Helping women celebrate island life

  • Returning to the rock: Megan Rumbelow is enjoying island life again (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

    Returning to the rock: Megan Rumbelow is enjoying island life again (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Megan Rumbelow was certain she would fit right in when she moved back to Bermuda.

She was Bermudian after all, and had lived here until her parents split up when she was 10.

“After that I rotated between America, Bermuda and England,” said the 36-year-old. “I always knew I would move back to Bermuda at some point, it was just a matter of timing.”

A bad break-up in 2008 forced her hand.

“I needed a change,” she said. “I decided to go back to Bermuda.”

She was surprised to find the island less relaxed than she remembered. The politics had changed and many of her childhood friends had moved on.

To deal with it all, she started writing.

“I have written since I was a teenager,” said Ms Rumbelow, a massage therapist at Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort & Spa.

“It helps me to relax. Right now I have a journal and three notebooks in my bag. I like to write my observations about life.”

She was thrilled to find an outlet for her work this year, a website called Women Who Live on Rocks.

British Virgin Islands resident Chrissann Nickel started it as a way for female writers “to celebrate the humorous eccentricities unique to life on a tropical island”.

Writers are scattered throughout the Caribbean, in Mexico, Central America, the Seychelles, Europe, the Florida Keys, Thailand and the South Pacific.

Ms Rumbelow jumped right in.

“On a hot date? Even more reason to keep it off the circuit line,” reads one of her posts.

“My advice? Turn it into a cheeky adventure! Sneak away to a less busy part of the island to a cosy cottage or private beach or smaller island that is more challenging to access.

“Whether it’s dinner, a quick romp, or a little staycation away from the hubbub, don’t be afraid to get creative.”

Her motorcycle skills also made it into the blogosphere.

“A biker’s nightmare (aside from sliding out) is to find yourself transporting a ton of items only to have something (or worse, all the things) go flying off. In times like these, I am constantly sending my whispered thanks to the innovative minds behind bungee cords for holding so much of my s*** together!”

It’s been a great experience, sharing her writing with the world.

“Sometimes the posts do get published somewhere else, like the Huffington Post,” she said. “The website is really just for fun, but it has grown globally. Everyone has a different story to share.”

It helped that she threw herself into creating a new life once here, joining the Bermuda Wine Circle and volunteering with the SPCA and BUEI. She also joined Teachers Rugby Football Club.

“I never pictured myself playing rugby before coming to Bermuda,” she laughed.

Still, the pace is much slower than in New York where she previously lived.

“There, you always had to be three steps ahead of the game,” she said. “In Bermuda I had to learn to slow down.

“I had to learn to relax. My mind was always constantly on the go.

“The best thing about Bermuda is that there is such a close community feeling and everyone is always willing to help out each other.”

She enjoys meeting people who remember her father, the late Sidney Rumbelow. He left the island in 2000 and died four years later, at the age of 82.

“He came here in the 1960s to teach,” she said. “He taught at Bermuda College and was principal at the Bermuda Technical Institute. He also had a guesthouse, Cabana, on Verdmont Road in Smith’s.

“People have come up to me and told me what a great impact he had on their lives.”

Looking back, Ms Rumbelow is grateful for the years she spent away from her island home.

“I think it is very important for Bermudians to experience the outside world,” she said.

She is now considering writing a book.

“It might be a biography, or it might be fiction,” she said.

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Published Oct 16, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 16, 2017 at 7:35 am)

Helping women celebrate island life

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