What Is a Caribbean Lifestyle? – Albert & Michael – SABA Island Properties
‘Creating a Caribbean lifestyle for a week or… a lifetime.’
That’s our motto… our mission. It’s what we do for our clients at Saba Island Properties.
It’s sheer pleasure to welcome people to Saba and have them feel right at home, even if it’s only for a few days, assisting them to find:
– a comfortable vacation apartment
– rent a cottage
– rent a villa
– buy land
– invest in a home and permanently live on Saba
We love meeting people, showing properties and talking about how extraordinary life is on Saba.
So… to give you a first hand feeling for life in the Caribbean, we did a survey and asked people to describe:
What Is a Caribbean Lifestyle?
Take a look at 33 real answers:
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1. I am often confronted with a few very common questions from persons who know little about Saba. What is life like on Saba and don’t you ever get bored on such a small island? I was born on Saba, grew up here and come from several generations of Sabans. After I completed college in 2003 there was never much of a decision whether I wanted to come back home or not. The Saba “calling” was always there.
The Saba of today hasn’t changed much from the Saba that I remember growing up and that’s mainly because of the nature and the people. With our steep mountainous terrain building Saba didn’t come easy and even with todays’ modern technology and heavy equipment we are still confronted with unique challenges. This has made our people proud. What they have they have worked hard to get.
Saba is uniquely described as a safe, clean and well-kept island. Our people would accept nothing less. We have pristine nature from our shoreline to the tip of Mount Scenery which is actually the highest point in the Netherlands. Below the sea shore we have crystal clear waters with pinnacles, healthy reefs and an abundance of fish life. We also have the Saba Bank which is one of the biggest underwater atolls in the world.
What’s not to like living on an island paradise? I am privileged to be able to live on such a unique island that is beautiful above and below the sea. Saba is an island that is bursting with nature and proud people who cherish and work hard to maintain the “Unspoiled Queen” brand. The relaxing atmosphere, the cool trade winds and the very safe environment makes the Caribbean lifestyle even more enjoyable when you are privileged to be able to call such a special place like Saba home! – Bruce Zagers – Commissioner of Tourism and Education – Saba
2. “Don’t worry… be happy”…. live slowly… enjoy life totally… no rat race… no hurry… peace.
– Hans Geijtenbeek – Home Owner – Villa Fairview – Saba, Dutch Caribbean + The Netherlands
and hotels on every corner. And living among friends, not strangers. Saba delivers it all for us!
– Jaime & James Kerner – Property Owners – Hummingbird Villa – Saba
4. Simply stated… Saba is a glimpse of heaven. – Stuart Farmer – Owner – PureStyle Hair Salon – Saba
5. Before we moved to the Caribbean, our answer to this question would have been, “Sitting on the beach under a palm tree drinking frozen cocktails”. After all, when you only visit the Caribbean for a week or two at a time on vacation, isn’t that what you do? It is definitely the laid back lifestyle that the postcards portray.
Now that we have moved to the Caribbean, our answer is much different. We realize that being a tourist and being a resident are two totally different things. But the great part is… being a resident is so much better!
To us, living in the Caribbean was a lifestyle only the rich and famous could afford. We never thought that average people could manage to live in paradise. But we were wrong. You don’t have to be retired or rich to move here. In fact, there is a remarkable amount of employment available, especially in the fields of healthcare and education.
That being said, the fact that we are both working means there is less time for sipping cocktails under that aforementioned palm tree.
But guess what? When we aren’t working, we have a plethora of fantastic options with which to spend our free time and they are literally just outside our doorstep… we can hike, dive, swim, snorkel, or simply relax in our own home or in the spa at our island’s premier resort… we have several excellent dining options available to us. When we feel curious about our neighbors, nearby islands are only a few minutes flight away. From a social standpoint, some of the best people we have ever known inhabit this small rock we call home and we have a larger circle of friends here than we had in the U.S. We never find ourselves wanting for social activities.
Yes, our island home of Saba is small but, it has had a huge impact on our lives… entirely for the better. The scenery is magnificent, the weather is pleasant year-round and the people are welcoming and friendly. Thanks to all of these things, we have a greater sense of overall happiness and well-being than we ever had before. You simply cannot put a price on that.
Sure, we still have some demanding days at work, but the key difference is we now live in a place that provides balance to our lives. The beauty and people of Saba quickly allay any stressors and every day we give thanks for being able to live in what we truly believe is the best island in the Caribbean. It is our chosen home and we hope to live here for a very, very long time. – Regan Lee and Roger Young — Saba residents
6. Living a Caribbean lifestyle is waking up knowing you have no regrets and where you live is another day in paradise.
– Cassandra Holm – President – Saba FPCA – Foundation for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
7. For me it is mostly the freedom, the outdoor living – I need to get outdoors into the yard at least ten times a day, and the absence of stress… Of course the proximity to a tropical natural environment with its flowers and fragrances is important for me as well.
In short: it’s the quality of life that makes living here such a pleasure.
– Tom van’t Hof – Conservationist – Saba, Dutch Caribbean
8. “A photo is worth a 1,000 words. PEACE!!!” – Sherri & Glen – Saba Home Owners
9. Caribbean Lifestyle means enjoying every day to the fullest, observing breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, hikes through the rainforest, spending time with the family. – Anton Herman – Director – Saba Comprehensive School
10. A Caribbean lifestyle means finding peace, tranquility and rejuvenation while at the same time having great food, great cocktails and spending time with great friends – Saba provides all of that and more to me and my husband. Saba is my “runaway place” – a unique place where I feel totally at peace and can live my own Caribbean lifestyle. – Zelda & John Gray – Property Owners – Saba
11. A Caribbean life is a more simple life. Time spent unhurried and unburdened, away from the “rat race.” Time and space to disconnect in order to reconnect, to think less and find more in the present moment… time to declutter and shape a life of meaning and purpose. Yes, a simple life is island life where time is just a concept and life is enjoyed at a slower and more satisfying pace.
A Caribbean life is having the courage to walk away from a stressful job, to remove yourself from the herd, to ditch the traffic and toss the schedules and demands that rob you of every minute until you stop to wonder where all the years have gone. Island life allows you to stop what you were doing and pause for a moment to reflect and consider the true ownership of your life. It is a softer, gentler form of being in charge.
A Caribbean life is getting out of bed just as the sun rises… taking in the explosive dawning of a tropical sun, the awakening of a mighty ocean, the birds as they take flight… realizing that the sun doesn’t live by the clock and that when the sun rises a new day begins. It’s really quite that simple.
A Caribbean life is realizing that the richness of life arises out of love for family, friends, neighbors and community which arouses a consciousness of living with purpose, humility and grace. It is a life of simplicity, of understanding needs versus wants, human resourcefulness and efficiency…. a life rich with creativity, personal connections, peace, solitude and above all a renewed sense of freedom.
The Caribbean life for me lies on the beautiful island of Saba. – Margaret Sapp – Home Owner – Shearwater
12. It’s living every day in an environment that is as stimulating as you want it to be, or as relaxed as you make it. It’s contributing to a loving, benevolent community of people, and having them reciprocate that contribution. And above all, living a Caribbean lifestyle allows you to take the time to reflect on who you are, where you came from, and where your next chapter will take you!
— Dr. Suzanne & Mr. Kevin Skibinski — Syracuse, NY + home owners on Saba
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13. What is a Caribbean lifestyle? I know what it’s not. It is not sitting around in new “cruise wear” sipping fru-fru drinks with umbrellas decorating them.
For us it is waking up each morning to a glorious sunrise. The majesty and color of which could never be captured in a snapshot or a painting. It is breathing fresh, clean air as it wafts in from the ocean. It is being aware of your physical surroundings and living in harmony with them. Short showers to conserve water. Feeding and watering the hummingbirds and quits who visit us daily. Recycling as much as possible to reduce the amount of landfill needed.
It is a lifestyle that embraces friends and neighbors met at the plaza while enjoying espresso and fresh-baked breads and pastries. That moves slowly at times while we enjoy our conversations over coffee. It is watching the little ones as they go from group to group to be welcomed warmly by everyone. Here truly is the village that helps raise children. It is the ready smile in greeting even though that person is not well-known to you. It is the renewed acquaintance after a trip away from the island.
Mostly it is the quiet and peace each evening on the deck over wine and cheese as we go over each days’ adventures. That is what the Caribbean lifestyle is for us. – Irma & Michael Laskowski – Saba Residents + Saba University School of Medicine
14. I know what a Caribbean lifestyle used to mean to me — Laid back, easy going… take it slow. Soak up the sun, and relax! That was before I started a business on the island. Now, I have to remind myself sometimes to stop and take in the view. You forget what a lovely island we live on.
Running a business here is challenging; getting supplies, spare parts, repair of equipment, finding motivated hardworking staff, pleasing the locals and let’s not forget my 2 year old. Still I am thankful and happy to be living here. I could not have accomplished as much anywhere else.
Of all Islands of the Caribbean I am sure Saba is the most serene and beautiful… Sometime, in the future, I will create time and energy to live the Caribbean life again. I am looking forward!!! – Rachel Thijssen – Owner – Bizzy B Bakery – Saba
15. To wake up surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and beautiful colors of the Caribbean Sea, which directly reflects the attitude and warm friendliness of the local islanders. – Wim Schutten – Owner – Tropics Café Restaurant – Saba
16. A life in harmony with nature and such friendly people: Saba is a peaceful treasure to celebrate every day this fantastic atmosphere of wellness. That’s a Caribbean lifestyle to me. — Delphine Murano – Publisher – Switzerland
18. What does it mean to live a Caribbean lifestyle... to me it means to relax and trust that what needs to happen will happen and still that I am responsible for what needs to happen to happen. Let me explain: having grown up in the European lifestyle, I have learned that if I do not run for the train that is leaving at exactly 10:03 am, I will miss this train! In the Caribbean (we have no trains) I have learned that 10:03 can also be 10:40 and I have learned to accept that as a given! But, I have also learned to not be complacent and that I am still responsible for things to happen if I want it to happen!
– Alida Heilbron – Managing Director – ICS (Island Communication Services) Windwardside, Saba
and enjoy the world around you! – Joanne & John McCarty – Saba residents + home owners
20. I am still dreaming of a Caribbean lifestyle on Saba! Even though we have owned a villa here for ten years, we simply cannot spend enough time there. However, the reality of living there is experienced every several months, and I am always impatient to get back.
Living on Saba is simply a refuge from the busy, crowded daily life anywhere else. How do you explain waking up to the soft sounds of the village below? Or the gentle sounds of the goats that freely roam throughout the island? Or the cheery welcoming conversations of your neighbors? The tropical forest is like no other and daily hikes most certainly will be all the exercise one needs. And then there are the flowers, the trees, and the plants that you never in your life expected to see on a daily basis.
Saba is a serene state of mind. One comes here to relax from the rest of the world. And I come here to get up every day and wonder why it took so long for me to find it. – Kathy Batchelor – Saba Home Owner – Carolina Cottage
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21. To live A Caribbean lifestyle on Saba means to take a step back in time… to allow yourself to live on “Island time”… an Easy pace, with Breathtaking beauty at each glance… such warmth within and out… to wine and dine and simply learn to thrive…
– Tricia Chammaa – Author + Saba resident
22. Our decision to move to a 5 square mile island is best described by Brigitte Nicole…
“You know you made the right decision; you feel the stress leaving your body, your mind, your life.”
We live in a place where we constantly stop to look around and appreciate the beauty of our surroundings. Trekking on the trails or strolling through town gives us a whole new perspective on our lives. Saba’s friendliness and radiant smiles encourage not only locals, but tourists as well, to relax and really enjoy the day! We have learned that most people living on Saba do so for the same reasons. There is a shared love and respect for the island that bonds us all together. That bond is what creates the tight sense of community. The concept of interconnectedness on Saba is vivid and alive! We love it! – Cece & Jason Schweitzer – Business Owners – Saba Island Services
23. Year round weather that allows me to do what I love is why I continue to live on Saba! Consider me the poster child for “Living the Dream” as promoted by the Professional Association of (SCUBA) Diving Instructors. I’ve been living on Saba for nearly 30 years after coming to Saba as a dive instructor and now owning a dive business and volunteering with a few foundations. In addition to diving, I’m happy to report I manage a daily Insanity workout and a hike with our dog on one of the varied trails on the island as well as playing tennis 3x per week. What I miss most when traveling elsewhere is “living in fresh air”… whether at my desk or sleeping at night—there’s nothing like Saba’s climate!
— Lynn Costernaro – Sea Saba Advanced Dive Center
24. Living a Caribbean lifestyle means… Living the dream! Born and raised in cold and high-paced Western Europe, living on a beautiful, quaint and peaceful island in the Caribbean is truly an amazing experience. Waking up to the most beautiful sunrises in the world and enjoying a cold glass of wine while seeing the sunset in the evening on the surrounding islands truly never gets old. Add to this the friendly people, the gorgeous weather and breathtaking nature, and it’s clear that life really doesn’t get any better than this. — Jael Spronk — Owner – Saba Beauty & Health
25. There are the obvious common ingredients for a Caribbean lifestyle: the idyllic weather, exotic and beautiful flowers and plants, the shimmering turquoise sea and “island time”. But there are thousands of islands in the Caribbean, and, after an exhaustive search, we found that no two are alike, and resorts, mega-mansions, cruise ships and too many tourists have forever changed much of the region. Saba is among the smallest of the developed islands, yet it has retained its place as the “way the Caribbean used to be.” It’s slower pace is genuine, and visitors are quickly embraced by a community that is more a large family than a destination. Small may translate as “lacking” to some, but the selection of good restaurants is better than you will find in communities far bigger. And, everyone knows that the island’s dive-world is second to none. But, for us, the island’s biggest secret is the expansive and spectacular and under-utilized trail network that rivals ones in any national park anywhere. The trails run from mountain to sea and include much of the rain forest, broad views, secluded coves and even an occasional rock beach. – Greg & Sue Marquise – Windsong Villa – Saba
Saba is far enough away to be untouched by the large corporations. Here everyone often works from scratch. However, it’s only a 12 minute flight away from a higher tempo, fast foods and hardware stores.
We have everything we really need, just a little slower, scarcer but more peaceful and friendly. We learn to be more creative, humble, respectful to what the island can give and very resource aware. – Veronica Janzon – Owner – Saban Rock Living – Saba, Dutch Caribbean
While visiting Saba, what we have found most rewarding are the friendly people who welcome us each time we visit. It’s become a home away from home and we’ve visited many times to catch up with what we call our second family in the Caribbean.
— Stella & Rich Provenzano – Pennsylvania
29. I fell in love with the Caribbean a long time ago when I was working on cruise ships as a maître d’. I simply knew that I would want to move there one day, even though it was years later when I finally got the chance to go to St. Maarten in a kitchen manager position in 2005.
But something wasn’t quite right as yet. I lived on Coralita Beach in St. Maarten and always I looked at this small rock far in the sea. My curiosity made me decide to go there and before I knew it I was moving to that rock called Saba… yes this was where I wanted to be!!
After many years of cheffing I finally decided to run my own restaurant called Brigadoon. For me the lifestyle here, the great scenery and beautiful people mean a lot for me. I love my country the Netherlands but being here in the Caribbean is so much better… I could never get used to those long and grey winters, and that for me is the number one reason to stay here.
– ‘TJ’ (Tjeerd Abma) – Business Owner – Brigadoon Restaurant
We’re living life fully!
Every single day we feel so fortunate to be here — one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s the quality of life we love most.
Dynamic, easy living — Magnificent sunrises and sunsets — Fresh, clean air — Lush, plant life with dramatic landscapes — Blue, blue sea and sky.
And… good friends; living good lives. Saba is a place with opportunities and possibilities for everyone. Sure some egos, gossip and complaints try to get in the way of happiness and peace but, you just step away from the negativity because there’s something so much bigger and better and more important — utterly enjoying the benefits and beauty of living in the Caribbean. The environment and lifestyle of this splendid island honors us daily and it’s our deep and natural obligation to return the favor and to care for it right back.
— Albert & Michael – Saba Island Properties
– Caroline Hompes – Saba Villas – Haiku House + The Netherlands
– Dr. Glen Romney – Animal Hospital of St. Maarten + Saba
Thank you all for taking the time to say what you think and feel about living and working in the Caribbean;
for promoting life on Saba; enhancing tourism through your work, businesses, homes, families and friends;
for adding to the community and quality of life. Caring matters. It makes the difference.
What gratitude a Caribbean lifestyle makes for!
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