We know because we’ve been: “Out There” is a series of inspiring travel spotlights from AAA travel advisors and employees.
The islands of the Bahamas have been a supremely popular destination with AAA members. With 16 diverse islands, 100,000 square miles of crystal blue oceans, bountiful relaxation and adventure to be had, there is no shortage of reasons why the Bahamas make a great destination for travelers.
Recently, a group of AAA Travel team members got the chance to visit the Bahamas, tour a variety of top-tier destinations and stay at the all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Fortuna.
Here is what one of those team members, Brooke Vergona, had to say about her visit.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am the manager of strategic partnerships here at AAA Northeast. I grew up an avid beach goer. Any season, you can find me at the beach reading, running or just listening to the water. Growing up along the Jersey Shore I was spoiled with having the ocean less than 2 miles from my front door, which is what lead me to move to Rhode Island, the Ocean State!
What is your background in travel?
Prior to working in the travel industry, I was not a huge traveler. Not because I didn’t want to be, I just never saw the need or never found the time. I had been on one cruise out of Florida and that was the extent of my travel experience growing up.
What type of traveler are you?
In my current role at AAA I am lucky enough to be on the road an incredible amount. With an extremely weak travel background, I am still learning what type of traveler I am! I haven’t had a bad experience yet.
Tell us about your trip to the Bahamas.
We stayed on the island for about five days and did everything from relaxing by the pool to riding ATVs through the forest. It was an amazing experience and I truly stepped out of my comfort zone.
We really got off the beaten path doing excursions that are more locally known, even going to local restaurants where the community gathers and has dance-offs!
Compared to other islands, I think Grand Bahama has a lot to offer because it isn’t as built up as some of the others. It is rustic and you are truly immersed in the destination while you are there.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
My favorite part of the trip was swimming with lemon sharks on a remote island off the coast of Grand Bahama. There were also huge stingrays! My colleagues enjoyed the pool and the food experience.
What surprised you the most?
It surprised me how welcoming the Bahamians were from the very first day. At the first dinner, they were all line dancing and made sure to teach all of us how to dance with them and cheered us on when we somewhat got the hang of it all!
What was one thing you learned on this trip?
I learned to always go out there with an open mind. Even if you are frightened to do something, take a step back and think to yourself, “I may never have the opportunity to do this again.” Just go for it!
What was something you wish you did differently?
I wish I saw the sunrise more each morning.
What was your favorite dining experience?
My favorite dish on the island was the conch. I had everything conch – fried, grilled, raw! It was amazing.
What is your advice to other travelers?
Try and get out there as often as possible. If there is one thing I learned from the pandemic, it’s that something as simple as travel can be taken away from you so easily. Never miss out on the opportunity to see the world and experience the way other people live their day-to-day lives.
Start planning your next trip with AAA Travel.