What it’s Like to Travel When You’re from Bermuda

by Rachel Sawden
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Bermuda is a 21-square mile island perched atop a volcanic atoll in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and contains 64,000 residents. Most people only know Bermuda from myth of the Bermuda Triangle, and many people are unaware that it is an actual place, and people can be from there. I am one of those few privileged people.

I have traveled the world meeting new people in far-flung locations, and I am usually I am the first, and only, Bermudian they have ever met which leads to some interesting experiences.

Here is what it is like to travel the world when you are from Bermuda…

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Our place of origin is a conversation starter

One of the best things about traveling is the people you meet along the way. Traveling gives you something to talk about – where have you been? Where is your favourite place? But getting a bit deeper is easier when answering the question, “Where are you from?” sparks an entire conversation.

I once saw a quote that said telling someone you’re from Bermuda is like telling someone you’re from Disney World. It truly sparks awe and wonder. It’s very fun to tell people that you hail from an obscure island that they’ve only heard about in myths. Yes, Bermuda is a real place. No, it’s not just a triangle. Is the Bermuda Triangle real? Well, my answer will depend on my mood and whether I feel like messing with you

As can be your ethnic background and accent

Many of us from islands are an ethnic melting pot and possess physical features that are vastly different to travelers you may meet from places like Sweden, Australia, and England. A combination of dark skin, green eyes and long blond hair often starts a conversation, which for introverts is a Godsend! Being introduced to so many people around the world you realize just how many mixed people there are out there, and it’s fun to find each other and talk about our backgrounds and different experiences growing up.

Bermudians accents range from true Bermudian, to North American and British, and even a combination of all of the above. As aforementioned, Bermuda is a melting pot, and many of us go to school and university abroad and live abroad.  The true Bermudian accent is nothing like you’ve ever heard before or would ever expect, so whether you have it or not, people will want to ask you about why you speak the way you do!

We can find Bermuda connections in the most random places

Along my travels I’ve met many people who say they know a Bermudian, generally through boarding school. The private school population in Bermuda is very small and tight-knit and each time I asked for the name I knew that fellow Bermudian. This happened at a random yoga hotel in Siargao Island, in a nightclub in Bali, and even on a floating bar in the middle of the ocean in Palawan, Philippines.

When I was in Guatemala, my friend and I were in El Paredon, which is pretty off the beaten track. The Pacific beach town has only a handful of hotels and restaurants, yet we ran into a friend from Bermuda we grew up with while walking down the one paved road!

We’re spoiled when it comes to beaches

Bermuda has some of the most spectacular beaches with crystal clear, bright blue water and because of this, I will be subject to any beach that is less than perfect. I have actively sought out that bright blue water, finding it in places like Koh Lipe, Thailand and Komodo in Indonesia, and have been thoroughly disappointed by the popular beaches in Malaysia and Bali. Brown sand and water you can’t see to the bottom in? No thank you!

Knowing how to ride a moped is a plus

I’ve been riding a mope since I was fifteen and being comfortable on a scooter had such a positive impact on my travels. One thing they don’t tell you about Bali is the traffic is horrible, you can sit in traffic for hours in a car in what would take you a fraction of the time on a bike. I lived in Bali for three months and rented a moped and it was the most empowering exercise of independence. I had the confidence to ride like a local – nip through traffic, cruise on the highway with all of my luggage (and my friend and all of her luggage on the back!), even ride on the sidewalk to get around traffic jams. I saw places and had experiences I would never have had if I were subject to traveling only by taxi.

You’re used to being on island time

City people tend to struggle on islands due to the laid-back nature of island culture. They like the hustle and bustle and everything being available right away.  But from and island like Bermuda, we can tolerate slow service, slow walkers, slow WiFi and everything being on island time

Are you from a tourist destination or a random place? I’d love to hear about your experiences traveling in the comments below!

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