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Ehi wait a sec! What about a Plan C?

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Portoferraio - Elba Island - Mediterranean Sea Do we really need a plan C?  Actually not, one back-up plan is normally more than enough unless you are NASA trying to send people on Mars and we definitely are not. The fact is that in the last weeks....maybe more months....thoughts went wild, focusing a lot on ocean conservation, minimalism, freedom, scuba diving as inner peace and self rediscovery experience. So these new ideas coming up are now slowly distancing us from a classic touristic model and moving to explore alternatives which are looking more at our impact on the environment, on our and others lives and less at how to get an income, even if low.. Plan C in fact starts from a totally different prospective. It is not about finding the best way to ensure a minimum income to be able to live sufficiently comfortable in a warm place with limited responsibilities. No, this plan starts from thinking which would be the best way to live with the minimum possible cost in a warm place wi

Malta - Scuba diving and more

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Malta is an Eurpean islands state, located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea between the North African coast and Sicily from which it distances only 80 Km. It actually comprises of three islands, Malta, Comino and Gozo with a population of less then 500k people on 316 square Km. Malta has an extremely rich history, starting from amazing prehistoric misterious temples till the WWII, passing through several invasions and the famous knights od Saint John's ruling. We just spent two weeks of our summer vacation in Malta where we equally divided our time between diving and sightseeing with just only few beach days in between. Diving is mainly from shore, the coast has very attractive and scenographic sea bottom landscapes with plenty of caves, fractures, arches and walls. There are lots of wrecks, some sunked on purpose within the maximum recreational depth limit of 40 meters  and others, generally deeper, as consequence of WWII battles or bad weather. On the contrary to our expect

The Plan B (just in case)

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Every serious project has a contingency plan to ensure irs successful completion also in case of unavoidable problems and since our Calypso is far too important, we need our own plan B.  Relocating to the Caribbean is not a simple task with a lot of aspects which has to fit together at the right time and sometime one single unexpected issue may be enough to stop the all plan. The geographical and cultural distance from Europe are positive aspects of the Caribbean but they may become problems in case of changes in our families or in the political and or economical status of countries. Similar porblems may prevent or make extremy difficult our relocation outside Europe. As divers we learned to accept the unexpected and therefore we are prepared to continue with the Calypso project witout changing its principles just the place, somwehere closer, an European destination. We looked at the map of Europe to find places which are warm through all the year, with great diving site, effortable re

Important Update!

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On the 19th of June 2022, Natasja passed her PADI instructor exam!!!!! 👌 Congratulations for such great achivement and for reaching an important milestone of our Calypso project! We are now officaly a couple of PADI DScuba Diving Instructors and looking forward to dedicate our lifes to make a difference in people by let them discover their inner adventure and the ocean beauty. As for evert PADI Scuba Diver Instructor, the exam weekend is a challengin and emotional intense moment of our life which we will remember forever. 

The Shortlist

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Two years, that's how long it took us to go through the 18 Caribbean countries initially selected as potential destinations and to shortlist them down to the most suitable ones for our project. During this time, we faced the difficult consequences of the pandemic restrictions but now we are seeing the energy people are putting in forgetting Covid-19 and moving forward from here. Such an enthusiastic restart is causing economical problems like heavy inflation due to shortage of resources and on top of htat everything is complicated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Still the spirit of people remains extremely positive. It seems that the pandemic made us more resilient and less concerned about the uncertainties of the future. But now let’s go back to our shortlist. Two thirds of the original list have been discarded for various reasons which means we are now with 6 countries left. The places we have excluded are fantastic and in many aspects wonderful destinations but they simply

Trinidad and Tobago

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The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is the southernmost island country of the Caribbean. It consists of 2 main islands, Trinidad and Tobago and several smaller ones. Trinidad is only 11 km north of Venezuela coast. As many Caribbean islands, also Trinidad and Tobago changed hands several times during the colonial period till becoming independent by the British in 1962. One of the peculiarity of the islands is that 35% of the population has indian origins becasue of the labor immigration which was established after the end of slavery to work in the plantations. Nowadays, Trinidad and Tobago has the third GDP pro capita of the American continent after USA and Canada. Unlike most of the Caribbean countries, tourism does not have a significant contribution to the economy which is mainly based on the oil & gas business. Only in the recent years, the local government has started to develop some interest in boosting the tourism industry with is mainly confined to the island of Tobago.

Sint Maarten

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Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherland located on the south of a Caribbean Island shared with France. The Dutch territory covers the 40% of the island where lives little more than 40,000 people. The island was divided by the Treaty of Condordia in 1648 and despite the border changed sixteen times due to fights, the sharing is still in place till today. Cotton, tobacco and sugar plantation had been the main island income till after the WWII, when in the 50s the iconic International Airport was opened and the tourism business took off. Today the island economy is based on tourism, employing 80% of the population. Cruise ships and luxurious hotel resorts are the main type of tourism sources. The island location is exposed to the hurricanes season and it has been hit more then ones with the last in 2017 causing extensive damages to 70% of the houses and loss of lives. The real estate opportunities are almost exclusively top high end villas and th

Sint Eustatius

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Sint Eustatius, also known as Statia, is an island of the Caribbean West Indies and it is a special municipality of The Netherlands, like Saba and Bonaire. Statia is located in between Saba in the North and Saint Kitts in the south and has of only 21 square Km where lives little more than 3,000 people. In its history, from the 17th century the island changed hands 21 times between the Netherlands, France and Britain but most of the time it was under Dutch ruling. In the 18th century, Sint Eustatius was the most important and richest settlement in the Carribean; The Golden Rock was its nickname and the population reached 30,000. The main and most profitable business was the selling of weapons and ammunitions to any interested party, and at the that time countries were almost continuously fighting each other.   The island has also a place in the American history thanks to the “First Salute”: in 1776 the American ship Andrew Doria was approaching Sint Eustatius to purchase munitions and

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the island country of the Lesser Antilles laying between Saint Lucia on the North and Grenada on the South. The territory is composed by the main island of Saint Vincent with the capital Kingstown and a chain of 32 smaller islands many of which are inhabitated by a total population of 110,000 people. After an intial period when the islands were under French control, they has been maintly a British colony till the 1979 when they gained full indipendency. Nowadays Saint Vincent is a parlamentary democarcy and a constututional monarchy with Elizabeth II as Queen. Since its indipendance, the state had political stability without any major issues. Saint Vincent is a volcanic island with moist forest while southern islands has dryer forest ecosystems. In April 2021 the main volcano La Soufriere erupted, 16,000 people had to be evaquated and ashes covered part of the island. Climate is the typical tropical one, hot and humid with dry season from December to

Saint Lucia

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  Saint Lucia is an island country in the easter Caribbean where the Atlantic Ocean starts. The island surface is 617 square Kilometers where lives a population of around 180,000 people. The French were the first European to live and rule on the island till 1663, when England took it over for few years. After that there was a continuous change of power between the two counties, in total there were 14 changes in 150 years. In 1814, the British gain the definitive control which lasted until the island obtained the independence in 1979. Nowadays Saint Lucia is a two parties parliamentary democracy part of the Commonwealth real with the Elizabeth II as Queen of Saint Lucia. Geographically it is a volcanic island, one of the most mountainous of all the Caribbean, with tropical rainforest climate and the consequent two typical seasons: wet from June to December and dry from January to May. Qualibou is the name of the volcanic area where there are active sulfur springs which are o

Saint Kitts and Nevis

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The official name of Saint Kitts and Nevis island country is Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis. The territory consists of two main islands located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. With a population slightly over 50,000 people and a surface of 261 square kilometres , Saint Kitts and Nevis is the smallest sovereign stated in the Western hemisphere. The islands were among the first to be colonized by Europeans and has been for long time a English and French settlement with a short period under Spain, until the 18th century when France renounced the control on the islands which became part of the British Kingdom. Saint Kitts and Nevis gain the full independence in 1983 and today it is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of State. Basseterre is the capital. Both the islands are of volcanic origin and are covered by tropical rainforest, the costs are mostly flat which is where the vast majority of the population lives. Since  1970s, tourism saw a c

Saba

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  Saba is the smallest special municipality of The Netherlands and a small Caribbean island of 13 square kilometres where less than 2000 people are living permanently. Located in the northern Leeward islands of the West Indies, Saba is essentially composed by the potentially active volcano Mount Scenery which reaches 887 meters of altitude. Historically since the 17 th century, the island has always been under Dutch dominion apart from a period of 150 years under the British Kingdom which ended at the beginning of the 19 th century. During the British period, Saba was a hideout for Jamaican pirates often joined by English people who were send to the island because considered “undesirable” by the homeland authorities. After the Dutch regain control of the island in the 1816, the legitimate trading and sailing become the main activities till when stating in the 1960s tourism was steadily growing importance also thanks to the construction of an airport and a vessel pear. Nowadays touris

Jamaica

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  Jamaica is one of the most famous island countries in the Caribbean thanks to its history, nature, rum and lifestyle but also to popular Jamaicans such as Bob Marley and Usain Bolt. The Island is located 145 km south of Cuba and 191 Km west of Hispaniola and after them, it is the third largest one of the Caribbean Under Spanish domain till 1655 when the island was conquered by British who renamed it Jamaica. During the English period, Jamaica was leading the sugar export with its plantations.  Independent since 1962, today Jamaica has a population of almost 3 million people, a stable democratic government with a constitutional monarchy headed by Elizabeth II as Queen of Jamaica. In the last decade, the island saw an important economic growth and a general improvement of life quality. Mining, agriculture and tourism are the main pillars of the Jamaican economy. With an average of 4,3 millions visitors a year, in 2019 tourism accounted for 20% of the Country GDP with a positive trend

Haiti

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Haiti shears Hispaniola island with the Dominican Republic but unfortunately it didn't share the same fate. In fact, the history of Haiti has been particularly troubled in many ways. Since its independence, Haiti went through several authoritarian regimes including 20 years of  American occupation. Till today, the political unrest is a constant of the country history. In addition to the political instability, Haiti has been signed by continues  natural catastrophes such as hurricanes and earthquakes devastating the land, the economy and the life of Haitians. As result, today Haiti has a underdeveloped economy, social unrest and an uncertain future. The tourism industry may be one of the best option for the country development but at the moment very little has been done about it. Hopefully Haiti will be able to gain stability, to grow an healthy economy and to have a florid tourism industry but it will take several years. All the present criticalities and the uncertainties for the f

Grenada

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Grenada is an island country of the West Indies at the south end of Grenadines islands chain. Independent since 1974,  after being initially part of the Commonwealth, Grenada went through a decade of  coups and revolutionary governments which end with the invasion of U.S. forces. Since then the island returned within the Commonwealth with a relatively stable political situation. The territory is les than 350 SqrKm with a population of less than 125,000 people. The economy is mainly based on tourism and nutmeg export. Nutmeg is so much part of Grenada's culture and life that is it even depicted on the national flag Tourism is the largest source of foreign exchange mainly coming from North America and U.K., instead the amount of European tourists is very limited but that could represent an opportunity for our project. Diving tourism is considered an important part and the Grenada Tourism authority believe in the potential and it is investing and promoting it and supports projects rel

Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic is the sovereign country shearing the famous Hispaniola island with Haiti. It is the second larger country in the Antilles by area after Cuba and the third by population with more than 10 millions habitants speaking Spanish as official language. Santo Domingo is the well known capital. Dominican Republic is the most visited country of all the Caribbean thanks to its climate and the natural diversity. In the recent years, ecotourism has grown significantly bringing excellent progress in energy efficiency and waste recycling. Tourism together with agriculture contributed to develop the larger economy of the Caribbean which created a significant immigration flow from other Caribbean countries especially from the closed Haiti. Traditionally, Dominican Republic is not a scuba diving destination, the diving spots are relatively limited not because of poor marine life but mainly because traditionally the tourism industry focused on white beaches, resorts and