Happy Bermuda Day! - Bermuda -Dana Chirps

Bermuda - Blue Water and Blue Kayak - Dana Chirps

Bermuda - Blue Water and Blue Kayak - Dana Chirps

Happy Bermuda Day! This holiday was first celebrated on May 24, 1902, where essentially all the British colonies celebrated the Queen's birthday. As the colonies became independent, this day evolved into celebrating their own national identity and heritage. Over the recent(ish) years, Bermuda has treated this holiday as the start of summer. It's celebrated with a half marathon that finishes with a parade featuring Gombey dancers and other paradey-things. If it's warm enough, Bermudians will take their inaugural and ceremonious (but not really) dip in the ocean.

It is so crazy to think I've been living in Bermuda for a little over two months now. Adjusting to island life has been quite the experience. It's challenging, exciting, frustrating, and blissful - and sometimes I feel all of those emotions all at once. I definitely underestimated a lot of things prior to moving here, specifically navigating the island (logistically speaking), as well as how quiet Bermuda really is. On the flipside, I also underestimated how incredibly captivating the natural beauty is here. It's slap-you-in-the-face-kind-of-pretty. I have also been blown away by how friendly and welcoming people have been, especially other expats. 

The city life (Hamilton) is not so city like. The nightlife "in town" (local catch phrase for Hamilton) is pretty calm. There's people popping in and out of the restaurants and bars on Front Street, but that's mostly it. The last bus leaves at 11:45pm from Hamilton, so I haven't done any super-late nights in town, but I wouldn't anticipate the wee hours of the morning would be that much different. Everything in general closes very early in this country. But there are some seasonal festivities that are starting to kick into gear now that it's warmer outside which I'm excited for.

Logistically speaking, I've been getting a better handle on getting from Point A to Point B using my pedal bike, bus, and two feet. Most of the time I don't mind the physicality. Brett recently convinced me to get an entry level road bike which I'm warming up to (still getting used to riding in "hunchback" position and all that). But there are occasional days that I just want to have a good hair day,  and wear some heels, which pedaling in the island sun while wearing a helmet inhibits. There are also parts of the island that just aren't feasible to get to without a scooter or car, but for the most part I can figure it out. It's been an eye-opening experience to learn how much I value convenience as far as transportation goes. 

My social life is starting to grow, which is wonderful! I work from home, and live in a pretty secluded section of the island. When I first got here I was pretty lonely, especially when Brett left and was away for 30+ days working in another time zone. But ever since Good Friday, my social life has been on the uptick. I take kickboxing class every Wednesday night with a lot of the people that I met at the Good Friday Fest. It is an absolute blast, and without question the highlight of my work week. Every weekend (usually Saturdays since practically nothing is open on Sundays) I make a point to go to town, and usually grab lunch with a friend that I've met through Brett's office who has introduced me to other lovely new friends. I've also met and befriended a lot of people that work at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences aka "BIOS." I love that my new friends here are from all over the world - that was something I really appreciated in South Florida and am glad to experience in Bermuda, too. I'm constantly amazed at how inviting and warm everyone has been. I feel so fortunate, and thankful.

This weekend is the start to America's Cup, which is going to make for a very exciting month! More to come on that, but for now Happy Bermuda Day to all of my Bermuda friends, and to those who are following this adventure. 

 

 

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Better Than Good - Dana Chirps

Happy Easter! I've always loved the cheerful nature of this holiday. 

So I've lived in Bermuda for just a little over a month now. Brett left April 3rd for his rotation (and will be gone for about 30 days), so I've been on my own since then. I wouldn't say I've been "homesick," but I have really missed having a thriving social life. This city-people-culture-chaos-loving girl coming from South Florida, now living in a secluded section of an island with no transportation has been enduring a bit of a culture shock. And with my partner in crime (Brett) gone, I was beginning to feel lonely and isolated. When you're feeling like that, it amplifies anything remotely negative. All too quickly I was relating to Tom Hanks in the movie "Castaway," only I didn't have a Wilson.

TomHanksWilsonCastaway - Dana Chirps

But God and the universe works in wonderful ways at times. It's like it knew I was in need of human connection. Brett's coworker reached out to me to tell me about this Good Friday event happening up the road from me. All I had to hear was that there were going to be other humans present to be sold on attending myself. So after I wrapped up work for the day, I walked a little over a mile to the end of the gokart race (because that's what they do). There was a massive crowd, all in good spirits. I was delighted to see so many people, even if I didn't know a single soul. After the race, the crowd broke out into a parade of sorts. Drummers and Gombey dancers came out of seemingly nowhere. Everyone (including myself) followed them until we ended up at this field where there was music, booze and food vendors, and kite flying. Kite flying is a big thing to do on Easter weekend - kites were being flown all over the island. But I have to say the Gombey dancers were my favorite, especially the kids. They were GETTIN' IT. I loved seeing children in the crowd bravely jump in and start dancing with the performers! It was so fun to watch.

At the Good Friday Festival (I'm not even sure if that's what it's called, or if there was even a name for it), I brought my Nikon to keep myself entertained, and talked to anyone who intentionally (or unintentionally) made eye contact with me. I finally ended up meeting a few folks who looked to be around my age. Most of them work as oceanographers (how cool is that?!). It was a mix of friendly expats and Bermudians, I was stoked. I grabbed the phone number of one of the girls I was chatting with and hope to take a workout class taught by one of the guys in that group later this week with her. I also bumped into Brett's coworker there, who introduced me to a few other people. It was a good time!

Then on Saturday (yesterday) I got up and biked to the bus stop, where I took a bus "into town," which means the city of Hamilton. It was my first bus ride in Bermuda, and it was a lot easier than I expected, and quite a scenic ride. I got to Hamilton in about 30 minutes (I'm told normally it takes 45), and met up with a girl named Heather that Brett introduced me to that is also a pilot, but for a different company. We went to a fun coffee shop, and a couple of her girlfriends joined us. It was such a blast! The conversations were hilarious, and it felt so good to hang out with a bunch of gal pals! From there, Heather and I met up with one of her other friends for a late lunch at this fantastic cafe. After lunch we walked around a bit, and then Heather had to head home. I walked around on my own for a little while, and got some groceries since there was a store near the bus stop, and commuted back to my part of the island via bus then bike. It was a wonderful day. As I told Heather, it was the first time I actually felt optimistic versus convincing myself to be optimistic with regards to having a social life on this beautiful island.

Ahhh, this weekend was a good one. Better than good.  

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.