Young and Wild and Free: Flights with Feeling featuring Fola Amudipe
Having lived and studied in Barbados for 4 months really makes it hard for me to choose my most memorable story. Every day really felt like a different scene from a movie. From the daily beach excursions to the boat parties, the crazy bus rides, to trying to fine-tune our ears AND our waists to various Caribbean music. A memorable story I'll never forget was when UWI, University of West Indies, threw a Carnival to celebrate but also bridge the social culture of the campus for students across the Caribbean in attendance. Okay, storytime! So, the day of Carnival, me and some other girls I live with are trying to beat our faces to the 9 s right? It's a carnival! We want to be extra and glittered out. We're supposed to have a party bus come and pick us up so we can get on the road...literally. Our call time was 10 am...They don't come until hours later (typical). By now, I'm 4 months into living in this country. Not only, do they run on CP time, but also island time, so everything moves at a snail's pace x 2 aha. We finally get on the party bus that literally takes us 0.5 miles to our destination LOL. Had we known, we could have walked, but imagine us walking down our neighborhood is drastic & revealing feathered outfits. Necks would be broken aha! We're finally on the road, drinking, dancing...well, march dancing if you will from Point A to Point B. I think the total distance was 2-3 miles, but it took forever. It was like taking baby steps for 3 miles. So, yea...forever. Plus I'd stop to whine it up a little, but that's beside the point. One thing I'll never forget was all of us are marching like quite possibly the whole university was on the road dancing. We're almost there, almost to the endpoint but we come across a round-a-bout with a wide patch of grass before marching uphill to the finish line. And I. kid. you. not. Everybody decided to dance on that patch of grass. And by dance, I mean...well it looked like an orgy but with clothes on. It was MADNESS! Booties were gyrating, pelvic were thrusting, legs were in pretzels, feathers were amuck. A beautiful sight. Who could blame us "Split in de middle" was playing. That was my memorable story. My 1/1,000,000.
The best of the city
Where to stay: I lived in a big house with 5 other girls because I was studying abroad. I was more of a temporary resident than a visitor. So, I lived more comfortably. I know there are beautiful hotels along the west coast of Barbados, which also typically are on the pricier side since they sit near or directly on beaches. If you are looking, Holetown has beautiful places that cater to both budget-friendly & mid-range travelers.
Where to eat: Definitely need to go down to Oistin's Fish Fry on the Fridays for, you guessed it, fish. Oistin's really set the tone for an island vibe with the scenery, live musicians, shops, etc. Cafe Luna was another favorite restaurant of mine with a dreamy atmosphere, and Brown Sugar Restaurant had lovely food too. There's tons of hole in the wall places that are tasty too. Of all Bajan dishes, you have to try Rice and Peas, Flying Fish, Dolphin Fish/Mahi Mahi (don't worry its not real dolphin), Fish Cakes, & Macaroni Pie. I will say it is harder being Vegan/Vegetarian in Barbados but someplace do offer options. Oh, they have great farmer's markets there as well.
What to Do: Of all the things to do in Barbados, please go and lime (bajan slang = hangout) on a beach. The accessibility to beaches is so easy. I could be there all day, and that says a lot coming from someone who already lives near beaches in California. Go see Bathsheba and Crane Beach on the East Coast, go on a boat party, go on a Catamaran Cruise and swim with turtles, go party or get drinks in St Lawrence Gap, & if you're into that sort of thing, Harrison's Cave was cool. If you're on a time crunch, doing a 5-hour tour with the Island Safari tour company is a really cool and quick way to see most of the island's popular attractions too. Lastly, if you can, go or play mas in Crop Over, but that's seasonal (typically in August).
All in all, it is obvious that Fola had a great time in Bridgetown, Barbados as she rates the city with a 4 out of 5 for a girl's trips, as well as baecations, a solid 3 out of 5 for solo trips and a 5 out of 5 for family vacations.