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IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: The wonders of a vacation at home . . .

Roy Morris

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: The wonders of a vacation at home . . .

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Oh there’s no place like home for the holiday . . . .

And I am not talking about Christmas, but rather the opportunity to spend a vacation at home and in the process enjoy all that the country has to offer – all those features that tourists spend thousands of dollars to sample each year.

The truth is that I did not take in much of what the island has to offer while I was on holiday from work because I intended to get lots of rest, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I did. I suspect too that this holiday was particularly sweet because even though I resigned from my previous place of employment on August 31, 2013, I continued to “work” there until September 14 and began at the Nation on September 15.

I did not have even the benefit of a half-day of rest, and then ended up working non-stop until October 26, 2014. These factors, plus the fact that I had just returned from a business trip to Europe and did not want to travel to another Caribbean island where chikungunya is far more prevalent than here, made a staycation an extremely desirable option.

I know my Advertising Department would frown on me giving free advertising and so I’ll resist the urge, but I will say this: A serious and sustained programme of marketing local accommodation to Barbadians as an alternative to the annual visit to New York, Miami, San Juan, London, Toronto, etc, could do wonders for the local tourism sector and economy in general.

Sitting on a balcony and for two hours watching nothing else but a lone fisherman in a “moses” toiling for his living, or looking for patterns on the water’s surface as the clouds cast their shadows, can be nothing short of therapeutic. But neither is as soothing as relaxing in the water while observing a “cobbler” as it soars high in the sky without so much as a flap of its wings, before circling and diving into the deep to emerge with a fish in its beak.

Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on to the sand sets the tone for a day that brings nothing but peaceful thoughts.

Taking your time and walking along a country road that you usually whiz along can offer an appreciation of the beauty of our country that can elude us in our day-to-day affairs.

Even something as simple as journeying to Moon Town in St Lucy for a meal that can be “topped” with anything from flying fish to sea cat or fried chicken to barbecued spare ribs, without having to bother about how much of your lunch hour has been used up by the drive, can be strangely refreshing.

A vacation at home can allow you to visit a different beach every day. It can provide the opportunity to reacquaint yourself, or to become acquainted for the first time, with some of the most rugged and beautiful places on the island.

When last did you spend an hour or two at Cove Bay; sit on the cliff for an hour and watch those giant waves crash on to the land at the Animal Flower Cave; stand at Little Bay watching the energy from the waves spout water high into the air through the holes in the rock formation; try to make out the Ragged Point, St Philip lighthouse while standing at Pico Teneriffe in St Peter; or walk leisurely from the beach at Boscobel, St Peter, along the sand to Barclays Park in St Andrew without a care in the world about how much time it is taking?

It is time Barbadians started rediscovering Barbados and its unique beauty.


. . . And the not so pretty side of things

But if you plan to spend your vacation at home, you have to be prepared to mentally discard some traditionally Bajan annoyances. If you can’t, you will find yourself “bothered” by some of our features – like I was.

 I travelled the country and was struck by the build-up of garbage in district after district, then got annoyed by the fact that the Minister of the Environment had little to say about this problem, but was waxing warm about same-sex relations.

 Went over the hill from Mount Brevitor to French Village in St Peter and got upset at how authorities have allowed the bush on both sides to reduce the road to a single lane.

 Drove along Turners Hall road in St Andrew and was amazed by this new practice by Government departments of “weeding” the road with bulldozers and Bobcats, in the process tearing up the surface and creating massive potholes.

 Fumed while driving along the Ronald Mapp Highway because pedestrians now have to walk in the traffic lanes because as much as six feet of shoulders are now completely covered in bush.

 “Steupsed” after driving over the new elevated lift bridge at Six Men’s, St Peter, and enjoying the absolute beauty of Port Ferdinand Marina, only to be immediately confronted by a road covered with mud and muck left by trucks and tractors working on the project.

Had to wonder if the operators of the marina can keep their grounds so immaculate during construction for their rich associates, why they can’t offer the same courtesy to lowly motorists and pedestrians using the public road.