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What It’s Like as a Fall Lover Living in the Caribbean (Spoiler Alert: Not So Aesthetic)

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 UPR chapter.

Living in the Caribbean is not for the weak, and it took me a long time to figure out that there are a lot of things that I simply cannot enjoy as others do. Where I live, we have this saying “Donde el sol calienta y el agua refresca,” which roughly translates to, “Where the sun heats and the water refreshes.” There’s not a lot of refreshing happening though, not even the beach is refreshing these days because of how hot it is. The heat is worse than ever lately,and if there’s one thing I can be sure of, it’s that tomorrow will surely be even hotter.. Which, as a fall girly, does nothing for my aesthetic. 

Now, because I live on an island, for the longest time I wanted to be a summer gal, but it just wasn’t for me. I also tried to be a winter girl, especially since Christmas here is magical, but no, I always ended up loving the fall. I loved the idea of leaves changing colors, of burgundy, yellows, and browns covering every corner of the season change. I lived for the fall movie marathons, for the fashion sense catered so beautifully warm as autumn reached its peak. Fall movies, books and stories. But even in October, I have every single jacket and fall outfit rotting in my closet. If only I didn’t melt as soon as I stepped outside, I’d be rocking some fall outfits paired with my fall book recommendations.

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(Gif retrieved from tenor https://tenor.com/view/melt-so-hot-melted-guy-gif-16095844)

But alas, I apparently chose the one season I could never fully enjoy because of my geographical placement. 

You would say it could never really be that bad, but all fall trends and quirks have a con in my little island. Layering is a thing of fall, and I have an entire board filled with ideas to use, yet if I layer in this 100 degree weather, I could have a heat stroke. I tried walking along a tree-filled path and just got drenched in sweat–the leaves are not even yellow. I can barely drink hot beverages without having to find an air conditioned space and I’m sure the soles of my boots could melt on the pavement at this point (not really, but I also wouldn’t be surprised).

After following The Torch’s list for why autumn is every girl’s favorite season, I can confidently say that living on the Caribbean has me at a great disadvantage. Their number one reason is layering, and I’ve already addressed why it’s not as aesthetic or nearly as comfortable as it sounds when it comes to doing so in the Caribbean. The second reason is fall colors, but then again the soft browns and yellows don’t do well with sweat spots. They mention the Cold Weather, Boots, and Straight hair. Here, in my small Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, the hot weather doesn’t let up until late december, boots are good as long as you’re okay with the heat making you want to take them off (at risk of melting, as I exaggerated before), and straight hair–which, as a curly haired girl, the hot weather humidity does not give me a chance to pull off. 

According to this list, I am an official failure as a fall girl and I should’ve found a better season to love. Now, of course it all sounds rather depressing and with no real positive sides to it, and while the cons might seem to outweigh the pros, there are still some small things we get to enjoy. Fashion isn’t a great option, and fall doesn’t let us escape humidity, but I have a few (three) things that can make the not-so-aesthetic Caribbean autumn seem better. 

  1. Books

Fall book recommendations are a godsend, and even if they’re not fall material or themed, reading picks up in this season. Personally, there’s nothing that fixes everything up like escaping fall midterms and diving into a good angsty fantasy romance.

  1. Pumpkin everything 

Now, I’m not a coffee person, but it’d be a crime to not recognize this fall gem. Pumpkin spice catches everyone in fall, just like pumpkin everything. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, I know of people that wait all year round for it. 

“Halloween is the one night of the year a girl can dress up…”

– Cady Heron, Mean girls
  1. Halloween

I held onto the Torch’s mention of Halloween just for this moment. It’s the one thing that does not care for warm weather and we’ll enjoy nonetheless. Decorations, haunted houses, and dressing up. Halloween is the one thing during fall that we can enjoy to the fullest, even as far as braving the heat when it comes to costumes that have many layers. 

Being a fall lover whilst living in the Caribbean isn’t ideal and won’t let you enjoy the typical fall aesthetic some other places have, but it isn’t terrible either. Sometimes we make do with streaming service movie marathons, and the autumn vibes that completely transform the internet, and that’s enough. It’s an impossible love, sure, but one that blooms here and there anyways. Once in a while, I’ll brave the heat and pull out my layers, I’ll read a book from booktok’s fall recs or watch Harry Potter again (fall is the best season for it). It isn’t perfect, and the yellows and oranges take longer to come, but it’s something. After all, even if it’s not aesthetic it’s still fall, we can love it as best as we can. 

Lislenny Torres is an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She enjoys reading and listening to music and believes there is much to understand from the world through art. Writing is a big part of her life, Lislenny takes parts of her every day life and of nature apart and often writes them into a poem or a story.