I finally did it – I finally quit my 9-5 job to become a full-time fashion illustrator. Wise? Who knows, but it sure feels like a dream come true. And what better way to celebrate my newly found freedom than by a trip away from the big bad city (AKA - New York City). After years of tolerating the hum-drum life of Big Apple, all I truly wanted, was some very much needed peace and quiet. But where to go? Where to go to disconnect from everything and everyone and finally enjoy the wonders of natural paradise? Being May, my favorite destinations in Asia were pretty much ruled out due to monsoons season. Somewhere closer to home, then? How about the Bahamas? The mere thought of touristy Naussau made me – well – nauseous. Lucky for me though, these tropical islands have more to offer than just all-you-can-eat buffets at Atlantis, and over-priced jetski rides – or so I realized once I stumbled upon a little place called Cat Island. Part of what is known to the locals as “the wild Bahamas”, this strip of land is a natural gem still untouched by the commercial claws of tourism.
Accessible only by plane (and a tiny one at that) through SkyBahamas by first passing by Nassau airport, this hidden away island has everything for those who wish to get away from modern life. A single road which crosses the island from north to south is the only way to get around – so renting a car is definitely a good decision since public transportation is none existent. Endless strips of unspoiled nature welcome you as soon as you arrive to New Bight airport (AKA - the little house with 3 employees that take care of the rare commercial planes and somewhat more frequent private jets that land there). Here are some of my favorite spots to visit on this one-of-a-kind isle.
1. WELCOME THE WILD
Orange Creek sand bank.
Cat island is a one-of-a-kind place to explore virgin beaches. With a population of just over 1300 residents, and without almost any signs of tourism, most beaches remain untouched on most days and provide a unique opportunity to explore hidden away gems in all corners of the island. This is where renting a car comes in handy. Just make sure you rent a 4x4 vehicle, as some of the most beautiful beaches are only accessible via dirt roads.
2. SHACK UP WITH SHARKS AT "HAWK'S NEST"
At the most southern part of the island you can finds Hawks Nest marina – a hotspot for fishing enthusiasts and resort bums alike. During my stay on Cat island, I was lucky enough to attend their seasonly fishing competition. Though I’m not fond of fishing myself, the event did give me the opportunity to check out some of the island’s most incredibly wild life – the sharks. When fish is thrown off of the docks, these deadly predators all gather around to get a taste, and believe me, they’re not shy. Fun fact: turns out these sharks are not a fan of human blood, contrary to popular belief, and are therefore very unlikey to attack humans when not threatened by them directly. Just in case though, I decided not to go for a swim.
3. CHILLIN' LIKE A VILLAIN AT "DA PINK CHICKEN"
This adorable pink-clad shack is an absolute must-see, and somewhat of an institution on Cat Island. Enjoy $5 cocktails with a breathtaking view, or have a chat with Chicago-born Dean - most definitely the grooviest bar owner in town, who's been running this oceanfront bar for over 20 years. Also, make sure to leave a note on the wall - it's "DA PINK CHICKEN" tradition, folks!
3. A TASTE OF LUXURY AT "SHANNA'S COVE RESORT"
After a week of eating the island’s signature conk salad and climbing barely-there roads for hidden beaches, you may be looking for a little luxury. Shanna’s Cove Resort provides just that. Not only does this German-owned resort provide A-list hospitality in the form of luxury cottages, but also offers great food & drink options, as well as and a five-star private beach.
4. SNORKELING AT "GREENWOOD BEACH RESORT"
Looking to explore marine wildlife? Greenwood Beach Resort offers snorkeling tours for hotel and non-hotel guests alike. The vibe is super relaxed. Instructor Antoine will give you a ride to the ocean fornt, where his boat will take you to a beaitful coral reef just 10 mins from the shore. For more fun activities at this resort, click here.
SEE YOU SOON!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by - I can't wait to share more on my search for inspiration with you!