When Escape From America writer Michael Christopher Gutierrez found himself in a rut of depression in America, he moved to Trinidad to find a beautiful place to be alone. Yet the Caribbean island rejuvinated the man and he found himself in the best health of his life and found the happiness he had given up hope on. He shares his story and tips for finding a home in Trinidad in his article Finding Life and Property in Trinidad.
“I rented an apartment for about $US100 per month in south Trinidad in charming Princes Town, a place with only about 25,000 people. It was in the country but a mere twenty minutes from San Fernando, the second largest city in Trinidad and another hour from the capital. It was quiet, no traffic, but people were friendly….and if I craved it, city life was only minutes away!
There were fruit stands sprinkled everywhere and fresh fish and vegetable markets a short walk away from where I was staying. Day by day, I found my health returning to me. I was walking regularly, joined a gym, and my mental outlook began to improve along with my body. After a while fatigue disappeared. Oh boy, I had not felt this good in years; come to think of it I had never, ever felt this good! I even took a part time job as a high school counselor and was enjoying myself so much that I forgot why I came here in the first place. As a result, my plan drastically changed from coming here to die to coming here to “make a comeback!’
After four months I was in the best shape of my life and developed a social network of dear friends and family. Now that I look back at my life, I see how I let myself become consumed with the American culture of fast food and fast living and obsessed with performance, achievement, status and the collection of material objects. All the things that I thought I needed (which ran me into the ground and almost killed me) I no longer wanted. I came to a point where the simple things were all that mattered… family, friends, health and a sense of community and home.”