Nestled in her 1960s hillside home perched high above the glittering ocean, Julie Lea awakens every day to your sound of rustling palms, chirping wild birds while the mild bleating of goats that wander a farm that is nearby.

Nestled in her 1960s hillside home perched high above the glittering ocean, Julie Lea awakens every day to your sound of rustling palms, chirping wild birds while the mild bleating of goats that wander a farm that is nearby.

Vibrant flowers rush from the gardens surrounding her house, and when she’s up early sufficient to understand sunrise — which she frequently is today — she watches from her terrace due to the fact West Indian sky goes from black to grey to an eruption of pinks, oranges and yellows.

“There is something magical about life right here,” says the 76-year-old artist and painter, whom along with her writer spouse of 50 years, moved full-time towards the Caribbean area of Bequia in 2005. “We’re 50 stories above the beach below us, there’s endless sky and clouds and activities, we hear the birds within the trees, we’re surrounded by nature and plants. There’s a calmness we just love.”

She’s been dreaming of the life since 1978, when she first saw Bequia through the deck of a sailboat that is steel-hulled she and her now-retired spouse Doug — who have been then staying in Virginia with two sons — had chartered with friends. Enchanted by the rich turquoise of the waters while the lively parade of people, we anchored in the bay,” she says“ I started drawing pictures the minute. “ I was instantly enchanted by this island.”

Though Doug had originally hoped to retire in France and also continued a road that is few through the nation scouting spots, “he quickly underst d the winters are c l there,” Lea — whom says she never questioned that Bequia was the location for them — jokes, adding that he’s happier in Bequia and indulges in French-language movies regarding the island.