This is me. I'm Melissa. I grew up in small town Georgia about 25 minutes outside of the Atlanta perimeter. Close enough that we aren't super hillbillies. Far enough that I had a lake in my backyard and ran down the street to put pennies on the railroad tracks between ballet classes. Until I turned six. And finally convinced my mom that I hated ballet.

After graduating from the University of Georgia, I took a job with a non-profit and moved to the Bahamas. But before that happen I learned French because I was supposed to end up in Paris. I've been using the phrase "je m'amuse" ever since. It means "I amuse myself." Which I do. But currently I amuse myself by living my life out on the rock, which is what locals use to refer to St. Thomas. Not the city of love or city of lights or whatever Paris is referred to. I can't remember. Because I never lived there. I live here:

I did not make that rainbow up. 

Along the way I feel in love and married a half-Swedish guy from Boston's North Shore. Our first "real" date was in a 15th century wine cellar in Stockholm. The guy's got game. On that first date I polished off my four course meal and then asked him if he was planning on finishing his steak. I do not have game.

Turkish pizza and whiffle ball in a Stockholm park on our "2nd date."

He moved to the Bahamas to be with me and then we relocated to St. Thomas. That's love. Considering his favorite season is winter and his favorite activity is snowboarding. Then we got a dog. And two one goldfish. (RIP Jim) We're one big happy island family.

Ironically, Finn hates the water and will even commandeer boogie boards from tiny girls to avoid it.

Living on an island can be fun. I get it. We've jumped off rocks in the British Virgin Islands, climbed around ancient indian caves in Puerto Rico, spear-fished in the Bahamas, swum in tidal pools on St. Croix. But it's not like we do that stuff every day. Living on an island is also pretty hard. And hot. And sweaty. And annoying. And dirty. And clerks in Kmart yell at you for no reason. And the rules are different. And the humor is different. And everyone expects you to know what you're doing when sometimes you don't. Have you ever gone on a weekend cleaning spree just to have a volcano erupt on another far away island coating every surface in your clean home with a fine layer of damp ash? I have. More than once. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just trying to give you a complete picture. 

Making dinner by candlelight during one of the regular island power outages.

This blog is about how I live on an island. It covers the basics of my life: food, shelter, and clothing. The basics of any life really. My goal is to create a life well lived, which is sometimes a little bizarre when attempting it from an island. The clothes I wear have to be purchased or shipped to our island. The food I eat has to be available on our island. The stuff in our house has to be made or accessible from our island. (I have been known to have stateside Ikea meltdowns because there was no way to ship the rug I want back to the island in an affordable manner.) So maybe I can be a good resource for those of you that are living on this little rock with me. Or maybe you live someplace far away and want to peek into a life different from yours. One that includes palm trees. Either way, you're welcome to follow along as I attempt to amuse myself  (je m'amuse!) on an island creating a life well lived.