but somehow I found myself booking a ticket and getting prepared for vacation. I had no idea what to expect as I was going with friends who I wasn’t extremely close to at the time. But that would change instantly.

This was my first time on an island and I was absolutely mesmerized. We went during December, which as everyone knows is the worst time of the year for snow in Canada. In fact, the day we left, our plane got delayed by six hours due to heavy snow storm. Even worse, we weren’t in the boarding area waiting to board the plane for six hours, we were trapped inside the plane waiting for them to clear it off and prepare it for take off. Six whole hours in the airplane, idle. We truly went insane. I even started watching the Kardashians (having never seen the show before). Nevertheless, I was entertained.

The funniest part of the take-off process was that one of our friends decided to surprise another friend by telling him that he was unable to make it to the trip due to work, and then showing up anyway and catching the friend off guard. What was even funnier was that he was stuck on the same airplane as us for six hours, just four to five seat rows down. I don’t know how he did not lose his mind sitting alone in that seat for six hours. But we pulled it off!

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This is where we stayed for the first few nights. The place was called Simpson Bay Restort.
76a3a-img_0450We had a view of the ocean and it was absolutely breathtaking. We had arrived late at night due to the flight delay so we didn’t get to see this beauty until we awoke the next day.

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Luckily we got a car to see the entire island in less than 5 days. The car would be a blessing and a curse.
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Driving around and seeing all the beauty of the island was an amazing experience.
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Our first and last stops were beach and beach. The weather was absolutely amazing. Not too hot, but just hot enough!

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There were many times where we left the cameras behind and took in the views. This is why we don’t have a large selection of pictures from this trip. We were all equally mesmerized by our surroundings.

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Interestingly enough food was not a top priority. We settled for Burger King, Dominos and Subway. It was fast and the least complicated. We really wanted to be mobile and having fun – and food did not provide enough enjoyment. The top priorities were enjoying the scenery – catching the sun right before it set and waiting for it to rise above it all.

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There were plenty of beaches with beautiful views and we dipped our feet in many.

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The reason I said driving was a blessing and a curse was because the roads in St. Maarten were extremely rollercoaster-like. They were steep and winding and not at all fun when you get stuck up at the top with nowhere to go but let the car roll down on its own … backwards. We managed to save the car (somewhat) and ourselves.

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The views from atop a hilly road were incredible. We got lost so many times and went around in circles so many times but enjoyed the view each time!

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In fact, on the second day one of my friends and I took the car out while the rest slept in. We went to the most popular Maho Beach where the planes take off and land really close to the water. It was a spectacular experience, and I wish that my other friends could have experienced it with us as well. The waves in the water would be interrupted by the landing of the airplane. The sand on the beach stung you like a million bees all attached to your body. It was tingling and it sort of hurt too. You were forced to face a certain way, or just simply close your eyes and enjoy the feeling.

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On our way back from the beach we got stuck in traffic and unfortunately got rear-ended pretty bad. We had to deal with the cops and what not and it was so hot out. We were hungry and so impatient, especially since we were not at fault and in no mood to deal with this on vacation. Luckily, it all went smoother than anything for us, seeing as we were tourists and the car was a rental.

A lot of our time was spent at the beach. If we weren’t at the beach we were enjoying the nightlife on this island.

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What was quite unbelievable was that there was wifi on almost all of the beaches. I think it was the resort wifi that just reached the beaches, we even “facetimed” a friend to show him what he was missing out on.

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One of the nights we were there we stayed up all night and early in the morning, before the sun rose, we drove to the closest lookout point to watch the sun rise. It was absolutely phenomenal! I had never felt so small and insignificant before this moment. Next to the sun and the huge ocean, I felt so irrelevant. The sun shone on our faces and the warmth made up for the fact that we all lacked sleep.

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Some incredible pictures taken by Ashok.

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A lot of events took place in the middle where we were just too preoccupied to take any pictures. I kind of regret that because those are the moments that I would want to relive. But it’s okay because what was important was to be in that moment and to live it to its fullest.

One of our friends left a day earlier than the rest because he had work, so we went to a different beach one last time and then said our goodbyes.

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This picture was taken by Ashok on our way back from the beach when we had briefly split because a friend of mine and I thought we were going the right way, when in fact we were going the wrong way. We came to a realization and the rest of them waited patiently for us and enjoyed looking at this beautiful butterfly.

The events that played out the very last day before we left were remarkable and cannot be explained in pictures or words. All I know is, the last night we spent in St. Maarten, we got a new place and we did not sleep the entire night, until we were sitting side by side in the airplane the next day. The view from our new place was absolutely incredible and thankfully I captured it at the perfect moment. The sun was just coming up and day had broken. We all looked outside the room window one last time and were mesmerized. It was a picture perfect view. See for yourself.

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There will always be a place in my heart that is taken over by this trip. As spontaneous as it was, it was the most remarkable trip with friends and it will always be at the top of all my trips. Also, I need to give a great big thanks to Ashok for capturing most of these moments on his amazing camera! You the best!

What’s your favourite place to vacation? and Why? Comment below!

6 Replies to “St. Maarten”

  1. St Maarten is simply breath taking, the beaches are gorgeous and the people are lighthearted and welcoming. My favourite vacation was also St Maarten when I went with two of my closest friends. We tried the local cuisine, jet skied, went to the casinos and even checked out the nude beach on the French side! There’s so much to do, we have to go again 😀

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  2. Would have to say my favourite place to vacation is Thailand. The way you describe St. Maarten is exactly how I feel about Thailand. I honestly felt like I had come to the place I was always meant to be . My soul felt incredibly at peace. Everything about it felt right. The islands themselves are incredibly beautiful . Watching the sun set over the ocean while drinking a cold beer is such an experience. The whole backpacking and trecking through the country part of it was amazing too. I absolutely love that sense of adventure. Not to mention the amazing people you meet while you backpack and stay in hostels . So many different people from so many different parts of the world . Our stories are all different but we are share one comment trait: the love for travel. That one universal love for exploration can bring together people who would otherwise never meet and learn from each other. My favourite part was staying in a hut that floated on a remote river in the jungle. Priceless . Even the trips on the ferries from island to island . Just sitting on the top , laying there with your backpack and a smoke. It's amazing. I took away one important thing from that trip: I know I need to travel. My need To explore and meet different kinds of people is too strong to be ignored !

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  3. Wow! Amazing! And you're so right about the need to travel. I felt that way on my trip to St Maarten too. It completely changes you and you learn so much about the environment, culture, people, and yourself. How you can truly adapt and become something else because of climate, circumstances and people. It's truly a liberating feeling! I feel the travel bug is a trait that comes with curiosity and courage and it definitely needs to be fulfilled!

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