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Newbie to the Bahamas.....advice please!

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Anna84
9/6/2012 19:59 EST

Hi there,
I have just moved to Nassau from London last month and am looking for any advice on places to go, things to see, people to meet etc.
I have moved here on my own and am in my twenties so I am keen to find a social life outside of my job. Am loving the island but am still settling in.
Any stories of how other expats have gone about starting life on their own - tips, do's and dont's would be much appreciated! please post me...
Thanks

Anna

debib
9/7/2012 12:06 EST

Hi Anna - I've been here about a year and our age difference is significant (I have a daughter and son in their 20's). However, when my children visit or when I hear the young people in my office speak, they mention: Senor Frogs, The Beach (out West which has Friday night happy hour events) and all kinds of clubs downtown like Bambu. They also go for special occasions to Atlantis.

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breija
9/8/2012 12:41 EST

Welcome Anna!

I know it is difficult to figure out just how to integrate into new surroundings and a very different culture, especially when you are on your own. There are a number of places where you might want to consider engaging with others.

Rotaract is the Rotary for under 30's (or 35, not sure), and they are very active in the community as well. The Humane Society is another very active organization where you will meet a lot of people whom you may then befriend. The National Trust is yet another community oriented organization with a couple major events coming up in October and November, so this is likely a good time to sign up with them as a volunteer.

All three organizations are very much community oriented and active in all sorts of things. If you attend one or two Rotaract meetings as a prospective member, you can check it out to see whether it may be something you are interested in becoming a member of.

If you are interested in becoming involved in the community, joining one of these organizations would be a really great way to meet people - both expats and locals.

Now, where to go - Green Parrot on Paradise island, Green Parrot on Bay Street, the Cricket Club and Beach Club Cafe are frequent local hangouts. As for clubs, as with debib, I am not even close to being in your age bracket, so I cannot attest to anything. However, Aura, Bambu, Waterloo, and Luna are definitely popular hangouts. People here tend to stay out pretty late if they are going clubbing. Often, they do not go until 11, and stay out til 4!

Do's and Don't - definitely do not go out alone at night. Do not go to the beach alone. If you are out with others, and if you are driving, be sure to have someone walk you to your car.

Do remain aware of your surroundings. I even suggest do drive with your windows up, especially in stop and go traffic, as you leave yourself too vulnerable, as a young woman alone. Unless you have security bars at home, do keep your ground floor windows closed, especially at night. Do lock your doors, even if it is day time and you are home.

Do take time to explore. Get one of the tourist maps available and check things out. Do explore the other islands as well, as New Providence is the least beautiful of the islands of the Bahamas. The Bahamas Tourism website has lots of good info on the other islands, what there is to do, and deals for travelling to them.

The two main things to remember - be safe, and have fun!

matlsx
9/25/2012 16:47 EST

Hi Anna,

This is a late reply maybe you've already found all the information you needed. If not, from my own short experience here's what I can say so far.

I am in the same situation as you, I moved from London last month to PI Island.
I guess you're living on NP Island, probably west. If so plenty of beaches there and lots of sea activities (diving/snorkeling, boating/jet-skiing, "some" windsurfing) where you can meet people with similar interests.

Debib and Breija have already mentionned a few good places, and they gave me a lot of information a while ago - thanks guys !

There are a few restaurants and bars where expats hangout in the Sandyport and Cable beach area (Poopdeck, Beach club cafe).
I haven't been there many times, but I believe west where the expat community is the largest. This is probably where it'll be easier meeting expats in bars and restaurants.

Downtown there are also a few places, with probably more tourists (Senor frogs, Blu bar).

On PI it's mainly tourists but Aura in the casino is a night club similar to what there is in London.

Across the island the Green Parrot bars are a good place too.

Unlike London where you can go out alone an socialize with anyone and make new acquaintances very easily, I wouldn't do that here until you know your whereabouts more.

Coming up soon is the Food Festival (Oct 20-21) where a lot of expats go. There's a fresh arrivals of expats every year around Septembre, so a lot of people with the same background will go there.

Activities in my opinion revolve mainly around watersports. I've been told there is an active football, rugby and cricket league - none of which I play well enough to join !! But that can be another way to meet expats.

I've been to the Ardastra Gardens & Zoo, Fort Charlotte and walked around downtown to see some of the landmarks. It's quite nice, but don't expect to be blown away.

There also a lot of activities for tourists to do. I'm planning to go do some with my colleagues - you don't want to be on your own stuck with families and kids around ... too depressing :)
The ones I've been recommended: powerboat adventures, blue lagoon (dolphin/sea lion encounters), booze & cruise (prob. a bit rowdy, but fun if you're with a group) , and there's a dozen boat-snorkeling trip companies.

I hope this helps!

Cheers,
Mat

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