2018 Trinidad & Tobago Experience: The Beginning

When I was a teenager I was fascinated with the Travel Channel because it allowed me to experience the world from my living room couch.  I knew that one day I would visit these other countries, experience their cultures and explore their worlds.  Out of all the episodes, my very favorite episode highlighted the marvelous Carnival celebration in Trinidad & Tobago. Now, it’s not the typical Carnival we’re used to in U.S. where you see clowns, rides, games, and, cotton candy…no…far from it.  It’s also pronounced differently..google it!

I was glued to the TV and watched in amazement as people danced in the street to the latest Soca music and groove to steel pan drums with the look of pure joy in their faces. It intrigued me and I wanted to experience Trinidad & Tobago for myself!  Watching the men and women dress up in sparkling costumes, which looked  like they were made from the Sun Gods and wearing elaborate feathered headdress opened my eyes to Carnival. I wanted a piece of the action!

Well fast forward 20 years later, I finally get a chance to see Trinidad & Tobago up close and personal. When I met my boyfriend, who happens to be a native to Trinidad, I knew it was destiny that our paths had crossed. The only thing I knew about the island was Carnival, but wanted to see the island in its true essence. Chace was excited to show me where he grew up and wanted to give me an experience of a lifetime.  He helped expose me to the food, the culture, and the people of Trinidad & Tobago. This was my first time leaving the United States and felt good to spread my wings and see the rest of the world!

Chace and I on T&T Spirit headed to Tobago (btw.. I threw up on the way there! Ha!)

Trinidad & Tobago From My Eyes

I couldn’t do everything during my visit to Trinidad& Tobago (T&T), but I was able to get a good sense of what T&T had to offer. I’m not going to bore you with every single detail, but I will share my top most memorable moments.  From eating local cuisine, participating in J’Vourt, exploring natural habitats, and partying like a Trini, we packed in as much as could in a week. The next time I visit, it will be longer than one week.

Exploring Queens Park Savannah and drinking fresh coconut water.

Most local just say “The Savannah” and its home to the Grand Stand for Carnival. Some would argue that it’s the largest round about in the world, but it’s up to you to judge. Chace insisted I drink fresh coconut water and eat the jelly inside the coconut once finished. It’s a required taste, but the fact that its coming from a natural resource intrigued me, so I gave it a try. After you’re done drinking the coconut water, the coconut man slices it with a machete into three sections, so you can scoop out the jelly and eat it. If you know me, I’m a texture person, and I couldn’t eat all my coconut jelly. It was sooo wiggly and jiggly to me! I think my taste buds were not ready for the freshness. But at least I can say, I tried it!

Zip-line and take a splash at Macqueripe Bay.

 ZIP- IIT Adventure Tour: I have never been zip lining before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  ZIP-ITT Adventure facility has an amazing staff and made sure that we we re safely strapped in and knew the proper way to zip across lines before we began our zip-line adventure. Warning, if you are out of shape or have a hard time with stairs, the journey to the first zip-line can be challenging. I was winded and started to sweat immediately half way through the uphill climb. It reminded me that I need to visit get the gym more often. But once we got started, the zipline experience was fun and exciting. Seeing the mountains and ocean views from sky made me feel like super a woman! According to the manager, their highest point provides one of the most scenic zip view of the Atlantic ocean in the world! Right after our zip tour, we were able to take a plunge into Macqueripe Bay which is only a few steps away. There were so many Instagram photo opts at the bay. Cascading rocks with a small trickling waterfall. Hearing the ocean waves crash against the shore was music to my ears. Oh take me back.

So, I screamed like a crazy lady on this zip..but I loved it!

Hike through the Bamboo Cathedral

The Bamboo Cathedral is located in the Charagramas area, not too far from the ZIP-ITT Adventures.  At the start of trail, we were greeted by the sounds of croaking frogs and active hallow monkeys. It was a little scary at first when we first heard the hallow monkeys because it sounded  like two male monkeys getting ready for battle.  Didn’t see any of the monkey’s, but their presence was known.  As we walked through the trail, I marveled at the sear massiveness of the bamboo stalks. The stalks intertwine with each other creating a beautiful natural structure in the skyline that resembled the arch ways of a cathedral church.  At the 9th marker, we found a view of the Atlantic Ocean mid way up of the mountain. I’ve never seen an ocean view like that. Just stunning and there are more breath taking views the higher you go.

Snapped a picture of the bamboo stalks during journey through the Bamboo Cathedral

Chace’s failed attempt to capture a perspective shot with me in the background. He tried!

View from the mountain during the trail. Such a beautiful thing to see.

Make one wrong step and you’re going down hill. Beautiful view and worth the hike up

Experience Nylon Pool and walk in the middle of the ocean.

Imagine this, standing in the ocean and you’re no where near the beach. Can you see it? Well, that’s exactly what I experienced during the Glass Bottom boat tour in Tobago. There were three stops on the water tour which included snorkeling in the Buccoo Reef, experiencing Nylon Pool, and relaxing at No Mansland.

When it was time to snorkel, I was scared out of my mind! I don’t know how to swim and it was terrifying jumping into the ocean for the very first time. Chace jumped right on in and encourage me to join him, but I wasn’t having it. The captain noticed how nervous I was and told me that the reef is too beautiful not to see. So I put on my big girl panties and jumped in.   With the help a great snorkeling mask and safety vest, I was able to join in on the fun. Exploring the coral was a sight to see and I’m glad I quickly conquered my fear of water. The next stop was Nylon Pool, which is a area of the ocean that is made of crushed coral that makes the water shallow enough to walk on. It felt so strange to walk in the water and just  a few steps away, the ocean floor drops. So surreal.  The last stop was on No Mansland, which was a little sandy island with two bodies of water on each side. I mostly spend time on the coast and enjoyed the cool water, while Chace snorkeled to watch the marine life below.

The Big 5 Steel Pan Showcase

One evening, while driving back to our hotel,  around the Savannah, I heard the steel pan and cheers coming from the grand stand. Little to my knowledge, the top 5 steel pan bands were performing that night . With free admission, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the best perform. I finally had a chance to hear pan live! Even though we came at the end of the show, we were able to see the BPTT Renegades give an amazing show. This band is winner of the 2018 Panaorama. Their energy was insane and atmosphere was electrifying. People danced and cheered them on and we were right in the mix. I can hear the music now playing back in my head.

This is only the beginning of more travel experiences to come. Thanks to Chace, I was able to experience a lot and learn more about Trnidad & Tobago. Have you been to the Caribbean? I’m curious to know what was your experience like. Comment below and let me about your international travel experiences!