The simple allure of the British Virgin Islands

by Brenda Evans

Growing up with grandparents who had a keen eye for the perfect vacation spot, I was fortunate enough to visit British Virgin Islands for many years. Ever since I was 3 years old, I’ve been drawn by the pristine beauty and simplicity of the West Indies.

Travel writer Brenda Evans spent her summers in the BVIs as a child.

Travel writer Brenda Evans spent her summers in the BVIs as a child.

Nestled away on quiet Cooper Island, my Grandparents built two houses overlooking Manchioneel Bay, thanks to a life-changing suggestion from the Fuller

family. While I’m sure the work put into building a house on a hill and a beach home on a remote island was exhausting, I know it was well worth it. Cooper Island is still my perfect idea of paradise, and our entire extended family has enjoyed many amazing memories on that island.

Snorkeling around Cistern Point, watching the boats zip along in the distance during the regatta, taking day trips over to the Baths of Virgin Gorda and singing Christmas carols to boaters from the rocks, we took in every moment we could possibly soak up in the BVI. From the second our plane touched down at the Beef Island airport I would get uncontrollably giddy. After gathering all of our groceries from a market on Tortola, we would take the boat over to Cooper to begin our adventure. Many of our days were spent hiking around the the backside of the island, referred to as Haulovers, where we would search for treasures or go snorkeling out in the bay.

The thing I always loved the most about visiting the islands was the simplicity that it promised. While Cooper has become more modern in recent years, I loved the days when the limited electricity we had came from the solar panels and all the water for the whole house came from the cistern. It was a rare chance to completely focus on the little things that made each day so great, like watching the sun rise while listening to Bob Marley, eating a plain dinner of rice and chicken that tasted inexplicably good after a long day, playing card games by candlelight and breaking open a fresh coconut.

Many visitors who make their way to the BVI fall in love because of its vistas, the warm and welcoming people and the easy tranquility. While the simplicity won me over, it is not the only thing to love about the BVI. Find that special something that ropes you in.