|Banking steeply on approach to Staniel Cay, Exuma Islands, Bahamas - in a tiny 9-passenger plane. A tad bouncy, but the views are unquestionably worth it!|
The last few months have been a flurry of globe-trotting, but I've finally returned to DC, my home base for the past several years while I attended graduate school and then worked for National Geographic. My travels in Peru and the Bahamas were marvelous, of course. It was thrilling to tackle a new continent - hard to believe I'd never been to South America before! - and the areas of Peru I encountered were staggeringly different: from Lima's sprawling metropolis to the steep peaks surrounding Cusco and Machu Picchu to the thickly verdant Amazon basin. A fascinating country, unlike any place I'd ever been to before - and I'll certainly be posting more about it!
In contrast, visiting the Bahamas will always be like going home for me. The Exuma Islands especially are so dearly familiar; I'll never tire of roaming about secretive island trails, revisiting favorite fishing and snorkeling sites, or boat life in general - the daily chores of hauling anchor, washing dishes in seawater, cooking fresh seafood in the cockpit. This year I made a real effort to re-acquaint myself with Nassau. I've been to the city probably 40-some times in my life, but our stops are usually limited to refueling, rewatering, and searching for a post office or laundromat. It was fantastic to explore old favorites again like Fort Fincastle, the Watertower, and the Queen's Staircase while seeing how the city has changed as well: a revamped local bus system, the bright and airy brand-new building for the Straw Market, the rows of colorful stalls that are sprouting up around tourist attractions. There's definitely far more to see in Nassau beyond the cruise ship docks and hotel casinos.
My travels are already paying off since my return, with several pieces in the works for National Geographic Traveler magazine, my lovely former employer. Now the real question is where to next!