Confessions of a Xenophile

Before we begin, I have to tell you that I have passionate love/hate vibes towards those who post photos of themselves in foreign countries (ah-hem: Steve…Vanessa…Rebekah…Keri…).  I salivate just looking at passports, suitcases and maps. Photos of people I know having experiences abroad make me feel like a fish in a fish tank, watching the world go by without me. And yet, as painful as it is, I can’t look away.

So I hesitate sharing these photos with you, lest you are a fellow xenophile whose heart yearns to see photos like this yet breaks at the same time. But listen, we just have to face the fact: there is a place called the Bahamas, and somebody has to go there and help boost tourism in that country.  Hate me or love me, we are all just going to have to deal with it. Scroll through the photos if you have it in you. Like my guide said before I jumped into the Blue Hole last Friday, “it’s over quick.”

(Too quick for my liking.)

Here is the story: Scott completely took me by surprise last Wednesday morning when he handed me a pair of new sandals and said, “Pack your bags, Chelsea. Tomorrow we are going to the Bahamas!”

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This has never happened to me before–getting surprised with a trip or going to the Bahamas.

IMG_7254We went to Nassau and then to a more remote island. This might give you an idea of how big the island is:IMG_7255It is still hard to believe I was there. Sniff.IMG_0650The first day there we went kayaking, snorkeling and cliff jumping. IMG_0667IMG_0669As for accommodations, we roughed it . . . no luxury hotel for us! Instead we stayed in at “Surfer’s Haven” with our guide and his wife. He was an incredible guide. She was an incredible cook. IMG_7332I’m always trying to learn new things for my books (I write mesoamerican fantasy romances. It’s a new genre, soon to be the rage) and our hosts had a great variety of tropical plants in their yard including coconuts, orchids, lemons the size of grapefruits, pineapple plants . . . IMG_7292. . . and poisonwood, which was very well marked.IMG_7296This is Tom, our guide, surfer, kayaker, diver, and native Bahamian:IMG_0677I have to admit that the weather wasn’t ideal every day. On our last day it got a little windy. IMG_7298Here is a little surfer’s hangout at the beach. I suppose they use car seats because they are the only chairs heavy enough to not blow away. And if a hurricane came rolling through at least you could buckle up. IMG_7312IMG_7316To escape the wind our guide took us underground to a mile-long cave filled with graffiti, some of which dates back 200 years. IMG_7387Here were some of our favorite signatures. IMG_0748IMG_0770IMG_0775And this is how we got out.IMG_0776Saturday night the BYU/Utah game was on. Of course being in a foreign country on a small island was not going to stop Scott from finding a tv, even if it happens to be in a bar. We had a great time watching the game and teaching the 18-year-old bartender the rules of American football. IMG_7330We drove over the famous “glass window bridge” many times while we were there. This is the left side of the bridge (the Bahamian Bank, or the Caribbean side):IMG_0807And this is the Atlantic side of the bridge: IMG_7334On our way home we hung out in Nassau for a few hours.IMG_7361IMG_7365This is how they celebrate Christmas in the Bahamas. IMG_7367But we missed our kids so it was time to head home. IMG_7381Flying over Charleston, SC.

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I hope you were able to make it through the photos okay. Are you crying? I am. I know it is hard. Now that I am home I can hardly stand looking at them! The agony!

But I have to keep reminding myself that the best is yet to come. So much to do in this world. So many things to discover. What a glorious place this earth is!

I’m so glad Scott threw caution to the wind and planned this adventure for us. We have so much to celebrate this year. It was the perfect time, at the perfect place and with the perfect person.

I hope YOU are the next person to go do something memorable. Go ahead! Make it happen! I want to see your photos. Really, I do. 😉

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