“Saba Is a Beautiful Place to Do Nothing”

Exploring a Saba moment

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

SABA — “Saba is a beautiful place to do nothing,” the local I’d met earlier that day told me. And now I understand exactly what she means about this five-square-mile Dutch-Caribbean outpost.

Because as I lounge by the hotel pool, set into the hillside high above the sea, I feel drunk on the tranquility of this place, literally intoxicated by the peacefulness of this island (pop; 2,000), where the police station has only three cells that my friend tells me with a wink are used when Saba’s mere 159 rooms are all full.

I’ve spent the last hour or so having the sort of deep existential conversation people usually have when they’re high (or so I’ve heard). But then I suppose we are, cossetted thousands of feet up above the shimmering sea.

Clouds slide across the sky, silently but with speed. I watch them glide across the summit of the island’s highest point, Mount Scenery, which, in the 24 hours I’ve been here, has yet to reveal its peak to me.

Instead, clouds are its crown, billowing like dry ice from the top of a science-project volcano.

The ambient soundtrack is mostly natural: the gentle hoot of owls; a rooster squawking now and then; and a melody of distant birdsong. Still, it’s so quiet that I can hear small planes land on the world’s shortest runway below, and if I listen really closely, I can hear cars as they downshift and accelerate up the winding hill road.
I feel perfectly at peace; removed from my cares. Right now there’s nothing to do, and nowhere I have to be. So I let go and give in to the beautiful bliss of the moment. The stresses of everyday life will return all too soon. But for now, life truly is beautiful.