Sugar, (Bajan) Spice, & Everything Nice

 

Sometimes I just feel the sunshine in my bones. It's there tickling my body, rejuvenating my happiness, and reinvigorating my curiosities. Maybe it's because I was born in the sunshine that I feel recharged in it, or maybe it's the lack of Vitamin D in Boston that felt so refreshing during this week in Barbados. All in all, I'm happy to say that the sun and the salt is one of my favorite recipes for revitalization. 

For spring break (spranggg breakkk?) three of my friends and I ventured off to Barbados thanks to the tropical oasis Leila's family has here. In a rotation of pools, beaches, island adventures, and a promise to myself to not touch schoolwork, I had the most carefree time I've had in a while. 

And, for any close readers out there, I actually managed to tan! Yup, good 'ol "I don't tan, I burn" has been disproven in favor of the golden crisp I managed to achieve! (Pic or it didn't happen, I know): 

With this weeklong adventure, came ample naps, quiet days, and a sprinkling of pretty silly things. For one, there was a daily battle of whether or not to jump off the small cliff at the beach. The vacation daredevil in me said, "Do it do it do it, you gotta do it!" while the reasonable, almost 6 foot self said, "You're going to hit the bottom and break your legs, stat." It didn't help that this angel and devil combo manifested in two young brothers, Josh and Jean-Lucas. They were vacationers and veterans of the cliff, probably 10 and 15 years old, respectively, and strongly encouraged Val and I to jump off every time we climbed up there for the view. 

Long story short, we didn't jump. Josh did, though. In a baby banter, he tried to cajole me to jump, and when I refused he asked, "Then can you take a sweet shot of me jumping?" "Sure." 

Val and I thought nothing of the exchange after that, until we ran into young Josh and his family at a restaurant in the resort. We were dining with fellow Harvard peeps who also happened to be in Barbados for break (cue, "Wow, what a small world?!"), when Josh tapped me on the shoulder from behind and handed me a cup of ice cream from the Village Cafe. I turned around, giggled out of amusement, nervousness, and confusion, and blurted, "You know this is really creepy, right? Like where did this ice cream come from?" In hindsight, I realize a little kid wasn't going to poison me, but stranger danger, right? Turns out he was 11, offended that I assumed he was 10, and asked if we'd buy him an adult beverage in exchange for his kindness. Nope. His mom also winked at me when they walked by - a fan of his pre-summer lovin? 

Aside from the novelty of ~young love~, Caroline and Leila (the New York Northerness to me and Val's Floridian "Southerness") found the abundance of guava products to be so rare and exciting! Val and I shared a Cuban chuckle, and proceeded to buy the juice of our childhood. 

Turns out the it's a small world after all, and you're bound to find unexpected friends on the beach just napping and toasting coconuts!

The day we ventured away from the water and into the island still managed to remind me of home - not with the aimless roaming of chickens, but with the lush botanical garden that triggered feels from, you guessed it, Fairchild! 

Back on the beach we sipped on piƱa coladas, read books for pleasure (a novel concept?!), and got absolutely destroyed by the undercurrent of the waves - resulting in copious amounts of sand in our hair and... beyond. I'm fishing out flecks of it from my ear as I write. 

And though I did manage to nurse a tan this week, that wasn't free from a torched shoulder here and there, or, in Val's case, a complete oversight of covering "the girls": 

Guess everything truly is sunnier on vacation, even the broadness of our smiles as we pack up and head back to the Bostonian blizzard. 

Xx, Sun-Kissed Maia