53 Speed Bumps

speed bumps

It is 45km (28 miles) from the airport in Grenada to the remote and beautiful Petite Anse hotel.

How long would you figure it would take to drive there on the main road around the Caribbean side of this island of 100,000 people?

Perhaps you’d figure there is a highway, so it might take about 45 minutes, as it would do for a similar distance from the airport to the Reef Resort at the far tip of a similarly sized island, Grand Cayman.

No, in Grenada it takes about one and a half hours.

They even have speed bumps on the main road.

In remarking on the speed bumps, the owner of Petite Anse noted to me that there are 53 speed bumps between the hotel and the airport. Yes, he has counted them.

I’ve travelled a lot around the Caribbean having lived there 27 years, but I’ve never come across an island with a population this large (100,000 is not small for a Caribbean island) with such a feeling of slow pace and my initial perception of a choice to not allow unbalanced development.

Grenada is consciously slow paced. I mean, they even put speed bumps on the main road to keep the pace low.

I asked my friend Marla Dukharan, far more widely travelled than me in the Eastern Caribbean and the region’s leading economist, for her take:

“Grenada has the most peaceful and community-loving people. How else does a country with the highest youth unemployment rate have very low crime? Family. Culture.”

Now there is a way for an Economist to link two stats together to illustrate a feel for a place.

Now, a recurring theme around my thoughts on leadership on the many hundreds of posts on this site is the idea of awareness. After all, “awareness is the greatest agent for change”, as Suki Laniado Smith taught me as my mentor many years ago.

In the breakneck pace of the world of business, how often do we stop to bring awareness to ourselves of our choices and how we then act.

Grenada, on this first impression, is an island that has chosen to focus on maintaining that feeling of family and culture over unbridled material gains through rapacious economic growth.

No opinion from me on right or wrong in choices, simply observing choices made.

Oh, and I love this place already.

Also published on Medium.

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