8 Things To Do On a Trip To Tobago

For my first Travel Tips blog post I thought it’d be best to be about a place that holds a massive piece of my heart. With my grandparents being born and bred Trinidadians’ who moved to Tobago 20 years ago, I consider myself super lucky to be able to have been coming here on holidays’ for the best part of half of my life.

The island itself is pretty small and one that not many people have heard of unless you’re big into cricket. But many the same with other small islands, the size can quite often impact the place for the better. Theres so much I love about this place but to name a few reasons…

  • People say hello – No matter who you are, whether you know them or not, people will say good morning, good evening, hi, hello – just as a courtesy.
  • There’s no need to rush. This one is possibly because of the heat, but I remember the first time I was here I was walking everywhere SO quickly (and for me it was my normal pace). But there is just no need – take your time, slow down, it’s cool, relax.
  • People are giving. It’s like popping over to your neighbour because you’ve ran out of sugar, but it’s something they still do and it’s more with fruit (Mangoes especially!), not sugar and people don’t ask, they just give because it’s the neighbourly thing to do.

Now should you ever visit Tobago, which I would highly recommend, here’s 8 things you should most definitely do:

  1. Boat Trip from ‘Piogen Point’ or ‘Store Bay’ Beaches – This boat trip is a must do on your list and depending on your itinerary, the trip you can last for a full day or half a day, which is great if there are other activities you want to try in a short time frame! No matter how long the boat trip, the best bits include: Snorkelling in Buccoo Reef (swimming with some amazing tropical fish), A swim and Bathe in the Nylon Pool (magical sands which are know to make you look 10 years younger) and a trip to No-man’s land (glorious isolated beach where you can not only relax but try some local delicatessen and taste some classic rum punch).
  2. Full Day Island Tour – There are a few different people who offer this excursion and each varies in what they do, but whoever you go with, you get whats on the tin – a full island tour! With the size of the island being so small you can experience most of the key ‘sight seeing’ locations in a day, which works great for those who want to experience some of the other ‘to-do’s’ i’ve mentioned below PLUS some much needed beach time.
  3. Rainforest Excursion – Make sure you pack long sleeves, legs and comfy shoes for this one! Tobago, along with it’s gorgeous beaches, has so much exotic rainforest hidden within.
  4. Horse riding on the beach and in the sea – As far as i’m aware there are 2 riding schools on the Island which offer this amazing excursion, a simple google search will help you find these. This isn’t something you can do in many locations so a pretty unique experience.
  5. The Original House of Pancakes – My personal favourite is the Pancakes and Scrambled egg, but the waffles are honestly just as good. American style pancakes that you just can’t beat, a must visit.
  6. Jemma’s Tree House Kitchen – Common beliefs that this is one of the best restaurants on the island and with views for days. I once sat and watched 2 stingrays circle the shore whilst I ate THE best BBQ chicken that I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
  7. Water sports at Piogen Point – Similar to most holiday destinations you can’t go wrong with water sports but if you time your trip right, you might be able to combine the fun of water sports and the awe of witnessing Bioluminescence glow beneath you.
  8. Sunday School – This is a traditional, community event that happens ever. single. Sunday. So similarly to Sunday School’s elsewhere, during the day this involves Church studies, however at night things take a turn… In the evening there will likely be Steel Pan groups’ playing some Island classics as well as songs everyone can sing along to. Now, when the clocks turn 11pm the DJ comes out and the Soca begins blasting, tables and chairs get put to the side and the dancing shoes come out. This is an evening for both tourists and locals, where everyone comes together to dance – you really can’t beat that kind of Island Spirit.

Without a doubt this is just a start to the number of things you can do whilst in Tobago and if none of these take your fancy and you’re more of a beach bum, there are countless both private and public beaches which are so picturesque you wouldn’t quite believe it’s real.

I couldn’t recommend a trip to Tobago more. I don’t know a soul who has been and hasn’t fallen in love.

‘You’re So Brave Travelling Alone’

So 7 times out of 10 (i’d say 9 is a little too high and even more cliché) i’ve told someone i’m going travelling it’s gone a little something like this:

(Them): Aw wow you’re going travelling, that’s so exciting! Are you going with your boyfriend?

(Me): Nope.

(Them): Friends??

(Me): Nope, I’m going on my own.

(Them): Oh wow you’re so brave, I could never do that!

And, every. Single. Time. It feels like someones let a wild pack of dogs loose in my head. The thoughts start to bounce around, the doubt, the worry and everything else. Why are they concerned, should I be concerned? Am I really doing the right thing? Am I brave enough to do this?

To be honest with you, I’m not the bravest person and honestly, never in my 22 years of living would I have thought i’d be doing this, going travelling on my own. But I think the main thing that is keeping me going is the benefits i’ll get from doing this on my own.

I could go travelling with a friend and that would be great, but I feel like I need a push in my life – the push to experience the unknown, stepping outside of my comfort zone, forcing myself into situations i’ve never had to be in before.

I’d say my life has been pretty comfortable, i’ve never put myself out there and done something on my own. I mean even going to University I went with people I knew and had two friends from college living in the block next door. I didn’t go there just because they were but, that’s the way it happened.

Obviously i’m SO excited for the experiences, seeing the sights, meeting new people, trying new foods. Yet I think i’m most excited about how this is going to change me – change the way I handle situations when I get back to my ‘normal’ life at the end of the year. I’m excited to make mistakes and learn from them, learn how to be myself, by myself, take every little thing that I do in my stride and just learn how to live in the moment.

So no, I wouldn’t say i’m being brave, brave insinuates that i’m scared to start off with. I’m not scared or worried. I’m positive. I’m excited. I’m AMBITIOUS. It’s not bravery, it’s ambition.

It’s Not As Easy As You Hoped It Would Be.

When you’re going through the education system you have this cliché idea of what your road map is going to look like from here on out. It’s all bright and hopeful, you finish High School, go to College go through the stresses of getting into University and then once you graduate thats it – career time. It’s when you think your life starts. You get a job, you start to work hard to save for a mortgage so you’re able to have dinner parties with friends, begin to accelerate your career and work up the ‘ladder’ and be a REAL grown up.

The reality of all of this, is that when most people come out of university you’re in your early twenties. This was the case for me anyway (and i’m not saying how it went for me is how it goes for everyone) but I know I’m not the only one who’s felt the ways I’ve felt over the past 2 years and I feel like more people should be open about it.

So, my experience. Aside from the odd stress melt down, University was the best 3 years of my life. I made friends, I had fun (admittedly, sometimes too much), I learnt a lot and I met my man. It was a blast.

Then that all finished and I was so excited, I had an amazing job lined up, I got to explore where my career was going to take me and I was ‘growing up’. My life was on track to be just how I imagined it was going to be and I would be following that path on my road map.

It all started wonderfully, I was so absorbed in my job (which I absolutely loved) but about a year in something just didn’t feel right. When I took time to take a step back and really look at the bigger picture it wasn’t all I thought it was going to be.

If I had the chance to go back and talk to my younger self, my advise would be ‘Don’t Rush’. There is no real rush in life, your life is really all you have and you need to make the most of your time on this planet. It’s SO cliché but it’s SO true. It’s always a constant competition, whether thats with other people or with yourself. We strive to get the best grades, and the best jobs so everyone will be proud and impressed with what you’ve achieved. But a lot of the time along the way in doing that you lose yourself, you lose the aim to truly find what YOU want in life and you find that you’re doing what you think you’re expected to do.

At this point in time, I can say the full time job I had is something I want a career in and I can imagine that being the rest of my life – but, I haven’t had the opportunity to go out and actually test that, see what else is out there and find out if that’s what I really want to do.

If I stayed on the road I was on, I can see the great career I would have had, but I know that in the back of my mind I would be wondering. Wondering what else was out there, wondering if this wasn’t actually what i’m supposed to be doing. There’s a whole world out there and people will tell you that you can end up travelling with work, or travel when your older. But it wouldn’t be the same as it will be if I do it now, to be truly free.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a baby, I have so much time ahead of me and there is no need to feel like I need to settle down and ‘grow up’ right now.

I’ve taken a detour and what lies ahead of me right now, looks so different to what I thought it would and honestly that scares the sh*t out of me. But I am so excited to go and do as much as I can and try as much as I can and meet as many new people as I can and do all of these things. So if and when I do get back on that road, I won’t feel lost, I’ll know that I’ve been out and tried and tested the world before I decide it’s time to settle down, not because It’s what other people are doing or anyone expects me to do it, but because I know it’s time.

I’m Terrible at Introductions…

I have a head full of things i want to say to someone new, but i usually end up talking about the weather. How British.

I have good days and bad days when it comes to confidence. Sometimes i can walk into a room full of people, walk up to a stranger and just start talking. But it’s not always like that, sometimes i walk into a room full of people and feel like the world is falling in on me.

The last few months have been strange and unexpected. If you would have asked me, a year, heck, even 6 months ago that i would have quit my job, be moving back home and planning a solo trip around Europe i would have told you to go away (but in a slightly more expletive way).

But here we are… in my last two weeks of work and feeling not at all ready.

I’m starting this blog to keep my brain ticking over whilst my life undergoes some serious changes and i go from working 9-5 in an office, to being unemployed – savings in my back pocket and a whole lot of ambition to travel as much of the world as humanly possible.

I’m going to log my travels, the highs and lows, the good and bad and everything in-between. If none ever reads this then honestly, i don’t mind but it will be nice to have something to look back on and be proud of everything I’ve done.