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Great Exuma Island, The Bahamas...

...I went for the blue seas and cool breeze, but the sand fleas gave me a two week supply of AfterBite.

semi-overcast 10 °C

"I just want people to take a step back, take a deep breath and actually look at something with a different perspective. But most people will never do that."
- Brian McKnight

There is no place I have been yet that has been as foreign to me as the Exuma Islands in the Bahamas (I stress yet). I only just began my travels this summer, and I can't even call myself anything but a pond hopper yet, but I was really surprised with how different this place felt to me. Before I get ahead of myself, let me first explain how in the world I got there:

I'd been back from Japan for nearly 3 1/2 months and thought my travels for the year were over. I had just purchased two tickets for the premiere of The Hobbit to finish a yearly tradition with a friend of mine, who happens to be a pilot. I texted her right before I bought them that I couldn't wait to go see the movie, and received several sporadic messages back telling me to not buy them; "I've got a proposition for you!"
Now kids, when someone uses the word "proposition" and you aren't in a.) a shady shack or b.) a government office, then you better listen up. Curiosity struck me like a mole in an arcade game and I stalked my phone until I finally got call asking if I'd like to accompany her and her family to the Bahamas for a week. Stunned, I said "heck yes!" and my adventure began...

It started off with a nearly 4 day road trip to Florida from my home turf of West Texas. I was able to see Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida from the backseat of a car (and the parking lots of gas stations and hotels). It's a strange feeling to find yourself crossing into another state via car when plane has been your mode of transportation when going in and out of Texas. I'd been itching for some "freedom" ever since I touched down in DFW, so this was a dream come true.
When we finally arrived in Fort Lauderdale everyone was tired and ready for a week of 'island time', though I wasn't yet sure what that meant. I learned a lot about planes on this trip (considering I knew nothing before it) and I know we flew out of an FBO, which stands for Fixed Base Operator, and...well I understood it to be like a private airport, but please correct me if I'm wrong. My friend's father flew out some clients and came back for us - I gotta say it was difficult to go from flying in a Pilatus with 8 people to a huge commercial plane with dozens upon dozens and FA's that are in foul moods...or perhaps that is just my introverted character saying such things.

on the journey over

My proudest moment was being able to pack all I needed for a week (with my laptop and new camera taking up all the space) in a 33L pack. I'd like to go even smaller than that, but I really love this backpack so we shall see what happens. My least proudest moment was crying in the airport again and having TWO FA's grilling me to find out why I was crying, because I "didn't have a reason to be". This, accompanied with the fact I bumped my head and had two seat mates asking if I was okay, both made me feel like there is still good in humanity on redeye flights, and that as an introvert my bubble was popped. *ahem* Anyway...

The trip in itself was different. Different isn't bad, different is good. Different rips the roof off of your comfortable home because you were content with just gazing out the window, when you should really be looking up at the sky. I'm guilty of being really, really nit-picky when it comes to schedules and organization on my travels. When we were there, shops opened at 09:00 and closed around 15:00, I saw at least one kid letting it all hang out (if you know what I mean, if not, don't try to understand), and people danced like there was no tomorrow. It was nice to see a place like this, to experience relaxation and feel no worries. To "get away from it all" as they say, whoever they are. I can't say I've ever stayed at a resort, but I think that to really experience the Bahamas you should really stay in a local hotel or rental and mingle with the locals. You'll also see that Great and Little Exuma both have had troubles in the past (as evidenced by the unfinished or storm battered building projects) and are not all white sand and sun tans. The people are wonderful and sometimes quirky, and the hole in the wall places you can find are endless. But I don't know enough to talk about it all so I won't. Instead I'll regale you with my exciting Bahamian adventures...

I was able to practice with my new Nikon D3300 that I got as a "next two birthdays" present, and with the best pictures I will tell you a bit about the story behind them:

This first one is one of the many boats we could see from where we stayed. It never failed that each morning we could watch them sail the seas over breakfast.

A broken dock overlooking the calm waters at sunset. It's funny how something that's falling apart could inspire so much, and still be called beautiful.

Meet Mickey, the calf biting dog who befriended me over a few scraps of chicken. Her five year old owner burst into the place we were staying and introduced us to her, though I still don't know how to spell her name.

I just wanted to be cliché.

These two were taken at the remains of the Loyalist Plantation. Quite a view from up the hill.

We explored Great Exuma a bit and found a sort of hole in the wall Beach Access that led us to a perfect location. This little boat was there, I know how it feels.

This was of our balcony at night. It's both relaxing with the sound of waves, and creepy with the sound of silence.

Here is the pillar from the remains of the Loyalist Plantation. It was massive and looked ancient. Which is why I had to take that bottom picture.

The sky would always be ablaze with a magnificent display of colours before leaving us with the light of the stars.

We were treated to a peaceful sunset before we took our leave of the island.

I will never say farewell to a place I've only just met, and one I never expected to meet. I can say with all honesty that I had no intentions of ever going to the Bahamas nor did I ever have a want to, but I do feel like I would return in the future. The white sand and lively music will see to that.
But there is nothing like a Texas sunset or a Norwegian fjord, and I plan on taking some time to use my newfound photographic resources to explore both places that I feel have shaped me more than any others. I thank the people of Great Exuma for their hospitality and culture, and wish them all the best in the future. I will add Bahama Bama next to Nakamura Kenji on the list of people I would like to meet again someday.

Here's to more travels next year, my friends.

Adventures In Waiting:

  • Romania (Summer 2015)
  • Norway (Return Winter 2015 Trip)

Posted by Kacey's Travels 19:17 Archived in USA Tagged bahamas

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These pictures are gorgeous! I can only imagine the stories behind them all...

by Missy Franklin

@Missy Franklin - Many thanks for the compliment! There are, of course, many stories to be shared through these pictures...I only wish I could capture the feelings with them.

by Kacey's Travels

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