“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us”. This anonymous quote has been my life’s guiding principle since my father taught me the joy and thrill of travel. And it is this belief that led me to where I am today – ready to embark on another sabbatical covering 5 countries, this time with the hope of inculcating this same joy and love of travel in my children, aged 7 and 5. Our first stop – Nassau, Bahamas. Since my hotel school marketing class back in 2003 when we did a case study on the Atlantis Paradise Island, I’d dreamed of going there. We finally made it happen this summer, and it did not disappoint. From over two dozen water slides to a rapid river to a underwater tunnel from the lobby leading to a large aquarium replete with an impressive diversity in marine life to beaches boasting crystal clear Caribbean agua, it was just what we all needed! Ariana had been excited about the water slides ever since we started thinking about this trip a couple of months ago, and her squeals of delight as she raced down them into pools water were instantly gratifying! At night, the property turns into a pseudo Las Vegas with Michelin-started restaurants, casinos, live entertainment on the harbor and dancing. The kids watched amazed at their first slot machines and couldn’t understand why they were restricted to adults only. We enjoyed a Father’s Day dinner at Fish by Jose Andre and it was superb. We tried the conch salad, which was similar to a ceviche. Ariana and I then shared the steak roasted over an open fire which the kids got to watch in awe and amazement.
On Friday, once Gaurav had wrapped up work, we took a boat trip out to Rose Island. It was beautiful – our day started out snorkeling (we saw some stunning, unique fish) although Ayaan and Ariana are still getting used to the snorkel masks and preferred to use their googles instead. Next we relaxed on the beach with Bahamian cocktails and saw the pigs swimming in the waters, something unique to the Bahamas. Ariana loved this experience and the pigs seemed to display a liking for her as well. Lunch consisted of delicious bar be cued chicken, salads and hot dogs. Ayaan and I then went kayaking while Ariana continued to play with the pigs, peacocks and some human friends too 😊. We returned to the hotel for a last few splashes in the water slides.
The kids really enjoyed the cultural shows at the hotel, especially the fire ones and the dances in which Ariana participated. Overall, the Atlantis was a perfect place to kick off the trip, and gave us all a dose of relaxation mixed in with some excitement and activities!