July 29th, 2015 - I have some cousins who are half Trini on my mom's side, and throughout my childhood I would hear them tell stories of the adventures they had during their summers in Trinidad and Tobago. In the summer of 2015 I wanted to see what it was all about, so I flew to Port of Spain and stayed with my cousins' dad's side of the family. Although I wasn't related to them by blood, growing up they had always been 'Aunty', 'Uncle' or 'Granny' to me.
We spent the majority of the time in a small town up in the mountains called Maraval, and then drove east to Balandra, a city right on the coast. Trinidad is as lively as it is green. Only in Trinidad will you run into your Aunt at a nightclub a couple hours after you saw her put her baby to sleep. The people there love life and love to lime, simple as that. No wonder it is the birthplace of Carnival in the Caribbean.
One thing this trip was for me was a trip of firsts. Repelling down waterfalls, seeing a 1 and 1/2 ton leatherback turtle lay her eggs, eating Spees for every meal of the day, indulging on mango chow until my eyes watered from the spiciness, almost stepping on a venomous snake, flooding my camera (hence the lack of photos), wake boarding through the Gulf of Paria, having rum and coke with some locals I'd met on a hike overlooking the whole city... what Trinidad gave me was an unquenchable thirst for exhilarating experiences that I would try to satisfy over and over again in the years to come.