Despite how it may appear on Instagram, it’s not all that easy being hot in a tropical climate. Let me clarify: While it’s extremely easy to feel swelteringly, steamily hot in the tropics, looking hot is a near impossibility. I suppose not for everyone (I’m looking at you, stunning pregnant mom of a toddler in the bure next door—what is your secret??), but certainly for your average pale-skinned city-dweller. Especially one taking a very small suitcase on a very long trip.
Because for all the romantic images an island vacation conjures up, it doesn’t take long for some realities to kick in. Namely, that the tropical sun is very, very strong and the weather is very, very humid and there are a lot of biting insects around. Which means that, if you’re me (or part of my similarly pale family), you managed to get an awkward-looking sunburn on your jetlagged first day, which nicely complements the half dozen or so new mosquito bites you’re logging per evening and the weird leg bruise that probably came from hauling the aforementioned small (but heavy!) suitcase off a baggage carousel somewhere.
And your rash guard isn’t nearly as cute as your bikini but this funky shoulder sunburn isn’t going to heal itself, and you only had room to pack about two tropical-weather-appropriate ensembles and they’re both getting pretty gross because you’re actively sweating ALL OF THE TIME and also constantly slathering your body in both sunscreen and bug repellant. And don’t even get me started on what a steady regimen of sweat, saltwater, chlorine, humidity and diligent floppy-hat-wearing does to your hair. Oh, and there’s sand in everything.
It’s all pretty hot, is what I’m saying.
Please don’t misunderstand me—this place is a freaking paradise and despite the burn and the bugs, all the knots I managed to tie myself up in before we left are loosening pretty nicely. The scenery is endlessly beautiful and calming, I’m being so well taken care of and I get to spend my days lazily paddling around in the ocean, reading poolside, drinking rum cocktails, chatting with lovely new people and logging time with my two favorite existing people. In short, it’s very easy to feel happy here—just not especially hot . 🙂