#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados: My Beach Is Better. Rockley Beach Is Better.

rockleybeach

A gorgeous view of Rockley Beach

#ALifeInTheDayInBarbados. In my first chapter, I gave you the lowdown on my travel experience, and first day on the island. Story time continues. So it’s day two and I woke up hungover and a bit ruffled. I get myself together and head down with Lauren and LeAndra to breakfast. I sit at the table slightly mute because I feel horrible. The breakfast options were only of the American sort (eggs, bacon, hash browns), most options a little too greasy for my liking. I decide to have ginger tea and ginger ale as it is a cure-all, and it definitely worked. I stormed out the restaurant to the nearest restroom to throw up. I felt super weak, so I decided to go back to the room, hydrate, nap, and get better.

After a little bit of time, Lauren and LeAndra came back to find me hiding under the covers because I didn’t know how to adjust the AC (I laugh at this now because I realized the remote was right next to me the whole time). They said they wanted to go to the beach, to which I obliged. I felt a little better, and if I know anything about myself, I knew the sun, sand, and sea would make me feel better. I drank more water, changed into a new cheeky bathing suit for maximum tanning exposure, lathered on my sunscreen, and got my things together to head to the beach.

cheekyrockley

Stepping out

Accra Beach Hotel is situated right on Rockley Beach in the Christ Church district of Barbados, so we literally had to walk a few steps to experience paradise. Let me tell you this, Rockley Beach was one of the most beautiful, clean sand, and clear water beaches I have ever experienced in my life. The beach is on the south coast of the island on the Caribbean Sea, offering calm turquoise waters. I was like a kid in a candy store, letting the sand sink between my toes, rushing in and out of the water. The current did get a bit strong at points, but nothing to worry about. There was hardly any rocks or seaweed, so it was easy to play around in the water barefoot without the worry of stubbing or scratching a toe.

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Tying the hair up

Whilst playing around in the water, we saw swimmers of all ages around, and a few folks on boogie boards and surf boards. The waves were a good size for the surfers as not far from Rockley, the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea merge. Because of this, I can say that my bathing suit shifted a bunch of times, but I was in the water, so no flashing!

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WOMANday: Why I Choose Not To Give Up, A Tribute To Those Gone Too Soon

Being a creative individual, in itself, is quite difficult. You are filled with ideas, so many ideas that at times you feel overwhelmed by them if you are not able to translate those ideas into something physical in the world. There are constant ups and downs within the creative process, and at times, this can get the best of us. Over the years we have seen many of our greatest talents in the creative realm leave us too soon, because of the demons that they could not fight during said down time. Creatives of the past remind me that I have so much to give, but those reminders are seen in not too pleasant ways, in those close to me.

I have blogged in the past about dealing with multiple deaths of both loved ones and friends in a condensed time frame, 2012 being one such year. I never went in to depth that 2013, also was a year of great loss for me, which made me reevaluate a few things in my life.

On this day, one year ago, my life was quite different. I was working in an office setting with Concrete Loop, and around the early evening time I was getting ready to attend the much-hyped Yeezus concert at Barclay’s Center. I was finishing up a Skype session with one of my favorite bands, The Internet, and getting primped to attend this monumental show with the entire Concrete Loop team. I was ECSTATIC. I got to the show, had the opportunity to hang with my lovely co-workers and other friends in the entertainment and media spheres, whilst jamming to Yeezy. How perfect is that?

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Back From Belize, And Refreshed!

Outside my grand-aunt’s house in Belize City.

Living in such a fast-paced world, it is incredibly necessary to take that time to step back to reflect, explore, and re-charge. I had the opportunity to do so during the latter part of August as I visited Belize for 18 days. I used the time to be as offline as possible, although I did post some photos every now on Instagram when I caught WiFi. It was a time to be with my family and really explore the country in a way I had not prior. Usually, my time is split between Belize City (where the majority of my family lives) and Ambergis Caye (where our timeshare is located). This time around, we covered much more, visiting all corners of the country and meeting family, friends, and new experiences along the way.

Peeking through the mangrove in Caye Caulker.

In the Northern region of the country we visited Caye Caulker and San Pedro, which are big tourist destinations, in the center, Belize City and the nation’s capital, Belmopan, in the Cayo District in the West, Xunantunich (one of the most popular Mayan ruins in the country), and in the Sounthern Stann Creek District, the town of Dangriga (where we have family) and Placencia where we have roots and many family friends.

Sunset in Placencia.

I wanted to give you all a written and photo introduction to my tales of Belize. I captured a lot, ate lots of food, and have so much to share! Stay tuned for #AlifeinthedayinBelize!

*Photos by Andrea K. Castillo

I’ve Got To Be Honest…

Work by Stephanie Hirsch
Work by Stephanie Hirsch

…I would be lying to the world if I said that “I’m fine” right now. On this here blog, I cover a wide range of topics, but if you are a long-time reader, you would have noticed a slowdown in posts from November to early January. This is not because of laziness or complete lack of interest, it is because life happened in many ways during this time, and I am brave enough now to share.

The theme of loss has been rampant in my life during this time. In November I lost my paternal grandfather’s wife, a kind woman who accepted me as one of her own grandchildren, and my father lost one of his first cousins from a freak accident. The month went on, and on one of the happiest days of my life, the night of the Yeezus concert at Barclay’s Center, I received news the next day that my uncle had passed while I was at the concert of cirrhosis of the liver. He was 45 years old.

December came along, and I lost my job. I didn’t have anything set up on the side, so I can say that I’m still trying to make it. My heart was heavy pretty much the entire holiday season, and Christmas was particularly hard as within days of the holiday, I had lost a great friend from high school along with her two sisters due to injuries sustained from their house catching fire.

I’ve battled depression (which I am still going through) and have beaten myself up about all the occurrences of loss. “Why me?” , I asked daily, looking for answers to my problems in all the wrong places. It is so easy to become consumed by sadness, and I have let myself be at times, but I know I am stronger than that. I truly don’t know where I would be right now without the support of my family and close friends. They are empathetic, but are not enablers; they won’t allow me to wallow in my sorrows because they know I am better than that, and capable of greatness.

I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, but if I can be a testament to anything, I want it to be that of rising above life challenges, no matter how heart-breaking they may be. I see great things ahead for the year of 2014. Walk with me…

 

*Photo by Andrea K. Castillo