Village Dispatch: Barbados with Travel Bug Becks

These strange times have been helping us deepen our gratitude for the things that bring us joy such as interacting with uplifting humans in person, discovering local gems and travelling around the world.  Although there are moments when we grapple with the new (hopefully, temporary) normal, we have been doing our best to focus on the positives and to make the best of the current situation. Instead of bemoaning not being able to do some of the things we enjoy, we have been reminiscing about our past adventures and fondly imagining the new ones we will experience once all this is over. With that said, we figured that now would be a good time to resume our Village Dispatch series, through which we connect with fellow creatives who share their sources of inspiration, artistic processes and more. In this returning issue, we're hopping over to our  island neighbour Barbados for a virtual visit with Danielle { @travelbugbecks }, a fashion, travel and lifestyle content creator.

Let's dive right in...

AM:What does a perfect Saturday in Barbados look like for you? 
Danielle: Getting Pudding & Souse from Myoko's Kitchen and playing tourist, roaming through Speightstown (the North West side of the island) and relaxing on the beach (there are endless options but I love the West Coast).  

AM:What's your favourite traditional Bajan dish and where is your favourite place to savour it {apart from family cooking}?
Danielle: Being a foodie, I'm constantly on the hunt for good food and I often find some of the best tasting dishes in hole-in-the-wall places or street food spots. That being said, I honestly can't narrow down my favourite traditional Bajan dish to just one- I love my CouCou and Flying Fish (the national dish of Barbados), but Macaroni Pie & Baked Chicken from The Lunch Express on Fontabelle, BBQ Pigtails from Rocky's Grill and Grilled Swordfish with Baked Potatoes from Uncle George in Oistins can win my heart any day. And like any true Bajan, (although it's fast food), I love Chefette.

AM: Barbados is blessed with many gorgeous beaches. Which 3 are particularly special to you?
Danielle: My favourite has to be a little beach nestled between Port Ferdinand Resort and Nikki Beach in Retreat, St. Peter. Its calm, turquoise waters and intimate setting are a perfect blend of serenity. It's also really picturesque, given the area in which it's situated, making for a beautiful aerial view.  

*Brownes Beach - the crystal clear water at this South Coast beach is simply stunning. Very popular amongst locals, it's usually frequented by families on weekends.

*For me, a beach bar really enhances the vibe, so another one of my favourite spots is 111 East Beach Bar in Speightstown. The aesthetic is incredible - a white, outdoor chattel house with steps, which lead you onto the peaceful beach. The music is good and the service, excellent. What more could you want when relaxing on a lounge chair?  

AM: Do you have any natural beauty regimens inherited from the women in your family?
Danielle: Can't say that I really do, in a major way at least - I've grown up on greasing my roots with castor oil and often saw my mum cleaning her face with Witch Hazel, but I've experimented with various skin and hair products on my own along the way.

AM: Your style is a  reflection of the Caribbean ~ vibrant, easy going with a bit of sassiness. Name two Bajan designers whose pieces you adore and what are your go to spots for finding local artisanal goods?
Danielle: Thank you! My 2 fave Bajan designers are J. Angelique Clothing by Designer Jin Forde and Suga Apple Swim by Kim Angoy. Jin's wide range of pieces, from festive to formal are in keeping with elements of my personal style and speak all things Caribbean, through the vibrant colours, prints and daring, yet elegant designs. Suga Apple Swim carries quality, fashionable swimwear that is also truly reflective of our culture- I love their stuff. For local artisanal goods I like to check out Pelican Village and Hastings Farmers Market (at The Artsplash Centre)- you're guaranteed to find all things local there- from handmade bags to spices and sauces.   

AM: Where or what do you recommend visitors experience for a glimpse of authentic, quintessential Barbados. 
Danielle: *Oistins Fish Fry on Friday nights: This features amazing food, local entertainment and arts & craft. Bajans and tourists alike enjoy this spot.

*The Village Bar (Lemon Arbor): Much of our culture surrounds food. From Pudding & Souse to Fried Pork & Chips, this very active countryside restaurant attracts many locals and sometimes carries live entertainment. Wait until you see the view!

*Visit a local market: Cheapside market is one such market where many Barbadians purchase produce (particularly on Saturday mornings).

* Stroll through Bridgetown: It doesn't get more Bajan than this! From visible elements of our history and government (the Parliament Buildings, Errol Barrow's statue), to the Bridgetown wharf (often populated by boats- we're water people!), to stores along busy Broad Street and Swan Street, you'll be sure to get a full picture of authentic Bim. 

*A full tour of the island is also recommended. The Bathsheba/Cattlewash area is one of my favourite parts of rural Barbados- check it out and thank me later ;)

Danielle is a Bajan Canadian based in Toronto. Check out her Instagram feed  @travelbugbecks  for more visual stimulation.

Photography Credit:
Sea Water: @wanzasmall & @shaneleacock
Drone 1 & 2- @rickychasephotography
Port Ferdinand- @rickychasephotography
Closeup & Hut- @dcarter.visuals
Pelican Village- @_justinnewton

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