Ryan and Zeenath on the deck of Casa Rosaline on their first Christmas trip as a couple
A match made in paradise...with a little help from Tinder
Ryan's first introduction to the island of Bequia was via his uncle James Carville who built the first expat house in Friendship Bay in 1968. As a child he was fascinated by the tales of a palm lined 7 mile piece of land in the farthest reaches of the Caribbean Sea. It was then that he decided one day, he would travel to this enchanted island.
Zeenath came upon the island after an exhausting search for a meeting point for her and her two best friends between San Francisco and Zurich. The only criteria they had was to find an island which had no known resorts. A true 'deserted' island. The second she discovered the name "Bequia", she was instantly drawn to it. There was some sort of magic in the name.
Christmas 2013 Zeenath and Ryan both packed separately and set off on a trip that would change their lives forever. Zeenath first stayed at Casa Rosaline on Lower Bay. The only beach front property on the island. It was absolute paradise. Ryan finally reached the home he had been imaging his entire life. It was almost like a dream. The house tucked away in the jungle towering above the sea. He could feel the stories coming to life around him.
That Christmas was magical. New Years (or Old Years as it's called on island) was better than any either of them spent in New York City, London, San Francisco or Zurich. Every day that went by during that month long trip solidified their future individual returns. And believe it or not, during that entire month on the 7 mile long island, their paths never crossed.
For the following 2 years both Zeenath and Ryan returned to the island at the exact same time and never met. They cultivated new friendships and even a romance here and there, but never did they even see the other on a beach. In a restaurant. Or around the harbor. If it was left to them, their paths may not ever cross.
The trip of 2014 fate would not leave their meeting up to chance any longer. Christmas and New Years came and went. It seemed like it was just another amazing trip to the island they both had become so fond of with people they had come to love. It was a lazy Tuesday when Ryan sat under a palm on Lower Bay which he sat under on most days (only 100 meters from Zeenath) and decided to see if technology could help him meet any new islanders. He opened Tinder. Yes, Tinder. Ryan knew there wouldn't be the thousands of people in he radius like he was used to in New York, but he thought there had to be at least a few. In fact there was only one, Zeenath. He was imminently drawn to her eyes. They felt like he had seem them before, but he couldn't place where. Ryan swiped right. And it wasn't more than a day later when his phone buzzed. He had a new match.
Of all the beaches, in the entire world, they found each other on Lower Bay with a little help from technology. They couldn't believe the chances. It was a whirl wind romance. They finally met on January 3rd 2015, and Ryan was flying back to New York on the 6th. Only 3 days. It felt cruel. They stayed in touch for the next few weeks and Ryan decided he had to she her again. So he planned a trip to Big Sur and invited Zeenath to join him. It was then they both knew they had found their life partner. Within 3 months Ryan traded in a New York life for a San Francisco one and their life together began.
The years went by and life was better with each other in it. In 2017 they married at The Old Fort in Mt Pleasant on Bequia. The wedding couldn't have been more perfect. Surrounded by family and friends from Bequia and the globe, it was a fairly tale.
Owning a home on the island was never a question given how integral the strip of land had become in their lives. They question was just when and where. After months of searching Zeenath came across a cute half finished property named Calabash. It required a lot of work, but had a view they had never seen before in all the year they had explored the island. It felt like they found their property.
Oddly enough they property was owned by a very close friend of theirs who wasn't even that interested in selling, but with after a few conversations they closed on the property in September 2018. In January of 2019 work began to create Calabash Villa as you see it today.