Was it just me, or was everyone around having kids and getting married?
The junkie urge to escape from the motonany of predictable Facebook hum-drum was never far off, so my choice for real summer fun came down to Hong Kong and Bermuda.
After some flight finagling and a fantastic deal on Airbnb, Bermuda was it.
The island sat roughly on the same parallel as North Carolina, but 700 miles off the coast. Some form of English settlement had been there since the early 1600s.
These days the British Overseas Territory thrived as a fully modern vacation destination, with citywide wifi in downtown Hamilton, Bermuda’s biggest city, centrally positioned among the various larger parishes. Scooters are precarious but essential for mobility. I arranged to rent one for seven days.
- Swimming nude by moonlight, under the so-called super moon
- Snorkeling near the Royal Naval Dockyards
- Proper nighclub bloodlust in Hamilton (Highly recommend: Cafe Cairo, The Beach, Red)
- Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (Serious business, w/ two big server racks, high gain, industrial-grade GPS transponders, an arc light that sweeps the entirety of the island)
- Beautiful young people everywhere. Locals, English, Americans, some Euros
- Lord Necktie, an aging calypso singer and four generations of his family (many of whom live in Los Angeles) were encountered and chatted with @ Art Mel’s (great fish sandwiches in St. George’s parish)
- Proper dining with excellent service at both Bolero and Gulfstream
- Good sushi at Wok Express
- The Dockyards are sad and empty, filled with tourists stepping briefly off of massive floating bacterial cesspools better known as cruise ships.
- I took a ton of photos and posted three galleries to this tumblr [1,2,3]
Bermudian locals revealed a lovely accent, partially British, but very much it’s own thing.
There was a slight creeping sense of unease between white Bermudians and black Bermudians, which can be quickly disarmed by merely smiling and engaging in conversation (I learned in LA many years ago that black Americans often feel ignored). Younger Bermudians seem mostly exempt from this, in-keeping with both the US and UK (pop culture is global culture, and race is less of an issue, the younger you are).
This adventure was just what I needed to resist the seeping sense of adult responsibility that haunts like a banshee across every one of my social media accounts. Despite my ability to earn well and be responsible, I’m still in the questing phase of my young adult life.
Fortunately, I was not at all alone.
Against the steadily rising biological pressure to transform mere sex into reproduction, (now with the amplified signal of social media connecting us all to the highlights of our lives) somehow, we remaining few explorers found each other. Once we connected, the obligatory vetting process began.
Looking at similar histories, exchanging stories as though they held meaningful cultural currency, the personal development we accrued with each win, loss, or push, was gently tabled and examined.
In effect and essence, this was young adult version off “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours.”
Rather than genitalia, we global few exposed something far more revealing.
- How did our lives measure up?
- Did the resulting outcomes leave us happy or sad?
- And perhaps most importantly, do we intend to press on, alone if necessary?
It seemed that the younger you were, the closer to infinite the horizon seemed, the more unlimited the ceiling appeared. Perhaps that metaphor touched the same psychic territory that urged remaining “young at heart.”
Better to hop a plane to halfway around the globe, and risk loneliness, failure, or poverty, than to stay where you’re safe but know all too well the terrain, populace, and social dynamics.
In this way, security and stability seemed the first steps on the footpath toward death; the damping of that horizon; bounding infinity. So long as forever still seemed accessible, immortality remained freely available. Selfish, perhaps, but ours for the taking.
- ZU, July 2014
[Above: US Airways bathroom selfie during my Bermuda return flight]