June. Already.

It feels like just yesterday I was walking through -20 Celsius to get to work at the Calgary airport. It would seem my adult life is just beginning, even though I’m already 23 and have had about five years of “adulting” already under my belt. But really, I only moved away from home under a year ago. Millennials, right?

When I last posted, we’d been here for a whole three days, and I was staring in awe at the clearest, bluest waters I’ve seen in my life, dining all-inclusive, and basking in a sun far hotter than necessary for my pale ass to tan. That is to say, I burned.

A few things have changed. The apartment we moved into on Love Beach wasn’t what we wanted, but we received help from our contact here to find a new (and much better) location. Not only that, our previous landlord was good enough to let us leave our lease early. All I can say is, lesson learned, and we got lucky. Lucky enough that if I turn my head to the right, I can watch the azure waters of Cable Beach moving like grass in a soft breeze.

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It’s summer, and the waters are calm. When the sun hits, it’s as clear as a pool, and from three floors up I can watch fish and rays meander along the seaside.

We upped our budget, found an apartment with a wide balcony and an ocean view, and I feel like Templeton at the fair. I hit the beach every day, as long as it’s sunny. On weekdays, I usually get the beach to myself. Soak up some sun, dip in and cool off, search for some fish in the surf, and then rinse off in the outdoor shower. My burns have faded and I’m beginning to become, well, not tan, but at least a little less white. Suffice to say this mountain girl is adapting quickly to island life.

We’ve had to roll with the punches to get here, though. Before we were able to check out at Melia and move into our Love Beach apartment, we were told short notice that we had to check out – like, within the next two hours, check out – and they would move us to Baha Mar, Terry’s workplace, which is pretty well next door. The behemoth of a resort wasn’t open at the time, but I was able to tag along for staff provided food.

The pool and the beach weren’t open yet either, but as soon as their soft opening day hit, I had an opportunity to enjoy the pool area almost to myself for a day. The entire area is gorgeous, and the promenade leading out to the pier is cute and fun, complete with daiquiri and conch shacks. I can’t speak for the conch, since it wasn’t open yet, but the daiquiri was fantastic. This little mini-adventure remains one of my favourite days since arriving in Nassau. Baha Mar really is something to behold, and it’s not even complete yet!

We overstayed our welcome there while we waited to get a car, another item that was unexpectedly on our ‘need’ list. While we were still at Melia, we had spent one night in Love Beach to take some luggage down and get internet set up, and we realised one thing very fast: we could not rely on the buses. Maybe you only wait ten minutes, maybe you wait an hour… island time, right? Well, island time might work for me, but not for a chef who needs to get to work.

There’s no need to get into detail as to why we left Love Beach. It really was a combination of issues that just made it into a poor match. I was high strung the entire time there, and that’s no way to spend your time on a tropical island. Also, the beach wasn’t convenient, but I got used to the ocean view, something that we hadn’t looked for the first time around but quickly became a priority in searching for our new place. I assure you, Cable Beach definitely delivers.

There’s a lot about Nassau that has taken some getting used to. We’ve gone to the bank about three times now to get an account set up but have to wait 7-10 days for a card. The conversation afterwards went a bit like this:

Juls: “So, are they gonna e-mail you when the card comes in?”
Terry: “I don’t know, actually. I don’t think they have my e-mail.”
Juls: “They have your phone number though, right?”
Terry: “Maybe? I can’t remember. Maybe it was in the paperwork I did last week.”
Juls: “So you – okay. So we’re just going to go in two weeks and ask them if it’s in yet?”
Terry: “I guess so?”

It’s not his fault. It’s easy to relax and put your worries aside when everyone else is doing the same. As a Calgary local, there are those that go-with-the-flow and aren’t pressed for time, and they tend to have the opposite effect: they stress everyone else out. It was hard to get out of that mindset when we got here. And I’m perfectly aware that the family islands are even more laid back, even though it’s hard for me to imagine.

After the chaos of dealing with banks both at home and here, figuring out rent payments with landlords overseas, learning to drive on the left and getting to know roundabouts far better than I ever imagined, and dealing with the price of $8.00 for some maple bacon just to remind me of home, I’m finally beginning to understand the island life. Only one thing is for certain: there is still much I need to learn.