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Barbados life: The ten best things (and it's not all what you'd think)

Yes, Barbados is a beautiful place to live: all turquoise sea and white sandy beaches, every-day blue sky and green fields of sugar cane swaying like reeds in the breeze. This abundant natural beauty has become my backdrop. And it's improved my quality of life considerably since our arrival in August 2013. But there is so much more to this Caribbean nation than meets the eye. And although I want to expand on many of the 'best things' listed below on this blog, for now, I want you to get a glimpse into my day-to-day life here in all it's glory. The beauty, the unexpected challenges, the differences...

1) The fact that being here - in Barbados - stops you from taking life for granted (it's too beautiful). Or too seriously.

2) Not worrying about being late - things rarely start on time.

3) People smiling and saying good morning to each other. In the queue at the bank. In waiting rooms. Everywhere.

4) Seeing women in unexpected jobs. We had our house re-wired by a female

electrical engineer. We had our insect screen fitted by a woman. Today I saw a female bricklayer, and a woman working on road repairs.

5) Being able to park without fear of getting a ticket, or clamped, or causing an obstruction, ever (people just drive round you).

6) Having your perceptions - of the way people should behave (lots of risk taking here), of the way people live (big gaps between the rich and poor), and interract with each other (customer service in local shops can be a funny mix of nonchalance and gruffness) - challenged on a daily basis.

7) Hummingbirds, bee eaters, parakeets, monkeys and wandering chickens and goats by the side of the road.

8) Having your shopping packed into bags and carried to the car every time you visit the supermarket.

9) Visiting tourist attractions without having to navigate crowds.

10) The sea. The sea. Always being able to see the sea.

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