Don’t worry, this isn’t my usual response to a British Winter! There’s something to be said for powering through and muttering about the rain/sleet/snow every time you strike up a conversation. However with an annoying skin issue and constant colds, I needed a bit of a pick-me-up that wasn’t available in Boots.
Holidays are quite a big deal for me and I’m not the kind of person who has the next few year’s worth of trips planned out. As I mentioned in my travel goals post, I want to make exploring the world a priority again and visiting my grandparents in Jamaica was first on the list.
Now I’m older, I want to learn as much about my heritage as possible and soak up family stories. You see, a lot of us may end up ticking the ‘Black Caribbean’ box on census forms, but actually feel unfamiliar with what it’s like there. Also, the Jamaica I’ve been able to experience is completely different to the all-inclusive resorts and odd film reference.
It’s taken a few visits to really get to grips with the stark differences juxtaposed with the beautiful scenery. You may be in the main shopping area and end up passing a herd of goats, plus I spotted someone who was adamant about driving on the wrong side of the motorway.
Catch up on my posts
Ages ago I’d casually said to Lucy ‘Oh, you should come with me’ and wasn’t expecting an immediate yes. Cue me freaking out about the logistics, state of emergency in Montego Bay and trying to assure her family it’d be safe.
Although it’s painted as a paradise, Jamaica is a third world country, which can be dangerous in parts. When situations such as the state of emergency arise, it makes it all the more important to create useful, balanced travel content, rather than just showing perfect beach snaps. I don’t want people to dismiss Jamaica because of fear and I’ve planned a series of posts with plenty of practical tips and insights.
In short it’s a beautiful place, rich with culture and things that you wouldn’t experience anywhere else. Fortunately, the worst thing that happened to me was crashing my drone into a tree (top tip, don’t Google ‘How high does my drone go?’ when you’re flying it).
Apart from a bit of cat-calling, everyone I met was friendly, willing to chat and this was probably my most adventurous trip yet. I also relished the impromptu history lessons by my Nan (whilst eating ackee and saltfish obvs) and getting a bit of perspective. Listening to stories of the institutional racism that affected my family was pretty tough but just seeing how content and grateful my grandparents are reminds me that I need to get out of the bubble I’m in more often.
There’ll be more from Jamaica very soon, but here’s some of my video content so far!