We recently returned from a week on Jost Van Dyke, a British Virgin Island that I’ve raved on about here before. This was our second full-week trip to Jost but the first since since hurricanes Irma and Maria, two Category 5 storms that hit within two weeks of each other in 2017. They flattened pretty much everything and created some changes.
The first thing that struck me upon looking out over White Bay after arriving this time was that things were browner than I remembered — a reality attributable in part to the hurricane and in part to being there late in the dry season. But the second fact that struck me was the amount of new construction going on.
Now, we’re not talking about mere reconstruction here, although a number of the island’s famous beach bars have been recast in concrete and rebar instead of the previous ramshackle wood. We’re talking about brand new construction that, in particular, is starting to fill the hillside behind White Bay, which is arguably one of the most famous beaches in the Caribbean. This is triggered in part by absentee property owners who sold out after the hurricanes. The new construction largely is, or will be, villas that will bring in more tourists on an island that is in many ways notable for its lack of tourists.
And then I reminded myself that I really had no right to gripe about the still-modest additional development. That’s when I reminded myself of the old saying: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
I got to see Jost when it was only lightly discovered, but nobody’s going to mistake the place for being hyper developed now, or probably any time in my lifetime. The old ways, with the characters staying at the campground at Ivan’s and the funky people hanging out at the funkier bars to the west of the Soggy, may be changing, but things always change. Too much nostalgia is always a trap — one that often leads to bitterness.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself on Jost again. It was just different, not wrong.