Despite calling myself Jamaican, constantly eating Jamaican food and growing up in a part of London which is so full of Jamaicans that is basically Jamaica,until a month ago I had only been to Jamaica once.
I’ve travelled to lots of different places but shamefully never quite got around to visiting the country my family is from since the one time I went, back when I was 11 years old .
This summer I finally sorted it out and went to Jamaica with my cousins. We stayed at my nan’s house in Ochi (Ochio Rios).
Here is what I learnt about Jamaica
1. It is beau-ti-ful
This is probably a given but seeing beauty in a pretty picture is nothing compared to seeing it in real life. I felt as though my London Eyes were treated to a michelin star, gourmet meal after eating porridge with the occasional berry constantly for a few months. Random metaphor aside, it was stunning.
In Ochio Rios alone there was so much to see.
The beaches were so gorgeous that I basically lived here during my time in Jamaica.
I even saw a sea urchin when hanging at the beach one day.
A completely unexpected but amazing find was Turtle River Park which was a just a five minute walk from the beach and completely free 🙂 It was full of turtles which I took the (self appointed, unofficial) honour of naming.
This is Jeffrey.
Not far from Ochio Rios is Dunn’s River Falls which is a definite must see if you visit Jamaica. Climbing up the 180 m long water fall required the expertise of a guide to avoid slipping (watch out for the slimy, black rocks!) but it was a nice challenge. The views made any heart stopping moments on the way up worth it.
2. It is so much fun!
I also learnt that Jamaicans definitely know how to party. If there was a way you could get a PHD in partying, Jamaicans would easily get lots and probably be at the top of the World Ranking for Partying Studies.
We happened to chance upon a beach party called ‘Sandz’ one day.
It was amazing. Great music and atmosphere. I even managed to get a guy from Kingston to help me to polish my bashment moves.
The outfits were out of this world, my maxi skirt and swimming costume combo just didn’t quite cut it! I have never seen so many people of different shapes and sizes proudly wearing so little, it was lovely to see girls comfortable with how they look.
See through skirts were definitely in vogue.We even spotted a tourist with a fake butt, thankfully there only seemed to be one of those, as it’s definitely not a good look.
3. It is home
I love visiting different countries as I relish learning all about different cultures like the food that it eaten and customs. This visit I felt like I didn’t learn much which was a bit dissappointing at first but then I came to the realisation that is because I know the culture, despite growing up in ‘Foreign’ as some of those born and bred in Jamaica say, it is my culture.
Growing up in England, it’s nice to know that Jamaica is one of the places that I can firmly call home.
Jamaica is amazing. I have no idea why it took me so long to go back.
I definitely plan on visiting Jamaica lots more in the future, hopefully my next visit will not be in a decade’s time.