A literary travel guide to Trinidad and Tobago

If you're a book nerd like me, then you'll absolutely adore the idea of literary travel. What is it, exactly? It's a form of tourism where you visit places that inspired or featured in certain fiction/non-fiction books. For instance, if you loved Anne of Green Gables, then you'll definitely appreciate visiting the real Prince Edward [...]

A tale of two flowers

Here's an excerpt from, A Tale of Two Flowers, an essay I recently wrote for Caribbean Beat, Caribbean Airlines' in-flight magazine: "In the Caribbean, we often take the flowers for granted. They seem to be always there: hibiscus, bougainvillea, or frangipani blending incongruously into the tropical landscape. I only realised how much I missed them during [...]

Literary travel: We Mark Your Memory

Hey everyone! 2018's already proving an exciting year! I'm happy to announce that I have a short story called "Homecoming" published in We Mark Your Memory: Writings from the Descendants of Indenture. "Homecoming" depicts a young Indo-Trinidadian couple visiting Kolkata in India, the motherland, for the first time and experiencing confusion, bewilderment, and displacement there. The anthology is [...]

Literary travel: Oh Happy Day

Self-published in 2017, Oh Happy Day is a debut collection of short stories written by Trinidadian author, Michelle Ragoonanan-Ali. Oh Happy Day features many popular Trinidadian traditions, customs, and language and spans the length and breadth of the island, from Sea Lots to Siparia, Mayaro to Talparo. In general, the stories deal with the struggles [...]

Literary travel: Little Free Library in Trinidad and Tobago

Book nerdigans, did you know that Trinidad and Tobago has not one but two Little Free Library locations? What is the Little Free Library? The non-profit, which was started in Hudson, Wisconsin by Tod Bol, now has over 50,000 locations in over 70 countries worldwide. Today, it's a global movement that encourages a love of reading. This [...]

31 things you should know about a Trini Christmas

The local radio station, Sweet 100.1 FM, starts playing Christmas music in September. Your mother started soaking dried fruits in alcohol for black cake way before December. People start putting up Christmas lights from Divali. Creches start popping up on churchyards. Even though it's 33 degrees Celsius outside, the malls are filled with snow, Santa [...]

Home sweet home: dealing with reverse culture shock

Repatriation sucks. After living adventurously for a year or more, to come back home can seem dull. After the initial euphoria of reuniting with family and friends and telling them your best travel stories, it's all over. Nobody wants to hear about it anymore. Back to the grind. There's also an ugly side of returning [...]

9 chocolate makers you can only find in Trinidad and Tobago

Did you know that Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) is the world's best-kept secret when it comes to chocolate? It's one of the few places in the world that grows several varieties of trinitario beans, a "fine flavor" cocoa bean. These premium beans are highly coveted in the global market and are mainly used by gourmet [...]

Get to know Trini food: Trinidadian corn soup

Make no mistake, Trinis love food. The size of the waistlines in Trinidad and Tobago bear testament to the favorite local expression,"Better belly buss than good food waste!" Side note: you can learn 19 Trini sayings in this article I wrote for Matador Network. In this foodie nation, there are many favorites. One is Trinidadian corn soup. [...]

Review: CNN’s Parts Unknown on Trinidad and Tobago

“There’s Trinidad, and Tobago: One country, two very different islands, two very different places. One island is what you expected when you arrive wearing flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt, all greased up with cocoa butter; the other ain’t about that at all.” – Anthony Bourdain   I’ve always been a fan of Anthony Bourdain’s travel [...]