Rediscovering Barbados on Two Wheels: A South Coast Bike Tour

My first journey to Barbados, ten years ago, came about when my friend Chelsea rang me up one afternoon. We were each respectively stuck at our lawyers’ desks in Washington DC, and on the brink of an upcoming long, Labor Day weekend.

Let’s go to Barbados? 

Like most first-time visitors, we’d ended up staying in a resort in the St. Lawrence Gap area—on the south coast of this beach-blessed island. But after just two days on Accra Beach and a single road trip, I had left Barbados frustrated. Where were those Bajan vibes everyone talked about?

Soon after, I embarked on a career as a travel photographer and journalist, and continued to explore the rest of the Caribbean. But that memory stayed with me—of the one Caribbean island that had eluded me.

So when the opportunity came this Spring to re-explore Rihanna’s home, this time as a travel writer on my own itinerary—sponsored by the tourism board for half of the trip, and with five additional days completely on my own—I knew I was up for the challenge. Surely Barbados has more to it than sunning on gorgeous beaches? I was ready to create a different, culture and adventure-packed memory of Bim.

That’s how I stumbled on Bike Caribbean, while furiously planning and researching another face of Barbados online.

A South Coast Bike Tour

Before I knew it, I’d reached out to the cycling company on Facebook, and signed up for a South Coast bike tour. Their description had lured me right in.

“Explore the hidden surf spots of the south coast and tap into Bajan island culture, stopping at some laid back local favorites.”

To boot, the biking level was marked beginner to intermediate. There were additional adrenaline-packed and advanced itineraries offered on the site, venturing to the east coast, or north of Barbados—all led by elite Bajan mountain biker, Randy Licorish, co-owner of Bike Caribbean. But you know, baby steps. I was about to explore Barbados by bicycle for the first time—what could be more different?

It wasn’t hard for Randy to find me that morning. My sole direction had been to “drive towards Weston and turn right on the alley directly before John Moore’s.” Everyone knows the iconic rum shop—almost as iconic as

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#CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018 and Thoughts on Finding (and Funding) Our Own Stories

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, on the go at CaribbeanWeekNY2018.

Another informative, fun and organized Caribbean Week New York came and went, with the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s members pulling all the stops to show the world that the Caribbean is always open for visitors. 

It was great to see Puerto Rico, Dominica, and St. Maarten/St. Martin present at the Caribbean Media Marketplace. St. Maarten and St. Martin — now a “pro-mance” with a united marketing front for both sides of the island—hosted a luncheon where we learned of the recovery after last year’s hurricanes, with hotel re-openings, as well as a brand new promotional video shot there recently.

Aside from the excitement of the Caribbean Media Awards Dinner—I was a finalist in the “Virtual Visitor Award” category for my CNN piece on Curaçao—it was great catching up with colleagues, meeting new ones, as well as connecting and reconnecting with representatives of the various Caribbean destinations. Two years had passed since my last Caribbean Week appearance, in 2016, when I was honored with the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award.

Because I’m one of few US-publication journalists actually based in the Caribbean (currently living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and prior to that, Belize, and Jamaica), it’s important to show my face and network once in a while. It’s also a great time to catch up on the various islands’ latest and greatest.

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The CTO Media Awards Dinner

A week before the event, the CTO reached out to award finalists and asked for a video of no more than 45

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