ode to travel


From east to west, and from north to south
My travels have taken me seven continents about.
To places of interest, distant lands, islands shore to shore
Countries I had often heard spoken of or read about before.

The quest to travel started early in my teens
And up to this age I am not yet weaned.
The longing to see the world and explore
Could not be quenched with one destination, I needed more.

First, I journeyed from Barbados to England the mother land
Thereafter to commonwealth nations, all part of the plan.
So, I would travel to two sometimes four
Places that piqued my interest, that held a special lure.

Obviously bitten by a persistent travel bug
I have learned how to navigate, pack, and lug.
Tromping with bags thru Europe, the Americas North, Central and South
Travel was my destiny, my passion, my love.

From Africa to Asia, the Middle East to Down Under
Careful planning and bespoke itineraries made each trip a wonder.
Jetting off to those horizons offered a unique thrill
Before starting the holiday, I had not paid the entire bill.

Reservations were set, and I was in store
To traverse like a pirate while going solo.
Tours, dinners, adventures galore
Are the experiences I now talk of ore and ore.

Every time I would make the trek of two weeks or four
I would come back tired, weary, and sore.
Options to travel by plane, train, bus, or car
But more often than naught my two legs took me far.

It is more than a year, maybe two, since my last trip
To Indonesia, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, hence this writ.
It is high time to pack bags and be on my way
Instead of watching YouTube travel sites every day.

Because of Covid-19 my travel plans have been shelved
Lockdown at home and abroad has blown it all to hell.
My patience is running out I am hoping to choose
A trip in the near future so have me excused.

Borders are closed, commercial flights still grounded
I hate to say it, but for now, nowhere I am bounded.
Viewing travel videos does make me weep
To see other tourists enjoying treat after treat.

The world is my oyster and all I want to see
Are exotic places not just on TV.
To satisfy my longings, fulfil my destiny
God willing, I want a vacation before January.

Community Peeps I often reminisce and ponder
Of my times perusing places of natural beauty and splendor.
Taj Mahal, Sidney Opera House, Vatican, Grand Canyon
Spelunking, zip lining, hot air balloon flying, and camel riding.
Too many places to list and too many adventures to tell
But if you like this ode to travel, I pray thee well.
Leave a comment in the box that will help me feel
Your love as always, encouraged, surreal.

As usual I will beg my readers, for whom I care
To leave a comment, like, follow or share.
It would be a treasured gift of pleasure I seek
And I will sign off as always with a promise to speak.

Of more times,

Itinerary Planner

Raise Your Hand If…


What you may be reflecting on at this moment are your 2020 travel plans that have been completely hijacked by Covid-19. No amount of foresight or expert planning could have prepared anyone for what the virus brought.  I, for one, would have been planning bespoke itineraries of fun, adventure, and excitement to exotic places. But, for several months now, the pandemic has dominated the headlines and ruled the airwaves.  Daily news spew staggering statistics that tell of unthinkable loss of life and irreparable hurt to people around the world.  As if that is not enough to deal with, the racial divide and social injustice, another heavy weight, has inevitably entered the ring and been catapulted to the forefront.  Considering both social issues, you may be feeling, and rightly so, a bit like George Floyd did, having a knee in his neck and could not breathe.  Some ugly cracks are beginning to show under the strain of extended periods of lockdown.  So, do I have to ask again for a show of hands if you concur.

You are anxious to move past the current state of affairs. You are tired of witnessing horrific expressions of violence, hate and blatant lawlessness. Let me interject, it is not my intent to belittle or demean the social demands that are being made for justice and equality, on the contrary, I support the call for fair-mindedness irrespective of color or race. Having said that, I believe we are all beginning to feel antsy or a bit impatient and would like to get back to business as usual. Do not be ashamed if you long for life the way you knew it pre-Covid-19. I think many of us may be screaming on the inside, “enough already.” Therefore, focusing on something more meaningful and worthwhile than the anger that has settled on us like a blanket is more appealing. At least, it would not feel like life is slipping away right before our very eyes.

Arguably, some American states and international territories have resumed business activities and have seen a spike in new cases. Is there a lesson to be learned here? If so, what is the takeaway from reopening too soon. Will we ever be at ease or feel sufficiently comfortable to open borders again? At some point we must take the plunge and manage life as best we can, right?

Well, it is now a little over 35 days since Barbados has had any new cases, and, no one in quarantine.  Restrictions have been lifted and attempts to initiate new procedures across the business culture are taking shape.  Though mobility has been reinstated and businesses are open with unlimited access, wearing a face mask and frequent sanitizing are non-negotiable.  The new guidelines allow for gatherings of up to 500 persons and maintain a physical distance of three feet.  Churches have reopened and celebrations can begin in earnest as long as the rules are followed.  Commercial flights will resume from mid-July.

Community Peeps, do you think by any stretch of the imagination we are out of the woods?  Is there safety in relaxing the protective measures just because we have not had any new cases in over a month? What are we to expect from the return of airline flights and large gatherings?  When would be a good time to start to unwrap the bubble-wrap we are packed so tightly in?  Yes, there are more questions than answers, but what is your point of view?  I would like to hear from you as usual.  I treasure and learn from your responses and comments.  So, go ahead and share in the comment box below.  

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Back to the Soil


Things are looking up.  Easing restrictions across the nation has already impacted lifestyles in communities in a positive way.  It is as if everyone and everything were given a get-up-and-go injection, a new lease on life.   In retrospect, the past couple months of inactivity and curfews has taken a toll on people’s energy levels, both mentally and physically.  It was palpable, even to me, the perennial optimist.  Unable to engage in activities like going to the beach, to work, to church, to family gatherings or to host a social get-together was difficult for all and sundry.  However, I think I can speak for every household across Barbados when I say, “when we are handed lemons, we know how to make lemonade.”

As our country continues to navigate uncharted waters, proceeding cautiously but perseveringly forging ahead with a new plan of action towards life post-pandemic.  What a welcomed relief it is to breathe again, even if, regrettably there is a resurgence of the virus.  We are well aware other countries around the world are doing the same.  At some point we all have to, figuratively speaking, grab the bull by the horns, and return to business as usual.

So, what are some of the outcomes from the period in lockdown?  Among the many observations, here are a few that I want to mention:

Stronger Together

We are stronger when we work together.  Many people showed they were their brother’s keeper by lending a hand and donating foods and funds to fill a variety of needs.  Community groups and individuals responded to the cries for help and jumped into action to provide and fill the gaps where the less fortunate struggled to make ends meet.  Government leaders and strategists are acting as watchdogs surrounding the safety and health of every Barbadian.  The leadership seeks to ensure a smooth transition back into mainstream life.  All the while, implementing steps that will keep every Bajan safe and well.

Industry

In every parish, new entrepreneurs are springing up overnight selling mainly fruits and vegetables along the roadsides.  Beside the vendors, many households have used the ‘stan home’ opportunity to cultivate the land.  Backyard kitchen gardens is the new craze.  Obviously, this is a direct result of shortages on imported perishables due to closed borders.  The possibility of not securing fresh fruits and vegetables as accustomed became apparent to everyone.  Whatever the reason, I like that my fellow comrades have returned to the soil to grow their own food.   Plantations and privately owned arable lands are lying dormant, while we are gobbling up imported foods that we can take the time to grow ourselves.  I know there is more to the mortar than the pestle when looking at this issue, but suffice it to say, I’m happy to see all the backyard kitchen gardens, and renewed interest in farming  that is going on around me.

Our Contribution

My family in lockdown have followed suit too.  We have prepared beds for planting.  A few seedlings of  tomatoes, okra, eggplant and corn have been sowed.  We have a new tree to add to the orchard – Pomerac.

Other crops still to be planted and which will take a few months before yielding are sweet potato, yam and yuca.  Currently, we are blessed to enjoy the fresh fruits in our orchard – Bananas, mangoes, soursop, grapefruit, pomegranate, and fig.  A few more months down the road the golden apple and avocadoes will be ripe enough to eat too. 

Besides the fruits and vegetables, I have taken to making and baking sweet treats such as sweetbread made with dried coconut, and fishcakes made with dried salted codfish. 

Community Peeps, what good thing has developed from your period in lockdown?  Have limiting measures eased a bit for you too?  Please share your experience with me in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Physical Distancing Challenge


“Change is good,” I like to say.  Why make such a bold statement?  This declaration resonates with those who have adjusted and embraced new ways of doing things since the Covid-19 (Corona Virus) struck.  Arguably, since the pandemic health crisis broke around the world, normal way of life has been disrupted in areas such as: work, church, school and even play.  I do not need to take a poll to safely say, everyone has been affected by the intruder and have had to make necessary modifications to their lives.

After several weeks of lock-down, stringent monitoring and tracking of the disease’s progress among islanders, the Barbados government has begun to ease restrictions.  The green light for operating respective businesses and services to the general public has been approved.  As limits are eased, the demand for physical distancing remains.  Therefore, lots of changes will first have to be implemented to satisfy this challenge.  One example that is currently facing scrutiny is the education system.  Thrown into this new format not by choice, e-learning has become the new normal for all those in school.

Most classrooms have a minimum of 25 – 30 students in elementary and secondary schools.  Not everyone is equipped to facilitate this new form of at-home study.  Families with multiple children at school ranging in ages may find it difficult focusing and maintaining simultaneous classes/tutoring for their charges.  Teachers, parents and students are at the same learning curve.  Some changes currently being considered, comes with lots of twists, turns, and uncertainties that will, with time, reveal whether they make sense, work well, or meets the needs of the recipients.  One teacher related to me her findings.  She said, “I have all scholars now, whereas before, I knew who were lagging, needed help and who grasped the information taught right away.”  While those in authority look for the best ways to maintain physical distance for pupils and teachers, one of the benefits to come out of this debacle, is that three groups of the social status will become even more technologically savvy.  I dare say, e-learning and online studying will become more mainstream and will be an option to the physical classroom in the future.

In the travel industry, physical distancing is also a new norm across the tourism sector.  Being an experienced traveler, I am interested to see how airlines and cruise ships navigate this turbulent crisis to come out smelling like a rose.  Already, Carnival Cruise Line announced a possible summertime return date to the high seas.  Delta Airlines stated a revised plan of back-to-front passenger boarding in the future.  These indicators and more reveal that travel operators are examining from soup to nuts, how physical distancing will be managed.  Other welcomed changes I would like to see would especially be to areas like long TSA lines, seating and cueing at boarding gates, cabin seating on planes, cruise ship dining and other areas where tourists gather enmasse.  New innovative and creative features and measures will more than likely be employed to allay the fears of the anxious traveler.  It would be remarkably interesting to see what becomes our new normal.

Community Peeps, how long will it be before you actually feel comfortable to take your bespoke vacation?  Is being in lock-down making it a priority to travel as soon as borders reopen?  What suggestions would you give to maintain physical distance as governments reopen businesses in the industry?  Please share your response in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Proud Moments


Today is National Heroes Day in Barbados.  Normally, this designated public holiday would have been a day of celebration across the island as Barbados’ nation builders, far and wide, are recognized, honored, and saluted.  However, Covid-19 and physical distancing has put paid to any type of celebration as most know it, which, under normal circumstances would have been more elaborate.  Hence, the spotlight is now cast on the often unsung heroes among us: essential and healthcare workers, fire and police officers, first responders and frontline workers.  They are those who daily put their lives at risk to help protect and serve all of us on this little island.  I, like many other Barbadians (Bajan) across the island am experiencing moments of pride.

Although I am not a political watchdog, commentator or authority, I am, however, proud of the current government administration and their handling of the crisis.  Their hands-on, practical and wise approach with frequent formal and informal appearances via all communicative mediums to enlighten Barbadians is appreciated and on target.  Their sincerity and genuine interest in maintaining the health and safety of every Bajan is noted by their frequent request to follow the guidelines and processes put in place, such as: curfew times, essential shopping day and time, gathering limits, etc.  They have not dropped the ball in highlighting and upholding Barbados’ legacy as a place where humanitarianism and brother’s keeper are practiced on a national level.  Case in point, when other countries closed their doors to the many cruise ships in the region, our tiny island supported and hosted the various captains and crews for many weeks.  Also, when foreigners from other countries were left adrift, Bajans stepped in to accommodate those stranded.

Another reason to be proud of this island is the culture.  Right about now, the island would be gearing up for carnival that begins with month-long festivities.  The authorities took the decision to cancel the event in light of the situation.  It was met with resounding support and approval from those in arts, cultural industry, all and sundry.  Albeit a loss to tourism, Covid-19 has not been able to deter or dampen the spirit of those calypsonians who provide the social commentary in their music.  I enjoy the occasional songs and humor on the local TV station that is used to encourage and get the message across to everyone to practice good hygiene, wear a mask and stay away from each other.

In this crisis, we have many heroes to highlight and celebrate on this holiday.   The overall response by Barbadians has been phenomenal.  I cannot be prouder of my island home.  We may have been robbed of a few things this year because of this disease, but if I were to speak for all Bajans, I would certainly say, “Covid-19 has brought out the best in all of us.  We are stronger together.  We will get through this.”

Community Peeps, as we and the rest of the world continue to struggle with this virus, our island pauses to acknowledge persons who have contributed in one way or another in the fight.  We too have a ‘clap for our heroes’ time every week.  What are you doing while in lockdown to show your appreciation?  Share your experience and proud moments in the box below.  I am extremely interested in hearing of it.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

2020 Trip Down Memory Lane


This lockdown makes me long for a vacation to a foreign land now more than ever.  No, I’m not trying to run away from the pall that hangs over our heads.  Conversely, a change of scenery would act like a shot in the arm which would boost my insatiable need to travel.  Even though, I have remained positive and productive indoors, I still crave something different, which begs the saying, “you don’t know how good you feel until you feel bad.”  Never faced with the prospect of not being able to pick up and go, whenever or wherever I want to is foreign to me.  Therefore, I am already considering new travel options, but, where do I go from here?

Everywhere is suspect.  Even my inevitable return from Barbados to the USA makes me nervous.  Is this the new normal for travelers?  How long will it take vacationers to feel comfortable flying to different countries again?  With the grounding of planes and cancellations of flights, will flying return at peak heights in a few short months or will it become a new ‘as needed’ necessity?  I am sure, these and many other questions on future travel are being pondered by travel planners, enthusiast and adventurers like myself.

As I look back on past travel experiences, I am truly glad that I did not waste energy or money when I visited a number of countries around the world.  Some of which are currently reeling from the effects of Covid-19.  In the face of this pandemic, I now depend on my recollections of happier days spent in those countries to bring me joy during a time like this.  We may not be able to come out of our homes (this will not last forever), but we can certainly go down memory lane as often as we like, and review some of the best and worst of times we’ve had while on a vacation.

Community Peeps, there are still many places I want to visit, and God willing, I hope to get there while I can still enjoy it.  Even though the outlook for the travel industry may appear bleak right now, don’t be discouraged.  This too shall pass.  Continue to be safe.  Stay indoors and practice physical distancing.  Write a comment on what you think your future travel plans will look like for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

How To Spend Time In Lockdown


Life on the island continues to be interesting in light of all that is ongoing at home and around the world.  Last post I mentioned that Barbados had not recorded any cases of COVID-19 (corona virus).  Well, here we are two weeks later, and our number reaches a staggering 24.  That may not sound like much in the grand scheme of things but that is 24 too many for our little island.   A weight has been superimposed on the island that is neither wanted or bearable.  While stronger countries grapple with this dilemma, our island struggles to maintain an atmosphere and equilibrium of peace and calm.

The fallout effects from the Corona Virus can be viewed in two lights – positive and negative (calm and panic).  How to deal with our current situation is top of mind for everyone.  While many a country is waging war against this disease and have adopted near draconian measures to ensure the safety of their citizens, I have come to realize, that though the measures may seem drastic, that all is not lost.  Many countries have activated curfew laws, limited movement and closed borders to protect those who are free of the bug and to stem the rampant spread of the virus within their populations.  We are no different.

Forced to stay indoors during curfew hours may be new to most and not so to others.  I certainly have never lived under such restrictions.  Therefore, what is a girl on an extended vacation (or man for that matter) to do whose life has be upended by this malady?  Being the perpetual optimist that I am, it was not difficult for me to find things that could occupy my time and attention in a positive way.  Besides taking the necessary cleansing precautions to protect ourselves and others, we have found interesting ways to battle against COVID-19 in our home.   I want to share them with you.  Hope you share yours too.

Family devotion – This is the time when we get together, sing songs, read the Bible.  Discuss the passage of scripture that was read.  This is the best time as we get to share our thoughts in a healthy discussion and enjoy meaningful conversations.  Pray.  (This practice is already a nightly occurrence in my home).

Read a hardcover book – I admit this activity has waned over the years.  I want to blame the use of my gadgets and technology for the decline.  However, I checked the bookshelf recently and discovered they are books from my childhood, books like Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys (Mom’s nostalgia, of course) among others that still line the shelves, and are now at my disposal now that I have more time on my hands.

Board games – It has been a while since I last played a board game like, Monopoly, Scrabble or Ludo.  I haven’t played these in years, and I’ve discovered just how rusty my challenging skills have become.

Telephone a friend – It’s not often I get to have long conversations with friends.  Usually, everyone is busy, but guess what?  We are all in this together and have time now to talk beyond the usual courtesies.  We can really catch up on our different lives.

Start a hobby – This one is an expense but worthwhile, nonetheless.  I have chosen to make a beaded curtain.  It is another manual project I plan to complete in the coming weeks.

Watch a movie – Occasionally, I would opt to watch a movie, catch up on a series that I did not have the time to do in the past, or view DIY projects online.

Limit the amount of COVID-19 news – Even though it is important to know all about the subject, it can become overwhelming to listeners, especially seniors like my Mom.  To prevent her from becoming Covid-19 fatigued, we turn off the television and opt to sit and chat on the front porch and enjoy the gentle breezes of the night and quiet time.

Catch up on sleep – Every night’s activity is not the same.  Consequently, there are times that I may want to go to bed earlier than usual, depending on how tired I may be from the day’s activities.

Community Peeps, these are just a few things that my family and I do during our curfew hours of 8 p.m. – 6 a.m.  Although there may be difficulties suffered because of this dreaded sickness, our response to these trying circumstances may be the determining factor to how well we manage and get through this crisis.  Remain calm and choose to be positive.  Adhere to laws that are implemented for your own safety and maintain social distance to prevent further spread.  I pray all my peeps are safe and well.  It would be interesting to know how you are spending your time in lockdown.  Share in the comment box below

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

 

Laughter Is The Best Medicine


COVID-19 is global news for good reason.  In four short months it has spread around the world to become a pandemic.  Daily news updates are circulating on its origins, progress and how best to manage the dreaded outbreak.  Governments, businesses, organizations and individuals are at wits end to combat the disease and remain healthy.  More and more countries are reporting their first cases.  To date and as of writing, there are no reported cases of the virus on the island of Barbados.  However, statistically speaking and inevitably, it is not a matter of if it will occur but when.   That may not be too far away.  Already our closest neighbor 100 miles away have reported their first case.

This corona virus though not the deadliest of diseases in the world today has thrown the world into a tizzy because of the speed in which it has spread internationally.   I am observing some reactions and have already experienced a few reactions in people locally, but I want to single out just three: mass hysteria and panic, humor, religion.

It would seem a large majority of people belong to the first category.  Panic and hysteria have caused many to swarm supermarkets and pharmacies in an effort to secure products that would help in sanitizing themselves.  Here on the island, large crowds had in no time cleared shelves of items like hand sanitizers, wet wipes, disinfectants, toilet paper (unsure why this product) and other cleansing agents.  Some people bought in bulk to stockpile, especially the hand sanitizers, thereby depleting existing stock, creating an early shortage and limiting or denying other customers from buying the same.

In another incident, while transacting business, I walked up to a glass door and found a young lady standing on the opposite side, I pulled the door open and before I could enter, the young lady practically ran through.  She was standing there (don’t know how long) not wanting to touch the door handles and was waiting for someone to pull the door open for her.

The second category helps to lighten moods and ease tensions.  Not a day goes by without updates of one kind or another via regular news channels and social media.  While the messages are of a serious and precautionary nature, people are still finding the time to joke about it.  Although contracting COVID-19 is no laughing matter, in my opinion, using humor in light of the situation is good diversion therapy.  The jokes, memes, satire and puns are hilarious.  Just yesterday I was thrown into fits of laughter at the barbershop as waiting customers and barbers talked about the peculiar methods people are adopting and the lengths to which they go to protect themselves.  After all, laughter is still the best medicine.

Earlier in the day, I was standing in line and the gentleman in front of me coughed.  I looked at him and he misinterpreted my look, turned to me with a smile on his face to inform me he did not have the corona virus.  I chuckled and told him it did not cross my mind, and it really hadn’t until he mentioned it. I laughed because it made me realize everybody is becoming paranoid.

Currently, the island-wide “We Gatherin 2020” initiative is in full swing calling Bajans around the world to return to its shore.  Well, now as the travel industry faces it worse nightmare and people are reconsidering their travel plans, we may see that many of the crowd drawing events may have to be postponed because if those expats come, as we would say in popular Bajan vernacular “we scattering” 🤣.

The last group are those who believe as the scriptures state that we are living in the last days of earth’s history.  Their concern is not the current virus, but the deadliest virus known to man that is called SIN.  Christians seem to be calmer and more collected in their approach of dealing with the outbreak of the corona virus, and so they are using this opportunity to tell others of the real danger of SIN.  The corona virus can only take the body, but SIN can take both body and soul according to the sacred scriptures.  I too belong to this last group.  While I am paying attention and taking every precaution to safeguard myself and others against COVID-19, I recognize that there is a greater virus that infects mankind and we need to be aware of its deadly nature and accept the only known resistance and cure – Jesus.

Community Peeps, what’s going on around you?  Are you taking all the steps to secure the health and well being of your loved ones and others?  Please share your thoughts on the climate and perspectives around you in the comment box below.  Don’t forget to practice the simple steps I gave in a previous post.  Check the recommendations here.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Ladies, Pack A Little Black Dress


Anyone over the age of 50 would understand and agree with me that Bajans have a peculiar interest in death notices.  Let me explain what I mean and why I mention the age category.  One of the pastimes in the Barbadian culture, morbid though it be, is to check death notices.  First things most people would do on reading the daily newspaper is to check to see who recently died.  The running joke is to make sure you, the reader, is not on the list 🤣🤣.  Every Sunday, about five or more pages of the main newspaper is dedicated to highlighting those who recently died, in memoriam notices of those being remembered and thank you ads for those recently buried.  Within the past two weeks and as recent as this week, a family friend and my next door neighbor have died, respectively.  Their deaths have made me realized that my own interest in the announcements have been reignited.  I am not sure if the younger generation are as interested as the older folk.  My opinion would be to say no, judging from their low attendance at funerals unless the late was one who was popular, died tragically or had lived infamously.

Since coming home, I have observed the process has grown from a small announcement in the newspaper which mentions immediate relatives, place and time of burial to include large colorful photos of the deceased, obituaries, and eulogies.  It is more impressive and celebratory in manner as families attempt to express their love for the decease and to give them an appropriate ‘send off.’  Along with the newspaper announcement, there is a radio announcement too.  ‘The death’ is announced over the airwaves by the announcer in a most solemn voice while somber music is played in the background.  The radio announcement is made at six o’clock in the morning and repeated later in the day in a subsequent announcement.  With the passing of my neighbor, I realize I have subtly fallen back into the practice of reading these notices too (I forego listening, a wee bit too early for me 😊).

What has this to do with my travel interest  or blog you might ask?  Well, even though I am on vacation, I am still prepared to attend a funeral by wearing the appropriate mourning color – grey, black, white, navy blue, etc.  I always pack a little black dress that suits any occasion.  Even though I am not looking forward to this sad time,  I do recognize that attending the obsequies is still an important act of respect to the family members in honor of their dearly departed.

Community Peeps, though the idea of a funeral may be a morbid one, when visiting family and friends it is always good to be prepared for such an event, after all, “in the midst of life we are in death,” the Scriptures say.  Choosing to include in your suitcase a piece of clothing in a monochromatic color which can be used at a solemn or a happy event is wise.  Have you ever been caught off guard, had to attend a funeral and didn’t have the appropriate clothing to wear while you were on the vacation of your dreams?  Tell me about it in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

More Time Than Money


A recent 2020 poll ranked Barbados the 12th most expensive country to live in.  Without fact checking, I concur.  Don’t get me wrong.  Life on the island is sweet, but the cost of living is very high.  Albeit, I decided to add an extension to my already extended vacation.  Tourists, like me, may be tempted to do the same but they would quickly learn that it could spell disaster to their memorable vacation, especially in their pockets.

The main costs tourists encounter on their travels are accommodation, transportation, entertainment, and food.  Miscellaneous purchases can be controlled.  The four categories can be budgeted for ahead of the trip, but an unplanned extended stay in a country where the cost of living is high can bring stresses, discomforts and unwanted anxieties just to navigate the much needed break until departure time.

Early in January I began a project which I fittingly labeled ‘a labor of love’ since it finished on the scheduled, February 14th date.  I chose to renovate a couple rooms in my mom’s home.  What I thought would be an easy fix has morphed into six weeks of digging, drilling, hammering, pushing and pulling.  On any given day, I have the carpenter and assistant, mason, electrician, tiler, painter, and plumber on the site.  Undertaking the operation has forced me to go shopping for supplies and I am often left aghast at some of the prices.  Thank God I am not burdened with the aforementioned vacation costs and project costs too.  Financially, I would be ‘out to sea’ (which could be an option since I live less than 10 minutes from the seashore 😂) if my current situation  depended only on the foreign currency I brought with me.

Community Peeps, have you ever had more time than money on your vacation?  Well, there are a few things you can do to preempt your holiday going bust.  When organizing your itinerary do the following,

  • Set a budget for the duration of the retreat.
  • Stick to the budget.
  • If you think you might prolong your stay, at least have a financial buffer to withstand any incurred expenses for that period of time.
  • Resolve not to get into debt, but rather go home and come again some other time.

So, have you ever run short of money on a trip?  Share your experience and what you did to survive in the comment box below.

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Itinerary Planner

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