The Bahamas is the Philippines of the Caribbean.
Why do I say that?
Everyone that visits the Philippines has one thing to say: “Filipinos are ridiculously friendly!”
Even my favorite travel bloggers/vloggers agree with that phrase.
- Nas Daily, a famous Facebook-based travel blogger, calls the Philippines his favorite country.
- Just One Way Ticket states, “the beautiful Philippines, my favorite country.”
- Aussie On the Road even made a full post about the love he has for the Philippines.
And those are only three examples out of the millions of other people that agree!
But here’s the kicker:
The Philippines isn’t the only archipelago country that’s filled with friendly people! The Bahamas is home to the friendliest islanders I have ever met. They will smile at you, try to help you if you are lost, and even carry conversations with you.
The truth is:
I didn’t think I would be writing this post, but I’m glad I am. Before traveling to Nassau, I stupidly read tons of bad experiences that people had in the Bahamas. Frankly, it got me worried and, to be honest, I am a scaredy cat when it comes to overseas dilemmas.
However, here’s the thing:
I didn’t experience anything bad at all. If anything, it was the complete opposite.
The Bahamian people, while not expressive, make you feel like you guys have been best friends forever.
The best part?
It’s not a bland friendship. It’s not just an exchange of jokes, it’s more than that! You feel the warmth of the friendship, and when you leave, you can’t wait to come back.
So, here is how you can become a Bahamian and how you can make friends with the locals in the Bahamas.
How to Become a Bahamian
Step 1: Culture
One of the best ways to become a Bahamian is to delve into the culture.
What’s so different about Bahamian culture is that they prioritize hospitality. Their vibrant colors and joyful music represent the smiles and happiness of the Bahamian people.
Bahamian culture, in a nutshell, is the joyous and high-spirited tradition of the Bahamas.
The interesting part of the culture is it has a combination of three countries:
- African Culture
- British Blend
- American Mix
But amazingly enough, despite the many mixtures of cultures, they made their own lifestyle that’s unique to them.
Bahamian culture will engulf you completely. Their lifestyle embraces the easy-going, relaxing life of every Bahamian. Colorful art, rhythmic beats, and self-expression is what the Bahamas is all about.
The best part?
The official language in the Bahamas is English! So, language barriers don’t exist here. 😉
Step 2: Food
I think you can agree with me when I say:
Food is the gateway to people’s cultures.
But when you arrive in the Bahamas, your taste buds are going to crave the tasty and spicy cuisine that these islanders can craft.
Here is a list of some of the food that you MUST eat during your trip to the Bahamas.
- Bahamian Macaroni & Cheese
- Fish: ALL types of fish, especially grouper
- Conch: Seared conch, conch salad, and conch fritters
- Crab, definitely a lot of crabs
- Guava pastries
Despite the seafood that makes up the Bahamian diet, there are also drinks that will help you get closer to the locals life and involve yourself into their daily routines.
A way of doing this is to drink the beverages that refresh everyone on the Bahamas islands.
Here are some of the drinks you MUST have with a friend or anywhere you go!
- Sands (Local Beer)
- Kalik (Beer of the Bahamas)
- “Sky Juice” (Christmas in the Summer)
- Bahama Mama (Tropical Paradise in a Glass)
Step 3: Attend the Amazing Junkanoo Festival
This is one of the most favored and popular festivals of all of Nassau and the Bahamas.
The best part?
This festival is full of color, energy, and amazing people that will make you want to join in on the fun.
Have you ever wanted to attend the Rio Carnival?
Well, you can attend the Bahamian Carnival! With traditional music, artwork that pleases the eye and heart, and costumes that represent the happiness and joy that fills the Bahamian lifestyle.
And just as the Rio Carnival is unique to Rio de Jainero, the Junkanoo Festival is uniquely Bahamian and can’t be found anywhere else.
The one thing that makes this festival so enjoyable and special, is despite the negative past that the Bahamian people have had and their descendants, they still celebrate the people and the good in life.
You will no negativity here, for the cowbells that ring and the costumes that shine in the sun just makes your heart glow brighter than the stars that look down upon us.
I promise you that.
Don’t miss it, you won’t regret it.
They are traditionally held on the following days:
- New Year’s Day
- Boxing Day
- Independence Day
- Junkanoo Summer Festival
- “Just Rush” Competitions
Step 4: Delve Yourself into the Straw Market
The Straw Market is the most famous attraction that resides on the 7-mile island of Nassau.
What you don’t know is that the Straw Market has so much to offer rather than the souvenirs they sell at a “cheap price.” (Haggling is typically common.)
And if you really want to become a Bahamian, then you MUST visit this famous building.
Before and now, the Straw Market serves as a place where local Bahamians can make a living selling homemade handicrafts and other souvenirs for people.
The interesting part?
The straw vending industry is the oldest industry in Nassau.
The best part?
It’s still alive today! And with the locals making every basket out of love, it only gets better.
Despite it being the spot to buying souvenirs for home, it definitely is the best place to come and meet some interesting locals.
They all work there trying to make money and it is more than just a “warehouse” where you and I shop because, for them, it is their workplace and somewhere where they can find some financial stability.
And it really does play a big part in the local Bahamians lives.
Step 5: Talk to the Locals!
This was my favorite thing to do in the Bahamas.
Yes, it wasn’t swimming with the Exuma pigs, feeding the iguanas, nor swimming in the beaches that people would die for!
It was talking to the Bahamian locals!
You learn amazing things about the Bahamas, you hear interesting stories, and you experience new things!
One of the best ways to becoming a local in the Bahamas is to make friends with the locals that call the Bahamas their home.
The best part?
The Bahamian people are so friendly that finding a new friend is easier than any other place I’ve been.
Everywhere you go, there is someone to meet. All you have to do is open yourself up to them and be friendly, and without a doubt, they will reciprocate the same gestures.
Furthermore, there is nothing that saying “Bahama mama” can do!
To be honest:
Every Bahamian that I have met has smiled and laughed every time I yelled out, “Bahama mama!”
There are many ways to become a Bahamian local yourself!
Whether you want to do all those steps, or just jump right into a step that you like the most and suits you the best, then go right ahead!
Enjoying the Bahamas as a local is far better than sunbathing on the beach.
Want to know why?
Because the more mediocre it gets, the more you will soon realize that you have done that for the past 5 days of your vacation.
Because the truth is:
Meeting locals is the best way to spice up your vacation in the Bahamas.
Let me know if you took any of these steps into consideration! If you would like to share any stories, then please let me know as though I would love to hear from you.