Barbados. Paradise, a small island with many faces in the middle of a turquoise, ocean. I’m in the Caribbean. The reason why I am invited by this island is the Crop Over Festival. During our days on this paradise island we mainly deepen ourselves in this festival and all the activities surrounding it. More on that later. In spite of this, as I still am Laura, write my own plan and we’ll explore the island together. I need to get to know this interesting island.
Our hotel is located on the west coast of Barbados, near the capital city of Bridgetown, and with three steps I find myself on a perfect white beach. Nipping a cocktail, talking continuously with the beautiful and inspiring people that I’ve met and get to know here like Serena, Cintha and Angelika , I walk along the coast with my feet in the clear blue water. I feel my head nearly burst of inspiration and grab the hand of my boyfriend. I want to make plans together, get more out of my company and my creativity, be more beautiful and more meaning for this world. Show more. Show the world what I can do. I feel good here. Barbados is a sun and beach destination and this side of the coast is a never-ever-ending beach. You can spend hours along the coast driving and seeing nothing more than blue water and white sand, shimmering in the sunlight continuously. A heavenly feeling, instant happiness. A catamaran cruise along the coast shows another side of the turquoise water. A dive from the boat in the infinite sea let me feel free. I start screaming. “Dive into the deep!”. “Take that leap of faith. Follow your dreams. I am not saying it is going to be easy, I am saying it is going to be worth it.”. The world beneath sea leven is gorgeous. Dead silence. New life to be explored. Unknown life. A turtle swims little circles in front of me. “Go on”, he seems to say. “Feel free, show yourself, it’s OK”.
I love the island life. It’s less rushed, more relaxed, more freely. The Bajans are very welcoming, interested and cheerful. They spontaneously start chatting with you, give compliments all over or they simply give you a feeling of happiness by the ever-present smile on their face. A safari tour takes me to another side of the island. First, we drive around in the inhabited world. See infinite white beaches and the villas of Oprah Winfrey and Rihanna. Suddenly we store off, inland. With screeching tires and rock hard Soca music we drive along sugar cane plantations, wooden cottages. Suddenly the island ends. I get off the car. It seems like I am on the end of the world. The contrast between East and West still amazes me. Such a small, paradise island in the middle of the ocean, constantly changing in color. It has multiple faces. The North and East of the island is pristine. Mountainous, wild, with sharp edges. The rocky plains of Northern Barbados end dramatically in the dancing Atlantic Atlantic Ocean, while the wind blows my hair in my eyes.
Yes, Barbados has beautiful blue seas with azure and turquoise shades that warm me. White beaches, a palm tree here and there. A peaceful, paradisiacal side and a rugged, mountainous side. Beautiful, open, enthusiastic Bajans and a great love for their own country. Festive evenings, brightly coloured wooden houses and music everywhere. And rum punch, Banks beer and a lot of fun while enjoying an amazing sunset. Great food, fresh fish, exotic fruit along the side of the road and many Indian influences – even the local fast food chain sells tasty roti. There are particularly nice restaurants like Just Grillin’ and the Surfers Café, highlights which we discovered by accident. Barbados is a very prosperous country with little poverty, no illiteracy, healthy old aging, no conflicts. But the abandoned buildings are quite shocking. Wherever I look I see abandoned buildings, dilapidated hotels, deflated swimming pools, half collapsed houses…right behind the beautiful beaches. The Government is working on a plan to reduce this and change these buildings into new houses. I am enamored of old, dilapidated buildings with broken windows, but it does not belong to the image I had of Barbados. Yet it gives a ‘rough’ feel, something that Barbados should not get rid of. It gives the island something powerful. Something that is real. Nonetheless, Barbados offers a lot of beauty and paradise and the sincerity of the locals hit me.
I have a feeling that there is more. Unfortunately, I have explored too little of the island to be able to say that I’ve become in love with Barbados, but I am convinced that that is possible. Time for a round of island hopping in the Caribbean. In my mind, I poor myself a rum punch. If you just listen to this song while viewing the photos, you get the Caribbean feeling I’ve dragged home.
En we namen de GoPro mee….Binnenkort meer!