"I arrived to Barbados, ready to meet up with my UK friends already there. I have had very interesting taxi experiences, as you will later read, and this guy contributed to one of them! He advised me to not smoke any marijuana because of the laws (and the laws are very strict, more strict than Boston and NYC). I found that hilarious. "It pollutes the youth".
Descending onto land, I couldn't believe I was finally touching down on another Caribbean country other than my own; a country that produced one of my favorite women in the music industry. There was already too much to be excited about, especially because I came specifically to partake in the Crop Over festivities. However, I totally was not expecting ZERO VIOLENCE, for the Barbados crime rate to be as low as it is! You might be thinking, "this is the first thing she has to say about this entire trip?" YES! THIS IS WHAT AMAZES ME. I have never been in a country, in my entire life, where I felt as safe as I did in Barbados. In my taxi ride to the hotel after arriving at the airport, the taxi driver was giving me a lecture on ganja, as previously stated. I have no idea why lol, but he was trying his best to explain to me why ganja is bad for you and why Bajans look down upon it. He said it "corrupted the yutes". You could hardly find ganja there because it hardly grows there, if it does. Hence why they're not too fond of Jamaicans and other peoples that traffic the drug onto the island. But the safe environment was felt. I even met Jamaicans there that were shocked that they could walk down certain streets with their gadgets in their hands, a Haitian comrade said the same. It's just not something we're used to!
My friends and I stayed at Little Arches, a very pleasant hotel by Miami Beach. One of the nights where it wasn't meant for us to go out, we decided to lay down on the beach and watch the stars. My girl Chrystian, on the trip with me from Boston, started to teach me and my comrade about The Seven Sister Stars. Immediately after this, we ended up seeing it as the three of us were laying down, gazing up. It was so cool to us. We were getting a unique history lesson shown right before our eyes. Chrys then went, "I wish I can see a shooting star." Actually, let me just stop here and share the actual post I made on Facebook shortly after this happened so you can get THE REAL DEAL PLAYA.
"Yoooooooo. This has been probably one of the best trips of my life. Me, Chrystian, and my boy were too tired to go out last night but we were trying to fight it by doing and researching certain things to motivate ourselves to leave, but we ended up just relaxing. So instead we decided to make the best out of the beach our hotel was on. So we go on the beach and we all sit down and start looking at the stars and the heavy waves, embracing everything. Literally reckoning that we can't even take a picture or video of this because the moment was meant to savor and take in. Real food for the soul. So I ask Chrys to tell us stories about stars because I'm feeling this amazing, powerful, intimidating view of the Atlantic Ocean. And we're in a private area so it's literally just us and the world. She starts telling us about the Seven Sister Stars. Shockingly, we see the triangle as we're just staring, both of us did. We're amazed. Then Chrys goes "I wish we could see a shooting star." So because we were lifted, we laid back down and started staring at the stars again. Low and behold we see a shooting star! I immediately freak the fk out. Chrys reminds us that we need to make a wish. I think i made the best wish ever. Then I told Chrys to wish for a mermaid because clearly the girl is speaking magic and she REFUSED. She knew! What a beautiful, unforgettable night though. Will never forget this trip. This is something me and Chrys saw and shared for a reason that we will remember forever. It honestly topped any other experience I had in Barbados."
From an old blog post!
"I don't know if it was due to it being Crop Over season, or if this is how Barbados usually is, but I've never felt such sweet, rhythmic vibes than theirs. The low crime rate definitely contributed to this. Even though it was Soca season, I heard Reggae, Hip-Hop, and Soca equally. The social class system wasn't as obviously bad as it looks in other countries. Everything was just right to me. I was feeling everything, everywhere, everyone. We even had a cool taxi driver that showed us all around Barbados, including the cool spots that aren't really advertised on the media. To the left is me at the most southern tip of Barbados.
The Submarine Experience
This was not in the plan but as they say, "No matter how much you plan, God will always be the best of all planners!" Had someone told me Chrys and I would be on a submarine adventure, I probably would've been more excited for that than Crop Over itself. How do I describe the experience? I went underwater, almost 200 feet! We took the famous Atlantis Submarine down under, where they showed us different type of sea life and a cool ass sunken ship. The experience was surreal and is still surreal, because the fact that I was underwater alive for over an hour still hasn't hit me. I only saw it in movies and for some reason, I never once thought I'd have the opportunity to go in a submarine underwater. I didn't even have it on my bucket list as yet! Blessings.
I also got plenty of tours around the island with taxi drivers and family members of friends. I got to see the country side, the ghetto side and the tourist side. I even got to see where Rihanna comes from! This island is such a sweet little island filled with love, and the people are undoubtedly what makes the island as sweet as it is.
I visited tons of beaches, including Dover and Brown. Of course it's the Caribbean where there's beautiful water and landscapes everywhere, but I find it more common in Barbados then everywhere else I've been to always go to the beach! It's interesting and sensible at the same damn time lol. From restaurants to water sports to simply meeting cool people, the beach is the IT place. Dover was extremely popping everytime I went, including where I went to surf for the first time! By the way, check out Barry's Surfing School if you're ever in the area! I surfed for the first time ever! Another knockdown on the bucket list baby."
"I've always been a picky eater, and it took me less time than I thought to warm up to the Bajan food. I bucked up into the right places. Oistins is a popular food centre (spelled this way because I'm in UK mode like most of he Caribbean lol), probably the most popular food centre in the island where everybody (including many tourists) enjoy the world-renowned seafood. I also had to make sure I tried the Mount Gay Rum from Barbados! Of course you have to try Chefette's before you leave the island!"
"Okay, so, basically, the boat rides in Barbados are the best ones I've ever been to in my life. Omgosh! VIBES! BUCK! SUH TILLLLLLL! It got real every boat ride we went on, which is a very popular thing to do on the island for parties. I believe the boat we always ended up getting on was the Jolly Rancher. The Reggae, the Hip-Hop, the Soca, was always on point. Too on point! The vibes along with the rocking of the boat on the vibrant waves of the water collided with the musical vibes and gave us euphoric feelings every single time. It was amazing. And you have to go there to experience them. I met a lot of cool people on these boat rides also.
Another IT place in Barbados is the famous St. Lawrence Gap. POPPING. This is one of the popular places everybody in Barbados goes to party. Like I mentioned before, the DJs in Barbados were very good with juggling all different types of music. Everywhere I go I always itch for Reggae (or something Jamaican-related period lol) and had no problem finding Reggae clubs. The strip reminds me of a strip in Ocho Rios, Jamaica where there's also a number of clubs and food stands along the way, except St. Lawrence Gap was more hip and modern.
And of course there is Crop Over!"
Spotlight: The People!
"What I absolutely LOVED about Barbados was the diversity evident everywhere. I'm not unfamiliar with non-blacks residing in Caribbean countries, but it was the Bajan pride that non-blacks carried everywhere that amazed me. Honestly, it's the same in Jamaica, everyone has pride. I just loved it in Barbados because it was only my second time seeing it.
**The Coke Story (LOL)**
Now the only thing I didn't like about my Barbados experience was my discovery of immense coke usage on the little island. Another taxi driver, who sniffed his coke right in front of me while dropping me off to my hotel (like it was completely normal -- hilarious), told me that so many people do it because of the laws on ganja. He even asked if I wanted some? I said, "no, not this time." Hahahaha I didn't want to give him the impression that I'm looking down on him, especially while he was on it! You know? He said doing coke isn't as detectable as smoking ganja. The law is a little backwards to me when it comes to drug usage, but aside from that, everything that their government is doing is obviously right because it is a safe place! Barbados is perfect."