Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pure Grenada

So many times I hear people say how the world is a scary place, especially outside the safe confines of our small bubble we call home.  As a travel consultant, it’s my job to not only find the best flight schedules and accommodations, but it’s also my job to make good recommendations on certain destinations based upon many other factors as well, including but not limited to: ease of getting to, quality of said accommodations, variety of food and activities and recommendations within these.  Another part of my job is to make sure I am recommending a safe destination.  How else do we know these recommendations to be true unless we experience it for ourselves?  Google & Trip Advisor are not the Holy Grail nor should they be revered as such.  Would you rather trust a computer whose sole purpose is to gather facts, a group of people whom you’ve never met to tell you their likes and dislikes or someone like myself who can tell you in great detail how things will work each step of the way, what to expect, make specific recommendations based upon your personal preferences and be there for you in the event you need me? That is why I travel; to be able to bring this first hand knowledge to you so that your precious vacation is about making memories, not mistakes.  

With that being said, this past week I had the privilege to travel to the far southeast Caribbean to a gem of an island called Grenada.  This is island is so small, from the air you can see the entire area inside my camera lens!

Despite it’s size, this destination offers just as much if not more than the other larger islands whom are a bit more popular.  First of all, this island is a bit of a challenge to get to.  From Duluth, it took me three flights and two airlines to get there.  However, as they say, if Paradise was easy to get to everyone would go.  

You know you are in somewhere fairly remote when you deplane outside and walk down the tarmac to enter the airport.  The warm Caribbean breeze tousling your hair instantly affirms your vacation choice!   From the airport, nothing is too terribly far, but I recommend an inexpensive American chain for your first night to sleep and the next day head over to your permanent home for the vacation.  Taxi service is abundant so getting where you need to go is simple, safe and convenient considering they do accept US dollars.  The island is quite hot, so a taxi with AC is a luxury.  I found one I highly recommend because of his cool car but also his cool vibe that will enhance your stay while here.  You won’t feel unsafe riding with Chris as he navigates the island on the left hand side or while climbing hills you thought only goats could.

In Grenada their currency is Easter Caribbean (EC).  And the exchange rate as of October 2016 is $1USD = $2.65EC.  

Not the simplest math to compute in your head so lucky for you, they do accept US dollars.  I’m not sure I would recommend converting your cash to EC unless you are not staying at an all inclusive and are the type of traveler who will be out and about daily.  For the resort dwellers, the all inclusive plan means you don’t need to carry cash at all; it’s all included.   If your resort isn’t all inclusive, you can charge your food and drink to your room and pay with your credit card at departure.  More on my stay at the gorgeous Mount Cinnamon here.

Grenada is known as the Spice Island, so something I noticed throughout my stay is the scent of spices, mostly nutmeg and cinnamon, in the air.  What a welcome change from the Pumpkin Spice Everything season in the US!  You can buy spices from street vendors, at tourist attractions, supermarket and even at the airport.  
One thing I noticed is how affordable they were regardless of where you got them.  Such a fun surprise, especially as we are entering into the holiday season where nutmeg, cinnamon and other wonderful spices are used for baking, cooking and of course our holiday cheer!  In fact, there is such an abundance of nutmeg here, when I completed a survey at the airport, they thanked me with two whole nutmeg balls!  For the chocolate lovers, here you will find some of the purest and delicious chocolate.  You can tour the factory or simply buy the finished product.  

I can’t give you a rundown of Grenada and not mention how friendly the people are here and how low the crime rate is.  Despite being the only white person on the streets for a majority of the time here, I can honestly say, I never once felt out of place or uneasy.  I always felt welcome, safe and accepted.
 Grenada is a very religious island, therefore, many of the laws and dos and don’ts come from the countries leaders who also hold high positions within their church.  Catholic is the main religion here.  You won’t find strip clubs here as they are illegal,  yet you have access to the some of the sexiest, laciest lingerie on the streets at the market.  Starbucks is not here (amen) however a cool Carib beer just about at every corner (hallelujah because it’s hot here!)  In Grenada it is punishable by law if you are caught cursing or swearing in public.  $3000EC is the minimum fine, possibly with a month in prison if the judge finds you to be rude as well.  Holy $#*!!  
I noticed a fair amount of police presence on the streets.  This didn’t make me feel any more or less safe but what I did find interesting is that they didn’t carry guns.  Yes, unarmed police and a crime rate that is the lowest in all the Caribbean islands.  

I’ve only been in the US for less than 24 hours now but my time in Grenada seems but a dream!  If you are looking for something new, exotic and unforgettable consider Grenada.  I’ve tasted and seen.  Grenada has given me more hope in the human race since God knows when.  Come here to vacation and you will leave refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated with hope, love and a new zest on life.  They say the ocean is therapeutic and can heal many things that ail you.  Why not try it for yourself?  It’s cheaper than therapy and is way more fun! Ready to see for yourself? I'd love to chat with you! Click here to get started and soon you will be off on your own Divine Destination!


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