Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Passenger to Paradise - Love of St. Martin Tainted

Tropical Fish near Caribbean Waters MMSikes
The Passenger to Paradise has long held a love affair with tropical islands of the Caribbean. In recent years, St. Martin, the half-Dutch, half-French island, has been her favorite Caribbean destination. Not only the beaches and beauty of the island beckoned, but also there was a comfortable sense of serenity and safety. With the September murders of a South Carolina couple vacationing in a condo on the island, the atmosphere of St. Martin as a safe destination is no more for the Passenger to Paradise.

Of course, she has created a few murders along the way as parts of her books. But those were not based on real events. Many of the adventures in her books do relate to actual happenings in the life of the Passenger, including her arrival, wet, soggy, and uneasy, to a small island resort off the coast of Trinidad. That story is part of her novel, Night Watch.

For the Passenger to Paradise, travel in the Caribbean has always brought adventure along with the excitement of the journey. A few years ago, she discovered much about Jamaica as an owner of one of the resort chains transported her by private plane and by car from one destination to another all over the island. At each resort, she created a painting to document the essence of that location.

Travel to Guadeloupe was always an experience. One night, she awakened to discover an intruder rummaging through her belongings on a dresser in the bedroom. In a sleepy haze, she mistook him for the dryer repairman she'd requested earlier. "Carlos, why are here now?" she asked. He grabbed her belly pack with everything in it, including passports, money, and tickets and raced away. Her husband took chase but could not catch him. No one at the resort came to their aid. There was no security guard. The Passenger plans not to return to Guadeloupe.

Now, she will probably never go back to St. Martin either. However, she feels sad for the tourism industry there. But there are other places to visit. She understands that nowhere in the world today is safe.

For the Passenger to Paradise, murders are better in fiction. A book can be closed, and it's okay. In real life, that is not true.

--Mary Montague Sikes


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you were robbed in Guadeloupe! And in your own bedroom - scary.

Monti said...

It was scary--scarier than I realized at the time. How we got back our passports is a story in itself. Thanks, Alex!

Yolanda Renee said...

What a horrible experience in such a beautiful place.

'story in itself' says a lot! Once the emotions pass of course.

Monti said...

We don't plan to go back to Guadeloupe.

Thanks for commenting, Yolanda!