BARBADOS

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I Thought I Could Escape to a Tropical Island. I Was Wrong.

The tropical temporary home where I'd been living for six months was just a few minutes' cab ride down the white beach. Its balcony faced a shore lined with blooming hibiscus, our life there set to the push and pull of the waves. It felt so, so far away. Sweat trickled on my tailbone. I bit my lip and completed transformation into an Eisenhower-era desperate housewife: I cried for the immigration officer. So not behavior of a confident global journalist. How had I let this happen?
Rod Charles

If You Missed Booking Rio Carnival...

As anyone who's ever suffered through a Canadian winter knows, it's never too early to start thinking about your next tropical visit. Especially where caribbean festivals are concerned. The catch is that it's almost too late to get in on the action at the Carnivals in Rio or Trinidad and Tobago, which take place in early February and often book up months in advance. Luckily, there's Crop Over.