My Time in the Caribbean: Barbados

Travel

This is the final part of my mini blog series about my Caribbean adventures. If you’ve read my other ones- thank you! Il leave my other links down below!

Barbados was the last new island we visited before we headed back to Montserrat for our final couple of weeks. I didn’t know a lot about it, my only point of comparison is that episode of friends ‘ The One in Barbados’ in Series 9, where they all go for Ross’ presentation..considering what I was doing could’ve have been any different to that, not sure that’s a good point of reference to be honest. Anyway I was so excited, in my head it was the classic postcard island!

When we arrived I could immediately feel the difference in the heat, out of all the islands we went to, Barbados was closest to the equator and you could tell! The immense humidity couldn’t be escaped, nevertheless I was still immensely enjoying being in the sunshine.When we arrived at our accommodation, our room wasn’t ready yet, so we dropped our bags and headed down to the beach, literally only 2 minutes away from where we were staying. Good start. We had read about many lovely beaches in Barbados and the one closest to us was no different. Dover Beach was insane! I’ve never seen a beach like, the water was turquoise and the sand was white and on top of that you could see sea turtles popping up to breath ever so close to the shore! (check out my blogpost all about turtles!). I was feeling very excited to be staying in such a beautiful place.

The location where we were staying turned out to be a very cruise orientated location so the average age of a tourist was +50, not ideal when you are looking to meet people your own age but nevertheless we ended up at this beach bar on our first day, and met the owner Kay. She is born and breed Bajan and we immediately hit it off. Her sense of humour was so sharp and blunt it completely got rid of any awkwardness you get when you first meet someone. Over our time she become a really good friend, and she helped us experience Barbados to it’s full potential from a local’s point of view.

We had 18 nights in Barbados and we really wanted to make the most it. We had saved a lot of money from Martinique as we didn’t do many touristy things, so we knew we had the funds to explore Barbados fully. Our first week or so, we spent researching, chilling at the beaches and having drinks at Kay’s beach bar. We had asked Kay about what she recommends we do that is the best value for money! She suggested the ‘Animal Flower Cave’ at the top of the island. There is another cave, some say more famous, on the island called ‘Harrison’s Cave’ but this one didn’t appeal to us as much, so we went with our instinct and booked the ‘Animal Flower Cave’.

We thought the best way to do it would be to hire a car and drive there, that way you see the whole East Coast (we were staying on the South West) and it turned out to be cheaper than doing it as part of a tour. The drive was…stressful. Pot holes everywhere, unknown roads and way of direction and myself who hasn’t driven in a good few years. But we made the most of it and still had a good journey! It was amazing seeing the East Coast, you really get a different view of the island. Finding the Cave was pretty easy, and 3 hours later we had arrived. We didn’t really know what to expect but any expectations I did have, it blew them out of the water. It was stunning! The rock formations and beautiful view of the ocean out from the cave was honestly amazing. They were loads of rock pools with sea anemones everywhere. Sometimes you are allowed to swim in the biggest one but the day we were there the swell was too bad so we couldn’t..so gutted. It was still an amazing day and I’m so glad we went.

Another must do of Kay’s was Oistins Fish Fry. This is a Friday night Fish Barbecue essentially with entertainment and souvenir stalls. I am so glad we got to go with Kay! As a tourist I feel you would be lost with how it worked and it was so so busy I reckon a lot of people give up. But Kay need exactly was to do, she got us sat down really quick, beers on the way and even helped us choose the best fish they had to offer. I got the swordfish and Peter (my boyfriend) got barracuda. It was cooked to perfection. I’ve never had it before so I have no clue how it is supposed to be cooked but my word it was delicious. Quite a meaty fish but still so flaky and moist with tonnes of flavour. Served with potatoes and red beans it was the perfect Bajan meal. After eating we went exploring the rest of the market, grabbed a few beers and watched some of the entertainment. Very dance orientated with music impersonators aswell. It was such a fun night and I’m glad we got a chance to experience it, true Bajan style. I definitely recommend if you are staying close to Oistins in Barbados to check it out, the fish alone is worth it!

On our chill days (which were 80% of the days) we spent at beaches. As I said Dover Beach was the one closest to us which was lovely but also it was incredibly busy! As it was surrounded by massive hotel complexes, people staying their could step out of their hotel room straight onto the beach. So we were determined to find our own little paradise where there were far less people and that’s exactly what we did. About 10 minutes down the road from Dover Beach was Worthing Beach. It was so tucked away it doesn’t surprise me people didn’t bother to find it when the other beach was so much more convenient. For us it was so worth it!

Our first time there is was basically deserted, a few people right at the start of the beach but as we wondered down there were less and less to the point where we had, what felt like, our own private beach. It was just what we wanted. The water had a slight swell so not great for snorkelling but that was only where we were. Paradise. This was the beach were I saw my turtles- read about my experience on the link above! It immediately become our new go to beach and we didn’t go back to Dover! For me, it was what you imagine a desert island beach to look like as child, bright blue water, white sand, palm trees and turtles! Can you imagine anything better!

That is what we did in Barbados in a nutshell, if you can call that a nutshell! If you made it this far- thank you for reading!

Please give it a like or a comment!

Have you been to Barbados? Where did you stay? What did you do? I’d love to know!

My time in the Caribbean: Martinique

My time in the Caribbean : Montserrat

My packing extras: make the most of your trip!

Travel

I have always loved the idea of travelling to new places even from when I was really little, as soon as I was old enough to head off into the world I did! My first major trip without my folks being my month away interailing when I was 18. Since then I’ve done a few different trips and from each trip I’ve learnt different packing tips and tricks that have helped me make the most of my experience! Here is a little insight to what I ALWAYS take with me whenever I go somewhere.

 

Write it down!

I’ll start with one of the most obvious things, that I know a lot of people have already but I’ll still give it a mention: a travel journal! I first got mine years ago, it’s been all around Europe with me, to Canada and now to the Caribbean. I’m so happy I invested in one years ago as it’s really helped me document my experiences and how exactly I was feeling at the time. When I’m away I don’t write in it everyday, for me the best way is to write when you’ve had a particular special day, or you’ve done something new, met new people or even if you’ve had a terrible day, writing about it might help you get it out your mind and start fresh. You might feel silly at first (I know I did!) because writing what you’re feeling can sometimes be cringy and embarrassing but really you’re the only person that is going to see it so really it doesn’t matter. I was having a little glance back at mine and I’m so happy I kept it up on my trips because it bought back so many memories, stuff I’d forgotten and I even had a little chuckle to myself (I’m pretty lame sometimes). You won’t regret it!

Another quick reason why having a journal is great is to document your finances, I know this sounds suuuuper boring, but I think it’s essential especially if you’re on an extended trip. When you’ve got no money coming in, the best way to keep on top of it is just to write down what you spend everyday. I even set myself a rough budget for each week/month (miss cool over here) just to stay on track- easy peasy!

Home comforts

You can take the girl out of Yorkshire…

When I’m travelling, it doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, at some point I’m going to get a little homesick. It just happens, so when I’m ever feeling super down and maybe even lonely I find home comforts are such an important thing for helping me get over this little drought. One of the main things that reminds me of being at home in York is good ol’ Yorkshire tea. So I always pack plenty of teabags with me when I go somewhere, that way if you’re feeling a bit empty and low all you’ve gotta do is put the kettle on!

Keep moving!

For me travel is just a big old holiday and what does everyone do when they’re on holiday… Indulge. Calories is not a word when you’re on holiday right! You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want without that guilt!! Which for a 2 week trip is perfect, you can really let yourself go and enjoy going out but when you’re on a longer trip say 6 months, if you indulged like you do on a little trip on a big scale, you’re going to be packing on the pounds which is not goooood. I love fitness when I’m home so I always travel with resistance bands. I’m a massive fan of home workouts and there is such a variety out there that it’s so easy to find one that suits you, adding resistance bands just adds more of a challenge. I don’t stick to any particular workout schedule when I’m away, I just try to take advantage of the environment I’m in and do little workouts when I can. This way when I get back to the UK I’m not starting from square one with my fitness game.

Take your workout to the beach!

Stay clean!

The last one isn’t the most exciting but in definitely very practical! Depending on where you’re staying when you’re away you don’t necessarily always know what you’re washing situation is going to be. Air B&B’s don’t always specify and if they do sometimes it isn’t what you expected, so just to make sure you’re not caught off guard without a way off being able to wash your clothes I always a pack a little tube of travel wash. It’s basically a washing gel you can use hand washing or with machines. The one I got cost me £1.50 from my local hardware store. If you can’t get that, even packing actual washing powder is fine, there’s no major expense I always just think it’s better to be safe (and clean!) than being sorry (and smelly!).

 

 

Thanks for reading and happy travelling!

6 months on the West Coast

Travel

For me, Canada is one of those places where everyone should visit at least once. So when I had the opportunity to go (again) and stay for 6 months working as an Au pair on Vancouver Island- I had to do it! It all happened pretty fast, I never thought I’d do anything so adventurous all on my own but with nothing tying me down I thought it would be an amazing thing to do.

I was away from December 2015-June 2016, I was living in Victoria which is the biggest city on Vancouver Island. I had been once before 5 years ago, when my family and I decided to do a road trip from Calgary all the way through the rockies up to Jasper, down through Whistler. Then catching the ferry from Vancouver over to the Island to stay with my Auntie and Uncle who live in Nanaimo. That was such a great trip- one of my favourite family holidays too this date. But I was a lot younger then, so although even then I knew Canada would be a place I wanted to go back too, I didn’t appreciate it fully. Victoria was such an amazing place for me to live, I was so lucky with my location. It felt like the ‘big city’ but it had this ere of Britishness which made me feel so at home.

Being an Au pair was one of the most inspiring things, I got to look after a 4 and 2 year old. Baring in mind I was only 19 (now 20) it was such a big responsibility to take care of these children, I’ve always loved kids though so it never really felt like work. I got to re-live my childhood which these kids, so even though parts of the job were torturous (potty training and mornings to name a few) the best bits were when we would play ‘tag’, or pop bubbles or have a water fight- things everyone wishes they were never too old to do.

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Woody’s Lagoon

The job aside, during my free time I loved to explore the area around me. I always say to people that Canada is the land of hidden treasures, as sometimes I feel its not about seeing the most well known landmarks or places, it’s about discovering places that can just be for you. My host family were always exploring and taking the kids too new places so I was so grateful I got to tag along for the ride. There are so many things I’d love to share about my trip, definitely way too many for one blog post, so heres just a few photos!

Thanks so much for reading! x

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Nanaimo Bay

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Goldstream National Park