THE VOICES OF CAYMAN’S ENDLESS SUMMER
Introducing… Michael Joseph
In this series of interviews called “The Voices of Cayman’s Endless Summer,” we are speaking to well-known faces of the Cayman community about their favourite summer memories.
We welcomed Michael Joseph, Sales Associate at RE/MAX Cayman Islands, to our Beach House. We got the lowdown on what drives him and his perfect idea of happiness (let’s just say it involves the ocean!) Read on to hear more about what inspires him.
Cayman has always been home for Mike – his parents came to the island in the ‘60s and he was raised here. But having the chance to travel the world has actually made him more appreciative of his home country. He explained: “I had the opportunity to travel a lot and everywhere I go in the world I ask myself the same questions: ‘How does this place compare to Cayman?’ ‘Could I live here?’ ‘And how would I compare the lifestyle, social and political harmony as well as quality of life to that of Cayman?’ It is clean, wealthy, all the amenities are here and I love that in my line of business, I am almost acting like an ambassador to the island and represent Cayman.”
Mike embarked on his real estate career with RE/MAX in 2003. Speaking to him, you can tell that he is very fond of, proud and passionate about Cayman. He said: “In my industry, I meet a lot of people and I like to take them out on my boat to help entice them that this is really a sensible decision for them to live here. I am very passionate about Cayman.”
When asked what his fondest memory of a summer’s day in Cayman, he remembers his childhood vividly. He said: “As a child, it would be catching fish in the rock pools with my brother along South Church Street near Grand Old House and Smith Cove. We didn’t have computers – I don’t even think we had air conditioning back in those days. But we would go catch rock pool fish, go snorkeling and exploring with my brother and a couple of our friends. Growing up here was glorious and you only appreciate it when you get older how good we had it. Reminiscing and looking back it was a particularly unique place and I was very lucky to have grown up here. It was healthy, clean fun and a lot of it comes from the parenting, but also the environment is very special. I have very fond memories.”
As an adult, his love for the ocean is even stronger. He elaborated: “More recently, some of my fondest summer memories are around free diving and spear fishing, which I am really into. I spend a lot of my weekends doing this with my friends. I am quite passionate about it – it is healthy, you are out in the elements and I am a Fishery Officer as well so I am very cognizant of the environment. We are not going out there and shooting randomly, we are shooting fish that we know are in abundance and we know that we are going to eat them – all the way down to the fish tea so we are not wasting any of the fish at all.”
When asked about his current state of mind, he admitted that the last year has been a very busy time for him. He commented: “The real estate market has turned around big time and the recession is going that much further in the distance. But it is good that it is going in this direction slowly because it has to be methodical. We can’t have any sharp spikes or any abrupt changes. But overnight tourism has improved tremendously. This last summer in fact has been the busiest summer in at least five or six years. I would even go as far as saying it was the busiest summer since the height of the market in 2006-07. It was absolutely as busy as it could be this year. There is a rise in local as well as international buyers and sellers so there are a lot of new people coming to the island. Saying this, I am very efficient and focused. When I work, I work very hard but when I have my downtime I try to disconnect as much as possible.”
When he does have time to disconnect, his greatest extravagance is travelling. He said: “I go to Spain six times a year, so every two months to see my son. I like to indulge in experiences rather than physical things. But a couple of years ago I bought a new car, I fixed up my boat and I am currently fixing up my house. These are my biggest assets and it is important for me to look after them and maintain them.”
When asked who was the greatest love of his life, he mentioned his son. Mike gushed: “He is almost three. Followed shortly thereafter by my truly extraordinary and amazing parents and family. I am blessed. Let me not forget my ‘first-born son,’ which is my sausage dog – Pablo El Guapo. I cherish him probably too much. I treasure Mother Ocean but not as much as my family!”
When asked what his idea of perfect happiness is, it is no surprise that it involves family, friends and the sea. He said: “I love the ocean and going out on the boat and fishing. The place that I love the best in the whole world is Little Cayman. Being with close friends and family there for a weeklong break is my version of happiness. Little Cayman offers an escape from all the hustle and bustle of Grand Cayman. For a lot of people, Grand Cayman is quiet but for me it is hustle and bustle. There I get to disconnect.
“It is wonderful – you get to read by moonlight because there is no light pollution. You can turn off your phone and disconnect, you can run around barefoot and lie in a hammock. There is a clean ocean and an abundance of life. There are beaches that haven’t been trampled by hoards of cruise ship passengers. There are places in Grand Cayman that offer that as well, for example the East End. So there are opportunities to find that even in Grand Cayman. There are some special spots that the more local you are the more likely you are to know them.”
Michael In A Nutshell:
Personal motto: “Treat absolutely everybody the same”
Brand of sunscreen: Long-sleeve rash guard, straw hat and/or Kids 50 block
Sunset drink: Ice cold Corona or fresh coconut water (with a touch of rum and a squeeze of lime)
Summer scent: Fresh rain
Brand of sunglasses: Maui Jim (polarised and UV)
Summer book: Tiny Buddah by Lori Deschene
Song of the season: Bob Marley’s ” The Sun is Shining”
Flips flops or bare feet: Bare feet of course!