Our time in Trinidad and Tobago was short (only 36 hours!), yet very, very sweet. I had an incredible time soaking up the sun at Maracas beach all thanks to the locals I met there.
As a traveller, I believe it’s crucial to go out of your way to meet locals when travelling. I cannot stress that enough. I think that too many SAS voyagers, myself included, get sucked into forming cliques from the get-go and refuse to interact with locals, or any other SASers, for that matter. At times I felt lonely or out of place during the voyage, whether it be on the ship or in port, because I’ve always been a floater. I belong everywhere, but nowhere. I get along with all sorts of people, but I’ve never felt like I truly belonged to just one group.
Although I did initially arrive at Maracas beach with a group, I’m glad I ventured out and challenged some locals who were boxing to see if they were able to beat me at their own game. The group of boys (aka “Trinidaddies”) I had spoken to offered me food from Richard’s Shark & Bake, Carib beers, and fresh coconut water mixed with white rum. They also taught me how to climb a coconut tree and open one up to drink the deliciousness stored inside!
To be honest, I’m incredibly fortunate because as an extrovert, approaching new people is second nature to me. One piece of advice I would give to shy travellers is to leave your timidness at home. My experience would’ve been totally different had I not made an effort to interact with locals in Trinidad and Tobago, or any other port. After all, why would you want a typical tourist experience when you can form friendships with locals who would be more than willing to show off their beautiful home?