In June 2008, Amit and I went on our first long haul trip together outside of Europe to the islands of Antigua and Barbuda. I was super excited for this trip and bought lots of summer dresses and bikinis and it was a massive deal.
We had booked with Virgin Holidays and after lots of research we had settled on staying at Jolly Beach Resort. We chose it purely as it had one of the nicest beaches on the island of Antigua, which by the way, has 365 beaches. Yes that’s right! One for every day of the year! We booked a Junior suite and we were on an all inclusive rate.
As soon as we landed I fell in love with the beauty of the island, the lovely nature of the locals and the food! We spent 7 days there and did some excursions such as a day tour on a Catamaran of all 365 beaches, a sunset cruise and a day trip to the island of Barbuda. The rest of the days were spent exploring the island by land and chilling out.
The five things I loved most about the trip, if I had to sum it up (and in no particular order) are as follows:
Rum is my number one spirit and there was never a shortage of really good rum, whether it was in rum punches or in my signature mojitos on the island.
Jerk chicken was our favourite and most frequently eaten dish as we just could not get enough of it! Seriously it had a kick and was so tasty and addictive.
I loved steel bands and the music was so relaxing and awesome we just loved listening to it in the evenings while having a sundowner or playing cards. We bought a couple of CDS to bring back which we play from time to time in the car whenever we get nostalgic about the trip.
These were postcard perfect and I loved sunbathing while losing myself in a good book while Amit went jet skiing and swimming.
On the 10 June 2008, we went for a day trip to Barbuda. This is a gorgeous island and it has pink sand and clear water. It was so spectacular. We swam in the sea, had lunch on the beach and went snorkelling.
When we got back to Antigua in the evening, I was so tired so I suggested we just order chips to the room and chill out. Amit said no no lets get ready and have a quick dinner. I was exhausted but I got ready quickly and we headed out of the room.
Instead of going towards the restaurants he started leading me to a different part of the hotel. I was a little cranky so I asked him why he was going there when the restaurant was the other way.
He said relax lets just go for a quick walk to see what’s happening in the hotel and then go to the restaurant. I thought this was a bit strange but just went along with it.
We led me through, what looked like a wedding venue, and it was decorated with candles and roses and had some music playing. I said to him we were gatecrashing someone’s function so lets not go all the way through.
He ignored me, took my hand and continued to walk through and out on to the beach. I could see a table had been set up for 2 on the beach with candles and I knew straight away that he was going to propose.
We had dinner and he had a stereo system playing some romantic songs. Then when we had finished our mains, the waitress brought out a platter with a glass bottle with a message inside. I thought this was so cute and themed perfectly as I love nautical things.
I opened the bottle and read the message and when I finished he was down on one knee proposing to me. I said yes of course and was so taken away and impressed with the effort he had put in to making it a romantic and most perfect proposal.
Antigua and Barbuda are forever etched in my heart and I hope to visit again with Amit to celebrate a milestone anniversary in the future. If you haven’t been I cannot recommend it enough.