Charli Williams first stumbled on this slice of paradise ten years ago whilst travelling through the Caribbean with her husband. After taking a leap of faith to relocate from Australia with two little ones in tow, this soon-to-be tribe of six (baby number 4 is on the way!) are living a truly unique ocean-loving life. We jumped at the chance to speak to Charli about her boys’ sense of wonder and curiosity for the natural world, and their adventure-filled days spent swimming, diving and island hopping in this island utopia.
Tell us who’s in your family?
In our growing family we have Jamie, myself and our three boys Kalarney, Malachy and Faolan. And we are super excited to be welcoming our first little girl to the mix in February!
Where in the Caribbean do you call home and what led to your relocation from Australia?
We are based in the Turks & Caicos Islands, southeast of the Bahamas. We first wandered upon this little piece of paradise almost 10 years ago when we were traveling with mates and instantly felt drawn to it. Both Jamie and I have always had a love for traveling and exploring, especially as we both grew up in a small country town.
We believe that life is not meant to be spent all in one place, so once we started having kids it seemed like the perfect time to set off on a family adventure and explore the world. Not only are we creating unforgettable memories along the way, meeting new people and making friends with some amazing people, but we are constantly learning new things. It’s been 5 years since we first left Australia and we haven’t looked back!
What’s something that few other people know about your island home?
Aside from being home to beautiful turquoise waters (Grace Bay Beach has even been selected as the world’s best beach by Trip Advisor), the island is home to lots of adorable puppies called Potcakes.
The combination of paradise and puppies is just magic! I’m told they get their name from what the locals used to feed them; peas and rice that was left congealed at the bottom of the pot was scraped off and fed to them. Hence Potcakes. There are some great organizations on island that are run completely by volunteers aiming to get these puppies off the streets by finding good homes, locally and abroad. Everyday the puppies need to be walked or socialized with people to get them ready for adoption so you are able to take them for a few hours and play with them on the beach. The boys absolutely love this, especially Kalarney who asks if we can keep them on the regular!
Describe a dream day in the life of your three boys…
Our boys are all early risers and love being outside in nature. For them, a dream day on the island is to wake up early, head straight to the beach and watch the sunrise as they race each other along the sand to their favourite swimming spot. They would swim and dive for hours exploring the reef, before filling their pockets with an array of beach treasures - conch shells are their favorite find!
Their afternoon would be spent island hopping with friends on one of the many local tour boats. More often than not, the local friendly dolphin ‘JoJo’ swims by the boat for a visit, much to the excitement of the boys. While hoping on and off the different islands, whether it be exploring the caves at Middle Caicos or watching the Rock Iguanas on Little Water Cay, as long at the boys are free to be outside exploring nature’s playground, they are happy.
With the warm climate, you and your boys love creating your own super smoothies – can you share their favourite recipe?
Smoothies and smoothie bowls are an everyday staple in our house, the boys love choosing the ingredients and we try to make a different color of the rainbow every day! Our go-to-smoothie is green, full of goodness and the boys call it “The Super Hulk.” Mix banana, mango, pineapple, kale, coconut milk, a scoop of green superfood powder, moringa powder and a drizzle of raw honey. A good tip: we freeze the fruit ahead of time, it makes the smoothie thicker and is great for overloading a mason jar or bowl and topping with crunchy granola and fresh berries!
What do you hope your boys take away from their unique childhood?
We hope that by seeing us take a risk, leaving all that we know behind in Australia and heading off in search of new adventures, that they will have the confidence to pursue their own dreams and make the most of every opportunity that comes their way, in spite of whatever challenges they may face.
We hope they never lose their sense of wonder and curiosity for the world, that they continue to seek out and appreciate the magic and wonder in the natural world with the same enthusiasm as they do today.
And lastly, we hope that by having a childhood where they are fortunate to able to travel and grow up immersed in different cultures and traditions, meeting and making connections with people from all different walks of life, that they grow into well rounded individuals.