The internet and blog culture is always introducing us to new words, innocuous but often silly neologisms and buzzwords like: YOLO, twerk, phablet (bigger than a phone, smaller than a tablet), and metrosexual. We have been modifying and updating the English language for the entirety of its existence, but in the age of the internet this is happening faster and, frankly, the words seem to be getting wackier.
A few months ago I came cross another new word… “bleisure.” Bleisure? It is a portmanteau of business and leisure introduced by opportunistic members of the travel and lifestyle industry to describe travellers who find time for leisure on their business trips. This “new breed” of businessperson has been touted by CNN, Chicago Tribune, and travel industry consultant Sabre, and travel site Skift has even published a study by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality called “The Bleisure Report” which documents the habits of business travellers at play.
If it doesn’t come as a surprise to you that 78% of business travellers enjoy adding leisure days to their business trips then join the club, because the idea hardly seems new. I am a huge proponent of adding a dash of play to your work travel. As someone who hops on a plane for work fairly frequently, I have become pretty adept at making the most of a business trip. I have explored theme parks in Singapore in between meetings, squeezed in a tour of London on a layover and most recently took a breath-taking breather in paradise.
The Bahamas, where my online broker/dealer platform SureTrader is based, is perfectly poised for mixing work with pleasure. An international financial hub it has proven a great choice to locate my business, the second one I have owned in the country in fact. I am frequently flying back to its capital Nassau for meetings and business operations and its vibrant restaurant scene and the fact that you can easily hop to one of its many islands or cays for a day or two make it ideal. At this point coming to Bahamas is often as much leisure as it is business.
A few months ago, I took the opportunity to travel with a friend to gorgeous Eleuthera, an island just a 20 minute flight east of the capital. Eleuthera boasts gorgeous, pink sand beaches, coloured the from numerous coral reef shoals around its shores. The Cove did not disappoint. A serene, secluded cove –as the name suggests- near quaint Gregory Town, the resort overlooks two beaches with pristine turquoise waters.
Slightly elevated, with a lookout resting atop a small peninsular cliff, the resort offers stunning panoramic views of the beautiful Bahamian sea that surrounds it. I could not help but think, “If one had to open up a lap top, better to do it overlooking this vista.”
The rooms themselves are minimalist, but modern and airy; chicly decorated in all white. The resort, small at only 57 rooms, but luxurious, earns its boutique title exuding sophistication from the lobby to the jaw-dropping outdoor infinity pool overlooking the sea. It is not a wonder that the resort is rated #1 on the island, was selected as one of Fodor’s 100 best hotels in 2014 as well as winning TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award for top Caribbean hotel that same year. A feat made more spectacular by the fact it had opened only a year before in 2013.
The resort is also located conveniently close to the island’s main attraction, the famous and jarring Glass Window Bridge. Despite the name, there is no glass or windows at the bridge. The attraction marks the narrowest point of the island, where the Atlantic Ocean is separated from the Bahamian Sea. Standing on the Glass Window Bridge you can look to one side and see the deep crashing waves of the ocean in dark blues and on the other see the shallow turquoise calm of the sea, separated by a mere few meters of limestone.
We took advantage of the kayaks, bikes and snorkel gear provided by the resort. And we ate at the resort restaurant, whose menu changes daily according to the produce of the garden and the local catch. It also has a stellar sushi chef, who boasts that he spears most of his own fish.
The Cove was ideal for the quick, tranquil getaway from work that I craved. Honestly, a longer stay may have bored my guest and I as Eleuthera is a rather sleepy island with few activities. However it was exactly the recharge I needed to snap back to the work in Nassau and Florida in full force.
This kind of trip may not be new in the slightest, however far be it from me to discourage a new focus on facilitating more enjoyable and productive work travel. After all I have been practicing it for years. So to the travel writers and industry, please do consider another buzz word, but until then “bleisure” on.