Pinksands 242 Digital Travel & Hospitality Magazine

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One solo traveller shares where her love of solo travel began



Diving in with the swimming pugs


contents FEATURES 03 Culinary Daredevils: Daring to Bring New Flavours to The Bahamas in 2020 04 SOLO- One solo traveller shares where her love of solo travel began

09 Pugs Just Wanna Have Fun!

25 Travel Bloggers to Watch...

16 Making It To Bay Street

28 Behind The Mask...

08 Film Review: Get Lost w' Juanita

24 The Basics to Reclaiming Travel Joy




CULINARY DAREDEVILS Daring to Bring New Flavours to The Bahamas in 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for many men and women in the culinary field. With a number of resorts, hotels and restaurants temporarily shutting their doors, many exceptionally skilled chefs have taken the plunge and started their own pop-up restaurants, at home businesses and food trucks. Several other restaurants have also dared to create brand new culinary experiences, despite the obvious potential pitfalls that the year has presented. Here are a few new and exciting dining options that launched in 2020....

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The idea of solo travel was not even an option. “We don’t do that”, is what I was told whenever the idea was even lightly broached. I knew without having to be told what that “we” was referring to...

PHOTO CREDIT: YULIA SKOGOREVA VIA AIRBNB EXPERIENCES It all began with a late night travel search, typed on a whim. “Tokyo” was a destination that seemed so exciting and vibrant, but just out of reach. The desire to visit the city started in early childhood, before the Internet, social media, or even cable TV. Despite growing up in the second city – Grand Bahama - there was still a delay in many of the amenities that Nassau had long since enjoyed. But, I took comfort in the entertainment options available, which included five basic antennafed television channels.



One of them included PBS. Cartoons were a Saturday morning treat, so the rest of my days were spent playing outside or watching whatever my mother happened to be tuning into. Despite the protests of my sister and I, she would turn the TV to channel two – the Public Broadcasting Station – and we would sometimes get to enjoy the Magic School Bus, Sesame Street or Arthur, but more often than not, we would have to sit through countless cooking and travel show reruns.

SOLO Now, as a food and travel enthusiast, I can appreciate the gourmet theatrics of Julia Childs, Martin Yan, and Jacques Pepin, but as a five year old, I was less than enthused. I usually half watched these shows, just enjoying the company of my mother. But, one day, a show caught my eye. It was a travel show, hosted by a bespectacled and slightly monotone host. I’d seen him before, and hated his travel musings that were clearly meant for retirees who wanted to take long train rides and tour groups. However, this episode was different. It featured Japan, and it was colorful, and vibrant, and beautiful. Everything from the music to the art, to the culture, drew me in. And, at five, I remember telling my mother that I wanted to go there. As I got older, my intrigue grew. I added many countries to my list – Canada, Jamaica, South Korea, Cuba, and Italy were just a few – but Japan was at the top. However, a debilitating fear of flying, lack of money, and a lack of interest from my friends and family made traveling beyond Florida, let alone halfway across the world, seem very unlikely. Little did I know, I would visit all of the these places one day, and many more, as a solo traveller… Beyond having a lack of means to see the world, there was also a stigma around traveling to certain locations. It was considered weird or odd to want to travel to certain parts of the world. This aversion to travel, I can only assume, was fueled by a mixture of fear, lack of awareness, a slight xenophobia, general disinterest or, perhaps, a feeling of not wanting to go against the norm. The idea of solo travel was not even an option. “We don’t do that”, is what I was told whenever the idea was even lightly broached. I knew without having to be told what that “we” was referring to - men and women who looked like me, spoke like me, grew up like me. There was an unspoken rule that Bahamians, and those from similar backgrounds, were meant to live a certain way, and to stray too far from the norm was just odd. 5



I put my travel plans behind me, but while working in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and attending university in the United States prior, I got to meet men and women from around the world. My coworkers hailed from Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Canada, the United States, China, and Napal, just to name a few. It was an extremely rewarding experience to learn about so many countries, and get to know people from around the world. And, it was eye opening to realize that we weren’t that different despite our backgrounds and accents. Years passed, and I started to travel a bit more. After earning a place at a company that required me to travel often, I had no choice but to tackle my fear of flying or risk losing a great position. I started closing my eyes, imagining I was riding in a car, and took some comfort in the loud vibrations of the plane as I drove down the runway and hummed all the way to my destination. Short trots to the various Bahamian islands soon became less frightening. I no longer held my breath and white knuckled the seat handles with every bump of the plane. My fear slowly waned and my travel confidence grew, and I started taking longer trips with my friends. Travel was like a bug, and my group of friends and I soon started Whatsapp chat groups, full of funny travel memes and gifs, and ideas about where to head to next. But, the schedules of young professionals, living all over the world, didn’t always align. The group couldn’t decide on where to go. Flights didn’t work out. And, travel dreams remained just that.




That is until the night that I typed in “Nassau” to “Tokyo” in the Expedia search bar. I’d done this countless times before, but nothing ever became of it. On this night, I found a flight from Nassau to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Narita, Tokyo. The flight time was shorter than I had seen before – 17 hours. The price was reasonable given the route. And, there was a sale on the hotel that I had been eyeing for so long. I did my dream itinerary, closed my eyes, and pressed the “purchase” button. I was shocked by my own actions. This was not me - I didn’t do things like this. When I told my mother - the unknowing inspiration behind my out of character purchase she had questions, concerns, and many fears. But, to her credit, she heard me out. I was an adult, and the approval of my parents was not required, but having it made making such an intimidating trip much easier. Having that sign of approval did not make getting on the plane any easier, and I was terrified for the lead up of the trip and the entire 17-hour journey. But, it gave me some comfort. Once I landed in Japan, I felt calm and excited. The trip inspired me to make many more solo trips, and also fueled many questions and comments of disbelief from friends, family members and strangers. But, the inevitable questions about why I would travel alone, proclamations of disbelief and statements about my travel habits being “weird” soon turned into curiosity and a desire to learn more.



Since that initial trip, my solo travel adventures have extended throughout the US, Canada, other parts of Japan, South Korea, several Caribbean countries, and the Bahamian islands. There are also several more solo trips planned for the coming months, and with each journey my travel confidence and sense of adventure has only grown.

GET LOST W' JUANITA... The conversation surrounding diversity in travel (specifically diversity in travel and hospitality marketing) has been ongoing for a number of years. Representation in other travel centric media is no different, with very few films that are adventure and trip centric, predominantly featuring a racially diverse cast. There are a large number of films showcasing women going on road trips or traveling the world, but very few featuring women of color as the leads. A quick google search only yielded four results of travel films starring black women - Last Holiday, Girls Trip, How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Netflix's Juanita. Juanita could have been easily missed when it was initially released on Netflix in March 2019. The talented, relatable and personable Alfre Willard portrays the title character and it is immediately evident that she is tired. Her adult children have made some missteps in life, resulting in trouble with the law, unemployment and teenage pregnancy. And, her job as caretaker, in what appears to be a hospice care center, is a difficult one, sometimes ending in heartache when patients inevitably pass away. Even her daydreams about actor Blair Underwood are less than fulfilling... She feels depleted and exhausted by life and her responsibilities. In a bid to finally focus on her personal well being and self care, Juanita decides to take a trip. After putting her affairs in order, she looks down at a map and purchases a bus ticket to the first place that catches her eye - Butte, Montana, which she mistakenly pronounces butt. And, that bus ride puts into motion her unconventional personal journey of self discovery and happiness. Juanita is a charming film. It is not perfect by any means, starting off with a great deal of exposition to fill in the protagonist's back story. Juanita also doesn't travel a great deal, but the movie's strongest asset is Alfre Willard and what she brings to the screen. She cusses, she smokes, she isn't wealthy nor perfect, but she feels like a real person - warm, open and accepting. Despite not knowing a great deal about Juanita's past, you get a good idea why she is the way she is - a bit guarded, not wanting things overly complicated, but willing to roll with what life throws her way. Juanita doesn't have any montages, fancy restaurants, or the usual trappings normally associated with travel in film. But, it shows that you can still go on an adventure, find love, and go on a journey of self exploration no matter your age, where you come from, or how much money you have.


Meet the island hopping, globe trotting, Swimming Pugs duo, Pugsley & Penelope, who have been catching flights, loving life, and bringing some pup-joy to the Bahamian IG travel scene.



Pugsley Napoleon Suighi (5) and Penelope Elizabeth Suighi (2) love cuddles, hugs, and the occasional fresh tuna dinner when they are on their best behavior. But, when they aren't skipping through New Providence and sniffing out new friends, they are usually hopping on boats and planes to explore The Bahamas and the world.

Pugsley & Penny love seeing the world, meeting people, and swimming around The Bahamas. I'm just happy to come along for the ride. Gabriella, Proud Pug Mom

Pugsley was born in Paris, France but instantly won over his Bahama Mama the moment she laid eyes on him. "I just couldn't resist that adorable little face" cooed proud pup mom Gabriella Sughi. "And, he had a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about him, even as a puppy." As a young pup, Pugsley travelled throughout Europe and the United States before moving to The Bahamas, where he now happily barks home. "I love the water, always have, and thankfully my beautiful boy quickly grew to love the ocean just as much as I did." noted Gabriella. This is how Pugsley originally earned the nickname "The Swimming Pug" and it stuck over the years, even when Penelope aka "Penny" joined the Suighi famly.


Pugsley & Penny instantly took the water and absolutely love when we head out on the boat. They never had any hesitation and just dove right in.... While they can both get a bit rambunctious, Pugsley usually has a very laid back personality - he's a calm boy. While Penny is a little ball of energy! Gabriella, Proud Pug Mom

While Pugsley is every bit the gentleman-pug, with his cool demeanor and relaxed charm, Penelope is a spitfire ball of energy. Originally from Miami, Florida, Penny immediately took to her new home in New Providence. "When I first got Penny as a puppy, she was so tiny and calm, but the moment she set foot on that Bahamian soil, she was eager for kisses, hugs, and, of course, to swim." added Gabriella. The "Swimming Pugs" haven't been able to get out and into the water as much as they would like in recent months, but Pug Mama Gabriella promises that they will be touring the entire Bahamas again very soon.

Pugsley & Penny love seeing the world, meeting people, and swimming around The Bahamas. I'm just happy to come along for the ride. Gabriella, Proud Pug Mom


From the very moment Bakehouse teased its first photo of a rich, flaky, Chocolate Croissant in early May 2020, they had already piqued the interest of Bahamian sweet lovers who eagerly awaited the company’s launch. As the weeks ticked by, and they shared more photos of massive, gooey chocolate chip cookies and decadent treats like Brown Butter Toasted Pecan donuts, the excitement only grew. By the time their first pop up event rolled around on June 27, the Bakehouse team would be shocked, but extremely grateful, that every bit of their first batch of cookies, donuts, cold brewed coffee and citrus mint green tea sold out, even before closing time.


Bakehouse notes that their goal is to “provide each customer with an unparalleled, ‘blow you away’ bakery experience.” And, after just one bite from their menu, it is evident that they are not serving pastries that can be easily recreated in an at-home kitchen. The ever increasing demand and expanding lines at their small kiosk in the gardens of Munroe’s Landscaping, in addition to their growing following of loyal customers, is further proof that they may just be meeting their goal.

The skill, precision and attention to detail is obvious, and is a testament to the world class talent of the diverse, family centric Bakehouse team, led by Pastry Chef Ivana Moncur. And, although Chef Ivana’s quiet and humble demeanor does not betray her skills as a culinary powerhouse, she has been skillfully creating gourmet pastry and confectionery treats that could be found in any high-end bakery around the world, for over a decade, in addition to earning the title of Executive Pastry Chef at the Atlantis Resort.



Chef Ivana and her team - Culinary Consultant Wayne Moncur; Pastry Chef Rebekah Brice; Marketing and Social Media Manager Ianthia Ferguson; and Marketing Manager/Photographer Farreno Ferguson - dream of one day opening a retail brick and mortar storefront. But, until then, Bakehouse’s support and fan base will undoubtedly eagerly await each of their popup events, and to find out what will be on the menu.

MAKING IT TO BAY STREET 2020 is an unprecedented year, and marks the first time in recent years that the annual Junkanoo parades have been cancelled, entirely. This throwback feature shares what the experience was like for a novice Junkanoo performer, making it to Bay Street. As I walked from my car it was already well after midnight, and I knew there would still be hours before we actually got on the road. Laden down with my costume of “Love,” several people enthusiastically shouted out to me, “Who you with?” and I proudly proclaimed, ROOTS. Much to my glee, I seemed to find every Roots fan on the entire island, on my way to Bay Street. Their words of encouragement felt like little imaginary helped to shift my nervousness into pure excitement.

I was also surprised that several parents excitedly asked me to take photos with their children, and I felt a bit like the Bahamian Disney princess that never was. The night had just begun, but I had already learnt so much in the few weeks that I had to prepare for the parade than I had in all my years as a proud, born, bread, ga dead Bahamian. This is what I discovered, as I rushed in Junkanoo, for the very first time.....

NOTE: Photos featured in this story were taken during the 2018 NY Junkanoo parade and feature various groups.

MAKING IT TO BAY STREET CONT... The energy was high, even in the Roots waiting area. Our group would go on right behind the Valley Boys, who coincidentally had a very similar “Love” inspired theme. However, as a Junkanoo novice, this meant nothing to me – I was just excited to be there. At some point, just before our group would take to Bay Street, there were a series of mishaps. Thankfully, nothing stops “Showtime!” The strap of my ‘off the shoulder’ piece wasn’t working, and a quick thinking Marshall fastened it to my bustier top with some spare wire – a simple, but effective, fix. Things went awry, as they always do, but not a soul seemed frazzled as commanding shouts rang through the air and Roots members worked frantically to get their giant banners in place for the group’s sixth place start. Even as the rain began to pour down, and the glitter ran from my ill-conceived tennis shoes, a lovely lady in a hot pink free-dance costume turned to me, and said “Rain or shine, we rush!” That lovely lady told me that she didn’t plan to rush that year, but the “spirit” lead her to make a costume the night before. With her reassuring smile, the pound of the hot goatskin drums hitting me deep down in my belly, and the sweet kalik, kalik, kalik of the cowbells, my energy was right back to 100! A few less than sober Junkanoo fans gave us some colorful words of encouragement that loosely translated to “disregard the competition, because they are not as enchanting as you, my dear, and you will surely denigrate their pride with your electric performance.” Their colorful commentary had my fellow free-dancers ready!



Bahamians are funny….and wild! I never realized that the men and women rushing in the Junkanoo parade were able to hear ALL of the sidelines commentary. And, what colorful commentary it is. I heard all manner of speak, fully unfiltered and honest. Some enjoyed Roots, while others called us many variations of “not good.” But, the bright lights, the lively crowd, and the heart pumping music created a mess of perfection. I was just as entertained by the crown, as they were of the parade. In the short amount of time that I had gotten a peak into the world of Junkanoo, I was amazed by everything I never knew about the parades, and the extreme dedication of the men and women who rush. I have a tremendous, new-found, appreciation and respect for Junkanoo. Every costume that dances its way down the streets of Bay, started out as just simple, and unassuming, brown cardboard. By sheer imagination and skill, that cardboard is transformed with wire, glue and white paint to form the base of the magnificent works of art that would set Bay Street ablaze with every vibrant hue imaginable.

Each costume is painstakingly built and decorated by hand. As the men and women of the Junkanoo community gear up for the performance of a lifetime, all the adoring public sees is lush costumes and bright colors, but they don’t see the burnt fingers, tired eyes, aching backs, or calloused hands. They also may not be aware of just how much time, energy, and money, that Junkanoo performers dedicate to their craft. As I danced, pranced, and twirled down Bay Street (as best as I could do either of those things) I found myself just staring at the craftsmanship around me. From my numerous trips to a number of Junkanoo supply stores, I discovered that Junkanoo costumes cost an arm, leg, spine, pelvis, fibula, hair follicle and tailbone – THEY IS EXPENSIVE! One elaborate costume can contain thousands of dollars worth of tricks, prism, glitter, feathers etc. And, most performers pay for their costumes, out of pocket. My coworker compared Junkanoo costumes to the feathers of a peacock, and I wholeheartedly agree.

They wear their costumes with pride, and the more elaborate the piece, the more evident how dedicated they were to creating it – they literally, wear their pride on their sleeves. Costumes take countless hours to create and are expensive, but many Junkanooers spare little to no expense. When you insult a costume or a group, you are insulting the hard work of individual performers. Their costumes are the result of sleepless nights and diligence. The dancers leave work and practice for hours, and the musicians play until their hands are calloused and their throats sore. Part of the allure of the parade is the commentary from spectators and the Junkanooers themselves. If you ever wondered why they get so hot when results time comes around – this is the reason! I got lots of warnings before heading to Bay Street, and I listened. They included not waiting to ask for for assistance with your costume until the last minute, not arriving after everyone has already lined up, which would result in not making it onto Bay Street, and not arriving on Bay Street with an unfinished costume, which would result in a Marshall telling you to keep it moving. Thankfully, I made it. On Bay Street, you perform hard because of pride, no matter how many people are watching. However, there is a point where the judging begins, and it’s SHOWTIME. The energy erupts, the chants begin, and the lights are that much brighter. With hot glue burnt fingers, burning calves and a rain soaked costume, I was all-smiles when I hit Rawson Square. I saw so many familiar faces, and I was genuinely elated. There is a lot of waiting in Junkanoo. At the starting point, you will have to be lined up, in the order that you will be heading out. The Marshals are pushy and loud, but they have to be. They need everyone to be in the right spot, at the right time, until it is time to perform. Once you have performed on Bay Street, there is also a long wait before Shirley Street.


My costume was still wired to my bustier, so I was in it for the long haul, even when the rain came pouring down for the hour and a half of down time. I couldn’t sit down, which didn’t help my burning feet, but did keep me from falling asleep. Thankfully, during that wait, you are given lots of sports drinks and water, and there are snacks you can buy. With no shelter, my friends and I hid behind a costume for some reprieve from the cold rain and ate some crab salad. It was great. I was not in the best of shape, nor the worst. I workout some, and complete a few 5k races a year, but I knew rushing would not be easy. I wore comfortable shoes, and the costume was not that heavy. However, the unexpected burning in my legs was not too pleasant. Thankfully, I made it both laps with ease. By some miracle, the third lap was cancelled due to the rain. I’m not sure that last lap back up Bay Street would have been a pleasant one, to be honest.

This may appear obvious to others, but I didn’t realize that every part of your costume had to be pasted – from your shoes to your under garments. I also didn’t know what was considered “undergarments.” I knew that the cardboard elements of your costume had to be pasted and tricked, but I found out that the cloth skirt that most performers wear, and their tops also had to be completely decorated in crepe paper and tricks. And, a word to the wise – don’t put glitter on your shoes. Just don’t. I also used to think that it was a crying shame that Junkanoo costumes were simply discarded after just one performance, or picked clean of valuable feathers and tricks, despite the time and energy that went into making them. Junkanoo costumes are just so stunningly beautiful that I thought they deserved to be put in a museum or on display somewhere….


Then, I rushed, just once, and I understood. Performers leave everything they have on Bay Street during that one performance, and all they take with them is the experience and the memories. And, they are great memories. I will not lie. My rain soaked costume, complete with the bleeding colors of wet crepe paper, didn’t leave Bay Street. The only thing I took with me was my hat, which has served as a pleasant reminder of my amazing experience. It was always on my “Bucket List” to rush in a Junkanoo parade. I only expected to do it once, especially with the time, energy, and money needed to take part. But, I find myself thinking about it each year, wondering what the theme will be, and if I did rush, what I could do to make my costume even better or more exciting. I cannot say for certain, but I think I will be back!


ONE OF NASSAU'S NEWEST RESTAURANTS BRAVES TO OPEN DURING A PANDEMIC... In early 2020, Kyma had everything prepped for its official opening - a brand new location in Western New Providence, a world-class culinary team, and a menu featuring premium, authentic ingredients from around the world. But, as 2020 would have it, things did not go according to plan. After a series of unavoidable delays, and nationwide lockdowns, it was now or never when the restaurant finally opened its doors on July 6.


Kyma (which is pronounced keema) means ‘wave’ in Greek. And, the name is a fitting one given the restaurant’s large selection of fresh caught seafood offerings, which are sourced locally (and the owners having no choice but to go with the flow while adapting and evolving quickly to offer outdoor dining and curbside service). Despite the restaurant’s rough road to opening its foods, they have seen a massive show of support from diners eager to experience the restaurant’s diverse and flavor packed menu. Kyma features authentic ingredients flown in directly from Greece, including a number of spirits and wines, in addition to a wide variety of fresh produce sourced from local farms and small fruit and vegetable vendors. Dishes include authentic Greek classics and South American fusion cuisine. Co-owner Annamaria Diamantis, notes that it has been an exciting but frightening experience opening a new restaurant and navigating the ever evolving social and dining landscape, but she has been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming show of support since Kyma’s soft opening this summer. Annamarie praises her talented and innovative culinary team, who has been able to adapt, despite the many changes that have impacted restaurants in 2020.


While a large number of men and women are looking to explore closer to home in the coming weeks and months, there are many travel enthusiasts who are dreaming about where they will go in the near future. And, while travel planning and prep has always been a bit intimidating for some, the current climate has resulted in additional concerns for those wishing to leave their homes. Exploring the many islands of The Bahamas is always an option for a domestic getaway. But, for those looking to head a bit further, deciding on a destination can be just as arduous as arranging vacation time or budgeting for an extended journey. With many destinations requiring additional paperwork and testing, the process of organizing a trip in 2020 can appear overwhelming. But, there are ways to make traveling in the future, a bit less frightening. BOOKING FLIGHTS. There are many sites for scouting travel deals, but Google Flights is an excellent starting point. The website has tools that not only show flight routes and pricing for multiple airlines and travel sites, but it also provides the option to input a departure city and dates to find destination suggestions. Google Flights also gives information regarding the average cost for a given flight route, and notes if the price is lower or higher than normal. Longer flight routes might seem undesirable, especially for a solo traveller, but sometimes flights with long layovers can result in multiple trips in one. Be sure to click a flight’s route to see what additional cities can be visited, at no additional cost. One added benefit of Google Flights is that it notes any current travel advisories that travellers should be aware of for a given location.

BASICS TO RECLAIMING TRAVEL PLANNING JOY BOOK IN ADVANCE While travel presents certain uncertainties at the moment, many airlines, booking sites, hotels and other travel related companies are currently offering massive savings for future travel with the added benefit of penalty fees being waived should the traveller have to cancel or postpone. With the exception of airlines, many hotels/activities can also be booked, but not charged, until the time of travel. It is suggested to look for these options to minimize risks, should plans change.

INSURANCE IS A MUST This is very important, even for domestic travel, as accidents can happen, anywhere. Travellers with international insurance plans may also need additional travel insurance, as coverage may not be comprehensive.

VISAS & HEALTH CERTIFICATES As a plus, Bahamians can visit many countries without having a visa, but be sure to research visa, vaccination, health certificate and medical screening requirements well in advance of travel.

CONTACT BANKS & BAHAMIAN EMBASSIES Just prior to a trip, be sure to contact banks to let them know about travel plans to avoid cards being blocked for suspicious purchases. Also, it may be beneficial to let the Bahamian embassy know about foreign travel in the event of an emergency and assistance is needed.

SHARE GENERAL TRIP DETAILS Travel is freeing. But, prior to a trip it is always a good idea to share general trip plans and to communicate frequently with friends and family once abroad. This will ensure that someone can ring the alarm in the event that something is amiss.

IG: @aikiacarlisa


Travel to me is... Travel to me means freedom. Freedom to explore, learn and grow. Freedom from my schedules, deadlines and my everyday home/work lifestyle. It means experiencing and appreciating the different cultures around the world, the persons that live there, their social norms, their way of life and sharing mine with them.Travel to me means learning. Learning a new language so I can be able to say "hello", "thank you" or "please" to Xiamara the sweetest Cuban lady and watching her face light up with laughter at my half decent attempts. Learning about how fearless I am by getting lost in a new city the first night, no GPS and no data and learning to ask for help and finally getting safely to my hotel.Travel to me means seeing amazing things, meeting unforgettable people and having one of a kind experiences that I can reminisce fondly on.

Where are you most excited about visiting in the future? Our Family Islands! I am excited to visit more of the beautiful islands and cays we have right here at home. I have not experienced any of the Out Islands and I want to change that. Each one of our islands are so unique and boast some of the best beaches in the world and I want to take some time to appreciate this amazing tropical paradise we have right here. First on my list is Exuma to see the famous Swimming Pigs and Compass Cay sharks then on to a private island resort off of Andros for much deserved getaway. Now more than ever I think it's imperative that we try to support local business whenever we can.



Like many Bahamian restaurants that dared to launch in 2020, the Bahamian Bistro faced its fair share of challenges. They were finally able to open in early November, and since then they have hit the ground running, while treating diners to trip around The Bahamas‌. and the world. The idea of a communal kitchen may be a bit new to many, but it allows multiple restaurants to offer their dishes from one centralized location. In addition to serving the pastry confections of vendors like Shiver, Bella Buns, and Pastry Haven, they are also able to serve up dishes from a wide range of restaurants, including Goombay Bites, the Goombay House Bar, What The Burger...

...Bahamas, Go Griot, The Junkanoo Club, The Souse Haven, and Holi Smoke BBQ. The flexibility of the Bahamian Bistro kitchen allows customers to take a culinary world tour that can include sushi, Mexican cuisine, guava duff cheesecake, seafood burgers or a Berry Mule cocktail, all at the same time. And, it can all be enjoyed completely contactless and cashless, if diners choose, or a server would be happy to take customers’ orders and help guide them through the menu In addition to offering a diverse food experience, the Bahamian Bistro’s sand covered floors, artwork and relaxed vibe can allow visitors to enjoy a quick escape, without ever leaving the island.

BEHIND THE MASK Life is short, and I intend to live every moment of it DR. THEO STRACHAN

While most are grateful for the selfless, and often physically and emotionally taxing work of the medical community, few get to know the faces and stories behind the heavy personal protective equipment. And, even less get a glimpse into the lives of those fighting to save others. Dr. Theo Strachan has spent the past several months working on the front-lines of the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident & Emergency Department, treating patients and seeing first hand the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the entire country grappled with the virus and battled to lessen its spread, men and women like Dr. Strachan have spent the last few months working long hours in an effort to save as many lives as possible. Much like his medical peers, Dr. Strachan finds his work extremely rewarding. He notes that there is no greater feeling than being able to actually connect with a patient, help them through their hardest moments, and ultimately nursing them back to health. But, the career is not without its challenges, and its heartaches.


Once Dr. Strachan heads home, and removes his scrubs and stethoscope, he still thinks about his patients, and is unable to completely disengage from his work. But, away from the hospital, he is just Theo a young man who grew up in Grand Bahama’s close knit West End community. An island boy at heart, he spent his youth playing along the water’s edge of the oceanside settlement, and he still loves the feeling of freedom and adventure that his childhood instilled within him.

Theo always had a passion for helping others, that was underscored by his desire to see and experience as much of the world as possible. After completing his undergraduate degree in Canada, he spent several years working as a police officer before moving to Jamaica to complete his medical degree. Despite studying hard, and fully immersing himself into his work, Theo always found time to embrace the cultures, people, and communities around him “Life is short, and I intend to live every moment of it.” Theo promises. An avid tennis fan, Theo dreams of attending all of the major international open events, in the near future. He speaks with passion, detailing the athletic rivalry between two of his favorites - Federer and Nadal- and how he looks forward to being back in the stands, watching them duke it out for top honors. Even without any knowledge about the sport, his enthusiasm is infectious. Theo isn’t sure what his future travel plans hold, but he is open and eager to see what new adventure and opportunities await him. Be it enjoying the pulsating vibes of Jamaica’s vibrant carnival, traveling throughout Europe, or being back home, sitting oceanside, enjoying the stories of his grandmother, Theo is fully committed to being in the moment.



In mid-August 2020, the Hungry Belly social media pages started sharing photos of vibrant and stunning Asian inspired dishes. Their Spicy Conch Ramen, which has proven to be one of their best sellers, features Bahamian conch, a rich broth, a flavourful boiled egg and a diverse blend of spices from around the Asian continent. Other menu staples include sushi, dan dan noodles, bahn mi tacos, eggrolls, kimchi fried rice bowls, and a number of weekly specials. Like many culinary professionals, Chef Chara Darceuil decided to take the plunge this year with her own food business. And, she quickly found success by sharing the flavours and techniques that she picked up while studying at the University of Commerce in Tianjin, China and visiting a number of other nearby countries. She noted that her immersion into Asian cultures truly inspired her love for their cuisine. Chef Chara has managed to merge that passion with her 8 years of experience as a chef, to offer a unique dining experience to Bahamians.

Becoming a new business entrepreneur has been very challenging yet rewarding. The journey has been surprising, especially launching during these unprecedented times. I had no idea what to expect, I had no idea who my target diners would be, but I did know I wanted to give Bahamians a chance to try something different. Chef Chara Darceuil

Despite dreaming of opening her own pop-up restaurant, for a number of years, due to the growing popularity of the mobile food scene around the country, it wasn’t until this year that she decided to move forward with those plans. With a team that mainly consists of two of her closest friends -TavanaÊ Mackey who leads her graphic designing and marketing efforts and Ashton Rolle who she notes has been a great help in the kitchen - she has brought her dream to life.

IG: @travelbey242


Travel to me is... Travel to me is a way to transcend history, boundaries and culture and take a first-hand look at the world. It allows you to create lifelong memories with no limitations.

Where are you most excited about visiting in the future?

I am most excited to go to Finland and stay in glass igloo cabins, sleep under the stars and see the Northern lights.



BAHAMIAN CUISINE 2020 has seen a large crop of culinary daredevils take the plunge to start brand new food services, but there have only been a select few who have opened physical locations. Bobby’s is one of them. Bobby Lightborne, the man behind the restaurant’s name, says that even though the road to opening was challenging and unpredictable, he has been shown nothing but love and support from his customers. And, despite only opening in late summer 2020, Bobby himself has been in the restaurant business for over four years. However, his newest venture is one that he is extremely passionate about and close to his heart.

As he balances greeting patrons, handing over Kraven app orders, and communicating with his culinary team, Bobby makes it look easy, a cheerful smile never leaving his face. The open air restaurant, tucked away on a quiet corner of Abundant Life Road was where he grew up. He fondly remembers his mother being an amazing cook, always opening her doors to her community. She also taught Bobby and his 12 brothers and sisters how to navigate the kitchen, and by the age of 12 he was already able to cook meals for his entire family. He jokes that a career in law enforcement and cooking for such a large home has prepared him for anything - though 2020 has certainly been a rollercoaster for just about any business new and old.

Bobby’s, at its core, is a Bahamian restaurant. But, Bobby and his team are determined to not just serve the usual fare available around the country. Their menu includes options like generously filled lobster rolls, egg topped burgers served with Haitian inspired fried plantains, or crispy wings, tossed in their signature BBQ sauces, that can range from sweet and mango infused, to fiery and hot. All of the sauces and aiolis were created in house by Chef Allie Strachan, and they are made fresh and by hand. The flavoured lemonades use fresh ingredients, and Bobby’s sources produce from local vendors and farms as much as possible.

Bobby notes that he dreamt of opening a restaurant where food had no limits. And, he is committed to constantly introducing new flavors, spices, techniques, and international influences. He even promises that if their kitchen has the ingredients, his team will do their best to create custom menu requests for their customers. Bobby's is currently open for breakfast and lunch, and their menu/hours can be found on their social media pages.



When Hair Appeal opened its doors in June 2018, owner LaKeisha Outten dreamt about creating a welcoming space that would focus on providing products that would enhance the inner and outer beauty of women from all walks of life. After visiting several countries around the world, and researching a wide range of trends and suppliers, LaKeisha initially launched Hair Appeal with a line of premium, yet affordable, hair products. But, she soon expanded to offer more items that would cater to the diverse hair textures, skin tones, and needs of Bahamian women, inclusive of hard to find options like sunscreen, makeup, and skincare products that

are designed, created and sold by other women of color. Since its inception, Hair Appeal has always been more than a “beauty” store. They often hosted quarterly events for their community of customers that discussed topics such as travel, or personal development. And, over the years, they have expanded far beyond their initial hair line. They now focus on providing products that emphasize happiness and self-care - something that many of LaKeisha’s customers noted that they often neglected in their personal lives.

We have had so many women who came in who were initially interested in something for their hair, but they ended up gravitating to products that they hadn’t seen before or ones that were intended to offer a little at-home pampering.” LaKeisha shared. “So many times, they would say things like they neglected wearing sunscreen because they couldn’t find one that didn’t leave behind a white cast. Or, they would see a foot peel, or an eyeshadow palette and remark how long it had been since they had last treated themselves. They would even see something from Fenty (the makeup line of pop singer turned mogul, Rihanna) and say how excited they are to see a brand created by another black woman from the Caribbean, and they would give it a try.

Owner LaKeisha Outten

LaKeisha quickly realized that many of her customers often pushed their needs to the side while working long hours or taking care of others. And, in November 2020, she decided to change her company’s name to “Her Appeal”, reflecting her vision of building a brand that encompasses all things beauty, lifestyle, and self-care. “Of course we still offer hair supplies, since that’s one way that women can make themselves feel good and bring them happiness. But, we wanted to be able to create an environment that gives our customers a joyful and engaging experience that takes into account all facets of their lives, when they walk through our doors.” added LaKeisha. In addition to creating the best possible experience for her customers, supporting the advancement of fellow business owners is something that LaKeisha is passionate about. "We pride ourselves on working with other small businesses, entrepreneurs, and brand ambassadors by offering free in-store pop up shops or allowing them to showcase their products in store. It is truly important that we celebrate and empower each other."

GOOD ਵਧੀਆ ਖਾਣਾ



iyi yemek

buon cibo

FOOD いい⻝べ物

Food is universal. People from around the world can sit, eat, drink and be merry all without speaking a single word of the same language. No matter where an individual is from, they can appreciate robust flavours, quality ingredients, and delicious cuisine. But, with travel being limited throughout 2020, the world no longer feels as accessible as it once did a few short months ago. Exploration is, if only momentarily, limited to domestic or short haul adventures, and many are left with only their daydreams and memories about seeing, tasting, and experiencing the world around them. Some have turned to the many culturally diverse pop-up restaurants that have been created in recent months to get their world cuisine fix. But, there are many adventurous souls who enjoy sauntering into their own kitchens, armed only with a youtube video and some vague idea of the flavor profiles of a given location to guide them on an international food journey. For those who know their way around a kitchen, they may be able to develop clever dupes for the specific regional ingredients needed to create authentic replicas of dishes. But, for many, it is a challenge to get their stews, pastries, desserts, curries, pastas, and everything else in between, just right.

That all changed when the Restaurant Supply Store opened its Bay Street location, this past summer, and dedicated its entire second floor to spices, sauces, and other authentic ingredients from around Italy, Turkey, India, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and a number of other countries. The dry goods and frozen selections featured in the international section rotate frequently, and it is often surprising and exciting to see what diverse food finds have made their way to The Bahamas. Staples include a wide range of authentic Italian pastas, cookies, sauces, sodas, espresso, dried mushrooms and short grain arborio rice for the perfect, creamy risotto, as well as an impressive assortment of Indian spices, chutneys, chais, and prepackaged meals that are surprising rich in flavour despite their affordable price points. The Turkish selections range from dried fruit, honeycomb, pastries, and picked vegetables to chocolates, candies and, of course, Turkish Delights. However, the store’s East Asian section is where adventurous shoppers can truly get a taste of unique flavours that may be completely foreign to Bahamian audiences. In addition to the fast moving milk tea and boba ingredients needed to make bubble tea at home, they have a wide range of frozen dumplings that can be easily prepared in a Bamboo steamer for a quick dim sum experience. Flavours include red bean paste, taro, and lotus root as well as several savory, meat based options. The frozen section also includes popular options like mochi ice cream and even frozen durian for those brave enough to try the fruit, which is notorious for its distinctive taste and smell. Other fun and delicious snack varieties include spicy egg yolk prawn crackers, purple ube flavored treats, and lots of sweet, spicy, savory and umami flavored sauces and ingredients. The Restaurant Supply Store’s inventory changes often, so there are no guarantees what new and exciting foods will hit their shelves and freezers. But, it is safe to say that they will have something that will intrigue those looking to dine their way across the globe.

Travel to me is... ...really everything! The joy it brings is like no other. Exploring, tasting, observing and just embracing a new place is something I’m always in the mood for. Traveling teaches you so much about others and also, yourself. It sometimes challenges our way of thinking and allows us to see the world through a different perspective all while being exciting and liberating. This elation led to the creation of my Travel & Festival Blog, Derencia Travels.



Where are you most excited about visiting in the future? I’m most excited to visit Europe, specifically England, France and Italy. I was planning an European adventure for this November, but obviously that didn’t happen. I also want to visit Japan, everything looks so fascinating. However, I’m very excited to get back to an out island. It’s been so long and I just wanna drink mojitos and eat seafood while laying out on a beach.


Travel to me is...

...therapy. The only way to balance the day to day challenges, celebrate success, or to find freedom from monotony is to travel. The exposure to a new culture recolors my mind, and I begin thinking in new dimensions. It is the single most effective way to relax, and grow; you’ve just got to pack and go! #Therapy

Where are you most excited about visiting in the future? I’m quite excited to visit Norway next year. Norway has a very unique culinary scene with many restaurant serving locally foraged fare and fresh game (deer and such). I’m quite keen to go hunting, or just spend some time in a chalet in the mountains getting my Ernest Hemingway on.

TAKING AT HOME COOKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX The Showman eBistro Is Turning At-Home Diners Into Show-stopping Cooks..With a Bit of Help

With the implementation of lockdown guidelines, and the temporary closure or restricted operating capabilities of dining options, 2020 saw a number of Bahamians heading into their kitchens - some for the first time. Instagram, TikTok and Facebook were all filled with men and women trying their hands at a wide range of dishes, with varying degrees of success. But, after the novelty of playing at home chef wore off, supermarket visits became more and more of a time consuming hassle, and eating at home became a necessity opposed to a luxury, many people started looking for alternative ways to feed themselves. While food delivery services saw a massive uptake in recent months, they had their limitations due to curfew hours and weekend delivery being unavailable.

The Showman eBistro team saw an opportunity to fulfill the need of Bahamian families looking for a bit of assistance with securing affordable meals, without having to brave long lines, or navigate weekly menus in a bid to avoid culinary monotony. Starting this past Spring/Summer, Chef Romero Dorsette packaged his extensive international culinary expertise into weekly meal kits that included nearly every item that at home chefs needed to create flavourful, nutritious, and exciting dishes (from around the world, no less.) Each $120 box included fresh produce (sourced from local farms whenever possible), meats, seafood, staples like eggs, butter, cream etc., and a wide range or fresh sauces, doughs and toppings, made in the Showman eBistro kitchens. The company has also recently added vegetarian alternatives to accommodate non-meat eaters.

The weekly service includes simple recipes, and not only takes the guesswork out of weekly meal preparation, but it allows a family of four to go on a culinary tour without breaking the bank.

IG: @moymeetworld


Travel to me is...

Where are you most excited about visiting in the future?

...knowledge, freedom, bravery and power. Traveling is the best teacher, it introduces you to new and different cultures further expanding your mind, the people you meet, and friendships that last for a lifetime. The freedom to think, breathe, and explore on your dime and time. Loving yourself so fiercely and unapologetically that it makes you realize your true power and reach new levels of bravery. Lastly it’s the memories — whether it’s the tuk tuk driver I met it Thailand, having a pizza with wine at Mercado Centrale in Florence, dinner for one next to the Louvre, or alone on a bus driving through the Alps. Travel is both magic, Joy and a form of self-love that takes you on the path of higher-self.

I miss the hustle and bustle of the airport. Honestly, I’m most excited about getting back to all I’ve mentioned above. As an introvert, traveling has been the main thing that sparks joy for me, it pushes me out of my comfort zone, it makes this thing called life manageable—lol and beautiful. But to be more specific I’m just excited about that moment of excitement I feel when the plane is in decent, captain asks you to fasten your seatbelt, and you’re about to land into a new country. Tokyo, Ghana, South America are all next on the list. I’m a BOGO traveler by nature so when the current circumstances of Covid-19 is over, I’ll be taking 4-6 weeks off to play catch upon the missed adventures.


UNDER $20 SHOPPING SMALL, SUPPORTING LOCAL This will be the first holiday season in a post COVID-19 world. And, while many Bahamians often jetted off to the United States or scoured online sites for gifts, stocking stuffers and secret Santa trinkets, shopping, like many things, will undoubtedly look a bit different this year. The good news is that there are many Bahamian small businesses offering some fun, unique and affordable options for budget conscious gift givers, with the added benefit of local shopping redirecting resources back into the economy. AND, when you shop with a small, local business, you are directly supporting the passion, vision and entrepreneurial efforts of a fellow Bahamian‌..



Da Rising Sun (@darisingsun_64) features jewelry that celebrates the islands of the Bahamas. Their necklaces, anklets and charms depict Grand Bahama, all the way down to Inagua, and many of their pieces are $20. Options include gold tone, rose gold and silver tone finishes, and despite the low price point, they are great quality and do not tarnish.

Bahleaf (IG: @bahleaf) is a Bahamian tea company that believes in a better cup of tea. Nearly all of their diverse line of pyramid and loose leaf teas are under $20, with many even under $15. These would be a perfect gift for tea lovers who enjoy flavourful black, green, white or herbal blends. In addition to being available for purchase online, Bahleaf is also sold in Solomon's Fresh Market.

Taylor Made Treats (IG: @taylormadebahamas) not only offers delicious treats, but stunningly beautiful packaging, inclusive of their signature black and white striped ribbon. While they offer customizable gift boxes, many of their individual treats, inclusive of rich brownies, cheddar caramel popcorn, and praline pecans. are all individual packaged and under $20.

Nassau Script Company (IG: @nassauscriptco) not only has a steady hand but an eye for creativity. Their customizable Christmas ornaments start at only $6, are handmade and can be the perfect personalized gift for a secret santa or holiday swap.

Haus of Assembly (IG: hausofassembly) is known for their stunning espadrilles, especially their Exuma beaded line. But, they also have several items on their website that are cost effective, including bright and vibrant notebooks and wooden cutlery sets.

Take A Bite (IG: @takeabitebahamas) creates stunning wedding and special occasion confections, but in recent months, they introduced individual sized cakes and macaroons to their lineup. Each mini cake comes individually packaged, and is the perfect rich, decadent and delicious addition to brighten up someone's day all for just $5.50 each. Their macaroons are also available for $18 for a half dozen.

Sugar Bliss Boutique's (IG: @sugar_bliss_boutique) social media pages are filled with a stunning range of desserts. While they offer customizable dessert boxes, their hot chocolate bombs or praline nuts are a great option for those with a sweet tooth. Both are under $10 each.

Biggity (IG: @biggity 242) has been a well known name in Bahamian candles for a number of years. They not only offer a diverse range of scents, but also many options that are inspired by life in the Bahamas. Their tealight candle samplers are a great way to try out a wide range of fragrances and are $10. Their wax melts are just $5.

International Snack Boxes...

As clocks around the world struck midnight, signalling the start of 2020, a new decade, and fresh beginnings, many envisioned a year filled with globetrotting adventures. Be it whipping around Bali on a moped, partying on a packed rooftop bar in New York, taking to the skies in a hot air balloon in Australia, feeling fancy at a luxurious afternoon tea in London, or going on a sensory and historically diverse trek through the busy streets of Tokyo - 2020 seemed to be filled with nothing but opportunities to jump on a plane, and see the world.


A World Tour of Flavours From the Comfort of Your Home non-essential travel simply was not an option.

January and February started off on a high note, with thousands of Bahamians travelling, chipping down the road at Trinidad’s annual carnival, taking a casual trip to Florida, or touching every corner of the globe without a care or worry. But, as March rolled in, novice and seasoned travellers alike, suddenly found themselves grounded and coming to terms with the new reality of life in 2020. And, as leaders of all 195 countries around the world grappled with how to protect their citizens, leisure and

The halt in world exploration was an understandable sacrifice, but it did not negate or douse the desire for many to touch, feel, experience and taste different and diverse cultures and landscapes. Many turned to the internet in search of authentic international recipes that could be replicated in their homes. But, without access to hard to find ingredients and/or spices, recreating the exact flavours that a given country is known for, proved difficult.

International snack boxes offer a unique option for those looking for a taste of their favorite destination (or one that they have dreamt about visiting) without having to leave their homes or get their hands or kitchens dirty. While Japanese and Korean boxes are the most popular, there are a plethora of options and assortments available via online retailers, to meet just about any taste or budget. Many assortments are shipped directly from their country of origin, and sold via subscription services that charge a flat rate for a multi-month commitment. But, with the surge in popularity, there is an increasing number of curated selections that can be purchased individually or from companies, like Amazon. Shipping from halfway around the world often resulted in long wait times of up to a month or two, without the luxury of tracking options, but a number of companies have recently begun adapting to meet world-wide demand for faster delivery times.


FROM ANDROS... TO THE WORLD As the largest island in the Bahamas, Andros has big shoes to fill. It is not only known for the massive land crabs that roam the island, and the larger than life, warm and welcoming vibe that the family islands are known for, but it was also the start of a big dream‌. When husband and wife duo Captain Rex J. Rolle and Shandrice Woodside-Rolle opened Western Air in 2001, they envisioned taking their Andros based airline to the entire Bahamas. And, nearly 20 years later, they now operate daily flights to islands throughout the country. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they even offered hourly flights to many islands, successfully keeping Bahamians connected for business, fun, leisure or to see their family and friends. According to Sherrexcia "Rexy" Rolle, Vice President of Operations & General Counsel, Western Air has faced the same exceptional challenges as their fellow airline and flight operators around the world, due to lockdowns and safety precautions. But, despite the uphill battle that is 2020, they refuse to stay grounded. In addition to adapting and evolving to provide travellers with a safe flight experience, Western Air is optimistic about the future of Bahamian aviation. They plan to expand their flight services internationally, in the near future, while being committed to providing Bahamians who are looking to explore closer to home with an outlet to see the beauty of their backyards.


Thank you. Thank you Jonathan, Leslie, Carmel, L’Oreal, AC, Rexy, Cutelle, Jewel, Sandy, and Valdez for allowing me to share a bit about your journey. Thank you to everyone featured in the magazine for allowing me to put your stories to the page. Thank you to our amazing prize sponsors - Lowe’s Pharmacy, CocaCola Bahamas, BTC and the Restaurant Supply Company. Thank you to my family and friends who had to listen to me talk about this expo for the last few weeks. Thank you to MOVI who facilitated the filming of my interview with Valdez. And, THANK YOU to all of you for taking part, engaging, encouraging me, and sharing so many kind words. I am forever grateful. When I started Pinksands 242 over 6 years ago, it was just a little hobby. I worked full time in the Public Relations, Communications and Marketing field for a number of years, but I didn’t use social media much, personally. I liked being behind the scenes, sharing the experiences of others. But, Pinksands 242 surprisingly gave me an outlet to connect with people. I found myself genuinely interacting and engaging with men and women, around the world, despite the reputation of social media presenting a highly curated, and imaginary view of life. In these past 6 years, Pinksands 242 has morphed into a passion project.

The idea for the Pinksands 242 Digital Expo grew from my own desire to learn more about how members of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry have been coping in recent months. I genuinely wanted to know their stories, and how they were evolving and adapting. It was terrifying putting myself out there, as an individual, for the first time, even though I have done similar projects throughout my career. But, I was overwhelmed and overjoyed by the positive responses of others. As a self funded, independent project, I knew I had my work cut out for me. But, when I started putting it all together, there was just so much to explore. What started as a goal of five interviews and some fun online activities, grew to 10 interviews, and a 50 page magazine. For the past month and a half, I have dedicated every lunch break, evening, and weekend to this project, juggled many hats, and pulled together all of the skills that I had learnt over the years to play the role of graphic artist, videographer, photographer, editor and writer (to varying levels of success, comedic moments of personal triumphs and and sometimes spectacular failures) but as a spoke to people who were doing amazing things, while battling exceptional circumstances, it motivated to keep going and want to share even more. I hope you enjoyed the magazine, and expo video series. This is truly me sharing something that I never thought I could accomplish. And, I hope you find it as rewarding to view, as I did creating it. Also, for the sake of transparency, none of the stories in this magazine were sponsored. No one paid a dime to be featured, and the only sponsors are the prize sponsors noted. It was important for me to be honest and open in what I shared. I did, however, connect with the Showman eBistro during the course of this journey, and will be contributing to a blog series on their website in the future.


The Pinksands242 Digital Travel & Tourism expo could not happen without the amazing men and women who shared their stories on camera.





























The Pinksands 242 Digital Travel & Hospitality Expo was a passion project, but our Prize Sponsors added an element of fun and engagement for participants that we are extremely grateful for.