This article is about an anthropologist coming to terms with the field and fieldwork. In 1995, I left - was evacuated from - my fieldsite as a volcanic eruption started just as my period of fieldwork drew to a close. These eruptions dramatically and instantaneously altered life on the island of Montserrat, a British colony in the Caribbean. While Montserrat the land, and Montserratians the people, migrated and moved on with their lives, Montserrat and Montserratians were preserved in my mind and in my anthropological writings as from “back home.” Revisiting Montserrat several years into the volcano crisis, I drove through the villages and roads leading to the former capital of the island, where I had worked from. My route to this modern-day Pompeii threw up a stark contrast between absence and presence, the imagined past and the experienced present. This is understood, in part, by examining the literary work of two other travelers through Montserrat, Henry Coleridge and Pete McCarthy, both of whom have a very different experience of the place and the people.