Travel Diary: Barbados

Oh how time flies! Feels just like yesterday when my husband and I were sunning ourselves on the beautiful white sandy beaches of Barbados. In fact, it’s been just over a month and the holiday blues are still very much apparent.

Turning the dirty thirty wasn’t a welcomed transition for me. So much so that my husband decided that the only way to soften the blow was to whisk me away to an island far far away from the barrage of questions as to why I haven’t bore a child yet (my fellow Indians will understand the annoyance of such questions). I couldn’t have picked a better destination for putting my reproductive clock on the back burner.

This was our first visit to a Caribbean island; which is quite shocking considering that we both thoroughly enjoy travelling, particularly to unknown destinations. When booking our honeymoon, we had considered a Caribbean island, but settled on the Maldives simply for the isolated beaches. I must say, there’s no comparison between the two. Although the beaches in Maldives are far better than the Caribbean, there was a lot more to do in Barbados.

Slightly different to my regular posts, I’ve decided to take you all on a trip down memory lane and perhaps inspire if you are looking to visit in the near future.

Welcome to the colourful island of Barbados…

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We visited many of the beaches along the west and south coast of Barbados. The north and east coasts tend to be reserved for hardcore water sport enthusiasts due to the wide wind-blown beaches. The west and south coasts are far more popular for holiday makers looking for gentle shores.

Barbados has more than 70 miles of pink and white sand beaches; all of which are accessible to the public. Great for those who like to beach-hop around the island, but terrible for those who are looking for exclusivity.

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With much reservation I managed to conquer my fear of open water. There were a lot of tears and tantrums, but the water was so warm and inviting I couldn’t back down!

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Straw sun hat : Primark £4

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Baroque Sunglasses : Prada £207

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We’ve all seen the tv ads and we’ve all envisioned ourselves as one of the beautiful models running in slow motion across crisp white sandy beaches. Sandals is the Caribbean and the Caribbean is Sandals. My husband has always known that it’s been a dream of mine to reside within a Sandals resort and he made my dream come true. The Sandals resort in Barbados was exactly what I had seen on the tv. Daily entertainment, wonderful beach parties, incredible food and over-the-top pretentiousness that only someone as superficial as I am would truly appreciate.

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There were 11 dining options in the resort, including this chic Parisian cafe right outside of our suite. From lattes to freshly baked crepes, there was a daily rotation of fresh goodies to enjoy through out the day. Around 5pm, on a daily basis, we would grab a cold coffee and the world’s best red velvet cupcake whilst taking in the beautiful scenery around us.

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If there’s anything that the Bajans and I have in common it would be our love for hot sauce. A meal isn’t complete without a bottle of the hot stuff and I made sure to stock up on plenty of different flavours. Thankfully I wasn’t stopped by customs on the way back home, because the potency of this stuff could easily contribute to an atomic bomb.

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When we were looking to cool down, there was always a local nearby selling fresh aloe vera juice cut straight from the cactus. Aloe vera has high levels of hydration and cooling properties which is perfect under the blazing sun. Now I would rather skin myself alive than drink neat aloe vera juice so I opted for a topical use instead. This guy was kind enough to give me an amazingly refreshing foot massage using freshly cut stems.

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Miami Vice cocktail : recipe found here

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The Sandy Lane hotel. Vacation home to the rich and famous. You unfortunately cannot even breathe upon this hotel without a reservation; which thankfully we had. However, if you’re not a resident, you’re watched upon like a hawk throughout your entire visit. Completely understandable as Jay Z and Beyonce don’t particularly want any old riff raff around their dinner table. Be warned, this hotel is not for the faint hearted. The over the top marble fixtures and impeccable service makes this hotel as famous as its name. We had dinner at one of their beautiful adorned restaurants and despite its pretentiousness, the food was incredible good and VERY filling!

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Number one Sandy Lane; which resides next door to the famous hotel, houses 8 10,000 sq ft apartments. Rihanna calls one of them her home during her frequent visits back to her home town. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside, but I imagine it is just as opulent as the hotel.

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One of the best ways to view the island in all its glory is by boat. There are many excursion agents around the island who can arrange this.

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The Atlantis Submarine is an absolute must for those closet Ariels out there looking to explore under the sea (sorry I had to). Travelling 150ft beneath the water’s surface, you can experience the busy reef life and encounter numerous discoveries which are normally reserved for experienced scuba divers. Considering that I can get claustrophobic, it was a fairly comfortable journey and definitely a tick off the bucket list.

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Coconut palms and tropical flowers are abundant all around the island. Barbados houses 700 species of indigenous plants, two of which are unique to the island. Phyllanthus andersonii and Metastelma barbadense bear small white flowers in vine-like plants.

 

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Beautifully perfumed Hibiscus flowers

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Last, but certainly not least is the private beach dinner that my thoughtful husband planned on the eve of my birthday. Listening to the waves crashing against the shores whilst enjoying copious amounts of champagne and freshly grilled food was most definitely the highlight of my trip. Of course, the company wasn’t too bad either.

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In-flight Skincare Essentials

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I love travelling, however, I’m not the best flyer. I don’t get nervous by any means, just uncomfortable. Perhaps it’s the stale cardboard food, the screaming children or the fact that I’m usually slightly pissed from the free drinks at the airport lounge. Whatever the cause, long-haul flights are not always the most glamorous of experiences.

Like most frequent flyers, my skin gets uncomfortably dry during the course of a flight. Recycled air, lack of sleep and substituting water for miniature wine bottles all contribute to excessive moisture loss. I therefore make it a priority to treat my skin to some much needed R&R when I’m sailing across the skies.

I have no shame at all when it comes to skincare indulgence (on flights as well as in general life). I’m not talking full on facials, but I certainly like to dabble in a bit of pampering before I reach my destination. Along with my generic essentials (toothbrush, hair clips, etc), I take with me skincare products; which will feed and nourish my skin as well as being travel friendly.

Simple Kind To Skin Facial Wipes £3.25

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I’ve been a fan of these facial wipes for quite some time. There’s no bullshit with these wipes. They do exactly what they say on the tin (or rather plastic packaging). Containing a blend of multi-vitamins and gentle cleansers to refresh and moisturise the skin, these wipes are as straight forward as they get. They contain no alcohol or harsh chemicals; which means that your skin isn’t stripped of its natural oils.

I like to do the majority of my skincare from the comfort of my seat; which makes these wipes perfect for a quick cleanse. I usually favour a double cleanse with a cream based liquid cleanser, but as I tend to forgo the makeup when I’m travelling, these wipes give me a good enough cleanse without having to faff about in the restrooms.

MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Gel Mask £4.75 per sheet

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Yes, you read that title right! I put snail crap on my face (told you I have no limitations with my skincare). Snail slime/gel is seriously beneficial for the delicate skin on your face. It boasts a wide range of anti-aging benefits including softened wrinkles, smoother skin, antioxidant protection and improved hydration.

As gross as it sounds, snail gel is the most coveted beauty secrets of today. Made famous by the Japanese beauty industry (who by the way, don’t mess about when it comes to innovative beauty products), snail gel is loved by all who are looking to hydrate, rejuvenate, and revitalise their skin.

I love slapping on a good face mask when I’m on a flight and when I say face mask, I mean a full on sheet mask. Some find it embarrassing. My husband shakes his head in disbelief when he finds himself sitting next someone who closely resembles Michael Myers. I, however, love it. Nothing beats the feeling of a moiturising sheet mask when your skin is crying out for some hydration.

Sheet masks are perfect for travelling, en route to and at your destination. They take up virtually no space, they’re mess free and and they require very little preparation. This one from MISSHA is a perfectly proportioned drink for your skin. Containing a blend of snail slime and baobab tree extract, this mask adds an insane amount of moisture whilst preventing skin damage. The active ingredients adhere to your body’s natural temperature and allows for deep absorption. Apply both parts of the mask after cleansing and leave to rest for 20 minutes to an hour, depending on your mood. Once removed, press the remaining liquid into the skin for hydration that will last you through out the flight.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate (30ml) £13.00

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Of course when I’m done with my hydrating mask, I look to an equally as hydrating facial moituriser to lock and seal in the goodness. In all honesty, you can’t get more hydrating than this cream even if you were to splash a glass of water over yourself. Enriched with essential fatty acids and vitamins, this lotion adds nourishment to your parched skin and protects your complexion from environmental aggressors, such as unhygienic airplanes. The consistency is thick and creamy, and absorbs instantly into your skin without making you feel greasy.

This has been hailed as every makeup artist’s secret weapon, as it adds an insane amount of moisture to your skin, but also serves as an excellent primer. Once you’re done with your flight, you could double this up as a foundation primer at your destination and save yourself a little room in your makeup bag.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado £20.00

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I touched on this product in my Evening Skincare Routine blog post at the beginning of this year. I suffer from quite dry and itchy skin around my eyes; which requires a lot of moisture. This eye cream has been sought after by many beauty enthusiasts around the world as a way to hydrate their delicate peepers.

Avocado oil and vitamin A help to add a comfortable blanket around your eyes and relives you of any irritation that a contact lens wearer like me usually gets on flights. However, this isn’t a miracle worker, nor claims to be, when it comes to deeper, more concerning issues. It’s just a simple way to add incredible moisture in an environment which dries your eyes out. Apply the tiniest amount with your ring finger under and around the orbital bone of your eyes and slip on an eye mask to lock in the moisture.

Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips 15ml

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Selected as a finalist for the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2015, this is another cult product; which acts as an all rounder. This 100% naturally sourced balm provides healing and hydration to the driest of lips. Think vaseline with much better packaging, consistency and smell – ok, don’t think vaseline, they’re nothing alike. My bad!

Originally formulated to soothe dry, cracking nipples of breastfeeding mothers, this has a truly versatile formula which helps to heal and soften dry, chapped lips, dry cuticles, feet and elbows, soothe itchy skin and relieve eczema. It also helps to heal sore, chapped noses, sooth chapped and irritated nipples, eliminate split ends in the hair and moisturise eye lashes.

I’m forever applying lip balm to my lips. Mostly to feed my OCD daemon, but also because I had yet to come across a formula which didn’t slip and slide off from my lips after a short time. This balm certainly doesn’t do that. Once applied, I don’t need to worry about my lips for several hours. It also adds a dewy sheen to my lips; which is always a bonus in my books.

Comment below with your in-flight essentials so that I can try them out on my next flight.