Feeling like she’s finally home
Trené Todd was nervous getting on the plane to Bermuda.
It was her first time visiting her father’s birthplace, and she didn’t want to stick out.
“My aunt Nancy Cruz warned me to wear something red and blue,” said the 26-year-old, who arrived just before Cup Match. “I’d brought a blue dress but couldn’t find red earrings to go with it.
“So I had a black jumpsuit with a red stripe. I brought that. I was really nervous hoping my outfit was good enough.”
She was thrilled when she got off the plane on July 30 and found she fit in.
“Everyone was wearing red and blue or blue and blue and were proud,” she said. “It was amazing to see all the colours.”
Her father, Troy Todd, moved to the United States at the age of 7 in 1968 after his mother Sharon married American Willy Langley.
“He was 25 the first time he visited Bermuda again,” Ms Todd said. “His sister, Nancy, was 17 when they moved to the United States and remembers a lot more.
“She actually went back to Bermuda to live for several years, before coming back to the United States. She lives in Virginia now.”
The Californian longed to know more about her heritage while growing up in Sacramento. There were hints of Bermuda culture — her late grandmother always brought macaroni and cheese to family functions and spoke with what Ms Todd interpreted as a British accent.
In April of 2017, she sat down with her aunt to learn more.
“She made me a traditional Bermudian brunch with codfish and potatoes, avocado and bananas,” Ms Todd said. “She showed me a lot of photos of my great-grandmother, Evie Todd.”
She learnt that the family was from Bailey’s Bay but moved to the South Shore in Warwick when her grandmother was young.
“I felt like I never knew there was all this culture in Bermuda,” Ms Todd said. “I really wanted to see it.”
Her aunt invited her to join her here for Cup Match this summer.
“I’d never been before because I didn’t have the time,” Ms Todd said. “She said, ‘Save up your money’. She visits Bermuda regularly; she’s the only one in the family that does. I’m the third of seven children and the only one to visit Bermuda, so far.”
Once here, she was thrilled with the reception she got from her cousins.
“I was just so surprised by the love that I received when I met them,” Ms Todd said. “When you meet family, you don’t know if you will get along and whether they will receive you.
“My family is just amazing. My cousin Trevanda Todd Christopher cooked so much for us and really made me feel like I was supposed to be at her house at this appointed time.”
She went to Somerset Cricket Club for the first day of the annual match and found it exciting.
“The cricket was very intricate,” she said. “I did have some trouble following it, at first. To be honest, I spent more time meeting new cousins and trying different foods.”
She particularly enjoyed the Crown & Anchor tent.
“I have never witnessed anything like that,” she said. “It was very crowded, but everyone was in this state of happiness. It wasn’t a big deal if you won or you didn’t win.”
When Ms Todd returned home after ten days in Bermuda, she shared her experiences in her lifestyle blog Trendy ERA.
“Growing up, I never felt connected to the island,” she wrote. “I’ve always heard how beautiful the island was and how much culture we have, but hearing it wasn’t enough and now after finally visiting, I can honestly say I feel like an island girl.
“The moment I touched down on the island, I felt a sense of belonging and to meet some of my family I’ve never met was even more fulfilling.”
The comments from her readers were all positive.
“It was honestly one of the best responses I have ever received with any of my blog posts,” she said. “It was just great that people received and could see what I was feeling when I visited Bermuda.
“That is what I wanted them to be able to feel through my experience. It was a life-changing experience for me.”
Ms Todd, who earned a journalism degree in 2014, worked for digital broadcast network Afterbuzz TV covering the BET Awards in 2016 and 2017.
Then she lost interest in celebrities. She started her blog in June.
“I turned my niche over to lifestyle,” she said. “That is what I have been doing this past year. I write about travel, and food and restaurant experiences.”
She’s already planning to return for Cup Match next year.
“I called my father and was going on and on about how great the trip was,” she said. “He said he’s going to come with us next year.”
Read Trené Todd’s blog here: trendyera.com
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