Icelolly #BlogAtTheBeach | The Best Reason to Visit Barbados

This weekend I did something pretty big. I got myself on a plane for my first ever solo flight and headed down to Manchester (my first ever visit) to spend the day at holiday comparison company Icelolly's #BlogAtTheBeach event in collaboration with the Barbados tourism marketing board!

*Disclaimer: I was a guest at this press event.*

Cocktail in hand, in front of a wall of tropical leaves

What a weekend it was! I met up with a few Manchester based bloggers for brunch on the Saturday morning and tucked into some delicious brioche French toast at Ezra & Gil. It was great to meet some friendly faces in advance and everyone at the event was lovely and welcoming too. Icelolly treated us to tasty rum cocktails, a fantastic Caribbean inspired lunch and some brilliant, inspiring talks from Katy English, Kirsty Leanne and Barbados aficionado Marc McCollin.

Notebooks and Name badges

Of course we'd all love to jet off to Barbados, but something that Marc said stuck in my mind as the ultimate reason to visit. "If you remember one thing - great people, amazing rum"! And it got me thinking; people really do make places. The people you meet can make or break a trip. They're what you remember the most from your adventures.

Pas the Indian, at his bar on Ko Lanta
Pas the Indian - Ko Lanta, Thailand 2017

Pas from the Indian Bar in Ko Lanta, and the multicultural gang we played Dobble with there on the beach. The road tripping Aussies we drank shots with at a bar by the Catacombes in Paris. Our campsite neighbours at Rockness festival, and the one who said "now kiss his left eye..." whilst taking our photo. Okay, maybe you had to be there.

It's Tony who always gives us some sneaky answers at the pub quiz when we go to Spain. Lawrence who owned the B&B we stayed in on Loch Linnhe (the nicest man I've ever met)! The tuk tuk driver who took us to his house on the way to the Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi...

With 3 Manchester based bloggers at the Icelolly #blogatthebeachevent

And the bloggers I met at Icelolly's travel blogging event in Manchester - who welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I belonged. That's what makes you want to go back to a place. People are the essence of Barbados and why 33% of visitors return to the island every year!

Rum punch at the icelolly after party

So yes, I want to visit Barbados; see it's beaches, go spelunking at Harrison's Cave, paddleboard in the Caribbean, visit rum shops and ride steam trains on distillery tours, eat fresh fish at Oistins on a Friday night and party at the Rum & Food Festival... but mostly I want to meet the local people. I want to hear their stories, understand their culture, immerse myself in their world and make friendships that will last a lifetime! That's why we should all visit Barbados.

Is there someone from your travels who stands out in your memory? 
Tell me your stories in the comments below!

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