I Fell In Love At Trinidad Carnival

By Rachel George


Carnival in Trinidad is like no other. Everyone swarms the streets in various eccentric costumes and body paint. It’s a never-ending party until you’re downright exhausted. It’s just one of those places you have to see. Canadian born, Trinidadian raised Esha Herbert-Davis has enjoyed the celebration every year for the fun festivities and parties. But she especially enjoyed the fun in 2006.  

Esha was standing in line with her friends at one of the high mobile bars, Malibu rum and pineapple juice in one hand and Angostura rum 1919 with ice in the other. She turned around to her now-business consultant Tarik Davis, the man she knew would spend the rest of her life with. It was his first time, and he was taking in the live music, the liveliness and the beautiful people, including Esha.

But rather than asking for her name, the only thing Tarik could get out was, “You’re drinking both of those?” Clearly, he wasn’t from Trinidad, because drinking at Carnival is completely normal. His questions struck up a conversation, ending in the two exchanging numbers.

The couple began dating months later, traveling back and forth to see each other between Canada and New York. They were leery of how and if they could maintain their relationships being apart, so they came up with a goal: within two years, someone would have to move.

Long distance relationships require a lot of time, commitment and communication. “Although Facetime didn’t exist, we talked daily and saw each other as frequently as we could,” he said. “Certainly maintaining contact and having a plan was key to ensure we didn’t grow apart from each other.”

Love at Carnival

Esha and Tarik in front of the Christ the Redeemer (statue) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Consistent communication also involves asking hard questions before even committing to this type of relationship. “Talk it through before committing…because life happens and its good to have those conversations before things go sideways,” she said.

“Ask yourself, ‘what are your expectations of a long distance relationship? Are you expecting to talk to that person twice a day, once a day, etc.? Do you like constant messaging? How often will you be able to see each other around full-time jobs? It’s a lot to think about.

After dating long distance for two years, Esha and Tarik accomplished their goal and found themselves moving to North Carolina together for a job offer, and married a year later. Esha knew earlier than he did that she wanted to spend her life with him.

“It was really a leap of faith,” she said. “I fell in love with his communication style, his demeanor, his approach to situations was so different than what I was used to. I knew that was somebody for me.”

The couple turned their life-changing Carnival love story into a business. Events by Ashé provides unique life-changing experiences to Trinidad Carnival and recently added Barbados Carnival this upcoming August.

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Rachel George

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