by Pamilla Hiner
Sometimes a quick getaway is all that is needed to detox from the burdens of family, managing a career, or just to escape the everyday responsibilities of this thing called life. After a rough day at work, I knew a mini vacay was definitely in need. Only a day to spare, no problem, it was off to the turquoise waters of Nassau, Bahamas!
Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, has become one of the world’s foremost vacation resorts. The Bahamas, with a population of nearly 400,000, attracts more than five times its population. It was no surprise when I entered customs that the Bahamians had mastered the art of hospitality. Going through customs is probably one of the most dreaded parts of travel. However, with a live band cranking out Caribbean tunes along with being greeted by a well dressed older gentlemen, it was impossible not to two-step through the customs line with a huge smile.
What I quickly learned in Nassau is that the city starts early and ends early. By 5 pm things begin to wind down during the week. I arrived on a late flight, about 3 pm, so no time to waste. After zooming through customs, it was off to downtown Nassau to hit the scene. My lodging was in a great location in walking distance to plenty of restaurants and high end shopping. I was pleasantly surprised with the selection of boutiques that flanked the famous Bay Street, known for its shopping venues: Cartier, Fendi and Rolex to name a few. I couldn’t resist, I had to stop and shop.
Afterwards, it was off to do some site seeing. If you don’t like the color pink, then you shouldn’t visit Nassau. Many of the government buildings and homes are in a shade called “conch pink” named after the island’s most well known food—conch. I visited the Government House, an elegant example of Georgian Colonial architecture; it was majestic in a brilliant shade of conch pink with a pirate-like statue of Christopher Columbus standing at the entrance. It is believed during Christopher Columbus’ First New World expedition, San Salvador, an island of the Bahamas was the first land he sighted and visited in October of 1492.
Not too far from the Government House is one of the oldest churches in the Bahamas, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk (“Kirk” is a Scots word meaning church). It was founded in 1810 by Scottish settlers. There is so much history in Nassau, it can easily be overlooked with so many modern amenities that appeal to the thousands of visiting tourists.
As I was walking around, a local cab driver born and raised in Nassau, offered to show me around town, free of charge of course. I’m glad I took him up on his offer; there was no way I was leaving Nassau without trying some authentic Bahamian cracked fried conch. It was off to The Fish Fry, which is a bevy of locally owned restaurants that serve every traditional Bahamian dish you could imagine and all the conch your tastebuds could desire.
But, my biggest treat for the evening was a beautiful sunset at Love Beach. Photographers from all over the world flock to this location to photograph one of the most mindblowing sunsets I had ever seen. It was a perfect end to a wonderful day in Nassau.
I woke up early the following morning before my flight to take a dip in Nassau’s pristine turquoise waters. Skip the beach? Of course not; it was the very reason why I made the trip! The sun’s rays cast a dancing flicker across the water; I suddenly had a feeling of euphoric Heaven. As I waded in the water, I watched a cruise ship dock along the port. When the cruise ships come in, Nassau is in full swing. The shops are busy, street vendors are hustling, and water and street taxis are zooming. Nassau has a thriving economy that is doing quite well with tourists’ dollars. Moreover, many of the businesses are black and locally owned, which made me even more proud to open my wallet and show support.
Unfortunately, it was getting very close to check-in time for my flight’s departure. My delightful frolicking in Nassau’s crystal waters had to come to an end. As I sat in my seat and looked out the window at take off, there was not a feeling of worry or stress in my bones. I believe it was all buried somewhere under a heap of sand or washed away with a tide. I was ready to get back to the grind of life, only to await that next itch for a little R & R. Thank you Nassau, Bahamas for 18 hours of pure bliss!
Pamilla Hiner aka “The Solo Travel Muse” is a flight attendant who left the comforts of her Houston, TX upbringing to embark on a career that would take her literally and metaphorically to new heights. She often travels solo and set a mission to encourage others to stop waiting for permission to live life. She is the founder of a brand created for other free spirits called Gypsy Glamm™ and chronicles her Solo Trippin’ travels online. She has been all over the world inspiring others to push past fear, as she did, and embark on their own solo adventures.