Our Last Family Vacation, or Eco-Camping on an Empty Island
Having grown up on the poverty end of the financial spectrum, my family didn't often splurge for vacations. That was fine with us, though: we could make an adventure out of just about anything, from a trip to McDonald's (which we'd eat on the river) to exploring our hometown, we didn't need to travel to understand how to see beauty in our surroundings. When I graduated high school, we found out my father had terminal cancer and he only had a few more years to live. He decided that he wanted to see more of the world while he was able, so after scouring the Internet, he found this remote island near St. Thomas called Water Island. To this day, I haven't met a single person who has heard of it. Water Island is a small patch of land with nothing on it. There are no businesses, no roads, no sidewalks, no Starbucks, nothing. There are a few multi-million dollar homes and a single eco-friendly resort called the Virgin Islands Campgrounds. The cottages were clean, comfortable, and well-kept, and the entire stay was very affordable given the location. In midst of the tragic situation we were dealt, Water Island provided us with a reprieve where we could enjoy each other's company in solace for what would be our last vacation. We drank, explored the island, cooked good food, told a lot of stories, and laughed until our sides hurt. I don't know where he is now, but if my father had to choose his own afterlife, I think it would look a lot like Water Island.
By Beth Weeks