Rob and Jaki put feelers out to five people, and three responded. They listed their interests: building, travel, megalithic stones, music and books.
“People found our profile attractive, and they wanted to meet us,” Rob said. “We started with one fellow two nights on Water Island. Another lady, in the midst of moving between apartments, said ‘I want to meet you.’ She met us as we got off the ferry on the other side. She took us to an excellent local deli where we had fish sandwiches.”
Friends recommended Ivan’s Stress Free Campgrounds on Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the four main British Virgin Islands. There, they stayed in an 18-square-foot rudimentary, simple cabin, Rob said.
“Even that was $65 a night,” he said. “That’s expensive for us. That’s cheap for the Virgin Islands. You don’t get anything cheaper than less than $150.”
Guidebooks such as “The Lonely Planet” are gems for locating low-cost accommodations as well as word-of-mouth from other travelers.
“We use guidebooks a lot,” Jaki said.
“We research before we live, and it’s not entirely a surprise,” Rob said.
In the Virgin Islands, they went snorkeling 18 times.
“That’s one of our passions,” Rob said. “We went to the mango forests on the edge of the water. We saw turtles, eels, lobsters, squid and little tropical fish. The Virgin Islands exceeded our expectations. On St. John, 70 percent is a national park. It was purchased by Lawrence Rockefeller. He fell in love with it and purchased large tracts and donated more than 5,000 acres to the U.S. government.”
Since almost everything is imported, food is expensive.
“We stay with our friends, and we treated them to meals out,” Jaki said.
“We also contributed to groceries,” Rob said.