Jamaica is one place that left me utterly perplexed. Onyx and I visited Negril a few years ago for my friend’s wedding. All signs pointed to one of best getaways of my life: celebrating love, curry everything, beaches, umbrella drinks and sun. But no. Sadly, I was disappointed. The nerve. I’m Ms. I’m So In Love With Every Country, Island and Cove. How dare I not fall in love with the island of “respect”? Somehow, Jamaica was a downer.
In short, the reason I didn’t fall for the island was because I encountered numerous unfriendly and impatient people. According to my imagination, Jamaica was just like the Bahamas, where the motto is, “take ya time and hurry up.” In reality, it was more like, “move it…chop, chop, chop.” The trip was not as irie as I’d hoped. When I returned home, I slouched whenever I had to answer, “How was it?” All I could ever give was an “Eh…” And the reactions I received from people that had visited Jamrock were unanimous, “You HAVE to go back. That is not Jamaica.” So, I recently decided to heed their advice. Next year, I’m going back! And I’m bringing the crew.
No shade to Negril, but we most likely won’t revisit that area. Instead, we’re looking to get to know other parishes. Trelawney (Falmouth), Saint James (Montego Bay), the South Coast and Kingston (yes, the good ole badlands of Kingston) are where we plan to leave our marks. Maybe we can even sneak in a stopover to Cuba…
The goal is for JA to become a bestie. To do so, here’s what our ideal trip would contain:
Food. Cause duh.
Jamaican ranks #2 on my favorite types of food; followed by Indian and preceded by Mexican. Aside from coconut shrimp, stew fish and fried plantains, I heard there are some killer lobster patties in Kingston. And there’s a local favorite seafood restaurant that boasts its fresh foods and fresh seasonings. Sounds like there will be no Lawry’s. All this will lead up to the best ice cream, made with Jamaica’s finest flavors. And that’s just day one…
Kingston has a captivating story. Beyond its menacing image, it inhabits the once richest port in the world (Port Royal), a subpopulation of people that has a medieval lifestyle and the Coronation Market, where shoppers converge from all angles of the island and various international countries. Talk about culture-fied.
Seeing contrasts makes a complete travel experience. So, after visiting the bustle of Kingston and the beloved sights in Montego Bay and Falmouth, a quick visit the tranquil south coast/countryside will make the trip whole.
Best of Both Worlds
Contrast traveling includes lodging. While we’re partial to a locally owned bed and breakfast, we’ll nevaaa refuse a night or two in a high roller’s suite, as done in Cancun. We’re gonna get a dose of both ends.
Just to reiterate, I refuse to accept that my first experience with (unwelcoming) Jamaicans as truth. We’re making five Jamaican friends, minimum. That could happen while shopping for lipstick, frolicking on Hellshire Beach or watching Jamaican Folklore. We may even dive into community tourism, which was established to give visitors a chance to explore the gems of Jamaica with Jamaicans. Right up our alley!
Ok, we might go back to Negril for this….
Hmm. I’m ready now! 🙂 🙂 🙂
*We do not own the rights to the above pictures*