It’s no coincidence that my last post here was in August. My freelance writing workload ramped up, which was exciting and satisfying, and blogging fell down my to-do list until it completely slipped my mind. Life happens that way.
In August and September I got into a pleasant routine where I would have a leisurely breakfast, go to a co-working space in the Limegrove Centre in Holetown from late morning until it closed at 5pm, then head home to finish working and decompress in the evening. On days when I wasn’t working, I hit the beach or visited family.
Sadly, the Fall in Love With Barbados popup closed in January. I really loved that place — its bright and airy vibe, friendly staff, fridges stocked with delicious gluten-free vegan food, and the opportunity to interact with other digital nomads. The summer was especially hot and I even appreciated the air conditioning, which I usually hate! I found I was much more productive than I am working from home and I haven’t yet found somewhere to replace it.
In October I spent a couple of weeks with my grandmother before heading back to London, mostly to renew my passport.
Of course, by the time I received my passport, which actually took only about 10 days, the UK entered its second coronavirus lockdown, and I ended up staying until December.
I spent my free time meeting up with friends in parks, bundled up against the cold, which reaffirmed my resolve to stay nomadic during the winter. I also spent an alarming amount of my income on Deliveroo and Uber Eats, filling my cravings for Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and other foods I’d been craving while I was in Barbados.
To re-enter Barbados, I had to get a Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before my departure. I used the Hale Clinic in Harley Street, which was one of the more expensive options, but they offered next-day results by 8pm, and in fact, I received my negative test result the following morning.
I had a flight voucher with British Airways from a flight to Thailand that was cancelled at the start of the pandemic, which had meant putting off my planned southeast Asia trip. I used the voucher to return to Barbados. Flight prices are seasonally high in the weeks leading up to Christmas, to the point where it was only around £100 more to fly business class, so I had my first taste of the high life. I definitely appreciated it on the eight-hour flight.
Once in Barbados, I quarantined at the Radisson Aquatica Hotel on the west coast for five nights while I had a second Covid-19 test and awaited my negative result.
I spent the first three months of the year staying with my grandmother and great aunt in Christchurch on the south coast — much of it in Barbados’ second Covid lockdown — then moved back to my rented apartment on the west coast in St James.
And so it is that I’ve been doing the long-term, slow travel, freelancing digital nomad thing for more than a year. It’s turned out quite different to how I’d imagined, but living in Barbados for more than a year is no hardship! My restlessness has me yearning for Asia, studying itineraries in preparation for a safe return to travel, but not before its time. Meanwhile, I’ll likely head back to London for the summer. That gives me some more time to enjoy my Bajan life.