Island Diaries: East Coast Explorin'

July 10, 2015

On Wednesday afternoon I took my Trini friend Shenelle and our pooch Jouvert to see the rugged East Coast of the island. The entire coastline is currently blanketed in sargassum seaweed, and though it is a huge environmental issue that is causing serious damage to our marine life and to our tourism industry, I couldn't help but find these scenes quite beautiful. The colour of the sargassum ranges from light, mustard yellow to a rich copper (and even black once it starts to decay).  Cattlewash was once a treasure chest of shells and other beautiful beachy bits, but sadly all I collected that day was garbage.  It freaks me out to see so much plastic littering the shoreline and I collected three 'hauls' of garbage in just over an hour. It's so gross! I found about 16 plastic bottles, pieces of fishing rope/nets, Styrofoam pieces and other random bits of plastic containers and a lot of it gets tangled in the seaweed so it's even harder to clean it up now. 

I also took on the challenge of trying to get Jouvert to pose for a photo, using her tennis ball. Let me tell ya, this was no easy feat! For some reason she absolutely hates the camera and refuses to look at it, but she loves her ball, so we quickly figured a way around this.

Ain't nothing better than the salty wind in your face to relax you at the end of the day and I only wish I could do it more often, seaweed and all.

Throwback: Ladies who SUP

July 9, 2015
Just over two years ago I entered a travel competition hosted by called "My Biggest, Baddest Bucketlist." The whole experience was a lot of fun and I spent two weeks collecting footage from across the island to use in my video entry.

I wanted to focus on the local Bajan perspective; what we eat, what we do for fun, that sort of thing, so I rallied a group of my girlfriends (yes, they really are my friends and they really are that hot!) and convinced Ryan from What' SUP Barbados to lend us his boards for a morning of fun in the sun. I ended up using a few seconds of this footage for my video entry (I was limited to 3 mins) and I nearly forgot about the remaining footage until recently! This was the first time I ever used a GoPro (I think it was a Hero2) which I borrowed from a friend, and I edited this video using iMovie, which is so much more advanced than the Movie Editor programme I used in 2013 for my entry.

I hope this video inspires my girlfriends to get together again soon for a remake! 

Thanks again for being awesome ladies, and special thanks to Ryan who tolerated a group of giggly girls for the morning! You can get in touch with WhatsSUP Barbados here.

#badblogger problems

July 7, 2015
I've been going through one of the 'quiet' phases that have come to define this blog and they generally reflect pretty busy periods of my [real] life which leave me with little time for my hobbies, of which blogging is top 3. Instead of getting frustrated though, I'm reflecting on how these 'slumps' in blogging are defined by the following issues I've faced as a blogger over the years. For those who got excited and thought this post was about adorable puppies, I apologise, because it's not. But I promise a post dedicated to these babies soon!

Blog/Life balance

My friend Setarra always mentions the balance between living your life and actually blogging about it, and I couldn't agree with her more. Obviously I wouldn't have anything to talk about if I wasn't out there doing my thing, but finding time to blog (properly) is very difficult. Friends have commented that they would never have the time to blog, but blogging is just like any other hobby/thing I enjoy doing, and I treat it as such. I have to chose between reading a book and writing a post on here, or anything else I enjoy doing, when I have a free minute. Finding those free minutes has been tough recently, as I continue to say 'yes' to too many projects and wish there were more hours in the day. It's tough, but it's just how this all works for me and I can't don't function well when I pressure myself to treat blogging as something I have to do.

Quality over quantity

This goes without saying, but it's difficult keeping up with posts! I don't know how successful 'amateur' bloggers do it, but kudos to them for keeping quality content coming. I have over 1000+ 'draft' posts saved on here, and I fully intend on publishing them all, one day, once I have taken the time to edit and finish them off.  I have to fight the urge to post for the sake of it, and I thank Instagram for being a no fuss creative outlet that allows me to post photos without the hassle. After years of playing this blogging game, I often think 'ooh, I need to blog about this!' but then I find myself lacking the 'juice' needed to make a decent post. The Type A in me also takes over in cases like this, and I can't publish something without it feeling just right. Over the years, I have also learned to rely on my 'editorial team' for certain posts. These friends read through my more serious stuff before I post too, to keep me from posting something that may come across differently to how I intended or to make me really think of what I am trying to achieve by posting certain things.

Time management

I think time management is one of the most valuable skills you can have these days, with all of the garbage that is thrown at us on a daily basis, it's so easy to get distracted or wrapped up in something irrelevant. I'm working on developing this skill, but this blog zaps up time like none other. I try to carve out 'creative' time for myself on a daily basis, whether it's blogging, painting or editing video content. Blogging always takes longer than expected though (especially editing) and I find myself shying away from writing sometimes for fear of getting too wrapped up in it and losing track of time.

Do any of my bloggy friends have the same issues? How do you deal with some of them? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


July 6, 2015

OH heeyyyy, it's been awhile! 

New posts coming your way this week! In the mean time, come say hi on Insta, where I haven't been [quite] as absent.

UN Symposium "Caribbean Youth Speak: The World We Want Post-2015"

July 3, 2015

I had the pleasure of attending the UN Youth Symposium at UWI, Cave Hill Campus this morning as a member of the The Global Shapers Bridgetown Hub. The event provided a rare opportunity for young people across the Caribbean to directly state their concerns to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who was visiting Barbados as part of the 36th CARICOM Heads of Government Summit.

The event started on a very inspirational note with Janeil Odle, a visually impaired female student at the University, who officially welcomed UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon at the event this morning. It was a very special moment seeing Janeil represent both the disabled community and Caribbean women throughout the region as she stood on that stage.

UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon made a point of approaching her personally as soon as she finished her speech to commend her on her courage and to thank her for making him feel so welcome. Janeil you made Caribbean youth proud! Thank you UWI for setting an example of progress in the region.

Hundreds of young people from tertiary and secondary schools filled the auditorium and it was pretty inspiring to see something like this happening in Barbados, especially knowing that hundreds of young people were tuning in from around the Caribbean to take part.

Mr.Ban Ki-Moon engaged in a lively discussion with engaged students and representatives of youth organisations, such as Global Shapers, across the region on a range of issues including crime and violence, youth unemployment, climate and gender-based violence. Mr. Ki-Moon reiterated the need to get more families and communities involved to help drive the change needed to tackle these issues, such as changing the mindsets of men in the Caribbean and seeing women as their equal partners. He specifically mentioned the global ‘He for She’ campaign and pointed out that with only a few million signatures on a planet where there were 3.5 billion men, illustrated that there was still a ways to go.

Having a man of his stature address issues specific to the region will hopefully make people realise that the issues in this island will not go unnoticed, and that we have to continue to work towards building a better society despite the challenges faced as a Small Island Developing State.

Ban Ki-Moon ended by telling the youth that they were not only tomorrow’s generation, but tomorrow’s generation today, and as such had a responsibility to speak up and out about areas affecting their lives. I couldn't agree more!