Here are some views from around the island of Jamaica:
While taking a couple hour drive from Montego Bay airport to the far west coast to Negril, you will start thinking where your resort resides – because you don’t see anything for miles and the ride takes forever. The hotels tend to be clumped together in rows; the destination signs will appear by the road. The cottages sit further in to the property, not seen from the vehicles passing by.
My husband and I stayed at a small cottage resort called Country Country; we had a small cottage to ourselves. The interiors showcase bright colors and Jamaican feel architecture. We wanted to stay somewhere that felt Jamaican, instead of a huge expansive hotel that looks the same no matter where you are located in the world.
The walkways through the grounds lead you by all the quaint cottages, down to the beach. Country Country includes an on the beach restaurant, with complimentary breakfasts and full bar (I couldn’t use the bar because I was pregnant, but my husband enjoyed it). The resort has a smaller piece of beach, set aside for the resort with lounge chairs. The grounds stay quiet, but if you want more of a party atmosphere, you can head down the beach and find Margaritaville just 5 minutes away.
If you want to experience what Jamaica is like, I would suggest Country Country (plus the cost stays really low, and Groupon sometimes has great prices on the place). The trip to Negril also allows you to view the countryside and see how the Jamaicans really live. However, if you desire a more pampered and secluded vacation, I would suggest an all-inclusive hotel.
While in the middle of my pregnancy last year, my husband and I went on a “baby-moon.” However, when we booked our trip to Negril, Jamaica, we didn’t yet know of our little peanut. So, I couldn’t experience everything that everyone else got to do: drinking, long bus rides (due to my horrible nausea), and certain foods were off the table for me. However, my pregnancy didn’t detour me from the beach.
Every morning, we viewed the white sand meeting the turquoise water from our seats while eating breakfast. Each morning meal had a side of local fresh fruit – I loved the papaya! You could occasionally view the little sand crabs sneakily scurrying in and out of the ground sideways along the beach. After breakfast, you put layers of sunscreen on, due to the humidity melting it off or the Sea washing it off. The amazingly rich color of the water cannot be found anywhere else but the Caribbean. The Sea sparkled as the sailboats and glass-bottom boats line the shore.
Unfortunately, the low life peddlers wait along the shore to irritate the crap out of you. They are the most persistent and rude people I have ever been around – they all say “respect mon,” but these Jamaican sells-men haven’t a clue what “respect” means. These people will grab you as you walk by, tell you that they are super poor and need money for their children while pulling out a cellphone to show you a picture of their child (not very bright), and will follow you down the beach. Not to mention the majority of them assuming you’re in the market for “ganja.”
It’s very sad that these people litter Jamaica, leaving visitors not wanting to come back, hurting Jamaica’s tourism. However, if you edit these peddlers out from your memory, then Jamaica becomes a beautiful place again.
My journey around Europe came to a close, with my last stop on the British Isle. London provided the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, beautiful parks, and countless other places I remember with joy. I look back and feel so lucky to have spent a month as a free bird across 10 countries. I viewed countless landscapes, historic landmarks, and took a crazy amount of pictures. I stayed in hostels with other people from numerous countries, slept on night trains, and used charades to communicate with everyone who didn’t understand English. Every day as a backpacker, I woke up excited to pick which country to visit; the Eurorail gives you countless destinations at your fingertips. Each morning, I spontaneously choose which direction to go and allowed myself to get lost for fun. Normally, people stress the heck out when lost, but when you allot yourself a month to do whatever you want, you don’t need to worry about a thing.
The next several months after settling back into life on U.S. soil, daily life seemed so boring compared to the adventures I experienced. The smallest things still remind me of my travels and make me long to go back; as an example, the intercom at doctor’s offices calling numbers remind of a train boarding announcement. Ask anyone who traveled as a backpacker in Europe, they’ll carry the same excitement about their journeys (and we could talk for hours and hours about backpacking Europe).
I can’t wait to make my way back across the Atlantic; until then, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to travel the world – you will never regret it!
London can be described as a place rich with historical architecture as well as modern contemporary pieces. Old pubs covered in detailed craftsmanship and paintwork sit next to high rise buildings. The Millennium Wheel watches over century’s old landmarks. Consumerism advertisements blanket the sides of buildings at Piccadilly Circus, resembling a smaller version of Times Square of New York. Here showcase of the mix of old and new: