A Vacation WIthout Resorts - My Family Travels

Imagine a trip to the Caribbean: luxury resorts, gorgeous beaches, crystal clear water and up-scale restaurants overlooking the ocean. Right? Wrong.

For my family trip, we decided to rent a condo not a resort. The condo was still pretty and overlooking the beach, but to our surprise it was tucked into a residential area. Driving to our condo, we passed dogs, kids roaming the street alone, and people alone, sitting in old broken chairs, just staring into the horizon. When my family had told me we were going to St. Martin, I had expected a resort, with exotic cocktails handed to you on a silver platter and a glittering pool. I hadn't expected wild dogs roaming the street outside the condo.

My first impression of St. Martin was disappointing. The roads were dirty, the houses were torn down. I felt as if I was vacationing in a third world country, and I didn't like it. However as the vacation went on, I realized that a resort wouldn't have been nearly as amazing as our condo was. Not living in a resort, my family had the opportunity to explore the Island. We could still visit the touristy, extravagant beaches.

On Maho Beach, we found Sun Beach, a bar and huge party scene. There I met Prince, who recommended a non-touristy club for us to visit that night, Boo Boo Jam. Visiting Boo Boo Jam, with the Jamaican music and a long drive down on dirt road, my family realized what the Island really consisted of: two discreet sections. The tourists, with their fabulous resorts and an abundance of money as you would expect from a vacation the Caribbean, but also the natives, who lived in absolute poverty. Thank goodness that I didn't stay in a resort.

I learned something from my trip. Things aren't always as they seem. My trip to the Caribbean turned out to be world's different than I had expected, but if we had chosen a resort I would have never learned my lesson.


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