Welcome to Paradise

I was very glad I had a window seat on the tiny plane from Puerto Rico to Tortola.

This was the first of what I saw on Tortola.

Since then I’ve been out to eat and drink and grocery shop and had a chance to unpack… but that’s about it. So instead of trying to think too hard and sum up my first few days, I’m just going to share a few fun facts about my trip and new home.

1. Yes, I sure did forget something: My absentmindedness is not a huge problem, but the two things I forgot might be two of the most essential things to have as a fair-skinned island reporter: My sunscreen and my stylebook.

Really.

Please laugh, I did. Then I bought some $10 sunscreen.

2. I suspect the island is just about as American as British. My two favorite examples: Here, we drive on the left, but in left-side drive cars. My new paper, the BVI Beacon, uses AP style but with British spelling. This also makes it great fun to listen to expat Brits and US-icans  discuss why their own country’s influence in Tortola is greater or better.

3. People are fans of the paper! This is very exciting (and reminds me a lot of my days at the Coast News). To be honest, I can’t tell if it’s more because they like the folks that work here as individuals or they like the journalism the paper does. I can say that the thing I’ve missed about reporting in a smaller community is that to really succeed, you need both.

4. It really is normal to hitch rides. As in: how did I get to the office Friday? I got a ride from a stranger. (Thanks, Myron!) Pretty much everybody who doesn’t have a car does it.

5. I’m couchless. I know this puts a damper on all of your plans to come visit, but I will figure something out. Or the first person who comes has to bring one of those rad inflatable beds with an electric pump.

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