Jamaica, A Vibrant And Colorful Destination.

Jamaica

by Marianna F.

There are so many powerful ideas one can associate to Jamaica - a visit to this Caribbean gem was thus inevitable to me. Not only did I go once, but twice in a same year (with a third trip planned before end 2013). I believe that everyone will leave Jamaica with a different experience. Me? I wanted to have a taste of this vibrant and colorful destination that can at times be represented as a clichéd country. I lived with locals while hopping around the island - tourist resorts were not on my itinerary. I fell in love with Kingston - the capital and a spot few bother to stop by. It is the soul and energy of the island, the musical heritage is well alive here. There, I decided to visit Trenchtown - an impoverished neighborhood but also a place where Bob Marley spent most of his years. As a matter of fact, many of these pictures were taken in Trenchtown, and coincidence is that the Rastaman (Ital chef Cutty Kan) featured here used to cook for Marley back in the days…

To counteract Kingston’s intensity, one must then head out to “the country”. Suddenly, the rhythm slows down. The breathtaking nature is hypnotic. The air is clean. The lagoons and beaches are overflowing with bedazzling waters. The roads are dotted with mango and coconut trees. I was transported to another world, be it in Port Antonio, the Blue Mountains or the parish of Saint Mary… these places felt like paradise on earth.

Interestingly enough, on my last day heading to the airport, a woman sitting next to me on the bus told me “In Jamaica, you will find what all the other Caribbean islands have to offer. That’s what makes it so special”. I think she might be right. Jamaica is a country with a powerful identity and a strong personality that divides opinions. In my case, I developed an unexpected admiration for it. I left changed on a deeper level- among which I’ve become vegan. Most importantly however, it has made me appreciate certain things in life a lot more. I have a personal project via a crowd funding initiative to help out an Old Age Home in Trenchtown. To conclude, I would say that my visits to Jamaica allowed me to experience the true essence of travel…

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