How I became smitten by the Islands of the Bahamas

The Domestic Tourist, my Anthony Bourdain inspired alter-ego, has been incubating for most of the past 29 years. Basically, I am a natural born traveler. My first passport was issued on November 27, 1984, just three months after I arrived in this world; I’ve had at least four others since.

My TripAdvisor profile will attest: I’ve been to 76 cities in 19 countries across 3 continents, and most of that was before turning the age of 21. I have climbed mountains, slept in airports, driven cross-country in the back trunk of a Smart car. I even drank purified water from the muddy hoof impression left by an elephant. For a little island girl, I’ve been around.

So after traveling the world, how did I become a certifiable domestic tourist, smitten by the Islands of the Bahamas? In 2009 an unexpected event changed the course of my life completely.

My best friend, boyfriend, business partner and future husband, Roan Steele, was diagnosed suddenly with stage three stomach cancer, and three months later he died. I did not have a close relationship with death before Steele, so my first real encounter was extremely traumatic. In many ways, I experienced my own death when Steele left.

As I navigated my way back to life, I took a week-long healing journey to Long Island, Bahamas. With a backpack, a bicycle, a tent and about 200 dollars, I rode over 40 miles from the North to the South of the island, discovering, exploring, teaching myself to live again.

By the time I arrived home, my clitoris was dislodged, but a little piece of my soul had been restored. In the process, I learned valuable lessons like how not to build a fire on the beach and the type of bicycle seat that is not appropriate for such a journey.

Eventually, I was able to give birth to a new self. Resurrected, I looked upon the Islands of the Bahamas with new eyes. I saw a vast land and seascape in my own backyard that was completely unexplored. I knew it possessed the power to heal and could only imagine what more I could uncover. So with that, The Domestic Tourist, my island-hopping Bahamas travel blog, was born.

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