Dear diary, I'm back! After more than a year of starting draft after draft after draft (24 to be exact), I decided to pick one to finish today. To distract myself from being nervous about my first duathlon tomorrow and thoughts like, why did I sign up again?, I'm looking back at our trip to the Bahamas early last year to provide some solace...
One of my high school friends got married in Miami at the end of February last year and we decided to take a detour to Nassau. Best. Decision. Ever! There's nothing like spending a couple sunny days with the vast, immense ocean to make you feel small, free, and rested.
We decided to invest in a GoPro before this trip so we could document all future scuba diving, motorcycling, and snowboarding easily. Even after this entire trip, neither of us could take half decent photos...note the fingers in the bottom right corner of the photo above, haha! We also have a dozen videos from our dives; talk about motion sickness! The combination of new scuba divers and new GoPro users really did not work out so well. They're so horrible that all I can do is laugh at them! No wonder Digital Underwater Photographer is a full PADI course.
We spent our first full day scuba diving with Stuart's Cove where we went on two morning dives and two afternoon dives. Conditions were pretty much perfect: sunny skies, great visibility, and no wind = a pretty much non-existent current = no seasickness for Z (:
The highlights of the four dives were seeing sharks and exploring wrecks, both for the first time, and diving along a massive, seemingly never ending, reef wall. The wall was a bit disorienting to dive across because it was easy to lose my sense of where up was. I had to stop and double-check which way my bubbles were going to make sure I wasn't just sliding down the wall into the dark abyss a few times! But to see that beautiful ecosystem and its resident fish and coral was worth the short spurts of panic.
As for the sharks...I was shocked by (and of course thankful for) how they simply ignore you, even when you're in close proximity. All the ones we saw were smaller sharks but seeing them within a few feet of me gave me the chills (and a minor panic attack when I saw the first one!); amazing doesn't begin to describe this scuba diving experience!
Calm waters all day long. !!!
Calm waters all day long. !!!
We stayed on the west end of the island, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Nassau and a 5 minute walk from an amazing beach. We spent the next full day relaxing on the beach, reading, listening to music, and enjoying cold beers. I felt like I was in a dream! The super-fine white sand was so soft, the sun was out but a slow, constant breeze kept us cool, and with only a handful of other people there, our day of ocean-gazing and sun-soaking was relaxing and peaceful.
Before leaving for this trip, I picked up Cancer Fabulous Diaries from Sylvia Soo, who is an Edmontonian leather-maker, cancer survivor, Boomerang champion, coffee and interior design genius, and now, someone I call friend. Though the content didn't apply to me directly, I was moved by the fortitude of these women who share about their experience with breast cancer! For more information about it, click here.
We spent the rest of our time trying local foods (which we found out quickly was anything conch, yum), driving along the coast and stopping at viewpoints, and exploring downtown Nassau (and promptly retreating back because of the traffic and busy streets haha).
A Bahamian classic that I loved and am now salivating thinking about again was the conch salad. I insisted on having it every day, twice a day if possible!, because there were different flavours to try and it was refreshing to have fresh veggies and fruits in the heat. We frequented Dino's as recommended by TripAdvisor but also out of convenience. Dino's has a tiny storefront on the main, oceanside road with an open kitchen in front and a couple stools where we watched the staff whip up our salads with their curved knives. We lucked out: many TripAdvisor reviews warned us of 1+ hour wait times but we never had to wait in line even to order.
One thing was reinforced by this trip: I love island life. People go about their day with ease, not worrying or stressing too much about all the little details or planning down to a tee. Not to mention the magical effect that humidity has on my dry skin and eczema! After this trip, I reevaluated how I spend my time and decided to work towards having more margin and flexibility in my life. It's definitely a work in progress! Do you enjoy traveling? What have you taken home with you on your past travels? I would love to hear!