submit to reddit GoNOMAD Travel          Instagram
Host family in Nassau Bahamas for a People to People meet up. photos by Will McGough.
Host family in Nassau Bahamas for a People to People meet up. photos by Will McGough.

People to People Brings Travelers into Local's Homes

Let’s talk about something that always seems to divide the room right down the center: The idea of traveling to a foreign country and staying at an all-inclusive resort.

Lots of travel writers get sand in their shorts over this idea – they think we should immerse ourselves in the country’s culture rather than sip daiquiris by the pool for five days. That said, a large number of tourists who visit the Caribbean choose to make their homes at said resorts.

I’ve always understood the appeal of both sides of the coin – some people are explorers and others are vacationers (many of us like a bit of both). Some people are comfortable with new horizons and feel enriched by the new experiences, and some only have a week’s worth of vacation per year and want to know what they’re going to get for their money – they don’t want any surprises.

And it’s all good – that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla, that’s why we have options.
Here’s one for both explorers and vacationers I discovered in Nassau, a destination frequented by many of the latter: People-to-People.

It’s run by the Ministry of Tourism and it’s a local version of the worldwide People to People organization that was set up by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

Eisenhower believed deeply that “direct interaction between ordinary citizens around the world can promote cultural understanding and world peace,” and I tend to agree with him.

A free service to all visitors that come to the island, travelers are given the opportunity to spend an afternoon or evening with a local family. The Tourism Board can set you up with a lunch, dinner, or simply an afternoon walk, but we chose to dive right in and accept their offer to host us for dinner.

I mean, they offered – the program is all volunteer based (which is why it’s free to visitors) – and they welcomed us into their home with open arms: A fridge full of beer, red and white wine, pots on the stove, stories to share.

Will does his part, washing the dishes after their family meal.
Will does his part, washing the dishes after their family meal.

Steve and his wife (Terry) had prepared a delicious meal for us: Grouper, peas and rice, salad, coleslaw, Guava Duff and most notably, Pumpkin Conch Soup and Jonny Cake (standing applause, Terry, this was honestly the best/most authentic dish I ate in Nassau). We sat around and hung out like old friends, encouraged us to help ourselves to whatever we wanted.

Later, I washed dishes with their children and asked them about their lives, and the oldest said she wants to be a lawyer. She said she likes to go to the beach, catch movies with friends.

Her little sister plays the piano, and I annoyed them constantly with questions about where the glasses and dishes went in the cabinets.

Then after dinner, Steve gave me Bahamian dialect advice in between sips of beer. He shared that his brother was making the cowbells for the then upcoming Junkanoo Festival in December. He told me stories of attending the World Cup in different countries (he has been to several of them), and I explained that I’ve been traveling quite a bit the past few months.

A feast in the Bahamas from a local family, what a treat!
A feast in the Bahamas from a local family, what a treat!

The cab was waiting several minutes for us to depart at the end of the night – a group of us must have stood chatting in the doorway for close to ten minutes. I felt so inspired about what I had experienced, the conversations I had been a part of.

This wasn’t a friendly waiter or an obligated staff member – I was talking to a real family who was genuinely interested in connecting with someone from another country. As many questions as I had for them, just as many came my way. 

This might be a nice compromise for vacationers and explorers – an opportunity to get out of the resort and receive a genuine local experience without sacrificing a level of comfort. Requesting the tourism board to arrange something for you allows you to explore the day-to-day lives of the locals without worry.

After, you might just be inspired – perhaps the next trip you will attempt to make friends on your own.

For more information, visit the The Islands of the Bahamas website.

Will McGough

Will McGough
is a regular contributor and a blogger for GoNOMAD. Read his blog, Wake and Wander.

Read more articles about the Bahamas on



Host family in Nassau Bahamas for a People to People meet up. photos by Will McGough
an unprecedented and one-of-a-kind exclusive marine reserve island experience in the Bahamas
in the Bahamas. If you really want to get away from it all, you should visit the Exuma Cays, a necklace
of the Bahamas and north of the island of Hispaniola (the countries of Haiti and the Dominican
the city right up my alley. The San Diego Brew Fest was all smiles. Swimming with pigs in the Bahamas
. For example, lionfish were first spotted in the Bahamas in 2004, and now there are 390+ per hectare
people have of many resorts in the Bahamas. If you really want to get away from it all, you should
in the Bahamas, Christian cruises are becoming increasingly popular. Attracting high-profile names
Sandals Resorts: Companion Flies Free to The Bahamas Sandals Emerald Bay Code: EXU10 Exp. 10/13/10 Guests
Rick and Chris Millikan in the Dominican Republic ockies, Great Plains, and Bahamas to land in Puerto
, or who traveled to a country where the purchases are often in U.S. dollars such as the Bahamas, were
from the bow that is used in the Bahamas to allow passengers to disembark right onto the beach. During
(of which 10 are inhabited) located 575 miles southeast of Miami A south of the Bahamas and north
Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia Botswana Brazil
great joy in being the tool that allows two individuals to connect. He recently met up in the Bahamas

Tags: storySection: Features
Location: Anywhere
New Travel Articles


Subscribe to GoNOMAD's monthly enewsletter for all of our new travel articles
Get our free monthly travel newsletter
and help support sustainable and responsible tourism.
No spam, no selling
your email, we promise!

Subscribe to our email newsletter!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

amazon ad300x250