About Heroes and Cheesecake.

According to the dictionary a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievement or nobel qualities. To my mind come, firemen, soldiers, Batman, martyrs, Ghandi.

I don’t entirely agree with that definition. I mean, I recognize those are heroes, but feel that many others are excluded, I call them “everyday heroes”. Semantics and editorial dictatorship is one of the perks of owning a blog.

These everyday heroes will never have streets named after them, nor statues. Legends won’t surround them. They probably don’t recognize themselves as heroic either. But for me they are. Neither perfect, nor saints. I haven’t romanticized their existences ( I do that sometimes) they are flesh and bone, but in my dictionary they do hazardous and extraordinary things every day; they follow their dreams. Even if those dreams sound wild or absurd to others. Most of the time they triumph – even though that isn’t a requirement to be considered heroic by me– they go the extra mile and sacrifice, but mostly they perform ordinary activities with extraordinary love, as Mother Theresa said.

Foolish dreams deserve so much respect.  “I dream about been a professional diver” “Ice Cream Salesman” “Ride my bike around the world” “Give a rock concert”. People apologyze about having them, breaks my heart. Even I have apologyzed about mine. So many unnecessary explanations…

When your dream is becoming famous or a millionaire everybody agrees. But saying out loud: “I want to be a Yoga Teacher; ride a hot air balloon around the world, bake the BEST cheesecake ever” takes a lot of courage. Sometimes the wildest dream is just to look yourself in the mirror with acceptance and compassion.

Joseph Higgs  is one of this dreamers.  After graduating in USA he went back to Providenciales and announced his family he wanted to bake the best cheesecake of the world… Not exactly, but almost.  He came back to the island and got a job at the Power Plant, but started dedicating his free time to his passion: baking.

He tells me how much he wanted to try and bake a good cheesecake. After doing lots of research he baked his first one around one year and a half ago, the reaction of families and friends was extraordinary. “My family would go straight to my fridge to try new cheesecake flavors after that.” It was them who convinced him to offer the cheesecakes for sale for Valentines day (2015). The orders never stopped.

When I ask him to give advice to other dreamers he says: “HARD WORK, be willing to sacrifice a lot” In his case the sacrifice has involved time and money, but he doesn’t want to stop until his dessert are famous worldwide.  He continues with advice: “Keep setting goals even after accomplishing one.
There will be many people who will not understand what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, but that’s okay, what’s in your heart and mind to do, can’t be hindered by anything.”

Among the succes he has had this past year are many things like being  featured on Turks and Caicos Mag and offered to sell his cheesecakes on the biggest supermarket chain on the island. But certainly the most important is being a wonderful example for his two years old son Nathan– he is the reason behind the name of the bakery-.

If you go to Turks and Caicos please try  Nathan’s Cheesecakes at any of the following locations: KayJos Restaurant, The Caravel Restaurant- Grace Bay, Danny Buoys- Grace Bay, Chopsticks- Grace Bay, Tongue & Groove Cafe’ (located at the do it center) Leeward Highway. In the meanwhile enjoy his pictures at @nathanscheesecakes

Turks and Caicos Bound

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

I could start by telling you how Turks and Caicos is actually conformed by 40 islands and keys, located close to Cuba and Bahamas and just an hour and a half flight from Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

I could also tell you that the official language is english – they form part of the United Kingdom, so a picture of the Queen of England is the first thing you see when you step off the plane –.  They also drive on the left side of the road and many of their vehicles have the stirring wheel in the wrong side – only God knows why the English insist on doing that–.  At the same time their currency is the US dollar, and most of their tourism comes from Canada.  But if you check Wikipedia, probably find out all of this and many more interesting facts. So I rather give you the feeling I got from visiting this white sand paradise last week, and how beyond their natural beauty their biggest treasure is their people.

I have been dreaming about Aman Hotels for a while know, even though that is not my usual motivation for traveling this hotels spoke to me. They seemed like an experience. So zen, quiet, health oriented, located usually in remote places and surrounded by nature. The perfect place to enjoy a real vacation with my husband –something that we rarely do on our trips. So I must confess what first got me looking in to Turks was the Amanyara hotel. But I was in for a double surprise: the resort was even better than I expected and the island vibes were wonderful.

Who should go?

 Nature lovers, yoga lovers, spa lovers, divers, beach lovers, tennis lovers, sea lovers, golf lovers, boat lovers, lovers in general.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Where should you go?

Providenciales and Big Turks. The airport is at Providenciales and if you wish to go island hopping there is a wide offer of ferry boats and private tours. Chartering a boat for the day is the ideal way to island hop, arrange a secluded beach picnic or practice scuba, snorkeling or fishing.

Contact any of these operators and they will be happy to arrange everything for you:

After 5 Concierge (649-946-4585)

Atabeyra Sailing Charters (649-231-0624)

Big Blue Unlimited (649-946-5034)

Caicos Dream Tours (649-243-3460)

Caicu Naniki Sports Adventures (649-432-5000)

Caribbean Cruisin 649-946-5406 or Cell: 649-231-4191)

Catch The Wave (649-941-3047)

Kenard Cruises (649-242-3866)

Ocean Vibes (649-231-6636)

Reef Peepers (649-941-8605)

Sail Provo (649-946-4783)

Silver Deep (649-946-5612)

 

Where should you stay?

 I am bias with Amanyara.  The people that work there are beyond amazing, they go out of their way to please you. The food is delicious. The location and the architecture of the place is priviledge, but has been built with such respect for the enviroment that surrounds it, that you feel really immerse in nature, with the obvious benefits of civilization –like wi-fi all over the place–. But I reckon is not budget friendly.

IMG_0516

There are other beautiful hotels closer to the downtown for every budget, and also great offers for families traveling with children like the famous Beaches Resort.

My 3 personal favorites things to do:

 Try Nathan’s Cheesecakes @nathanscheesecakes :

Their cheesecakes are so delicious, people come from other islands just to try them. The story behind this bakery is a beautiful example of a dreamer pursuing his dreams – I will post the interview I did to him ASAP.

Eat and Dance barefoot at the Conch Shack:

I swear I felt inside a Sponge Bob cartoon here, the place is magical you will feel here all the island’s good vibes.

Conch is the national food, you will see it everywhere and other than eating I brought home a couple as a souvenir –it’s legal to do so. I suggest going there on a wednesdays or during weekends because there is a local band playing, the urge to dance is impossible to resist.

At sunset try a boat ride:

 It’s very a special experience and all the boat companies listed offer this service.

About their people:

Other than feeling their cheerful spirits and super warm welcoming, the thing that struck me the most was their pride to be part of the island progress.

Going back to the airport the driver said to me: “You must come back, I promess this is only getting better and better” I guess that was the heart felt statement that resumed the strength of their souls.

IMG_0206