Our experience with Divas In Paradise
As you may have seen on social media (#curlturetravels OR #DivasInParadise) we travelled to Tobago with Divas In Paradise this month and what an phenomenal experience it was!!
Before we get into it; if you haven't watched our Vlog of this experience. Click HERE NOW!
Divas in Paradise is a travel club for women of colour to unwind, connect and just enjoy the culture and beauty of the location in question. This time around it was Tobago (the other ‘T’ in ‘T&T’); a small but gorgeous island with pristine beaches, lush greenery and beautiful locals.
Divas in Paradise is a one week experience that includes excursions, workshops and villa accommodation. The whole experience is founded by the amazing and inspirational Jade Whyne! You are provided with an itinerary of the excursions and workshops but you are left with enough time for you to explore on your own or with the other travellers if you so wish.
We would definitely recommend the Divas in Paradise experience and thought we would highlight some of the amazing parts of our trip.
Day 1 –
Early morning Yoga,
Boat Tour – Snorkelling, Nylon Pool, No Man’s Island BBQ
First day, tun up! We were up by 7am on our first full day in Tobago to have an early morning Yoga session on Buccoo Bay with Bianca Willis to learn how our breathing can help us remain centred and present. It may not appeal to some but it really was the best way to start the trip. It allowed us to let go of the stresses back home, realise where we were and just be present and take it all in. Apart from our impromptu group discussion on the night of arrival, this our first bonding session as a group for us to get to know each other more and start forming friendships.
After returning to the villa to get changed, we set off to Store Bay to tun up on Sugar Lips – that was the name of the boat and the owner! Let me set the scene; the Sun? Shining. A breeze? Present. Smiles; from ear to ear! We were all just excited to be on this trip!
The first leg of the journey took us to a snorkelling spot – we will never forget how clear and pristine the water was. The glass bottom boat allowed us to see and learn about the various types of coral that exist and the history of the reef.
When it came time to snorkel, we were off that boat quick time; struggling with Jay’s underwater case to get videos, pointing at fish and literally just in awe of how clearly we could see underwater (with googles)! It was great to see some of the ladies who had never snorkelled before venture off the boat to try something new – all the types of cheers were present “Yass”, “boop boop”, you name it lol. We spent a good amount of time snorkelling before we moved on towards Nylon pool; a shallow section in the middle of the sea where the light blue crystal clear water hardly reaches above your waist. Perfect place to chill, jet ski and just revel in the fact that you’re in the middle of the sea.
The next and final stop was No Man’s Island; where all the boat tours stop to have a Beach BBQ. Rum punch + the divas = no behaviour! Woi! We were whining up to soca, swimming, playing limbo, eating and meeting new people. Just having a good time!
Many rum punches later (for some of us), we took the boat during the sunset back to Store Bay full of food, vibes and happiness. This first day in Tobago was a major highlight of the trip and had us feeling like we had already spent 3 days in Tobago; a home away from home; the best way to kick of the experience with Divas In Paradise.
The workshops organised by Jade (Jade Whyne, Founder of Divas In Paradise) all had different purposes but all were needed. Following the Yoga on the beach, the next workshop was lead by yours truly. We planned our workshop to create a safe space for all of us: divas, work shop leaders and Jade. Everything that was shared was protected by the sisterhood promise to allow us to explore our growth as black women; from the influences we have received during childhood to adulthood and to really reflect on how they have expressed themselves in our character. Few of us really take a moment to step back and give ourselves a long, hard look in the third person – this is what our session was about and it brought out some pretty sensitive stuff. We needed it though. It was cleansing to recognise and release some deep truths about ourselves, which we tend to live around, instead of addressing day to day. Sometimes you just need to say something out loud before you can amend it.
The next workshop was lead by Rachel and Jocelyn; founders of AfroCenchix, a Black owned British hair care company that prides itself in natural ingredients. They spoke about their story in how they utilised their skills to create one of the most well known natural hair brands in the UK and how they continue to ensure that kinkier hair textures remain a main focus of their brand in an industry that prioritises looser curled textures.
The final workshop was an inspiring and honest session lead by Cavelle Milles, local Tobagonian and founder of Choice Foundation (Creating a Holistic Option for the Intervention against Child Exploitation). She spoke about the ongoing need to provide a safe haven to protech children from abuse, neglect, exploitation and voilence in T&T. She is developing programes that focus on the most vulnerable children whilst aiming for the safety and wellbeing of all children. A phenomenally honest woman, Cavelle spoke about her own story as a parent and highlighted the aspects where she recognise she could have done better and how acknowledging this is helping her to work with parents. With plans for an inspirational facility in the works, she opened the floor to suggestions for collaborations which is what Divas in Paradise is all about.
Should you wish to learn more about CHOICE foundation and how you can help: please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Argyle Waterfall & Englishman Bay
This was another great day for experiencing the Tobagonian landscape and culture. Jade organised a drive around the island with Mr. Brown (our driver) to show us Tobago in it’s beauty and historical complexity. We passed vibrant green valleys and picturesque bays before reaching our first stop Argyle waterfall. It took around a 10-15 minute hike through a green haven full of bamboo, silk cotton and cocoa trees to reach the falls. Once there, it was hard to not feel complete – fish were swimming in the pool, insects made an entrancing song that let you know mother nature was in charge here. A few of us climbed to the second pool, a rocky enclosure with clear cool water. It was just blissful, when leaving it felt like we had been at a spa.
Our second stop was the stunning Englishman Bay (side eye to the name). This place is gorgeous; cliffs on either side, white sandy beaches; a simple, open, beach front restaurant that serves the meanest snapper! We loved this place. It’s slightly enclosed and has a cove kind of feel which just makes you feel safe and serene.
Our drive on the way home consisted of Tobagonian history and geography courtesy of Mr. Brown showing us; the village where the French settled; Dead Man’s Bay – where the locals do not swim; or telling us about the traditional marriage/funeral rites of Tobagonians.
This day was a highlight because we were able to see Tobago for what Tobago is – not as advertised on travel brochures, and because of that – it’s beauty is immeasurable.
We cannot wait to re-join Divas in Paradise on the next adventure next year and hope you join us!!!
Sign up at www.divasinparadise.com