The Bahamas, Las Bahamas, Bah-a-mas. “You’re from Bahamas? Yes, yes, I am.
One of my favourite things to do as an avid traveller is to let people in on the big secret of which country I’m from. You never really know how loved and powerful your country is until you travel. [Travel tip] I should also add, I receive preferential treatment because of it, so don’t be shy to say Bahamas anywhere you go.
The Islands of The Bahamas is a vacation destination loved by millions around the world, tourism is its number one industry and because of this I’m always running into people that have vacationed in the country, gotten married or have some travel connection.
On a recent visit to London town, I visited the fancy schmancy Aqua Shard. One of the managers in the restaurant casually came over to the table to ensure we were enjoying our lunch. Caribbean people and accents. Say no more. He immediately caught on and asked the familiar question, ‘Where are you from? Of course the response was The Bahamas. Lots of excitement ensued and then the stories began to roll in. Apparently he had a destination wedding in The Bahamas and he recounted how beautiful The Bahamas is and how friendly the people were. From that point on we were best friends. He ensured extra attention was paid to my table and he also took the time out to write suggestions on best places to go in London and gave us his contacts in case we needed anything during our trip. He returned the favour because he was treated so well when he was in my country.
“Why are you here?” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this line while traveling. In Italy, in France, the most beautiful countries in the world, they ask me the question ‘why are you here’. Many recount how beautiful the waters are and how warm the sun is, and how friendly the people are and can’t believe that I would leave my country to enjoy theirs. Traveling reminds me that I’m from one of the most recognizable vacation destinations in the world. There are so many interesting stories I’ve collected during travel from people who once worked on cruise ships in The Bahamas, flight attendants, businessmen and women. As a local I sometimes don’t appreciate my country as much as I should and I take it for granted, but these stories are always heartwarming.
“So, that makes you American?” There are many people in the world who don’t have a clue when it comes to geography. I have heard it all, but I enjoy it. As an avid traveler you carry the flag, you are the ambassador. Traveling allows me to dispel the most ridiculous things and rumors about my country. I can’t remember how many times I’ve said we’re not apart of America, neither are we Jamaican. As a brand ambassador I get to pitch my islands. I get to educate them on all 700 islands and cays, the world famous Swimming Pigs, Junkanoo and so much more! I get to share my country with people who have no idea that we even exist! Travel always restores my love of country. It reminds me of all the good, of all the beauty that I take for granted.
Being a Bahamian is my travel trump card and I don’t mind flashing it whenever or wherever I can! Being a Bahamian who travels makes me interesting, it makes me different and I love it!