The colorful, magical, and paradisical euphoria of Barbados has now opened up. Ready for business, and ready for a new wave of business! Exciting isn’t it? I guess the entire world hasn’t closed its doors to United States citizens, after all. So, you are now ready to pack up your bags and go. Don’t forget your favorite beach wear, sun colored swim suit/trunks, sunglasses, and every colorful outfit you plan on wearing. Your briefcase? Check! Laptop? Double check! Passport? Triple check! Plane ticket? Booked. Health records? Definitely!
Ok, so off you go, yes? Slow down. Let’s pause for a little bit. Before you are quick to jump on the Barbados bandwagon, let’s get ready to hand off our travel checklist. Are you ready? Here we go.
*Are You Willing To Comply With the COVID-19 Protection Laws, Required?
Let’s face it, with the surge in COVID-19 infections, within the United States, US citizens are not having a good look right now, with the international community. Defying face masks and social distancing strategies in US cities has not given Americans a good look through rest of the world. The government of Barbados makes it very clear on their website the safety regulations, which will be implemented. https://www.gov.bb/ Social distancing will occur in restaurants, when it comes to seating, including the wearing of masks. Are you willing to comply? Think on that for a bit.
*You may not get the full pre-COVID experience
There is the possibility that restrictions will be placed on resorts and areas considered to be very popular on a normal travel period. It means you may not get the full tropical, and paradise vibe. Is that alright with you? If you are making this into a regular work season, with minimal fun and social interaction, then ok. However, if you want to really have that full travel experience from Barbados, know that your fun and adventure could be limited, in order for regulations to be effective.
*Perception Of Your Presence, By the Local Community
Clearly, the island of Barbados is trying to turn around the economic down spiral, that COVID-19 has created for many nations, who depend on tourism for their economic sectors. Local merchants, sellers, and so forth want to do business. They welcome your business. Simultaneously, outside of the business realm, there may or may not be much local interaction, due to the cautionary tales people are hearing, via media. If you desire to really interact with the local community, and have an authentic experience, you may have to work harder than usual to create holistic relationships, with the local culture. Build a relationship of trust and try to volunteer, if you can. Even with the current situations, Barbadians/Bajans may welcome you into their home, or cook traditional meals for you, should you come with an open, and respectful, mindset.
*Are You Prepared For the Possibility That You May Be Alone?
There may not be a lot of people going to Barbados, even with this grand offer. Therefore, how are you going to cope with the possibility of not many tourists being on the island? How will you deal with the possibility that there may be few people on the island, who are not Barbadians? Even if you come across a collective of people, from the States or another country, will you even socialize with them?
*If You Have A Spouse, Partner, Or Kids, How Will They Cope?
Let’s say you decide to take this great offer, and venture to work in Barbados, have you checked out schools for your children? Will they continue doing online, distance learning from their schools in the States? How will your children, wife, husband, or significant other deal with having to re-adjust to a new country, even if it’s for a year? Furthermore, have you checked out all of the programs, facilities, and other social/recreational atmospheres, which are available to them? It’s a different mindset when you have to bring family along, don’t you think?
Are you aware that hurricane season, in Barbados, runs from June to November, each year? https://www.totallybarbados.com/articles/weather/#.XxHvGWIXY0M So, while you are ready to pack up and go, have you checked in with the Barbadian government to see plans, which are implemented, should you need to leave the island, due to the likelihood of a hurricane? How well do you know the island, its emergency shelters, or it’s departure areas should you have to leave the island? Where would you go should you have to leave?
*Concerning Medical Insurance
With your online position, and this opportunity to work in Barbados, does your company support health care plans and policies in Barbados? How are they designed and set up in the country for you to receive the best dental, physician, and other medical services? Before you go, or decide to pack up and leave, make sure that your place of employment has already a plan, in place. Have they done their homework on the medical facilities, where you will be covered? Have this conversation with your employees, and then get back to your island research.
*Stay Up-To-Date With US Embassy Activities In Barbados
There are quite a few programs and activities happening in the US embassy. Contact them beforehand, and see how you can get her involved in any volunteer programs, or stay connected with various embassy activities taking place. This allows you to allows be updated with whatever updates are happening in Barbados, with this current offer. https://bb.usembassy.gov/
We can continue to have our travel adventures, during this COVID-19 era. However, what we have to understand is that there is more preparation, which is needed. Much more during these current times. The nation of Barbados can still be an adventure. It will simply require more creative tasks on our end. Also, it will mean that our travel/work abroad will require that we adjust ourselves to the flow, rhythm, and understanding of a different style, in how we move through the terrain. Think of it this way, you are able to experience a different way in how another culture is dealing with the current epidemic. Furthermore, you can also use this opportunity as a space to grow, and discover your ability to push through; finding all of the beauties, and treasures of life, which are enriching and abundant, during these current times. Immerse in the possibility of island time, but let the island rhymes guide you to be a better reflection for the, current times.