It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Beach Bar Bums Focus article but I knew I had the right person to bring it back with when I found out that Ryan Stone, “Chief Vacationing Officer” at Palms N Paradise, had written a book called “Leavin’ The Grind Behind…: Get Palm’d in the Virgin Islands.” Piquing my curiosity, I knew I had to feature Ryan, his book and Palms N Paradise in my next “Focus” article. I reached out to Ryan and he graciously agreed to an interview. Here is part one where we discuss the book and how it came to be.
1. Where did the idea come from?
It all started while I was deployed to Afghanistan. I was listening to my Kenny Chesney playlist while trying to fall asleep one night and a couple songs sparked some interest. I had listened to “On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful and then “Key Lime Pie”. The lyrics of being on the coast somewhere in the world with a beautiful woman and a full moon shining down on a blue lagoon sounded pretty darn good to me at that moment. “Key Lime Pie” specifically talks about Tortola, coconuts, banana drinks and Cruzan rum. I had no idea where or what Tortola was, but I wanted to find out. I had been planning on taking a vacation to the beach with my wife, and I thought why not Tortola. If it’s in a Chesney song, it must be worth experiencing. So after researching it on Google, I had to get to this place. That’s when Melanie, my wife, and I booked our first trip to the Virgin Islands. After spending what I think is a lot of time, but not enough time, in the British Virgin Islands, I really wanted to share that whole experience with as many people as possible. That’s how and why we started Palms N Paradise.
2. When did you decide to write a book about it?
After writing on our blog for a couple years and travelling all over, I decided last December that I wanted to publish a book about the British Virgin Islands. In January this year, Melanie and I traveled with a very close group of friends and celebrated New Years in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Over this two week period I decided that as soon as we returned home to the daily grind, I would hit it hard to publish a book by June. I really wanted to try and capture all the special moments my wife and I have had in the islands. It’s seriously unbelievable to me just how stress free you can be…all your troubles simply melt away. I wanted to be able to share my experiences with others so they could either travel to the islands, or take a break from it all and immerse themselves in an easy read about it.
3. Is it based on personal experiences?
Yes, Get Palm’d in the Virgin Islands is about our personal experiences over the past few years and several trips to the islands. We talk about different trips throughout the islands, Happy Hour experience with Foxy, and there’s even a chapter in there about boating the islands. That was a special contribution from the Best Selling Author…Ed Robinson! Not only are our personal experiences throughout it, but I also describe the actual travel process we went through as well as provide readers with tips and lessons learned. My goal was to share my positive outlook on life and how I escape “the grind” whether on vacation or while at home.
You can find Ryan’s book for sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.