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A Summer Away: Visiting my Family’s Home

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

For the first time in my 20 years of living, I have finally traveled outside of the country. Better, I have traveled to a place that holds dear to my family and now holds dear to me. This summer of 2022, I hopped on an airplane and flew to St. Lucia, an island in the Caribbean. This place gave birth to my entire family, that includes my mother and granny. 

This is how my journey went: 

I spent two and a half months counting down the days that lead to my big adventure and when I finally looked out the window at 12 in the afternoon when the sun was still bright, I saw green hills floating on clear blue water. 

Upon landing, the sweltering heat wasted no time giving me a tan. I saw workers stop my granny to say hi, caught up with her, and introduce themselves to me after the walk through immigration and out to the free road. The number of times we had to stop at the airport to talk made me feel like I was walking with a celebrity.

After passing through immigration, my granny’s friend picked us up in his pickup truck which I was able to ride in the back of. That was my first time ever riding in the back of a truck. The ability to feel the wind brush its fingertips gently through my scalp while smacking me hard across the face was a first. Believe it or not, it was still one of the best rides I’ve ever taken. 

Now, enough about the car ride. Let me tell you about the farm side of St. Lucia, the place where the magic happens. 

So, first off, let’s keep in mind that I come from NYC. So seeing trees with fruits growing on the branches was a whole new experience in itself. 

Funny story (maybe): I was a step away from getting hit on the head by an avocado. I almost felt like a character from one of those stupid comedy movies. 

Over the next few days, I spent my time swimming at the beach. I have always been the type to complain that I would never go swimming at the beach because of my fear of floating away. However, that wasn’t the case when I went. I felt the need to float away, to allow the warm salty sea water to rock my body back and forth as it chooses to carry me out to the distant mountains. 

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My granny took me on a little road trip around town, showing me where the schools were, the market and shops, and where she and my uncles lived and spent most of their time. 

Although times have changed, I was able to imagine a little version of my granny running around in her school uniform. 

I spent another part of my time at the bars (the age to drink is 18), and although I don’t necessarily drink —I did taste test a few drinks (never again will I try a drink with jalapeños). 

One of my most memorable moments on the island, besides being able to take a trip to meet my cousins whom I’ve never seen before (and fell adorably in love with), was taking a trip up to Bay Gardens in Rodney Bay. 

There I danced and sang, for once letting go and cracking just a piece of my shell. I took a chance on a paddle board, standing up before deciding this leisure activity was just not for me (but great to check off my bucket list). The food in the area was amazing. I cannot remember the name of the small restaurant, but it was located near a pizza shop; they had amazing pork. 

Technically, all the places I visited in St. Lucia had really good roast food. My favorite besides the roast pork was the bake. Have that with a Piton Malta and that’s all you will ever need. Or try Malta with a plate of salt fish which would really set your day. 

I eventually was taken on a motor boat with my cousins to another small island off to the side of St. Lucia. There I was a little panicky because of how deserted it was with only an abandoned tent. 

Soon I was able to overcome those feelings and swim around, letting loose that day. Thinking back I believe the island brought my cousin and me closer considering I had to swim with her on my back because she was so small the water would’ve eaten her alive. 

In the days leading up to the departure, my family and I went up to Soufrière for a mud bath. It was a peaceful and relaxing time. We had to first smear gray clay on our skin before sitting on the side to let it dry into our skin (like a mud mask) before applying the mud from the bath to add another layer. 

The mud bath was steaming hot when finally slipping it on. It reminded me of people who sit in hot baths to relax, but to me, this was not relaxing. Soaking in a pool of heat was something I had to get used to. 

When the last day came, I took my final picture of the place that gave birth my family. While, I would need to take another trip to really feel at home there (because I am a New Yorker), I do miss the animals, the food, the beach, and even the people that made me feel comfortable. 

I would totally go back, and I recommend others to visit. Just remember when you visit places, keep in mind you are visiting a person’s home. So, it is crucial to be respectful and not judge. 

Hello, sunflower! Alicia Maxwell, meaning noble which she tries to live up to! Currently is a senior writer for the Her Campus SBU Chapter, soon to graduate with her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. Being an English Lit, she loves to explore and write a range of topics. She doesn’t believe one should limit their skills or knowledge. However, her favored topics are investigative work (i.e., handling our insecurities and housing crisis). Alongside writing for Her Campus, she recently interned abroad in Ireland for STELLARS magazine. For her, it was an experience and an eye-opener. She had the chance to explore a different side of writing (culturally as well). The one article that stuck with Alicia the most was “Eight Gorgeous Irish Markets To Visit This Summer.” Alicia loves markets! Having the chance to explore a few in another country was a dream come true. Before that year, Alicia also served on the college newspaper as a feature writer. The BonaVenture (what a creative name), published articles she conducted on the campus community. Her favorite piece has to be “Campus Community Reacts To The Death Of Tyre Nichols.” It was also her very first article written for the newspaper. Last, but never not least, she had interned for her college archives performing research on a past Bonna Student, Roi Ottley. Her work was combined onto the college archive's website to update what information they had on him. Aside from her work as a writer and student, she enjoys taking walks with her head in the clouds seeing the world from another perspective. She also loves browsing Netflix, critiquing and analyzing the artwork.