I thought packing to come home would be much easier than it was for me to pack when I first decided to go to Barbados. Oddly, I was wrong. Leaving to Barbados I was unsure of what to pack and didn’t quite have much help. The most helpful thing that one can have is someone who went to the country before you to give you advise on things to bring. I didn’t know what to expect so I figured I would just bring bunches of clothes and make it work. That was not a good idea. Although it worked out for the most part I will definitely pack differently when I decide to go to Barbados another time.
When I got to Barbados I realized all of the jeans I packed I would not be needing, I didn’t bring an umbrella, and I brought many shirts that I could not wear and be comfortable in considering the type of weather. So while my packing preference did not fail completely having someone who went before me to talk to would have been helpful.
Also while I was in Barbados everyone I was with lost weight including me. So I had many clothes that I did not have a need for anymore that I donated. I thought that would make enough room for the lovely souvenirs that I would be bringing home. I was wrong. I spent hours trying to pack my luggage to fit souvenirs shoes and my winter jacket that I wore to Barbados. So for about 5 hours+ my life was hell as I struggled to strategically place things in my suitcases. You would think a college educated student could make it work in a shorter amount of time. In the end it worked out, although I was scared my luggage was going to bust open at any moment. I happened to make it work.
A few tips for better packing or what I will be doing next time. First I regret carrying so many things in my hands. I grew envious of the people around me with only a backpack on their backs. I was carrying a blanket pillow (because it didn’t fit in my luggage), backpack, and holding another bag. That made it so much more difficult to go through customs and find my passports when they asked for it. So I suggest getting space saver bags where you can vacuum out the air. Those save lots of room and allow you to fit more in your bag, especially things like pillows. Also just put things in your backpack it will free up your hands and not make simple tasks a burden.
In Barbados it is difficult for people other than Bajan nationals to get a job. Here they only allocate 10% to non nationals. When the non nationals do want to get a career here they need to be specialized in their field. So for instance if someone just decided to come to Barbados to live in order to get their job they need to be someone with great knowledge and expertise in their area of work. They would have to be someone who specializes in something like marine life or urban development which are areas that they need to be filled.
Also if someone wanted to live in Barbados just to work they would need to pay for a visa to work here. The visa allows them to keep track of the individual and their activities. I’m sure it is not as strict in Barbados as it is in America but they still need to keep track of the non nationals.
I found all of these things very interesting because I would love to come to Barbados to work and have been looking into all of the things I would have to take into consideration when trying to move to this country. Moving to another country involves a lot more than I would expect. Studying abroad made it seem to easy and tangible. It is still very tangible but there is a lot of red tape and citizen issues to deal with. It’s not as easy as packing up and simply moving. There are many things that I would not have Access to as a non national. For example I would be required to pay for my health care, dental, vision, and other social assistance and government help I would not be able to get.
Despite all of this I would still very much enjoy moving to Barbados. Studying abroad has showed me that I can not only move to another state but it is possible to move to another country as well. Sadly my trip is coming to an end and I am being forced to go home. Only for a short time anyway.
Barbados makes their own rum and they give a great history lesson on the factory
Another thing that I love about this island is the entrepreneurship. I love that when I am back home I can go to a cheap taco truck that tastes amazing or sometimes I can even catch a random food truck with some other type of food on it. So I find it comforting that here they have many people that sell food out of their vans, houses, or anywhere else.
It sort of like I can never go hungry because everyone is selling something at all times. I like that all of the food comes straight from the source. There is no mass production or anything odd that is done to the food. I get it straight from the source. People bake fresh bread or pastries, delicious Bajan food, and amazing desserts that you can always get more of.
Since tourism is so big here people also sell other things like jewelry or clothing on the streets and on carts and things.
So you know how in the United States it pretty much seems like people usually have the right of way when driving? Well in Barbados I feel the complete opposite. This is the only place where I feel like I can get hit by a car and then get in trouble for denting the car that hit me. Trust me I am not over exaggerating.
The only time people have the right of way is when they are by a cross walk and when you are at a crosswalk the drivers are the friendliest drivers ever who will willingly allow you to cross. If you encounter them when you are not by a cross walk don’t even bother trying to cross. First they might not let you and then if they do let you they surely won’t seem happy about it. I feel like I’m a burden every time I cross and am not at a cross walk.
In addition to the non stopping drivers they don’t have many sidewalks. So I have to try to avoid cars all while walking in the street and hoping they don’t hit me while they are flying down the street. To add on to them not having sidewalks they also have very narrow streets. So I think you can picture what I am explaining to you. This is a very dangerous scary situation. This has really humbled me though. When I’m in America I just step in the street knowing for a fact that people will stop for me. I will definitely be a little nicer to drivers when I get home.
Being in a place that attracts many tourists allows me to meet people from all around the world. California is definitely a melting pot but I’ve met people here from backgrounds I’ve never met in California. Also usually if they are from California they have spent a good amount of their life in California it’s just their background that is from another country.
I think it is nice that I have been able to talk with people from Canada, Switzerland, France, and other places and listen to the social policies or food/ways of living that they experience in comparison to Barbados.
From what they tell me about Barbados and their country I am able to compare that to my own living in America. A lot of the things that I talk about with people from other countries makes me question what type of society I want to spend the rest I my life in. This is good and something that makes me really appreciate my time abroad because I know that if I only lived in America and never left the United States then I wouldn’t even question where I wanted to live my life. From leaving the US I realize that there are so many things in the world and the US isnt the best or even the top 5. (no offense to my home country).
It may seem like America has good morals and a way of living but there are definitely other countries that prize and consider their citizens far more than we do. And if I choose to continue to reside in America it would allow me to involve myself in public policy not to model ourselves after other nations but to do right by our citizens the way I think we should.
It’s difficult to make yourself do something you don’t want to do but to also do something you need to do in a fun relaxed environment. Currently I am struggling with finals. I had a lovely one week vacation from school with a friend and now it is finals.
Finals means I am one step closer to coming home which I am slightly dreading and it also means I have to decrease the amount of fun I am having to buckle down and study. It has never been so difficult to study in my life. In Merced we have cows to look at and some nice buildings but here wherever I go I am tempted by the ocean. And I it is not the ocean I am tempted with it is something beautiful that distracts me.
Despite all of this I have to also deal with a different more confusing way of taking my finals. I say it is confusing because finals are over a three week period. We don’t find out what room out finals are in until the day of and it is very intimidating because we walk ink our testing room with nothing but an identification card. So the testing methods are a little different but I know I can get through it in order to finish these finals