So… first things first Wooooooaaaa we’re going to Barbados, back to the palm trees! Heehee, squeal and shriek, I didn’t see that one coming, I was thinking Scotland, Spain maybe, France but nah, I’m going to the Caribbean where I’m assured I won’t have to wear my swimsuit in front of anyone and I will still be able to swim but that is my only clue about accommodation and exact location. Now I’m hoping that we’re not booked into a naturist resort I’m not quite ready for that yet 😛 I know it’s probably going to be a bit rainy this time of year but as long as we have no hurricanes I am happy to make my fun whatever the weather.
I’ve been to Barbados twice, once with friends when I was younger when we island hopped for a couple of months mainly in search of ganga, rum and reggae and once with my kids a few years ago both were this time of year both times it was hot, hot, hot. My kids like holidays but they don’t like sand, they don’t like being in the sun too much and they like being active on holiday and trekking around museums and ruins and places of historic interest as well as water sports and whatever else is on offer, skiing, climbing, court sports, dangling from parachutes towed by speedboats and floating down on a giant kite from the nearest high ground. When we do the beach type holiday they exhaust themselves in the daytime, eat seafood at night and then pass out on floors, sofas, wherever they drop. What I’m saying is, you don’t get to lounge around, floating on an inflatable reading a book with a good cocktail with them around let me put it that way, so I’m looking forward to this adult kid free holiday very much.
So we’re going for my birthday (well actually leaving the day after but it’s close enough) so that gives me less than two weeks to think of what to pack, to shop, primp and lose another fifty pounds! I’ve got this 😀
I’m a light traveler from years of experience. If I can avoid hold luggage I do so at all costs as I hate waiting around carousels. My philosophy is that I can buy most things where I’m going and I like to spend some of my GB pounds in places I visit. I like to inject my own tiny bit into their economy rather than feed the tour operator giants who would keep you all to themselves with their unauthentic far from traditional wares and I know most of it is far from locally sourced and even if it is at what cost?
I prefer to get out amongst the local people, patronise their markets and shops and huts and shacks and try the food they eat and the drinks they enjoy and wear the clothes they find comfortable… I’m a real culture immerser (probably made another new word up there) and that’s the absolute best way to travel for me.
I have been known to sleep in fields and bushes and huts and whatever but I do have to sell out when it comes to hotels these days, I don’t need luxury but I do like to feel safe. I wonder that there is not more tourist crime as we visit ever more remote and exotic places, small island economies where sadly all too often poverty amongst locals is rife and they have to see plane loads of tourists fly in and out spending crazy amounts of money in a week, money that would probably feed their family for a year. I don’t wonder that tourists are sometimes in danger and I don’t ever condone crime of any kind but I do get it and I’m surprised at the restraint some people show to be honest, that in itself probably comes from a desire not to damage the tourist trade.
I do try to book locally or rent locally owned homes where I can and avoid tour operators where I possibly can. I know how much they rip off hotel owners in popular holiday destinations, not to mention as I said fence off their guests in compounds and complexes and even import their staff… what good they do the local economy is questionable and where the local economy is in dire need of a boost I find that very distasteful indeed. So I do try to do my little bit. I get out there and try to make a difference if only for one person and I love, love, love that when I take the kids on holiday they first thing they do is research the local area and find out what they can do help out and always find a project to spend at least a day on. I do like to see them giving something back.
Now my problem is, can I find suitable clothes for me that I will be comfortable in or is it best to take my own… I figure on this occasion it is best to take my own so I need to shop. I have a few maxi dresses that I can take, nice and cool they are too. There is no wonder why ladies (and gents) from hot countries wear long cotton garments, that micro climate in there is fabulously refreshing.
I’m thinking, do I go monochrome chic or all out colour splash frenzy? Maybe a mix of the two. We’re there for a week so I can plan this out I think with some mix and matching and imagination and not overload the suitcase. I’ve shrunk into a couple of swimsuits from yesteryear now which is good. I’m going to get a re-spray, just a light bronzing to take away the blue whiteness of this upper thigh and body flesh that has not seen the light of day for some time now. I had one the day after Nick arrived and it made me feel so much more confident. Brown fat looks so much better than pasty blue veined fat any day of the week.
When it comes to swimsuits for the larger lady, you can not go wrong with a Tankini in my opinion, they are a whole world more flattering than a one piece and cover up the bits a bikini doesn’t. If you don’t know what one is it’s bikini briefs with a top made of the same type of material which is like a tight cami and often they have built in bust support and some even have a full bra built in which is hugely flattering to the rest of your figure if you can keep the puppies hoisted up. They just prevent the sausage effect of a one piece and also allow you to be a bit more daring if you fancy and pull up your top to get a belly tan or to take it off altogether and lie face down for a full back tan, or if you’re really daring face up if you’re into bronzing the boobage as we European ladies most definitely are. Although I must say I am far more discreet these days, I do care about the mental well being of young folk on the beach. You can get some fab ones now too, with a whole variety of style options for the briefs, shorts, tie side, high leg, high waist, suck in control ones whatever. I have a lovely leopard print one (of course) which has a control panel built into the top so it sucks everything in a bit and it fits me again! Wahoo! Also with tankinis you can do a bit of mix and matching with some plain and patterned pieces and make it look like you have more sets than you really have which reduces cost of buying but also luggage space required. Oh and just a last point, if you get the right size (which can be up to a couple of sizes smaller than your normal dress size for extra suck in) they don’t ride up or embarrass you while swimming.
So excited! I’m usually a bit of a control freak, only because I don’t trust anyone, but I’m actually liking this ‘being led’ for once in my life. I think it’s all part of my letting go of the old me and just feeling more free. It’s exciting to not have details and somehow liberating. I think my daughter was right this morning when she said to me that I’ve spent way too long doing things for other people and I need to now understand how it feels to have things done for me, maybe then, she said, I’d realise how much everything I do is appreciated. Now that girl has a point… anyone would think she’d been raised by a really wise, reasonable mother 😛
Wahoo! I’m going to Barbados.. back to the palm trees, whooo! By the way, no children will be neglected in the making of this holiday, my kids are positively bubbling over at the thought of me being alive again and my daughter has my son’s supervision under control and I’m just letting them get on with it, I have shopping to do and weight to lose!