On a 14×26 mile chunk of limestone over a million years old and situated in the lesser Antilles, my heart abandoned my mind like a parrot leaves a pirate, a hermit crab leaves the comfort of its shell.
Every country has its beauty, quirks and mysteries to explore but this island isn’t merely a destination. It doesn’t become a place you have simply visited.
It’s culture, sights, sounds and smells fuse together in your psyche like a memory strung together with lyrics, and it’s magical essence will follow you home.
Welcome, to the windward island of Barbados, the most rich and progressive English speaking island in the Caribbean; but don’t let that fool you, because underneath that label, lies mystery and intrigue.
It is the island of song, the arts, of history and a culture that holds fastidiously to the importance of these. It is a place where intelligent roosters cross at crosswalks, green lizards and ghostly geckos shower with you in the morning and dance when you hum a tune.
Where green monkeys ride on the backs of tortoises stealing bananas from their mouths, where subterranean caves and flowers forests have you goofy with wonder like a small child.
In Barbados old meets new, past meets present, imagination meets reality; chattel house living meets red carpet ideals, breadfruit is the new potato, sorrel the new cola and marlin, the new pork chop.
The hands of time turn backward in this West Indian country, the Sandman refuses to shroud the wonder in your eyes with a veil of sleep, and yet, you never tire. The melodic sounds of the steel pan and tree frogs play harmonious tunes that synchronize with the base of your beating heart; your senses become one, a smile your only accessory and experience your sustenance.
From submarines to zip-line you can explore every inch, both above and below sea level. Randomly wander beaches collecting sea fans and shells, dodging ghost crabs, eating sea grapes and sea beef. Kite surf with Brian Talma near Silver Sands. Marvel at the distance the blue flying fish can soar, and the fact that at certain times it is almost possible to circumvent Barbados via the shoreline and your flip-flops.
Fall asleep on a placid sea while snorkeling in Speightstown and awake to St Elmo’s fire. Swim, where pirates lost treasures and mermaids splash you with jewel emblazoned tails, their exotic laughter and whispered promises tickling your heart with the surprise and wonder of the island.
In Barbados you will forget who you were and discover who you are. You won’t be a tourist locked away in your hotel but blend with the locals to become a part of their more fascinating lives, than the many celebrities who visit and reside there. You will lose your heart in Barbados, not only to adventure and discovery but, to the culture of a society that is like no other on this planet.