Allow us to introduce you to Crista Strachan, the Bahamianista. We know Crista as a Carnival Junkie, Fashionista, Nomad, and a Crazy Island Girl who blogs over at Bahamianista.com. Crista, who is originally from the Bahamas, lives in Florida, but loves to uncover the Caribbean with passion, excitement, and style!
Hello Crista! Tell us about yourself!
Hello! I’m Crista. I am a 29 year old young woman born and bred in the Bahamas and currently living in Florida. I work as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and I also run a blog based on my personal style, travel experiences and Caribbean culture.
We see that you love the Caribbean as much as we do. Which islands have you visited so far?
Yes I do! I’ve visited Bermuda, Barbados (3 times as a teenager), Trinidad, Jamaica and of course a few of the Bahamian islands.
Tell us about your most memorable Caribbean experience.
That’s a tough one; but I’ll do my best to answer it truthfully. Honestly, one of my most memorable experiences was in Jamaica for it’s annual Bacchanal Road March. Not only was I excited by the warmth of the people and the vibes of the street of New Kingston, but also how laid back and gentle the people of Jamaica are. Even though it was such a short stay of a few days, I fell in love with the place and vowed to go back whenever possible.
Carnival is always a good idea, and being a self-proclaimed “carnival junkie”, we know you agree! Tell us about your last carnival experience.
Carnival, in my opinion should happen every day and everyone should get the chance to experience it but realistically speaking it is a wonderful event that showcases Caribbean culture, warmth, vibes and so much more that comes out of our little islands. I love that each carnival is so unique to it’s location and no carnival I’ve ever been to has been like the other. My last carnival experience was in Hollywood, Los Angeles; an up and coming carnival in the United States. It was wonderful to see the culture set on a stage as huge as Hollywood Blvd. I never have been so proud for our region to be displayed in such a unifying and positive manner and in such a busy and famous city.
We loved the “how to dress for a fancy fete” piece on your blog.What are your other recommendations on dressing for and in the Caribbean?
Thanks, that means a lot. I think it depends on where you’re going and what you’re doing. I think we as Caribbean people definitely take pride in our appearance whether that’s clothing or just how we present ourselves and take care of ourselves. I think there are three important things for dressing in the Caribbean; be presentable, be comfortable and don’t be afraid to express yourself. I also think taking care of one’s skin and body are very important especially with the humid temperatures in the islands. Beauty and confidence truly shines from within; that’s a lesson I’ve definitely learned from my years of style blogging.
What is that one Caribbean island that you have not been to that you just have to get to?
The ONE Caribbean Island that I have to get to is Dominica. For one, my stepmother is from there and both her and my father have traveled there and are absolutely in love with it. I’d love to experience the city and country of the island as well as the people and culture. I love when she tells me stories about it; it intrigues me. It’s definitely somewhere I must visit in the near future.
Tell us about your home island of The Bahamas.
My home island in the Bahamas is Nassau. It is a busy little hub filled with tourist attractions like the straw market, Paradise Island and also some hidden gems in the Eastern and Western parts of the island. My favorite part is the food and seeing my family and friends , reminiscing on old times; hanging out at my grandparents’ homes and thinking about my childhood. Nassau comes alive at night boasting of the busiest night life in the archipelago; so every time I go there’s always something to do; whether it’s a concert, or going to a club, or just the movies.
If someone had 24hrs to spend in Nassau, where should they go, and what should they eat?
If you only have 24 hours in Nassau; you should visit downtown, check out the shops and especially the Straw Market for woven goods. There’s also the Junkanoo Museum, the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas among other places. You can take a horse and buggy ride down the streets of Downtown Nassau or even opt for a tour bus. If there’s any place to eat in Nassau, it’s Arawak Cay aka the Fish Fry. I love restaurants like ‘Oh Andros’ that sell authentic Bahamian food. Stop at Twin Brothers for a daiquiri and conch fritters. There are numerous stalls always making fresh scorched conch, conch salad or tropical conch salad (my favorite). And there’s always ‘healthier’ alternatives like Gone Fishn’ that is a restaurant on the beach with a lot of grilled seafood, burgers, ‘specialty’ lemonade. My mouth is watering now just thinking about it.
Any advice on family friendly activities in Nassau or on other islands of the Bahamas?
Harbour Island is beautiful with gorgeous pink sand and you can take a golf cart for a ride around the island. Exuma boasts of swimming pigs; there are often excursions to swim with the pigs and also feed them on the shores of the beach. Nassau has excursions to Blue Lagoon and Rose Island that have a lot of kid-and family friendly water sports; just to name a few. In Grand Bahama, there are a lot of nature tours by canoe, jeep and many other options. There’s also Inagua at the very southern tip of the archipelago with a national park of beautiful pink flamingos, our national bird.
If you could sum up the Islands of the Bahamas in one photo, which one would it be?
When I think of my Bahama Islands, I think of the minutes before my plane lands on the runway and how the beautiful deep blue ocean starts to turn aquamarine as the plane descends from the clouds. I see the picturesque, pastel waterfront homes and the little cars scurrying up and down the roads; all the while my cheeks are flushed and every hair on my body stands on end. It’s a scene that I can’t ever forget and always gives me the same feeling everytime I experience it.
Where will your next Caribbean adventure take you?
My next Caribbean adventure is going to take me home for a few days where I really want to ‘dig in’ to the hidden gems of Nassau like food tours and the distilleries as well as some popular restaurants that I’ve heard my friends rave about repeatedly. I’d also like to just sit on the beach with a cold vitamalt and a conch salad.
Why do you think its important to uncover your Caribbean?
The Caribbean and the Caribbean people have so many layers. Most of my generation are young millennials with careers; a lot of whom live abroad in the UK, US and Canada and have often ‘forgotten’ our roots or life just gets so busy that ‘home’ feels like a distant memory. I don’t want to forget where I’m from; I don’t want to stop learning about it. I don’t want it to be just a tourist destination or a great place to party or a fun time for carnival; there’s so much more to it and so much more to discover and appreciate. It is apart of me no matter where I am or what I’m doing or however far removed I may think I am from it.
You can also find Crista on Instagram @bahamianista, twitter @bahamianista242, and on facebook.com/bahamianista.