A particularly snowy, long winter calls for an escape of the tropical variety and I feel very fortunate to have friends who plan and invite me on their trips (bless your souls). Wanting to go somewhere new and sans-all-inclusive, we found ourselves on a 15+ hour journey to our little rented home on the beach in Barbados. Waking up steps away from the ocean proved it was all it's cracked up to be and I shall dream about it for the remainder of my existence.
I'm not sure what we did in a past life to get so lucky, but our neighbour on the beach halfway across the world ended up being an acquaintance who was kind enough to cart us around the island, showing us little nooks and crannies we likely wouldn't have otherwise discovered. Our own Guardian Bajal.
A tropical paradise with charming people and soul a-plenty. And sunshine. And rum... I forgot about the amazing rum. What I am trying to say is, add Barbados to your list.