I’ve lived in and out of the Caribbean since I was a seventeen. First in Cancun (parents weren’t thrilled; I was!), then Baja, then Aruba, and others – all thanks to a windsurfing obsession. It led me to editing WindSurfingmagazine, then ISLANDS and now Caribbean Travel + Life. These days, having lived in the region helps get me inside the Caribbean’s insular offerings. Like examining why rum shops and churches rub elbows with ease on Barbados, or what today’s Maya think of the end-of-world prediction. Sharing the Caribbean’s hidden pockets of intrigue is what inspires me most—especially because they often lurk just outside the resorts.
Favorite Caribbean Island: Trinidad, for its startling fusion of East Indian, African, Chinese and European cuisine. Also, the island’s economy isn’t built around tourism. To explore Trinidad is refreshing in that nobody is expecting you. You see the Caribbean on its own terms.
Tropical Drink of Choice: I’m not a big mixed drink guy, but I do know that nothing sets fire to an evening like a cane-juice rum straight up. And I don’t mean the snobby rum that runs $90 a shot. Rum peaks at 15 years of aging; don’t pay for more. St. Nicolas Abbey rum sends me soaring unlike any other, and a single sip is worth the trip to Barbados it requires.
Travel Tip: Follow the roti. Everyone is in a good mood at a roti stand. That flakey, savory goodness is a universal conversation starter that sparks better travel advice than any travel brochure. The same holds for the Caribbean’s fish fries, jerk pits, and anywhere that serves conch. Where stomachs are full and laughs are hearty is where your best Caribbean trips begin.