Located just 50 miles off the Eastern Coast of the United States, the islands that comprise the Bahamian archipelago seem like they’re a million miles away.
I was invited for a brief visit to the Bahamas by the Ministry of Tourism, along with several other travel bloggers, for an introduction to what was a new destination for me. Scott and I have visited several other Caribbean islands, but only as part of cruises. I had never spent more than a few hours on any one particular island and I was excited to see what island life was like.
As close as it is and as many people visit these islands every year, it’s pretty sad that I didn’t know more about this island country of just 350,000 people. I knew that it was an island chain (plus one), that it was sunny (plus one) and…..that’s about it. Everything else I thought I knew about the Bahamas I was actually confusing with Bermuda (minus two, score zero). Imagine my disappointment when I couldn’t watch hours of cricket on demand.
Whatever my level of ignorance was before visiting, I was quickly caught up by everyone I met. The driver on the trip from the airport gave me a veritable encyclopedia entry of Bahamian facts and figures, history and cultural background. (apparently 70% of Bahamians are Baptist, who knew?)
Even though I was in Nassau for just a few days, everywhere I wandered I was met with this fierce patriotism and immense pride in their country. It may sound like a strange observation, but this is most definitely not the case in many parts of the world. The pride in nearly every aspect of their idyllic island chain did more than just provide me with a steady stream of data (there are 700 islands in the Bahamas), it transformed what could have been a fairly unremarkable experience into one that was not only unforgettable, but one I instantly wanted to repeat.
There are several places I have been that feed the soul; that not only provide a sense of peace and calm, but of actually learning and personal growth. The Bahamas is just such a place.
Whenever I have visited a tropical location or an area or region that is heavily dependent on tourism, everyone says that it’s not just a first visit, but the first of many. Hardy. Har. Har. In a rare occurrence of veracity though, this trite phrase is completely accurate when describing the Bahamas.
I only just left, but I have already fallen in love with this incredibly dynamic country and am a self-confessed Bahamas addict. Clearly the best remedy is to start planning my next trip as soon as possible.