Anguilla Poker Run

Toasting to the End of the Season in Anguilla

I’ve had my parents and grandmother in town for the past 10 days and have tried to make the time to really spend that quality time creating memories with them, while simultaneously closing down for the season and preparing to set off on our next adventure. Last night was our final night together and was the perfect opportunity to reflect on this year. It’s been an interesting one, to say the least, and we’ve been in it for so long that we haven’t really taken the time to reflect on it as of yet. Our getaway last year to Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Austria was slated to be a spectacular family escape but instead we had a month of grinding, trying to remotely handle all of the details of getting the hotel back on track following Hurricane Irma. We returned to utter devastation – no home, a hotel in ruins, and so much work ahead of us that it was overwhelming at times. We cranked, day by day, seven days a week at all hours until one day – as if by magic – people started showing up for our soft opening.

Frangipani Beach Resort, AnguillaFrangipani Beach Resort, AnguillaFrangipani Beach Resort, AnguillaFrangipani Beach Resort, AnguillaFrangipani Beach Resort, Anguilla

We were in it once again starting the season, seemingly all of a sudden, and it just continued. It was predominantly good, though we had our challenges of course, and then we were grappling with our own personal obstacles simultaneously. To end the season with our Travel + Leisure award was not only so humbling but so motivating as well. We had a momentary glimpse into the past year, seeing how far we were able to come in a relatively short time. The reality is that there are many resorts in Anguilla that still aren’t open. To see how much we accomplished in a few months is overwhelming, and to see how far we’ve made it this year just blows my mind. It’s been an amazing year for us; one of learning, of growing, of counting our blessings and recognizing what’s truly important in life. If I’m being honest though, it’s also been a tiring year, both physically and emotionally and while we’ve been off-island more than ever this season, we’ve also had our minds so entrenched in so many aspects of life that we haven’t been able to truly turn off at all.

So we close out this year on this final day of this season, and I’m feeling so grateful and also so ready for a few weeks to mentally unwind after a rollercoaster year. A huge thank you to every person out there who supported us through this. Every text, every email, every phone call – it all meant the world to us, and to have the kind of support that we do has been the most inspiring aspect of our year. We’re off to Europe once again, before we head off on our year’s grand adventure for two weeks in Egypt! Stay tuned for snapshots and stories from our adventures.

Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort and is on the Board of Directors of the Omololu International School in Anguilla.