They represent the island lifestyle and the religion of RELAX.
Nothing speaks to me as strongly as the tropics. I love what the island lifestyle represents and how it is lived even more than the islands themselves. When I can’t be down island living life in the little latitudes I surround myself by items that are quintessentially and unmistakably related to the stress free mantra of, RELAX. Here is my top ten list.
- Hammocks – Have you ever looked at a hammock and not thought of a beach or relaxing? It was invented in the West Indies which makes it as authentically tropical as you can get. It was also embraced by numerous Navy’s as the perfect solution for sleeping at sea. You can’t get more nautical than that.
- Rum & Tequila – Like my friends at Team Cocktail are fond of saying, “Travel Global, Drink Local”. These two spirits were born and perfected in the Caribbean and Mexico. Furthermore, the drinks that are made from them always scream warm weather and relaxing times. Why do you think they are called boat drinks?
- Flip-Flops – No shirt, no shoes, no problem. Those of us who live on a salty piece of land recite this like a Catholic recites the rosary. We don’t do shoes, nor do we want to. Flip-flops are cheap, fashionable, light weight and mucho comfortable.
- Hurricanes – You have to take the good with the bad. Most places in the world have their own flavor of natural disaster. Ours happens to be the hurricane. Of course, I no more want to see the loss of life and property anymore than the next person. However, hurricanes are part of the natural balance of life. And the super strong drink by the same name isn’t bad either!
- Tropical Fruits – Coconuts, bananas, pineapples, mangos, papaya and my favorite the key lime. If I were to never eat another apple or grape the rest of my life, I would not miss them. Take away my tropical fruit? A travesty. How else could we make coconut rum?
- Bikinis – This one is very near and dear to my heart. So much so I started my own bikini company, Conch Republic Bikinis. From the design to the photography I do it all (please cry for me it is tough work). I’m all about nude beaches but hiding just a little bit and making admirers day dream a bit is much more fun. Tan lines are the great side effect of a good bikini as well. Have you ever seen a nice tan line (not a sun burn) and thought anything but tropical fun? I think not.
- Palm Trees – They come in various species but palm trees as a catch all could never represent anything but sun, sand and fun. They won’t even grow in the cold. My personal rule is if a palm tree can’t live somewhere, neither can I. You’ve daydreamed about translucent cyan water and palm tree lined white beaches. I know you have, you can’t deny it.
- Steel Drums – No instrument can take you to St. Somewhere faster than the mellow tunes of a steel drum. Known as the steel pans in the Caribbean they were invented and perfected in Trinidad & Tobago. Today they can be found throughout the Caribbean and are a popular core in the island sound.
- Reggae – If the steel drum is the instrument of the islands, then reggae is the music. I adore tropical rock and artists such as Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett. Perhaps too much. But reggae was born in the blue warm waters of the little latitudes and can never be anything but island music.
- Sunsets – No matter where I am in the world. When I see a perfect sunset I think of Key West or the islands to her south. There is something magical and spiritual about stopping to appreciate you’ve had the good fortune to see the end of another day in such a special place.
I’m sure I’ve missed a few things. Leave me a comment or drop me a line and to help me finish it off. Until then, I think I’ll grab a rum, kick off my flip flops, lay down in a hammock and drift off to sleep listening to the music of islands while the sunsets. My personal definition of Utopia.
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Bikini Store: www.conchrepublicbikinis.com