Our Big Move from St Maarten to Vancouver – Leaving the Caribbean

 Our Big Move from St Maarten to Vancouver – Leaving the Caribbean

Belair; St Maarten; Villa; St Martin; Dutch island; tropical island; ex pat; moving to st maarten

Belair Hillside Villa

Its official. The last signs of my time in tropical paradise, St Maarten, have vanished. I have no tan left, my freckles are faded and my large bathing suit collection is gathering dust in my closet. It has finally hit me that I no longer have warm sunshine in my face 24/7 and that I can’t walk outside in my bikini to the beach or pool.

Moving to the Caribbean

I remember three years ago when Jesse brought up the idea of living in the Dutch/French tropical island of St Maarten for a few years. He was working in South America at the time, and had every second month off work and wanted to spend his time in a hot location, instead of our freezing hometown Sudbury, in Northern Ontario.  St Maarten fit our need perfectly… It was English speaking, had cheap direct flights from Toronto, had a similar currency to Canada (St Maarten uses the US dollar), allowed me to shoot weddings and was very safe. Jesse and I were lucky to spend over two delightful years on the island and it was very hard leaving our home last July.

Our homes in Dutch St Maarten

Our first year we lived on the side of a mountain, in the Belair neighbourhood, in a villa overlooking the ocean. Everyday we woke up to brilliant blues, glorious greens and unbeatable weather. We had so much fun here with our pool, gigantic iguanas, and monkeys in the backyard. However, we felt a bit far from action and had overestimated the amount of visitors we received so we decided to downsize and move to a busier area. This move brought us to the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. We had a cozy lagoon front loft condo right in the middle of the restaurant district and I loved the ability to walk everywhere, and the beach was so close!

Simpson Bay; Yacht Club; Living in St Maarten; moving to St Maarten; Lagoon; Ex pat

Simpson Bay Yacht Club

Moving to Vancouver

After being spoiled the past few years by the amazing weather in St Maarten, we knew we couldn’t go home to Ontario. We had been to Vancouver a few times and really liked the city.  It doesn’t have same winter the rest of Canada does (it rarely goes below freezing in Vancouver), and we really liked the west-coast lifestyle. I was already a vegan, made my own granola and practiced yoga daily, and Jesse and I enjoy hikes and sailing. We headed back to Sudbury for the summer to empty and move our storage units,  hired a moving company to transfer all our belongings to Vancouver, and became urbanites.

Vancouver Weather

We expected the winter weather to be warmer than what we were used to in Ontario and had been warned by everyone that Vancouver was very rainy. We were pleasantly surprised by the weather in Vancouver, although cloudy and misty a few days a week, there was always a few days with sunshine, and hardly any days of hard rain. Upon further research we found out that the days of sunshine and precipitation was almost exactly the same as our hometown in Norther Ontario! Vancouver has 289 days of sunshine in a year, and Sudbury has only four days more, at 293 days! They hours of sunshine are similar too, Vancouver has 1938 and Sudbury 1973.  The differences is that Vancouver has a very dry summer, with hardly any rain, and Sudbury has precipitation all year round. In Vancouver, it is enjoyable to be outside even in the winter rainy months and love that we can continue our runs, hikes and long walks throughout the year.

Future Plans

I love Vancouver and I am so excited to be starting a new chapter of my life here. I am currently booking 2016 weddings in Vancouver, and have a few 2015 weekends available too.


While reminiscing, I pulled a few of our favourite photos to share with you…

Great Bay; Phillipsburg; St Maarten; Loterie Farm; Palm Trees; BeachLizards, Simpson Bay Yacht Club; Belair; Phillipsburg; Great Bay; Sand; Blue water; BeachesGreat Bay; Simpson Bay Yacht Club; Simpson Bay food; Belair; Wedding Villa; St Maarten; St Martin



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  • Kassandra UtzingerJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:50 pm

    wow what an amazing experience to live in the Caribbean and of course gorgeous photos