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.

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.

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Itinerary Planner


Sounds Of The Night

Are you sleep deprived?  Do you have a sleep deficit?  If you answered “yes” to either of these questions then a vacation is what you need to catch up on your ZZzzzzs.  When planning a bespoke vacation itinerary most people don’t think of outlining the amount of time they will spend sleeping.   That thought sounds like a pure waste of time on a good vacation, right?  Of course, the general idea of every traveler is to squeeze every ounce of excitement, adventure, entertainment and enjoyment that they possibly can, out of the vacation.  Understandably so.  They may have saved for many years for the journey, or the leave might have been in the works for some time before becoming a reality, or yet again, it may be a trip of a lifetime and certainly not a minute should be wasted, especially on something as simple as sleep which could be done at home.

It is logical why tourists seek to maximize on every minute of their custom made itineraries.   Arguably, engaging in sightseeing, adventures and outings are not generally a part of their regular daily lifestyle.  However, it is imperative that some thought be given to obtaining a good night’s rest even while on vacation.  Restful sleep is important and will enhance the holiday experience of the tripper on a whole.

Most tourists that visit my island home come from the major cities of North America and Europe.  They come looking to have a good time, day and night.  While they may choose to burn their candles at both ends and even in the middle here, those who opt to catch a few winks will find their rest, peaceful and invigorating.  Gone are the loud noises of the big cities they left behind like honking horns, jackhammers in construction, sirens, etc., but are replaced with the peaceful sounds of night that help to lull the weary tourist to sleep.  Sounds like the rustle of gentle breezes in the trees, the lapping of the waves on the edge of the seashore, the sound of intermittent showers of rain on a zinc roof, and the chirping of crickets.

Why am I writing on this subject of restful sleep at this time of my visit?  Obviously, my sleep was disturbed by sounds of booming music coming from a well-known plantation ‘Great House’ (recently witnessed fireworks display on New Year’s Eve for the first time there too).   Apparently, this is a sign of creeping changes that are becoming the new norm in my neighborhood.  Therefore, it is my opinion, that the sounds of the night that I am so accustomed to are under threat as entertainment venues are venturing beyond the city and tourist areas limits.  Thank God, this occurrence happens on a weekend and is not a nightly disturbance.

Community Peeps, even though your itinerary may be jam-packed with lots to do and see, make sure to receive enough sleep every night.   It is not wasted time.  Your body will thank you for it after a vigorous, high energy and active day’s outing.  It will make the holiday a memorable experience and, on your return, you won’t feel like you need a vacation from the vacation.  Is there anything you would like to add about the benefits of a good night’s sleep when on holiday?  Please share 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.

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Happy New Year, Peace and Joy, Bugs And All

Happy New Year!  Peace and joy to one and all.

2020 is spanking new and beautiful.  I love new things and I eagerly look forward to all that will unfold this year.  It has been a month already that I have been in my tropical paradise, and though I have had a wonderful holiday season, there has been and continues to be moments where I have been uncomfortable.  It’s all because of the pesky bugs, mostly mosquitoes and sand flies.  Other’s laugh at my dilemma and say it’s because I’ve been away from these shores far too long, and the bugs love new blood.”  So how have I been handling the situation?  Let me tell you how.

20200103_102839First, the usual forms of relief from repellent sprays and rubs that were recommended were quickly rejected only because from past experiences, I realized after profuse use of them I would begin to feel lethargic and weary.  I concluded that the anatomical sprays were affecting me physically.  Therefore, I have opted not to use the sprays or lather my skin with strong odorous oils.

My woeful complaints have reached the ears of friends and family who have volunteered their remedies with conviction that if followed to the letter, I would receive quick relief.  In my desperation, I am tempted to throw all reason out and without question try the suggestions just to have a moments peace from these dreaded bugs.  To help the situation I have cleared away thick bush and brush, trimmed tree branches that may have been a haven for the insects and removed pooled collections of rainwater from around the home.


Some encouraged me to place citronella scented cotton balls around the corners of the home (that would be a whole lot of cotton balls in my estimation 😂).  Citronella has a strong yet pleasant odor.  It is a scent used in candles to drive away the bugs at summer outdoor outings, day or night.  Another solution would be to burn a coil that releases a slow haze of smoke into the air.

Others recommended rubbing familiar lotions or natural oils as a first line of defense and protection on my skin.  The lists includes Listerine and even Petroleum Jelly.  I don’t know if either works.  The thought of a mouth rinse and a sticky substance is neither appealing nor I imagine comfortable.

20200103_102857Yet another recommendation, and this my mother swears by, is hanging a few branches of Soursop or Neem trees leaves over the bed and around the room for a peaceful night’s rest from the buzzing mosquitoes.  This may sound ludicrous, but these old-wives tales usually have some measure of truth to them.

What have I been doing then?  I simply grin and bear it.  Hours before retiring to bed I spray the room with an insecticide for all flying and crawling creatures.  While sitting on the porch or in wide open spaces, I use the battery powered wand which zaps any that may dare to fly pass.  For any bites and stings I receive, I use the astringent Witch Hazel to soothe my skin.  It is fast acting and provides relief within a short time.

For those traveling to the tropics in 2020, you will undoubtedly encounter a similar circumstance and may want a quick remedy.  You can always opt to bring the repellents sprays, or natural oils that bests suit you.  Packing a mosquito net is not a bad idea either.  Simply remember, the downside to an awesome vacation could be the bugs but you can offset that if you are prepared and willing to combat the situation with remedies that work.

Community Peeps, besides the bugs, in my opinion it is still worth the trip to visit my tropical paradise.  After all, it is just another snippet of life in this beautiful island of sun, sea and sand.  I want to wish all of you an awesome 2020.  May your blessings always exceed your expectations.   Thank you for being a part of mine.  Do you have a remedy that works that you would like to share?  Write 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.

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Itinerary Planner




Bajan Blooms At Christmas

On a trip to Barbados, a visitor can expect to see a variety of flowers in full bloom.  The lush vegetation supports a variety of plants and shrubbery of all colors and hues.  The bright, vivid colors also lend to the gaiety of the festive season.   Expats and foreigners can enjoy particular blooms during the holiday season that they wouldn’t be able to throughout the year.  The first three photos are a few of those foliage and another reason why Barbados is a special place to visit for the holidays.  This beautiful snippet of Bajan blooms may appeal to the traveler who loves adventure and the natural environment, but to all of you who read this post, I hope you enjoy the Christmas flowers as much as I enjoy seeing them resplendently swaying in the tropical breeze.







Besides, the Christmas blooms, below are a wide range of plants and shrubs you would find at the botanical gardens or local nature reserves as you traverse the length and breadth of the island.   The featured image is the notable national flower – “Pride of Barbados” (photo credit below).

Community Peeps, consider these flowers a bouquet of flowers just for you.  May your Christmas holiday be beautiful and bright as these are.  If traveling to your dream destination, do so safely.  Treasure every moment with friends and family and have a happy holiday.  Remember to leave your comments 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.

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Credit of featured image  – NB Photography “Pride of Barbados”




Cou-Cou – A Snippet of Bajan Culture

The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish.   To make an authentic Bajan version of cou-cou, one must have corn flour, okra and an implement called a cou-cou stick (the wood stick also doubled as a corrective instrument when we were naughty kids 😂).  Besides flying fish, cou-cou can be paired with other fish or meats that meets the eater’s palate.  Some folk would swear that the choice of meat and gravy is what makes the dish so appetizing, but that is subjective and left up to the diner’s preference.  Even though the staple ingredient is course or finely ground corn flour, other ingredients such as cheese, butter, milk, etc. may be added to enhance the flavor and consistency.

The corn flour meal is known by different names in other places around the world.  In some of the Caribbean islands it is fungi, in others it’s called tun cornmeal, in USA and Canada it’s grits, and as far away as Italy it is called polenta.   In all these countries the variations exhibit a consistency quite different to each other when cooked that may be either firm, soft or runny .

Today we cooked cou-cou with salted codfish gravy.  View the ingredients below.

Want to try your hand at making the dish?  Follow the simple recipe below:

  • 1 pound of finely ground corn flour
  • 12 or more medium sized okras
  • Large onion
  • Salt
  • Water

Cut off the tops and tips of the okras and slice okra into rings.  Place okras, salt and onion in a large saucepan of boiling water.  Cook okras until soft and tender, and until water has a slime.

Strain the okra from the slimy liquid and put in a separate bowl.

Pour half of the remaining liquid into another bowl and leave the balance in the saucepan.

On a medium to low fire, add in the dry corn flour into the liquid that was left in the saucepan.  Use the cou-cou stick to stir the corn flour in a circular motion to avoid lumps.  At intervals, gradually add in small amounts of the slimy liquid from the bowl, stirring continuously to allow the corn flour to steam and cook.

Once corn flour is cooked it will become thicker and stiffer.  Gradually add in the okra to give the cooked corn flour a mellow smooth texture.

Mom’s test for well-cooked cou-cou:  Place the stick in the center of the cou-cou.  Stick should stand upright to show stiffness.  Pull stick from cou-cou.  The stick should come away clean, not with clinging clumps.  If the stick falls when you put it to stand upright and does not come out clean, then it means the mixture still has too much water and needs more steaming.  

20191206_112552Cou-cou is most enjoyable with lots of gravy.  The gravy may be seasoned to suit your specific taste.  Try this tasty dish, you won’t be disappointed.

Community Peeps, now that I am enjoying life in the land of the sand, sea and sun, I also want to share with you snippets of the Bajan culture from time to time that will help you become familiar with my island home.  2020 is around the corner and now would be a good time to plan a bespoke vacation to the shores of Bimshire, if you haven’t already.  Any questions?  Let me know in the comment box below and I’ll gladly assist with your itinerary.

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.

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Itinerary Planner




Hurricane Dorian At Your Doorstep

In elementary school, we learned a pithy little saying which we would recite every year to remind us what season it was.  It went like this, “June too soon.  July stand by.  August a must.  September remember.  October all over.”  This little rhyme helped children to know the months hurricanes are expected to strike.  Though August is a popular travel month and summer is at its zenith, it is also one of the worst times for weather conditions in the Caribbean.  Storms, squalls, frequent rains and gale-force winds are common occurrences.  Usually by the time we hear of an approaching hurricane, the first letter in the name indicates how many other hurricanes, although not a threat, may have already passed for the season.  At this time of the year, I get a little nervous for my family members, friends and fellow Barbadians (Bajans).

This week my island paradise – Barbados, was on lock down for more than 24 hours, halting air traffic in and out of the island.  Dorian was still considered in the tropical storm category at that time as it came barreling up the Atlantic coast, making a beeline to the 166 square miles of coral and limestone rock I call home.  As usual, Bajans took all necessary precautions to secure themselves, homes and businesses.   Supermarkets and gas stations were overwhelmed with people in long lines as locals stocked up on non-perishable items to sustain them in the aftermath.  Shelters were manned, prepared and ready to receive persons who felt unsafe in their homes or in distress.  The Government Information Service and Meteorological Department gave timely updates on the progress of the tropical storm and expected times when it would make landfall.  Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a press conference urged Bajans to work together and to prepare for the onslaught.  A curfew was initiated and the islanders hunkered down fearing the worse.  The last and deadliest hurricane to strike Barbados was back in 1955 – Hurricane Janet.  Even though it happened more than 64 years ago, folks who experienced it still talk of the strong winds, flattened houses and overall devastation left in its wake.

How has Dorian impacted me you might ask?  Well, all thanks be to God, my family members are safe.  My niece who is an EHS manager with Sandals Resort worked through the night to ensure the safety of guests and staff.  Obviously, beach front properties face the first strong winds to blow in from the sea and every precaution is taken to ensure the safety and evacuation of guests as necessary.   Also, far away from home, four family members, a nurse and a teacher, respectively, along with their sons are visiting the USA on vacation could not return to Barbados due to the lock-down.  Their flight was cancelled, and they are now scheduled to return in September.  This delay puts their jobs in jeopardy, but I am hopeful their bosses will be understanding and accommodating.  I am glad to say, both these situations are mild inconveniences but are not life threatening and for that I am grateful.

Though the people of Barbados are blest and were fortunate to escape the wrath of tropical storm Dorian, it has since gained strength, momentum and become a full-fledged hurricane at the doorstep of other countries and populations.  It is currently baring down on those in the Bahamas and threatening those along the Florida coastline.  I am praying for the safety of everyone.  Especially for those affected residents directly in its path, first responders and emergency workers.  In the meantime, for those traveling here are some tips to remember if caught in this vortex:

  1. You can expect delays or flight cancellations, check with your airline on departure time
  2. Plan to rearrange your itineraries if scheduled to depart or arrive at your holiday destination
  3. Listen to weather updates and accede to directives on safety measures as given by those in authority
  4. Seek help if needed
  5. Know where your shelter is and how to get to it
  6. Have medications and prescriptions filled in case of inaccessibility to a pharmacy for a few days
  7. Keep all your electronic devices fully charged
  8. Prepare a go-bag

Community Peeps, I’ve never experienced a hurricane, nor do I want to.  Having said that, I acknowledge it must be a traumatic experience for residents furthermore any visiting tourist who have had the misfortune to encounter.  If you have been through such an ordeal at home or abroad, please tell us of it here.  Write it and additional tips in the comment box below.  Share how you dealt with the situation and what you did to be safe.

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.

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Itinerary Planner

Protracted Summer-itis

The end of summer is looming but it does not have to be a dreaded time.  Surveys have proven people are happier during the summer months and I can understand why.  It is the best time of the year to take a vacation.  There are more scheduled outdoor activities and events to attend.  Kids are on break from school for a while.  There are more daylight hours to enjoy the things we love to do outdoors, and the weather is warm and inviting except for a few natural conditions that may arise here and there.  On a whole there are lots of reasons why summertime is the best three months of the year.

Having said all of that, you will agree with me that it is quickly slipping away day after day.  Nothing we can do to make time stand still and summer remain forever.  That would be wishful thinking, selfishness and inconsideration to those who love the other seasons of the year.  However, for all those who may already be feeling dread at seeing the summer winding up so quickly, I have some thoughtful suggestions which may cheer you up.

  1. Start planning your next vacation. It is not too early to consider your options.  Plan a sunny getaway for those coming months when it will be cold and dark.  Look around at all the places and possibilities like cruising, short trips to the nearby Caribbean and South America.  Decide now what type of trip it will be, whether an adventurous one or a sedate, relaxing time away with your significant other or alone.
  2. Write it down. This will help to map out your plan and lay the foundation for the vacation of your dreams and how you plan to achieve it.  Seeing it all on paper may help you to visualize all the possibilities.  Keeping a list of vacation to-dos will keep your plans in focus and give you something to look forward to during the colder months.
  3. Set time frames. Put achievable limits on your plans.  Do not leave your itinerary plans to the last minute.
  4. If you have more money you can do a whole lot more for the vacation you want, agreed? Well, create a savings plan.  Open savings account and systematically contribute a decided amount weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.  Create a budget for your holiday spend.
  5. Go shopping. It’s therapy.  As retailers restock their shelves with fall merchandise and are eager to get rid of summer stock, cash in on the bargains that you can use in future travels.  Items such as:  Sandals, straw hats, beachwear and trendy summer fashion that would be totally out of place in the deep freeze.
  6. Having bought a new wardrobe, donate the gently used threads to a local thrift store. This is therapy too.  Charitable gifts will fulfill someone else’s travel dreams.
  7. Set your goals, time-frames and commit to your plans.  Post a copy of your plan in an area where you can see it and be reminded of the approaching date.

Community Peeps, experiencing protracted summeritis helps me to cope through each season until the next summer begins.  Maybe you have other ways of dealing with seeing this summer wrapping up that you would like to share with me.  Please do so 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.

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Room Check Please

I don’t like snakes.  Plain and simple.  None.  Not even rubber snakes.  This week I read of a woman who woke up in her hotel room to find a garden snake on her arm.  At first thinking it was her husband she suddenly remembered he was not there; and opened her eyes to the surprise of her life.  She jumped up flinging the serpent across the room.  Read of her ordeal here.  Now I can’t begin to tell you what my reaction would have been.  Surely some screaming and hollering, then beating the life out of that snake.

Don’t call animal rights activists for me just yet, I actually do like animals but not that close.  It is my practice to thoroughly check my hotel room before settling down for a good night’s sleep.  I look under the bed and peel back the covers for anything that may be lurking in the dark areas, also I check behind picture frames and vanities for large holes where small animals can hide or for hidden cameras.  These things have been known to happen and I do not want to be a victim.  I also do the mirror test again for any spying activity but that’s a different post for another time.

To do a quick search of the room only takes a few minutes.   It helps to put my mind at ease.  To eliminate the possibility that there may be unwanted intruders from the animal kingdom such as centipedes, lizards, millipedes, roaches, spiders, scorpions, etc. is paramount to me enjoying a restful sleep in a relax environment.  Now, you may think I’m being a bit over the top, paranoid, or even influenced by too much television, but the fact of the matter is I prefer that all creatures remain in their natural habitats and not venture into mine.

I can still recall with trepidation the anxiety and fears I felt while visiting a boarding school/orphanage in Cambodia.  After a tour of the school and the orphanage’s living quarters, I sat down with my host at a picnic table under a tree with large shady branches, to eat the meal they prepared for me.  A few of the children would wander in an out of the space.  Some with quizzical looks on their faces.  Of course, our conversation was about life on the compound.  Among other things, I learned that the host’s pet dog became blind because of an attack from a spitting viper found under their bed, and at one time while eating at the same picnic table a snake dropped unceremoniously down from the branches.  Everyone scattered.  I don’t think those stories were told to frighten me.  The host was just recounting a day in their life of always expecting the unexpected.  However, my reaction was to immediately scan the tree and nearby shrubbery for snakes.  Needless to say, I was wary from that moment on.

Community Peeps, you may recall in a previous post (check the blog archives) how I talked of my ordeal in Trinidad and Tobago and my encounter with a few geckos in the room.  How my companion and I spent the entire night watching the geckos on the ceiling to make sure they didn’t fall on us (we had never seen geckos before).  We didn’t sleep a wink but kept the lights on the whole time.   Come to think of it, the geckos were probably more scared of us than we were of them 😁😁.   What has been your experience with any unwelcome room occupants other than your pet?  Please tell of the experience, good or bad, 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.

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Sarcastic About Sargassum

Recent reports in travel news have stated beaches along the south coast were experiencing a new phenomenon that could threaten the livelihood of the tourism industry there.  The culprit is none other than a seaweed called – Sargassum (read the article in highlighted link).  If it is one thing tourist expect when they go to a beach is to find it pristine, the waters clean and clear of debris.  They expect to enjoy a time of fun and frolic in the sea and on the sand without interference.  However, the sea algae much to the consternation of the beachgoer is getting in the way, is unsightly and smells foul when it decomposes.

Sargassum has only just reached our shores along the Atlantic, but this problem has been a nightmare throughout the Caribbean for a few years now.  Governments of popular tourist destinations have been grappling with the predicament for some time and their tourism industries have been affected.  The maintenance of beaches and disposal of the seaweed has caused distressed hoteliers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The brown and orange colored seaweed is thick and presents an obstruction to marine life like turtles and smaller fish that thrive and live on the coral reefs near the shore.  Even small fishing boats have difficulty cutting through the impasse, before their motors become entangled in the weeds.  On occasion, when flying into my paradise island home Barbados, from the air I have seen long, large swathes of the plant floating on top the ocean waves heading for the shore.  Because the island has been inundated with the algae, the government, at one time had to declare a national emergency.

For the tourist, this obstacle hampers the time they spend in the water.  I for one, don’t like stepping into the surf with seaweed ebb and flowing at my feet, furthermore, having to wade through to a depth where swimming would be more enjoyable.  The seaweed can also be a dangerous impediment not only to adults, but especially for small children who may become entangled while swimming.

Community Peeps, if you have travel plans to vacation in the south or to visit an island in the Caribbean, simply be aware of the disgusting seaweed.  Maybe if your favorite hotel/beach is faced with this dilemma then you can plan an alternative itinerary for your time there.  I don’t mean to be sarcastic about Sargassum when I tell you don’t get wrapped up in the beach this summer.  Be aware.  Your comments on any encounters are always welcomed.  Write them 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.

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Benign Surveillances

Whenever I travel, one of my favorite pastimes is to people watch and I’m sure it is safe to say it is the same for you too.  Touring and sightseeing popular places give me the ability to do just that.  Unnoticed by others, I would observe their antics, behaviors and mannerisms while I rest.  Some of the best places I have done this include, but are not limited to are the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain in Rome, Rialto Bridge and St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell in Barcelona to name a few popular venues where there is heavy foot traffic.

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As I study tourists whom I meet, I have found they are inquisitive by nature, and want to know all about me.  What makes me tick?  Who am I?  Where do I come from?  What makes me special?  These and many more questions may be on the minds of those you meet as you travel also.  Whether I travel with strangers in a group or meet locals for the very first time solo, we want to exchange information about each other.  We want to get to know who the other is.  From the moment residents lay eyes on you, they too can tell that you don’t belong, you’re a foreigner and that you do not fit into their regular mold.  What brings them to these conclusions?  Mostly the way you dress, your accent or language is a big give-away, and certainly your wide-eyed stares and interest in unfamiliar things and surroundings. Whatever the identifiers, you can tell from the quizzical looks, smirks, finger points, or other gestures, that they have burning questions on their minds about you.  Some may even muster enough courage to ask you questions outright.

Throughout my international travels though, there is one question that I have been asked repeatedly – Where are you from?  Sometimes I hesitate to give an answer based on who is asking or the context from which it is asked.  Other times, I readily respond either giving a long or short answer.  Besides nationality, there are other burning questions like:  Are you traveling alone? Where do you live? Can I touch your hair?  Case in point, I recall traveling on a long distant bus from Vietnam to Cambodia and on that trip, I endured finger pointing, stares, some ‘who-are-you’ smiles and even one passenger as she was going down the aisle dared to touch my hair.  It was long ride and I was the only black person on the bus, so I stood out like a sore thumb.  I wasn’t afraid but I felt as though I was a novelty (or maybe a celebrity 🤣) to my fellow passengers, and they had never seen a real life black person up close.

I get it, they want to know more about me, and judging from my differences, they can’t tell whether I come from a particular country of Africa, Jamaica or Wakanda😂.  If I say I live in the USA, my non-American accent begs additional questions, so I give more explanations.  Many times, when I call my island home by name, they don’t know where in the world it is.  However, if I mention Rihanna a knowing smile takes place.

Community Peeps, people watching is a relaxing, non-intrusive activity that one can engage in to past the time on their journey.  Is it an activity you like to participate in?  What are your thoughts about these benign surveillances?  You may have more questions than answers, but always remember while you are watching someone, another, somewhere maybe watching you.

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 comments in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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