Photo Credit: Simone Mills
The Black Expat: 'My Sense Of Being Has Been Higher And I'm So Much Happier In Nevis'
Simone Mills is a New Yorker by birth, but St. Kitts and Nevis is where she feels most at home. She spent her formative years on the small dual-island nation before moving back to New York City at age six. So in August 2020, when a wave of loneliness washed over her in the thick of the pandemic and as turmoil raged in the United States, Mills sought peace in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I was alone in New York,” she shared with Travel Noire. “I had just graduated from grad school. And I was literally lonely. My mom and my grandfather were in Nevis. So they were like, ‘you should come even if it’s for a while.'”
Mills’ job had gone remote, making the decision to leave NYC for a while even easier. But getting there proved to be much more difficult due to very strict restrictions and protocols.
“You could only go if you were a citizen or resident, and if you quarantined for two weeks,” explained Mills. “So I ended up doing that. We also didn’t have any commercial flights going in at that time. So I had to fly to Antigua and take a private charter with a couple of other folks to Nevis.”
Mills has made at least three trips back to New York since last summer, but always finds her way back to Nevis. According to her, the extended respite has vastly improved her quality of life.
“Seasonal depression for me is such a real thing. But I don’t really experience that when I’m in Nevis because of the weather and the climate. My sense of being has been a little higher, and I’ve just been so much happier.”
Mills added, “Not only am I surrounded by family, but there’s so much to do. There are times when occasionally I’ll spend my lunch on the beach. You can’t really do that in many places, but we West Indians do that. Those are some things that are unique to the Caribbean and Nevis.”
Nevis can best be described as an “intimate paradise.” The speck of an island, tucked into the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, measures a slight 36 square miles and has a population of just over 10,000. Adventure travelers will appreciate the overflow of natural waterfalls, hiking trails, and ATV opportunities.
“There’s a company called Queen City ATVs. That is probably the best way to see the island,” revealed Mills. “One of my favorites, to be honest. There are water sports as well if you’re into that. There’s also Alexander Hamilton’s Museum, which was his birthplace. We have a lot of historical things. We also have the first (resort) hotel that was in the Caribbean, the Bath Hotel. It also has natural hot springs. So that’s something to do that’s therapeutic.”
Mills also recommended Pinney’s Beach. There you can find the intoxicatingly divine Killer Bee Rum Punch at Sunshine’s.
“There are a couple of other beach bars, all of which are pretty good,” she said. “It’s a good place to just relax and enjoy the scenery. You can see St. Kitts from there as well, which is a cool view. And you can also take a dip. So there are three things you can do all at once.”
Speaking of St. Kitts, there is one spot that Mills advises every visitor to check out on the island.
“Sir Timothy’s Hill. It’s literally free. You just drive there. But it is such a stunning view. It’s nothing but a view. But it’s breathtaking. It overlooks the peninsula. There’s the Atlantic on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other side. So it’s where the two oceans are divided. If there’s one thing you do, it’s that.”
Follow Mills on Instagram for more food, carnival, and travel tips in St. Kitts and Nevis.