One thing I immediately learned on this trip was to never, ever travel during spring break. I have been so out of touch from being out of school for as long as I have that I had no idea it was even that time of year until I experienced one of the most uncomfortable flights I have ever taken. Noisier than my experience with TriMet, the Portland metro area’s local public transportation and more expensive than I care to think about, I became aware that flying really is the most expensive, and at times, the most inconvenient method of public transportation there is. If I am on an annoyingly full or noisy bus, I could simply get off and walk or take another. But on an airplane, of course there is no option but to wait it out.
I had neglected to mention how noisy our flight from Atlanta to Nassau was. Full of very excited high school and/or college students, every few minutes in the air seemed to be interrupted by some screeching or hollering kids, running up and down the aisle of the plane to talk to one another.
Unfortunately, it seemed similar if not those same people ended up also booking rooms at the Sheraton Cable Beach resort.
I like to relax on vacation. It took me a long time to even GO on a vacation. I am so out of touch with the screaming-and-running-around types of vacationers and never was one. Maybe I am missing out on some experiences in life but I feel pretty okay about it. So I was not prepared for the running up-and-down the hotel hallways and loud karaoke at the hotel bar, not to mention the ever-present smell of marijuana smoke drifting about the hotel.
However, it was still totally worth it. Here’s a view from the balcony!
The only other real downside of traveling this time of year seemed to be the weather. As gorgeous as it looks in my photo above, it was actually so windy it was nearly impossible to sit outside without freezing or getting sand blown in my face. There were a couple days where the weather was perfect, but then of course I got a bad sunburn because I am from the land where the sun rarely shines and have not learned to go get a tan before heading to such tropical locations. I burned so badly I got blisters and was then unable to sit in the sun for the remainder of my time in Nassau. Bad decisions!
At least that day provided me with some good photo opportunities, including the photo I use in my header image of my feet on Cable Beach! The water is so clear and amazing and I did jump in the ocean a couple times, though because I was by myself on the beach since Dan was working, I had to leave my belongings unattended which is not the best idea. There were a lot of other people on the beach since it was spring break, and very many beach vendors. The vendors will always try to sell to you, even if you are reading a book or trying to relax. However they are polite and not pushy, if you are friendly yet firm they will move on. People tried to sell me all manner of things from necklaces, hats, T-shirts and sarongs to alcoholic drinks served in coconuts, jet ski rentals, booze cruises, Cuban cigars (likely counterfeit from what I have read) and even drugs. I am not interested in any of the items and most people would chat a little before hunting for someone with looser purse strings.
There were a couple days where I would have the beach almost to myself since I got up fairly early compared to the partying spring break crowd. I did drink more than I typically do while I was there, mostly because there was a convenient liquor store inside the Sheraton which boasted a casino and many restaurants as part of the resort, including other shops and restaurants in the attached Wyndham next door. Having never stayed in a resort before, this was pretty handy, except when I realized we were pretty much stuck with the options on-site because the area that this resort is in is pretty far from downtown Nassau. There were only a couple dining options outside of the hotel without paying for a cab downtown or riding a jitney downtown. Jitneys are the island’s public transportation which seem to be made up mostly of half-broken down vans and are a bit daunting for someone like me with anxiety. I think the more popular jitney lines have larger buses, ones that look more like public transportation I am familiar with. Dan and I did ride a smaller jitney to our hotel from downtown Nassau once on a weekend day when he was not working, but I was uncomfortable with the idea of doing so alone. This is not because I felt it was unsafe, but simply due to my own anxiety telling me I wouldn’t know what to expect and that was frightening to me. To me that is the worst part of struggling with anxiety: unfounded fears directing me to decisions that restrict me.
Between sleeping in and relaxing on the beach, I realized just how stress-free I had been since arriving after a few days into the trip. The job I had at the time was an incredibly stressful one, mostly because of the environment, not because of the actual work it entailed. I was underpaid and often treated like trash by some coworkers. It was a hostile work environment made worse by the fact that most people there made a lot more money than I did. It helped fester a seething ball of resentment inside of me. I had a week long headache before I headed out on my trip, though I had it taken care of by my massage therapist who provides me with relief from my chronic injuries multiple times per month. Chronic pain is another hindrance while traveling but I have been dealing with it for years and am used to it by now. However, my realization that the headache had not returned, and I was dealing with less tension than usual changed my life while I was there. I became very aware that I needed to change my life and find a new job for this well-being to last when I returned home. I began job searching in earnest while on vacation in the Caribbean! I did not once feel bad about how much time I spent doing this as it really was necessary in my life. I began researching electronic discovery jobs in the Portland area because I had worked in the industry previously and though my experience was not great (it was right when the recession started and the combination of no hours plus a business that was clueless on how to treat its employees soured me on it for awhile) I did enjoy the work itself. I found a company and while they were not hiring specifically for anything in the department I was familiar with, I sent off my resume and a cover letter anyway. And, skipping forward in time a bit, I eventually was hired for my department and still work there to this day and love my job!
Part III in my Bahamas series will post in two weeks with a lot more photos.
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