Turks and Caicos, you must allow me to tell you how much I love and admire you,
Of course, when I found out I was coming to meet you, I had to go away and google your location. I’d heard about you but knew absolutely nothing about where you are, or what you stand for. Sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, you truly are the tropical island I’d read so much about.
I do have to pinch myself regularly these days. I spend rather a lot of time considering the strange twist of fate that landed me on your majestic rock.
Just another day for me in paradise. I’ve heard people refer to you as paradise on more than one occasion. How could I question them? Your archipelago of islands somewhere amongst the vast Atlantic Ocean conjures up whimsical dreams of powder white sands and emerald seas. You quickly proved my imagination to be extremely close to the truth.
The natural beauty you display so effortlessly is like something from another world.
A world where mermaids lay in crystal clear waters and befriend the vibrant fish and untroubled turtles by day. Where she swims in peace amongst the calm, warm waters and enjoys the coral, and maybe even sees JoJo the dolphin. A world where mermaids ground themselves happily for hours at Long Beach, underneath the shade of the palm trees and watch kite surfers performing their tricks. And, on an evening she grows legs and sips on coconut daiquiris at beach front cafes.
At dusk, your spectrum of reds as the sun sets on another day fascinates me. But that’s just today, and tomorrow will be another beautiful show and the rays of the year-round sunshine will lay on my skin like velvet. And when it rains, you are so magical. Rain sprinkles gently over the blazing sun and rainbows appear, not one, but two at a time littering the sky with their illuminous colours.
Mornings spent cycling along your dusty roads, beach hopping and sipping on coffee in quirky surroundings and playing with the puppies so lovingly rescued and named potcakes. Slow and lazy weekends that feed the soul, because this is paradise, and you create your own sunshine.
Your strength to recover from last year’s devastating hurricanes truly showed me the resilience and harmony that you are built on. To see your people, recuperate in the way they did and their attitudes towards the difficulties inflicted upon them has been an inspiration. Sometimes we need these moments and experiences to realign our reality.
Turks and Caicos, please know, your Caribbean charms are incomparable and I can’t wait to see you again.
With love x
On a more literal note, some of the places I talk about in my letter to this beautiful island are noted below.
“Powder white sand and emerald seas” – Can most literally be found anywhere! Grace Bay is the most popular has been listed several times recently amongst the worlds best beaches. The most emerald sea I’ve ever seen is Pelican Beach, just up from Leeward Beach on the northeast end of Providenciales.
“Vibrant fish and untroubled turtles” – Providenciales seriously has probably the best snorkelling I’ve experiences. Corals are very close to the shore so are easily accessible and I’ve seen turtles on more than one occasion up at Coral Gardens close to Grace Bay, and The Bight, and further down closer to Turtle Cove (I also heard a shark being spotted!)
“Maybe even sees JoJo the dolphin” – JoJo is a wild bottlenose dolphin, she was declared a national treasure by the TCI government and is regularly spotted around the Grace Bay area. I’ve heard of people sat eating their fish tacos (highly recommended) at Hemingway’s restaurant at The Sands and spotting her swimming by.
“Long beach” – A kite surfing paradise, great for both the adventurous and the spectators! Tends to be windy, but extremely beautiful and littered with famous conch shells. But please don’t take them. Beach combing is not legal on TCI beaches.
“Coconut daiquiris” – Sundowners at Somewhere Café overlooking a vibrant part of the stunning beachfront. Plus, they have a daily happy hour.
“Cycling along your dusty roads” – Honestly, the island is a nightmare to get around, no public transport and no taxis, it really feels like a tropical island! Hiring a bicycle has been a saving grace to me and there’s plenty of places you can hire them.
“Sipping on coffee in quirky surroundings”- Lemon2go serve the best coffee on the island (in my opinion), and the café is super cool. It’s located at the tourist hub, Grace Bay.
“Walk puppies in paradise”- Potcake Place is an unbelievable charity that takes puppies and dogs in off the street, rehabilitates them and adopts them. They rely heavily on volunteers for morning dog walks to socialise the puppies. Taking them to play on the beach is my idea of heaven. No wonder this place went viral!
Turquoise waters, white sand, year-round sunshine…Imagine my excitement when I was offered work in Turks and Caicos. This tiny tropical island in the North Atlantic Ocean just South east of the Bahamas, lovingly referred to as TCI by its residents was a risk worth taking, even if only for a short while.
“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase”- Martin Luther King