There is no good reason why it took so long for me to visit Jamaica. Some of my best friends are from the island, and there has never been a shortage of colorful stories or kindhearted invites for me to experience their pride and joy, first hand. Despite taking far too long to pack my bags and book a ticket, my trip to Jamaica, earlier this year, left me with memories to last a lifetime.
I'm a born, bred, ga dead Bahamian, but there is something unique that links all Caribbean countries. Our accents may be in different keys, but we sing the same song. Every time I visit a new island, it always seems familiar in some way or the other.
I knew good and well that Jamaica was not the land of "yeah mon" rastas, blasting Bob Marley all day in a haze of thick weed smoke, or anywhere near the backwards, lazy stereotype that movies and media often portrays it to be. Many have tried to tack on the same description to my beloved Bahaland, but I knew better. Jamaica was more than Cool Runnings and bad man Shotta Boys. More than jerk and patties. More than a fashion statement or energetic dancehall......And, I was eager to experience the culture firsthand. My friends are a diverse bunch, and it was amazing to see where they came from, and meet their family members in person. We drove from Kingston up to Montego Bay, with Trelawny serving as our yard for the duration of our trip. And, finally being able to put faces and places to the tales I'd heard throughout the years, was surreal.
There were so many stories about childhood summers, where my friends would play in the river of one of their backyards, but I admit….I didn’t fully comprehend that there was an actual river in my friend's backyard! As we stood on the aged wooden deck of her old home, I could almost see the memories flooding back to her. Like so many countries in the Caribbean, food played a huge role in my friend's lives, and it also became an integral part of our trip. From Devon House's fresh made, flaky lobster and shrimp patties and creamy stout ice cream, to parrot fish and lobster fried and grilled fresh out of the ocean at Hellsha (Hellshire), I was in fat kid heaven right from the jump.
During my trip I climbed through ice-cold water at Dunn River Falls and glided lazily down a river on a bamboo raft. I had my fill of fresh coconut water, and returned each night to our hidden gem villa. I admit it took me a long time to post this article, but each time I put fingers to keyboard, I ended up daydreaming about my time there.
Below is a bit more information on the trip if you are looking to book.
Our Villa was located in a beautiful community, called Silver Sands, and we stayed in the Adehya Cottage. To our surprise, the villa that we booked came with a full team, including Willy, who helped us with everything, Maxine who cooked amazing food every single day, and Rosa, who kept the place spotless.