It’s not every day you get to step inside your own tropical postcard. Two years ago I had that chance when I ventured to the picture-perfect island of Aruba. Just off the border of Venezuela and neighbours with Curacao, this place is pure magic when it comes to both amazing beaches and inland delights.
Not only was Aruba on my bucket list for a while, this trip was even more special because I went with my mother. She and I had never taken an adventure together, especially to a gorgeous island playground. Although I often travel spontaneously, this was a big deal for her – she had less than a 72 hour notice to decide if she’d come join me on an epic quest to conquer the Caribbean.
It was a whirlwind, but every moment was filled with good eats and relaxing experiences. We sailed the turquoise ocean via catamaran, stopping to snorkel and explore sunken ships and tropical marine life. At night, we dined with toes in the sand as the sun set, clinking glasses to good fortune and a love of island life.
Across the pond, dreaming of Aruba again
Now that I live in London, I’m a huge advocate for my fellow city-goers to splurge on a trip to the Caribbean. There’s constantly great deals for flights and accommodation to help escape that rain and chaos of the city. We’ve been scheming on a sunny winter holiday ourselves if we can convince the state-side contingent to abandon a white Christmas up north…!
Cooking up island eats
For now, my favourite way to travel without getting on a plane is to bring the flavours of my treasured destinations to my flat. I have a whole cupboard full of cinnamon from Sri Lanka, parmesan cheese from Italy, olive oil from Spain and Doritos, the REAL nacho cheese ones, from the U.S. (don’t judge!).
Recently, Kuoni gifted me a package full of island treats that inspired me to get nostalgic about my Aruba trip all over again. Visions of fresh seafood and cold fruity drinks wafted through my mind as I unboxed crunchy plantain crisps, spices, coconut flavoured biscuits and even some Caribbean lager. Most exciting is the Caribbean Modern cookbook by Shivi Ramoutar – while my cooking skills are abysmal, I’m sure I can craft a few tasty recipes from her extensive collection of colourful dishes. I personally enjoy the Dutch influence in Aruba – especially those massive pancakes!
Win a trip to Aruba!
In the meantime, I entered a UK giveaway for a chance to win a trip to Aruba on Facebook. All you have to do is choose which super-delish restaurant you’d like to indulge and you’re in. Enter fast, as the giveaway ends June 10th, 2016. I felt like I ate a little of everything on the island, but it looks like there’s much more tropical cuisine to nosh!