I feel very lucky to have roots in such a beautiful and vibrant country as Jamaica. Visiting never gets old, as the energy and spirit of its people keep it forever young. Jamaica is the first place I traveled to outside of America. My aunt’s wedding in 1993 took the family overseas together for a trip that was quite memorable, and one we still talk about in great detail to this day.
Over the years I've always found myself back in Jamaica, navigating from parish to parish as I met family for the first time, stopping along the road to pick fruit and eat street food like crab boiled in a curried stew and corn with coconut.
Of course a trip to Jamaica wouldn’t be complete without a pit stop at one of it’s most popular beaches, Hellshire, located in the capital city of Kingston. While there, one can sit right along the beach and enjoy fresh, seasoned crab with bammy (cassava flatbread), festival (fried dough), and of course, Jamaica’s signature beer, Red Stripe.
Despite Kingston’s dangerous reputation, it has been good to me and many visitors who choose to fly into its airport, Norman Manley International, as opposed to Montego Bay‘s Sangster International Airport. I’ve always felt safe and blessed to visit such a notable city.
Kingston is home to one of the world’s most beloved musicians, Bob Marley. Though he is only with us in spirit now, his home at 56 Hope Road is now a museum and still used to record studio sessions by artists including his children Stephen and Damian Marley.
Recently visited by the U.S. President Barack Obama, it offers an in-depth tour of Bob's home, the walls still punctured with bullets from the shooting in 1976, and a video documentary at the end of tour with never before seen footage of the Wailers. Quite a moving and personal experience, definitely worth the visit.
Everyone who touches foot on the island will have their own adventure and personal account, but one thing’s for sure: Jamaica is special. Get out of your all-inclusive resort and safely explore all that Jamaica is. Don’t be afraid of mountainous cliffs and the powerful accents that are actually quite enchanting. Take it all in, be safe, and thank me later!