5 Important Things I Learned in the US Virgin Islands

by Nakisha Wynn

This post about my visit to Saint John US Virgin Island was written in partnership with US Virgin Islands Tourism Board. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Often times our greatest growth comes through unexpected situations. There are times when we search, wait and wonder what our next step is with no resolution. Then out of nowhere the answer falls out of the sky with no prompting. That’s what happened to me recently. I found myself standing in the midst of a manifested goal. That encounter has brought about a new zeal within me and a desire to believe bigger.

This amazing moment occurred recently on my to visit to Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands. I had the opportunity to visit with Spirit airlines for their first inaugural flight direct from Orlando to US Virgin Islands. It was my first visit to the islands and a moment I will always remember.

Upon arrival  we received a warm welcome from the Tourism Board complete with cultural dancers, saltfish patte and rum! I remember being so excited at the site of the hilly terrain with homes so carefully staggered down the sides. To me it seemed the hills went up for miles but, I could’ve just been happy to be off mom duty and have some time away to renew my mind.

It was refreshing to be out of my regular surroundings and from around familiar people. I was eager to experience something new. Because what I know is that sometimes you have to go to grow and I was excited for the growth in this new opportunity.

Realized My Own Power

When I arrived at Secret Harbour Beach Resort for some reason my excitement turned into uncertainty. But as I opened the door to my suite that feeling immediately vanished. The views of the ocean lined resort blew me away. The beautiful white sand, tall mature palm trees, and crystal clear water all the way to the horizon captured me. The beach was lined with lounge chairs and umbrellas and I could see the cabana top of the on-site restaurant, Sunset Grille.

saint thomas us virgin islands

I walked over to the wall to wall glass doors and opened them as far as they would go. My first sight was of glistening dark skin from the male staff on the beach. Then I heard the therapeutic white noise of the waves coming ashore. It was everything I’d been looking forward to. And while I had never visited Saint Thomas something about this place just felt right.

The next morning I decided to get up early and go for a walk on the beach. The sand was nice, the water was perfect and the morning sky was amazing. I stood there for a moment still wondering how I got there. I took in my surroundings, walked along the beach for a while then headed back to my suite. As I walked back I realized the views and the lighting were perfect for a selfie. So I reached down to grab my phone, looked up and there it was; a hammock, perfectly appointed between two palm trees. I’m sure my heart skipped a beat. What? How? I was shook! A view identical to the one I was seeing on my screensaver and digital vision board had come to life. I had manifested my goal.

saint thomas us virgin islands

Secret Harbour Beach Resort

See a few months prior I was going over my goals and decided I wanted to keep them in front of me. So I created a collage; on it was a picture of a tropical location and a woman laying in a hammock. I continued life as usual and less than 30 days later I found myself on a beach in Saint Thomas US Virgin Island relaxing on a hammock identical to the one in the photo.

Be Open to Exploring New Possibility: Saint Thomas

Exploring the island was just as revelatory. We had the opportunity to explore the capital of the Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie in depth with Saint Thomas Food Tours. The first stop on the tour was Fort Christian where we learned about the history of the island. We stopped for tea and salt fish quiche at E’s Garden Teahouse then moved on to My Brothers Workshop cafe & bakery. The rum cake at this place gave me life! I honestly have never tasted anything like it.

We ventured over to Gladys Cafe for a nice sit down meal and finally headed to the The Ice Cream Shop for “dessert”. We had what is known as the islands best patte at this cute little corner spot.  We ended the day with daiquiris that I’m still tipsy from today. That liquor was strong!

saint thomas us virgin islands

But even stronger though, was my intent to listening on this trip. I needed to hear what God wanted to say to me. I knew that it wasn’t by chance that I was there. The fact that I could go to Saint John US Virgin island on a 4 day trip in the middle of the week and all be well at home was low key miraculous. Everything fell in place so smoothly. I’m honestly still kind of shocked.  So I payed close attention.

It seemed as if every turn triggered a deep thought. Every smell, location, encounter all had something in it. I was pushed to try new things, get different perspectives and consider other options. I found myself pondering some tough questions. Why do you feel that way? Is this really the right choice for you? Are they affecting you in a positive way? I was forced to turn inward. Exploring the city gave me the opportunity to dig deeper within myself; to acknowledge my own presence and love all of who I am as a woman. I embraced my gifts, came to terms with my failures, and explored my fears. I found the city  exploration an opportunity for me to explore my current state then reintroduce myself to me again.

saint thomas us virgin islands

Gratitude over Everything: Saint John US Virgin Island

On day 2 we took the ferry Saint John. This was definitely my favorite part of the trip. I loved it. Approaching the island there are beautiful homes lining the shore. There were also a lot of boats out that day so the scenery was amazing coming onto the island. Once we got off the ferry we immediately hopped in a Safari truck for a tour of the island. The first thing that caught my eye was the terrain. I thought Saint Thomas was hilly but Saint John had it beat. The roads were unpaved and narrow but the the views were breathtaking. As we headed up the steepest hill on the island we came to an area full of debris. There was tons of garbage and remains from the devastation. Just 1 year ago from the date of my visit the island was hit with two back to back category 5 hurricanes that left the island in ruin. It was so crazy seeing such devastation amongst the beauty of the views.

st thomas us virgin islands

Soon we approached an abandoned building which used to be the islands only hospital. It was completely ruined and inoperable. I was shocked to find out there was no hospital on the island now. The island is currently utilizing travel doctors and nurses to care for the people of Saint John. If an emergency occurs patients have to be airlifted and taken to Saint Thomas to be treated. Thus, accruing a considerable bill for the transport.

I couldn’t believe it. My mood became somber. After being hit so hard by two hurricanes there they were as a community putting the pieces back together.  Their sheer determination and grit was so inspiring. It forced me to be more grateful for my life and everything I often times take for granted. But despite what I was seeing the island felt so peaceful to me. There was a stillness to the atmosphere that I loved. On our way to the Sugar Mill Ruins there were wild donkeys roaming the street without a care because there was hardly any vehicles on the roads.

We arrived at Trunk Bay and this is where the island stole my heart. This was the most beautiful serene place I have seen in my life. The beach was so clean, the wind blew with such gentleness, and the sand was perfect. I was overcome by the entire vibe. It was everything I imagine a relaxing island getaway would be.

saint thomas

st thomas us virgin islands

After stopping for a look at what used to be the islands most popular resort, Caneel Bay we headed back to Mongoose Junction have lunch at the Tap Room. I had the fish tacos, they were amazing.

Embrace Different Perspectives: The Mountaintop

Often time when things get hard I can get overwhelmed by whats going on and forget to look beyond the current circumstance.  I get so caught up that I  don’t to look at the bigger picture and take the lesson that is occurring.  Visiting the world famous Mountain Top was that realization to me. Being 1500 ft above sea level and seeing the ground from a different view, made me realize that I was only seeing things from one side. If I want to continue to get better I need to change my perspective when things get rough.  Because the truth is, the higher you go the smaller it all becomes. I know that as I continue to level up in life the little things that get to me now won’t affect me at all.

saint thomas us virgin islands

This was observation was driven home again at dinner one night at the Mafolie Restaurant. It is no secret that cats are not my thing and that night I had to come face to face with one. Turns out the US Virgin Islands have feral cats that roam the island to keep down rats and pest and are consider good luck by the locals.  While I was not enthused by the idea of their presence I was able to see something in a different way than I was used to.

Believe Bigger: Yacht Haven

On the last evening I had a beautiful dinner at The Fresh Bistro at Yacht Haven. We sat outside on the cabana with the fresh night air and up close views of the boats in the marina. The stars seemed perfectly placed and I could see to shallow sea floor at night! Dinner was quite pleasing and the conversation was great. Then we started talking about the online space and influencer marketing and that’s when I perked up. I began talking about my Youtube journey and everything it has meant to me. I was telling the Jr. Publicist and another influencer how to us Youtube to take their brands to the next level. The passion I felt speaking about this was amazing. I found myself telling them things that was inspiring me. Afterwards another influencer came to tell me the way I spoke at the table made her want to buy whatever I was selling.

I wasn’t selling anything. I was just speaking about something that I loved and that feeling was emitted in what I was saying. At the moment I understood the importance of me truly focusing on those things that get me excited. So many times I have decided not to talk about a certain thing that I love because I didn’t feel qualified enough or concern of what other would think. After the feeling I got from that conversation, I am committed to believing in my own passions. Whether a beginner or pro I know that I have a unique story to add to this online space.

My time in St Thomas also eventually ended at Yacht Haven. The next morning I had the opportunity to board and walk through various yachts. These floating homes were immaculately put together. Hearing the crews talk about how they operate life on a boat and the potential to rent out the vessels for special occasions was so inspiring. When they started to talk about the cost of an excursion I was pleasantly surprised at the rate. Actually it seemed within reason. I came to that marina thinking yachting was only for the rich and famous and left knowing it was possible for me.    

Yacht Haven Saint Thomas

See, there have been times I would have never put this type of trip on my vision board. My concern was on survival and getting the things I needed to pay rent and keep the lights on. But as mom life got easier and things began to change I got back to me. I started to dream again. The manifestation of this trip was a reminder that I can have anything I set my intention on. No matter how impossible it may seem.

It renewed my belief in vision casting and gave me permission to be everything I imagined. It was my moment of revelation. I had promised myself a while ago that I would be the example of what pursuing your dreams despite your circumstances looked like to my kids.  For a while I rested in mediocrity and contentment. But this trip renewed that desire within me. I needed that.

So I looked myself in the mirror on that last day and said ” I dare you!”. “I dare you to live up to your full potential and pursue the life you really want. No limitations. No fear.”

Thus far….I’m still winning!

Check out more fun from my Virgin Islands trip here.

st thomas us virgin islands

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