If you follow me on twitter or instagram you’ll know that this year I spent Christmas and New Year in Barbados. Barbados is a beautiful island in the Caribbean and nowhere like anywhere I’d been before.
The thing I loved the most about Barbados is the people, everybody is so happy and friendly. Barbados is nothing like England in a sense that it is so chilled, everybody is so relaxed and calm, making it overall the friendliest place I’ve ever been. I guess if I lived on a small island where it is always hot and only a few minutes drive to the beach, I’d be like that too.
I spent most of my days relaxing on their beautiful beaches, it looked like a postcard with such white sand and clear blue sea. I read many books and listened to a lot of 1989 and pretty much forgot about anything to do with normal life.
As expected we did make a few trips in order to get a real feel for the island and how the locals live. Firstly we went to the famous fish market Oistins which is particularly popular on a Friday night. They have an abundance of outside cafes serving the usual fish, chicken, rice and beans, macaroni pie. We had dinner at Pat’s Place which was heaving with people. The food was delicious but there was a lot of it, Bajan’s clearly have big appetites.
The atmosphere at Oistins was incredible, with reggae music and reggae versions of pop music blasting out the speakers from the DJ on the massive stage. As the night progressed everyone was drinking, dancing and really getting into the Bajan culture.
A few days later we’d booked to go on Ted’s tours which I can only describe as the weirdest tour of my life. The tour is lead by a man named Ted from Barbados. He is white but speaks with a Caribbean accent, he has a black twin brother and wears no shoes.
The tour was lots of fun and very informative and we traveled around the whole island with many rum punch stops along the way. If you are ever travelling to Barbados you should definitely fit this tour into your trip, the Ted’s Tours facebook page can be found here.Ted was hilarious and cracked some brilliant jokes along the way as he informed us of all the interesting facts about the island. We saw green monkeys, breathtaking views and even the famous Sandy Lane, where stars like Rihanna and Simon Cowell stay.
The highlight of the holiday for me was the catamaran boat trip that we took on New Years Eve. We went with a company called El Tigre who took us out across the Caribbean sea and stopped at various points to swim with the turtles and exotic fish. This was an unforgettable memory that I will always treasure, swimming with turtles in their natural habitat. I was slightly apprehensive before jumping off the boat because of my slight fear of the ocean. I’m not the strongest swimmer and I wasn’t a fan of not knowing what was swimming beneath me. Fortunately the sea was so clear that ten minutes after snorkeling around looking for turtles, suddenly two beautiful turtles swam underneath me. I was captivated by them. I kept on swimming around and shortly after I appeared to be surrounded by many turtles swimming around and occasionally popping their head above the surface for a breath.
Just like anywhere else you go in Barbados, the drinks never stopped flowing. The boat was also a fantastic tanning opportunity as I could lie on the front of the boat enjoying the breeze without getting to hot. Now I’m sat in my woolly jumper freezing cold in my bed it’s mad to think that just last week I was swimming in the middle of the ocean with thousands of exotic fish.
After spending the day sunbathing on the front of the Catamaran we then went back to the hotel for New Years Eve celebrations.
On reflection Barbados was like a different world. When we visited Bridgetown (the capital) it was quite run down. When just driving down the street there would be a tiny house made of wood right next to a beautiful house that would resemble a mansion. It was quite hard to get your head around the difference in people and lifestyles.
The architecture was so interesting, the houses were either painted vibrantly with colour or they quite literally looked like they were about to fall down.
Even as we were driving from the airport to our hotel, Barbados felt like a different world compared to Europe, America or anywhere I’d recognise. I didn’t know a lot about the country before I went but it really intrigued me, it was such a different lifestyle but somewhere I’ll definitely be visiting again.
I absolutely loved being away this December because I loathe the cold, so instead of freezing to death I had the perfect holiday relaxing and learning about the Barbados culture. However as much as I loved being away, it didn’t really feel like Christmas. As a huge Christmas enthusiast, I feel that being at home for Christmas is what makes it really special. If I didn’t have the restraint of only being able to go away during school holidays I think I’d love to go a few days after Christmas. Then there would be something to look forward to when Christmas is over and I wouldn’t feel the Christmas blues so much.