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Why I Left My Heart In Curaçao

Oneika Raymond for Essence


I have a new motto: when life gets hectic, run away to Curaçao. I’m dead serious. I recently traded the stresses of New York City for the serenity of this island paradise and felt lighter of spirit and rejuvenated of body as soon as I laid eyes on its crystalline waters.

After all, the dazzling vistas, fine food, and lively atmosphere have all the trappings of a Terry McMillan novel: Curaçao is a place where one gets their groove back, a place where one’s problems pull a disappearing act, and a place where one can finally exhale after prolonged periods of waiting.

Found in the southern Caribbean Sea, I discovered that the petite island nation is not only a mere 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, but is also a former Dutch colony. This unique geography and political history have left an indelible mark on the culture, for the interplay between West Indian, Latin, and European influences is strongly felt in Curaçao’s architecture, cuisine, music, and language.

Read the full article by Oneika Raymond, originally published November 22, 2016, on ESSENCE.