So far, I'm overall digging Guadeloupe.
It's a mix of France and the Caribbean.
My French is holding up basically fine, but I'm making numerous mistakes.
I like the food and music!
Some rude people, but not nearly like other places.
Overall, much quieter. Fewer (but some) loud motors, dogs, people.
One of the funnier things I've noticed so far here is the mix of languages. I often hear French, Spansh, Creole, English, and more.
As I noticed before even arriving, Guadeloupe seems like more of a "real" country, compared to some of the other islands down in this part of the Caribbean. There are farms, residents in jobs outside of the tourism industry, and more. It doesn't feel like JUST a tourist attraction, despite having numerous visitors.
Going back through my calendar, to catch the things that slipped through the immense cracks, it's been quite a journey just to get to Guadeloupe!
Overall, I feel much better in these more European-style places than in American-style places. People out and about, walking, biking, instead of just driving everywhere. Less aggressive, more friendly, in my experience.
Things grow in spirals, often. Growing out in one way, then turning back on themselves, then reversing direction again, continuously. Often we feel setbacks, but I think that those are part of our advances.
I'm now planning to stay in this central town in Guadeloupe for at least a week, maybe three or more weeks.
[Ed.: I've already wandered out, but I'll probably head back soon.]
It takes tons of work, time, risk, sacrifice, support, and more, to do many things!
Some huge discoveries so far in Guadeloupe: delicious, affordable, plentiful French cheese! Likewise for chocolate spread, French bread, and other goodies!
There's an anise-flavored soft drink!
There's also fruit punch soft drink, with fruit juice. Tastes good, but I think it gave me indigestion.
Woke up. Found a free public bathroom. Automatic cleaning. Seemed like a decent invention. However, the door opened automatically before I finished!
Found a café with wifi.
Tons of mistakes along the way! :)
As I'm seeing more of Gouadeloupe, I still like it, and I'm still extra glad I came. However, some of the realities are setting in. It's somewhat limited in size, although still way bigger than I'd expected before arriving. I like the food a ton. The music is mixed for my tastes, some that I like and some that I don't. The architecture's different than anything I've seen before, somewhat playful but also somewhat ugly. The people seem friendlier than in some other recent islands I've been to, but still somewhat rude. I guess it's a mixed bag, like anywhere!
There are tons of vines growing in Guadeloupe.
I've been swinging from some like Tarzan,
Many plant and animal species resemble other Caribbean islands. There are banana, guava, coconut, and other fruits. Snails, lizards, birds galore.
It seems maybe wetter, swampier than some other Caribbean islands?
I had some tomatoes grown here. They were big, juicy, but somewhat lacking in flavor, watery.
The mosquitoes don't seem so bad here, for some reason. Maybe just the season?
I'm feeling strong, fit.
I like walking. After biking, it's refreshing. Different mode of transportation takes you to different places.
The more cars I see, the less I want one.
Planning to spend a while here. A few weeks in town, then a few months exploring the rest of Guadeloupe.
Wrapping up many of my unfinished tasks and projects from the last year of travels.
Then on to the other southern Caribbean islands. Martinique, Saint Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago. Not sure exactly which, or in exactly which order. Probably depends on conditions, mood.
Then I'm aiming to hit Venezuela (finally!), the Guyanas, and Suriname.
The Caribbean seems to produce some messed-up societies, but beautiful geography.
Tons of crime, poverty, political turmoil. But also tons of tropical fruits, beaches, sun.
Seems like a decent tradeoff for a while.
I'm already looking forward to the mainland, while still liking the islands.
I like the varied mix-up of the Caribbean. French, English, Spanish, Dutch, American, and more. You can often find different foods, music, and other culture than you've tried before.
Common themes run through all the Caribbean islands. Especially rice and beans.
I'm getting accustomed to Guadeloupe. Still much more acclimatizing to do.
It's been quite a year! Less than a full year ago (around eleven months), I left Miami. Since then, I've seen numerous countries in different languages, some of which I didn't even speak beforehand.
It was a difficult feat to get started again on the travel, after becoming accustomed to the comforts of one place. After getting going, one places leads to another.
This upcoming year is looking huge! I plan to see several more countries in the Caribbean, and a large swathe of the mainland Americas.
Also, outside of travel, I've finally gained something approaching a consistent yet flexible job.
Some of my hobby projects are even showing signs of taking off!
Je suis maintenant français : je mange mes baguettes !
Things take a while to develop, with ongoing efforts. Keep on givin
Trying some local fare, a few of the prepared foods (like breads) have disappointed somewhat, while some of the groceries have been delicious.
Now eating at a Lebanese place (of which there are many). Super delicious patties, one with chevre.
Another crab, another chicken.
The sliced bread here tastes different, richer to me.
So far the baguettes have yet to overwhelm me. I prefer Puerto Rican and some other Caribbean breads, which are softer. I've even had better baguettes elsewhere. However, so far I've only tried a few, mostly from supermarkets. I'm now starting a brioched baguette from a boulangerie!
Baguette briochée avec pâté a tartiner de chocolat et noisettes!
Whew! Found a place with wifi. And decent sandwiches, too!
[Ed.: And nice scenery !]
There's a catchy jingle on the radio: "Philosophie! Philosophie!" You know you're in France when...