Caribbean Intelligence wants your holiday heroes
It’s that time of year again when people book or plan breaks and getaways for the end of the year or for 2018.
We’ve been discussing this at Caribbean Intelligence© and we reckon that Caribbean people and the Caribbean Diaspora are some of the most-travelled people for a number of reasons.
In the Caribbean, the very nature of education, attending courses and social events means a flight somewhere; in the Diaspora, we grew up travelling “back home” to see relatives, sometimes more frequently than exploring places closer to home.
Given the diverse people that we are in the Caribbean and the Diaspora, this leads to a range of experiences - good and bad - around the planet.
We’re inviting you to share your “Caribbean holiday heroes” and “holiday horrors” with us. We’d prefer the heroes as we seek to build a pool of locations that are as nice to visit as staying within and visiting the Caribbean. But, if you want to get something off your chest, go for it!
We’re kicking off with some of our Caribbean holiday heroes:
Although this was once a small fishing village a train ride from Lisbon, this beachside area has all the vibes of a multicultural Caribbean holiday destination. There are beaches, bars, friendly welcomes in all places and a good music vibe (Brazilian) in the background of most places. Not a bad place to lime and only a few hours’ flight from London airports.
Cold but extremely polite and friendly - the attitude of the locals appears to be that, if you can afford to be staying here, respect! Bring your furry hat and gloves, though, but it’s worth it for the spectacular skies and the hygge factor.
The beaches on a hot day are almost Caribbean. Although the funfair nature of the pier and seaside areas might not quite tick your Caribbean beachfront memory boxes, the friendly welcome as you walk into any bar or restaurant says, “let’s lime!”
A reader writes: We have consistently found Tunisians to be courteous and family friendly. We have been invited into a Tunis home and of course this is where tourism crosses over into genuine cultural discovery. Once we took a taxi into Tunis from nearby Carthage. Our last daughter was still a babe in arms and getting out of the cab was naturally a little challenging. Two Tunisian ladies passing by - complete strangers - rushed toward the passenger door to assist my wife. You know when people are doing something genuinely as opposed to trying to get something in return; this was genuine. We managed to alight without any problem in the end, but that gesture of assistance really touched us.
Frequently, while walking around Tunis, Bizerte, Mahdia, Sidi Bou Said and Lamarsa on separate holiday visits, strangers would personally take us to where we need to go so that we wouldn't get lost. Of course, most Tunisians who haven’t visited the UK can’t get their heads round the concept of a Black Londoner. Be prepared for lots of people asking the question: “But where are you really from?”
Although our Trini Abroad blogger has not been a-wandering lately, she did leave us with a glimpse of Makati in the Philippines, where she travelled in 2015. “I was home,” she told Caribbean Intelligence©. “Like the inhabitants of my adopted home of Egypt and my native Caribbean, Filipinos have a love affair with meat and fire.” She even mentioned bumping into a group of Jamaicans during her visit around the food experience in this part of the Philippines.
And your holiday horrors:
We rented a villa in Cyprus. It was a mixed bag of being treated as 'exotic', given the cold shoulder and generally being targeted as a group to extract as many Euros as possible from. My wife is generally more sensitive about these kinds of issues than I am. She recalls going into the ladies room of a popular restaurant chain frequented by lots of English tourists and literally spooking out a caucasian lady who shrieked loudly on seeing my wife! Then you’d have the Russian tourists on the beaches staring at us as if we were space oddities - with apologies to David Bowie...
Let us know at Caribbeanintelligence@gmail.com and we’ll share the best of them (don’t worry, we won’t use your name).