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People of Key West Florida

Creative writing provided by Lachlan Wittick, an Australian exchange student attending the University of Florida.

Key West

Amazing SunsetsSpectators cry out in admiration as the sun melts into the Atlantic.

Jamaican street performers jump through hoops, acrobats blow through conk shells while fat dogs wearing flower hats collect loose change.  Every character forms a collection of oddities that makes the distinction between bohemian locals and satisfied tourists.
Key West RestaurantsThe people of Key West are half the attraction.  Locals have a glint in their eye that says they have all the time in the world. People linger, not walking to a specific place, but rather an experience they will find along the way.

Retirees smile, trying to enjoy a more subdued version of their youth. Their children have only just started the life of work and mortgages; a world they have just departed.

Key WestKey style homes exhibit green, pink and orange pastel colors that jar the eye. Tacky, overused fairy lights cover the trees outside restaurants reflecting bright lights off diner’s faces. Some appear to have forgotten that the swaying palm trees and temperate weather of the Keys speak for themselves.

Men puff away in Cigar Clubs talking proudly about sexual encounters with women twice their looks. Elements of Cuban culture flow out of the cigars they smoke and the shirts clinging to their chests.
Key West Attractions Cuba is a nation at the back of everybody’s mind, bobbing at the bottom of every boat’s GPS screen. The famous Key West marker even mentions that it’s only ’90 miles to Cuba’. Irony is, I doubt Cuba has ever considered creating a marker measuring the opposite direction.

While Key West is so close to a political enemy of the US, it’s residents are far away from the institutions in Washington D.C that help create such political differences.
Sunrise PicturesPeople’s lives simply bob up and down like the beat of a reggae song. Not going anywhere, not doing anything. Just riding the waves that push up along the coast, while the sunsets over the Atlantic.

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Great snap shot of Key West. I like to think about the people and lifestyle there versus what I saw when I lived in Alaska – it definitely brings home just how amazingly different one part of the States can be from another!

Terry Lynn says:

Had to say “People’s lives simply bob up and down like the beat of a reggae song. Not going anywhere, not doing anything. Just riding the waves that push up along the coast, while the sunsets over the Atlantic.” is so true a description of a key West local! Thanks for your colorful and accurate description. i live in Fort Myers and take the Key West Express down to Key West as often as i have the opportunity. I was fortunate enough to live down there for a short time. Key West is a whole different world. ONE HUMAN FAMILY indeed!

Key West says:

A great article on people in Key West. I think the people in Key West and the diversity found there makes it an interesting place. It is very rare to visit a place that contains millionaires and low income people that are all living on the same street and location. I agree that the locals have a look to them that says they have all the time in the world, very laid back atmosphere.

Jessica says:

Hey Lachlan! Love your post about Key West! I think it’s especially great how you emphazied the importance of the people in Key West and how much they contribute to the island’s amazing culture, both natives and tourists. The reason we love to travel so much is because of the amazing people we encounter along the way and everything we learn from them! Check out CultureZest.org, it’s a great site where you can connect with people for great food and great conversation! I look forward to reading more great stories from you!

Thanks Jessica. I agree, one of the best things about travel can be the people you see along the way. Thanks for the link, I’ll have a look 🙂

From Lachy

Lemai says:

Hey Lachy,
Your article is really funny. I’ve been to Key West, Florida, on my way to the Bahamas. Love the area. You should check out Ernest Hemmingway’s house if you get a chance. Please keep sharing your travels with us. Warm hugs. From your big sis Lemai

Lemai! So glad you could check the post out. I certainly did have some funny experiences with some of the locals. They were tripping. Wouldn’t mind to have a house like Hemmingway’s either 🙂

Have to agree with Glen here. Reading through this reminded me of the relaxed mindset of the Caribbean people 🙂

Lachlan Wittick says:

Yes, you’re right. It’s a reminder of how far the states reaches in it’s overall land mass…from the border with Canada all the way down to the Caribbean.

Glen says:

Great post about Key West. It really is more like the Caribbean than anywhere else in the US

Jason says:

We plan to go back and visit the more northern keys. They are cheaper and much less developed. As we drove down the highway, I saw people standing 100 yards offshore. Can’t wait to do that!

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