tracey caswell


Brooklyn Beauchamp
IHT 205 Fall 2013
Dr. Stan McGahey
International Tourism
Travel Narrative Class
Saint Leo University
Tampa, Florida

Tea with Tracey

By Tracey Caswell

Tracey Caswell’s “Tea with Tracey” is a unique travel narrative about life in Bermuda. The author was raised on the prairies in Canada and enjoyed her small town life. She eventually relocated to Bermuda when she married her husband Paul. The narrative supports many of the strategies we learned in class and describes her travels, adventures and life in Bermuda.

The book is called “Tea with Tracey” because the author provides advice to other women who are thinking about visiting or relocating to Bermuda, while drinking afternoon tea. The biggest advice she gave was to give the island a chance. She said things are going to be difficult when traveling to a foreign country, but women should disregard their pre-conceived notions and  give Bermuda time to work its magic. This was a popular topic we discussed in class. Throughout the narrative, she describes the destination’s weather, atmosphere, cuisine, entertainment, people, laws, traditions, scenery and residential life.

One of the biggest adjustments she faced was the change in weather. While growing up in Canada, she often faced temperatures way below zero. When she started visiting and living in Bermuda, she had to adjust to extreme humidity, hot summers, mild winters and occasional hurricanes. She also endured transportation issues. Bermuda is only 21 miles long with narrow roads. It is also a British-administered country and follows British road laws. She couldn’t drive a car and she didn’t know where to find anything. She advised readers to travel everywhere by bike or public transportation because of the small roads. It can also be difficult learning to drive on the opposite side of the road. Furthermore, she suggests anyone moving there to spend several days walking along the roads and learning where popular landmarks are in order to learn directions.

Tracey described many of her favorite sites of interest and forms of entertainment. She suggested that visitors purchase the Bermuda Dining Guide to learn the best places to eat. She also encouraged people to go to the island’s popular festivals and events such as the Bermuda Festival, Cup Match and summer Harbour Nights. Some of her favorite things to do were live productions at the hotels and, of course, visiting all the gorgeous beaches. One of her biggest forms of advice was for visitors and possible new residents to dive into the Bermudian culture. She encouraged readers to learn their way of life, try their foods, learn their dialect and learn their traditions. This was another popular class topic.

A common theme throughout “Tea with Tracey” was being considerate. The author frequently mentioned to be thoughtful to the island and to the Bermudians. She described how the water supply is very precious and how new residents should conserve water. In addition, she emphasized how Bermuda has many laws, rules, and regulations. Visitors should respect these laws and abide by them. This includes following their dress codes (wearing a shirt at all times, dressing modestly, appropriate lengths, etc.), not littering, preserving their beaches and obeying their permit laws. After all, Bermudians deserve first rights to everything and their laws are necessary for the survival of the quality of life. Furthermore, she said to be considerate of their “slow speeds” and to be patient. Bermudians don’t constantly rush like Americans and Canadians. They work on island time and are much more relaxed. Visitors should respect their style of living. 

Tracey Caswell emphasized the importance of being environmentally friendly and respectful to Bermuda. She said to respect the natural wildlife and animals. She also stressed to not litter and to always clean up. The island is very well-preserved and tourists can be a threat if they don’t respect the environment.

Another important theme in the book was to only bring what you absolutely need when moving to Bermuda. She said you won’t need things you own now, but you may need what you don’t currently own yet. Houses in Bermuda can be small and there’s no room for clutter. People should only keep what they are prepared to use because half of what they own will be useless in Bermuda. She also suggested keeping a tight budget and only buying what you need. Bermuda is very expensive and bills can be two or three times higher than traditional American bills. It is important to live on a budget and not spend money on things you won’t need or eat. She suggested going to the many free entertainment events, going to early-bird dinners, taking walks on the beaches and railway trails and visiting popular tourist sites to save money.

In addition to these pieces of advice, Tracey gives readers other important recommendations such as reading local newspapers, magazines and travel guides to become adjusted. She also said that anyone who will be relocating should walk the streets to learn their way around, learn the government laws, frequently write letters home and stay busy volunteering to meet new people. While describing her own experiences, she highlights where to find the best food, inexpensive clothing and supermarket deals.

All in all, the narrative describes many places to visit, things to see, foods to eat and traditions to experience. Tracey Caswell loves the island of Bermuda and encourages tourists to visit and experience the culture. She also highly encourages anyone looking to relocate to the island to give Bermuda a chance and to take time to adjust. She provides great strategies and words of advice on how to adjust and how to make the most out of the experience.

Tracey’s book “Tea with Tracey” was a spectacular travel narrative and advice guide to anyone looking to visit or relocate to beautiful Bermuda. I would highly recommend the book to women, or even men, to anyone considering moving abroad and to anyone considering moving to Bermuda. I enjoyed the living strategies and recommendations she provided, as well as the popular sites she described.  I also enjoyed how the author discussed her personal experiences in Bermuda and how she beautifully described the island.

Click HERE to download her short Powerpoint presentation for a richer experience.

Tracey Caswell was born in Alberta, Canada, and moved to Bermuda in 1984. Adjusting to island living was the catalyst for her first book, Tea with Tracey. Subtitled The Woman’s Survival Guide to Bermuda, it was an overnight success, filling a hole in the market for many new arrivals.

Now Caswell strives to give gifts with meaning, and her second book, Twelve Nights with Tracey, is a primer on how to create, with few resources, loving gifts recipients will remember their whole lives. “It all started with a kidnapping by a Playboy bunny and multiplied into a dozen evenings that my husband Paul will never...okay, not even if he tried really hard...forget,” says Caswell. “What I—and a mighty cast of volunteers—gave Paul for Christmas played out over 12 extraordinary nights, but the friendships and memories will last forever.”

The book chronicles more than those twelve nights; it is an inspirational story she hopes will spread throughout the island and beyond. As upbeat and funny as the first book, Twelve Nights with Tracey proves you do not need money to show someone you care.

The author of the popular expatriate survival guide to Bermuda, “Tea With Tracey”, has published a new book.

Tracey Caswell’s second book, “Twelve Nights With Tracey”, chronicles a very different adventure than her story of relocating to Bermuda — but displays the same humour and upbeat style with 68 pictures as well.

Focusing on her efforts to keep her 20-year marriage fresh and buoyant, in her new book she shows how you gets what you give — even when starting out with very few resources.

The captivating first paragraph: ”Well really, the only thing to do was have him kidnapped by a Playboy bunny. So I did …” leads
into a fascinating story of how gifts without meaning were something Ms Caswell could not bring herself to give
Chronicling 12 nights that took five years to complete, the book not only serves as inspiration but is a source of a multitude of interesting and educational facts Ms Caswell came to discover on this journey.

The mighty cast of volunteers who helped bring together the
costumes, food, decorations and entertainment allowed her to take her surprised husband traveling around the world without leaving home.

This non-fiction account gives many tips and ideas on how one might follow in her footsteps — even for just one special night.

“Twelve Nights with Tracey” is available at the Bookmart, Bermuda Bookstore, A.S. Cooper & Sons and the Bermuda Craft Market.

Tracey’s survival guide to Bermuda — “Tea With Tracey” — was written to help new arrivals to the island settle in quickly and happily.

Born in Alberta, Canada, the prairie girl found her first year in Bermuda quite the challenge and quickly discoverd that she was not alone.

After searching for a book to help with the adjustment and finding that it was not available, she wrote one herself in 1994.

Appearing on the best-seller list in two weeks, that first printing of 5,000 sold out in two years.

Companies requiring world-wide talent were quick to purchase bulk orders making their interview tasks much easier.

If a prospective employee had serious problems with bugs or mould or any other issues island living entailed, it’s not likely they would end up on the “short list”.

Copies were also added to the welcome kits of successful applicants to ease their adjustment to the island.

Many of them, especially men, simply sent the book home to mother or grandma to answer all their questions of “What’s it like there?”

The success of this book can be attributed in large part to Tracey’s humorous, upbeat and laid-back style told in stories as if she is sharing a pot of tea with a friend.

The second edition appeared in 2004. The third edition represents a thorough update and also includes new material as suggested by many fans of the earlier editions.

The third edition of “Tea with Tracey” is available at the Bookmart, Bermuda Bookstore, A.S. Cooper & Sons and the Bermuda Craft Market.

The author of the popular expat survival guide to Bermuda, Tea With Tracey, is to about publish a new book.

In the book, Tracey Caswell tells the story of a rather unique “birthday gift that kept on giving”.

Fed up of buying the same old birthday gifts for her husband, year in and year out, she decided she needed to get creative.

Twelve Nights With Tracey charts her five year quest to add a little spice to her marriage.

“We had been married for 20 years and I just wasn’t going to buy him another pair of slippers, tie a book or CD,” she told the Bermuda Sun.

“If I couldn’t come up with something really fun and really interesting that got me excited then I wasn’t going to give him anything and we would stop this whole gift business.”

Uniting her husband’s three loves — food, travel and...Tracey — she staged a series of 12 elaborate theme nights focusing on different countries around the world.

With a limited budget (she didn’t want her husband to have to pay for his own present), she elicited the help of numerous Bermuda characters, including some well-known chefs and entertainers. 

What ensued were theme nights from Mexico, Jamaica, India, China and many more.

Twelve Nights is a far cry from Tea With Tracey but Caswell says there are some similarities that fans may find between the books. “The style is very casual and soft — I try to use the same humour and it’s very raw ‘me’. I am not trying to write a textbook or try to sound too intelligent but I try to pretend my girlfriend is there and I am telling her a story. That formula worked before so hopefully it will again.”