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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 153 > The Tobago spirit

The Tobago spirit

Ellen Tout learns to slow down and find a new pace of life in the Caribbean

well travelled

Arriving at Castara Retreats, Tobago, I feel oddly out of place. I hold my yoga gear in one hand, and my laptop in the other. My host for our week of ‘raw love’, Gabriela Lerner, a nutrition and health coach, greets me with a welcoming embrace. She walks barefoot, guiding me up the winding path, through the trees and to my eco lodge. ‘The pace of life here is a daily reminder to slow down; to really be in the moment’, she tells me. As I settle into my accommodation, I’m not completely sure what she means. I’m still in o ce mode – tired from the flight and mentally running through the emails I need to send. A week of meditation, walking, yoga and fresh, raw food sounded blissful on paper, however, I can’t quite switch o… But, as I soon learn, on Tobago taking things slowly isn’t optional; it’s fundamental to their way of life. This is a.ectionately known as ‘Tobago time’.

Just six miles wide and with around 70,000 residents, the island is the smaller half of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and remains charmingly unchanged by tourism. I’m staying in the small fishing village of Castara on the north coast. Here, locals spend their time farming and fishing, swimming at the quiet beach by day and ‘liming’ (the Caribbean art of doing nothing, considered a central part of their culture) by night.

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We encourage you to fall in love with life, to get out of your head and into nature. Spring is officially here and we’re encouraging you to try a ‘micro-adventure’ –  a 24-hour foray outside into the fresh air whether it’s walking in the hills, or sleeping under the stars. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and fed up of slaving to support a lifestyle that doesn’t make you happy, then read how decluttering and minimalism can help you start creating a life based on values, not things in our  dossier. Join our month-long Psychologies Decluttering Challenge with expert Cait Flanders, author of The Year Of Less, who will coach us on how to simplify our lives.