Elope STX is a new adventure for me, Quiana Adams. The inspiration behind Elope STX results from my desire to simplify my life and my business model. Originally, Elope STX was due to launch in Jan. 2018, however…a few life changing events prevented this from happening. In September of 2017, two category five hurricanes ravaged the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Before the storm, life flowed quite smoothly for me and my husband. My freelance business was having a record year, and my husband and I were excited to renovate our “new” fixer-upper. Overall, our family was quite happy and settled in our island life.
Once the storm hit, everything stopped. Our life as we knew it, our community, our island, was forever changed. Many people stayed, however, quite a few people left the territory; some for good. I left. My husband, like many other husbands and fathers, stayed behind to work. In the moment, the decision to leave was easy to make. This storm was the real deal, and I wanted my children out of harm’s way.
However, (at that time) we had no idea our family would be separated for nearly a year. With my children and mini-dachshund, Pablo, in tow we fled to the states. I was now a (married) single mother. Once stateside, there was no time to waste so I hit the ground running. Within two weeks I had set up our “new” life. My goal was to get the kids acclimated quickly. We had a new home, transportation, school for the kids, and extra-curricular activities to keep them busy and engaged. I remember this experience feeling as though I was climbing a steep mountain without a safety harness. My enjoyment of the view would quickly give way to sheer panic for how high I had climbed. “Don’t look down, keep going, you are safe,” is what I would tell myself when fear and doubt set in. Through tears, I laughed at the thought that this experience could either be a morbid social experiment or a terrible reality TV show.
Although we were displaced, my children were so resilient. This situation allowed us to become even closer. St. Croix was still our home, but (at that time) there was no home to go back to, at least not how we remembered it. I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. With the exception of the good and bad witches, we had been swept far, far, away to a new land. Like Dorothy, I realized how strong, courageous, and resilient I could be. The storm offered me an opportunity to remove the fluff from my life and get back to the basics. We didn’t need much to be happy: being safe and together was enough.
As each, day, week, and month passed I began to embrace my climb. I occasionally took opportunities to enjoy the view…even of the distant ground below. We made new life-long friends, celebrated holidays and birthdays and took road trips. I fulfilled my goal of eating my weight in Asian food. We created memories. The world did not end, but instead was altered for a short time. Before I knew it we were back home and happily reunited as a family. Our time away allowed me the perspective needed to examine what I truly wanted out of my life. Simplicity , ease, and enjoyment of life. Little pleasures is how I choose to live my life, run my business, and nurture my relationships. Thank you, Hurricane Maria.