Travel Jamaica –healing to the soul.
All too often we get stuck in a rut and get caught up in mad crazy schedules going from place to place in a rush, on our cell phones, doing the groceries, picking up kids and time flies by and most of us feel tired all the time. This year why not decide on an adventurous trip to an island? Take yourself away to calm your soul and stop to read a book or actually pay attention to what your family around you is saying. Take time to immerse yourself in another culture try something new and believe me you will come back feeling well , relaxed and ready to take on the world again and also appreciate the privileges you have in your own life.
Jamaica is an island lost in time
Jamaica is an island still stuck in time. From the moment you arrive at Sangster International airport ,it is a thrill to know that true island spirit actually exists. Thick Jamaican accents greet you, punctuated with ya mon’s. Women are called “lady” and respected by men however if you have a large posterior you will get a second look in Jamaica!
If you have filled out your disembarkation form correctly you will have an easy time getting through immigration. Airport employees are polite. The moment you head out, you see a million tourist drivers, tour companies, a luxurious Sandals lounge and tour desks of every kind. Jamaica still exists on tourism as a major income. The humidity hits you right away . A Slight smell of mold, ocean, mixed with Jamaican patties are the smells of Jamaica that i can recall – a true island smell.
The drive to my hotel was 90 minutes from Montego Bay, limestone cliffs and azure blue waters were my views all the way through, I was already relaxing. I saw palm trees blowing in the wind and small houses that dotted the mountains. I saw no high rise buildings or people with business suits. Time has stood still here. I saw vendors selling orchids by the roadside or pineapples. People look poor but happy, everyone has a smile.
The sounds of Jamaica to me will always be the waves crashing in the shore and the steel drums.I heard a strange language spoken by natives which was patois ( pronounced patwa) which sounded musical and melodious.
Gorgeous I could not help saying when i saw the beaches. Soft white sands, hardly any rocks and beautiful coral reefs. Waters were always warm, calm and turquoise blue. The colors before a storm is just Gods own palette that no artist could ever create.
The food is equally outstanding, with a rich history of British and Spanish occupation and Indian and Chinese settlers, there is a melting pot of flavor and spice. Fresh fried fish is always around. The national dish is Ackee and saltfish, Akee is a fruit that is very similar to a lychee. Everyone knows jerk – a term used for a blend of BBQ spices with generous flavorings of scotch bonnet peppers which can send you to heaven or hell in one bite.
Jamaican patties are the relatives of the empanada and have a variety of chicken , beef and pork fillings wrapped in crusty pastry. The dominant spice flavorings are All spice and Thyme. There are also fried dumplings, rice and beans, curry goat, and breadfruit. Fresh Papaya, Mango, Banana, Pineapple are readily available. Longing for fresh coconut water? Someone is always willing to climb a tree and cut down one for you. Bathed in sunshine, this island and it’s people bring you peace. There is always a quiet spot to find away from the crowds that will give you the essence of what Jamaica truly is.
What should you bring back? Appleton Rum is always a nice gift, made on the island it is a flavorful
rum that goes well in any Caribbean cocktail. Tortuga Rum cake, Rum cream and a good selection of jerk sauces or spices. Strong blue mountain coffee is another favorite and of course maybe a Bob Marley t-shirt or traditional painting. Contrary to popular belief, Ganja or Marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, but widely used, and never put it in your luggage.,
A mere 4 hours will get you to Jamaica from New York, most major airlines have multiple flights a day. From France a week stay in Jamaica in August it will cost you $ 1800 ( and up) for airfare and all food at an all inclusive hotels – well worth it to rejuvenate your soul.
Must visit towns are Ocho Rios and Negril to enjoy beautiful beaches, but rent a car and explore on your own to discover true beauty and spirit. Many adventures await you, from snorkeling, caves, waterfalls, lagoons and mountains. What more to make you feel calm and well and rested.