A Gombey dance troupe on Bermuda’s Warwick Long Bay    

The island of otherworldly pink sand and impossibly blue water provides ample opportunities both to unwind and explore. Here's an excerpt from one solo traveler's quest to find just the right balance.

On the narrow roads that curve between Bermuda’s unspoiled beaches, lush national parks, and candy-colored cottages, the speed limit is 20 mph. This is true even for scooters, the likes of which I was too chicken to rent. I was conflicted about the scooter situation. 

On the one hand, I was headed to Bermuda to relax. Simple enough. I have always associated Bermuda with golf, rum, and the shorts. Nothing about any of that screams “edgy” or “watch me white-knuckle this motorized death trap.” And yet, I also wanted to have myself an adventure.

Bermuda has too long and too widely been considered a staid cousin of the U.S. and the U.K.—a Nantucket with palm trees. But, of course, Bermuda has so much more oomph than that. It is possible to relax and explore, so long as you know where to look.

“I would never recommend that anyone rent a scooter,” says Shiona Turini, a native Bermudian and stylist to some of the biggest pop stars on the planet. “If you’re not confident with impeccable balance—and I’m not talking standing tree pose, I’m talking supporting a motorbike and yourself—stay away!”

I felt better already. Not only because my fears were validated, but because Shiona agreed to be my Bermudian spirit animal, to serve as my adventure guide from afar. Who needs a scooter when I have a professionally worldly woman showing me the ropes of her home? 

“It’s a really exciting time, particularly for women here right now. Girls in Bermuda are truly raised to believe that they can accomplish anything, and since we’ve seen women lead our country, it’s not just a belief, it’s a fact. I grew up surrounded by strong, savvy, and stylish women, and it was drilled in me at an early age that women should uplift other women. You can feel that coming through in contemporary Bermuda.”

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This is more than just her personal theory. Women outnumber men in Bermuda by a significant margin, and the island is evolving to reflect this…

Excerpted from Bergdorf Goodman's spring magazine; click here to continue reading (page 161).