So I am finally back. Jamaica is/was paradise. Our one week vacation turned into two weeks (we couldn't bear to leave) and even though I have been home for about 10 days, I still feel like I left a big part of me in Jamaica. I felt this way when I came home from India, too... You see, I don't do the touristy travelling thing. No all inclusive, plastic, environmental nightmare resorts for me! I was shocked to learn that many of those places do not even allow local Jamaicans to walk on their beaches, never mind actually enter the resort (unless of course they are there to work for slave wages...) We had a real Jamaican experience and I am forever grateful for it!
We (me, my sista/bff Barbara, and little Lincoln) stayed at the adorable and very real-life Jamaican Ansell's Thatchwalk Cottages on Negril Beach. We started and ended every day with a swim in the perfect aquamarine sea. In fact, Lincoln even learned how to swim all by himself while we were there! The healing vibes that come from that gorgeous water cannot be expressed in words...
However, the best thing about the whole trip wasn't the beauty, the sea, the food, the excitement of the whole thing, no, it was the incredible people. You see, Barbara is married to a Jamaican man, named Owen, who has three of the most darling brothers in the entire Universe. The three brothers (Norris, Howie, and Vanlie) basically took care of us the entire time we were there. They got us anything we needed, cooked for us, took us all over the place and made us laugh countless times. They were fantastic!
We also got to take a trip up into the mountains to Barbara's mother in law's house. It was an incredible and totally mind blowing experience to see how people can live so simply off the land and be so much happier than most affluent Americans... We had a wonderful time with all of the nieces and nephews, who were all so brave, smart, and hysterical! They picked fresh cacao pods for us and showed us how to eat the lovely fruit. Interestingly, they often throw away the cacao beans, which, by the way, were an astonishing purple color!
As far as food goes, Jamaica is very vegetarian/vegan friendly in the form of Ital cooking, the traditional food of the Rastafarian's, who we all know I hold an extra special fondness for... We ate at a great place called "Just Natural" and also at the more fancy "Hungry Lion". I wasn't focused on eating raw, even though it would have been fairly easy to do. I was having too great of a time to worry about it! Howie and Norris cooked real Jamaican food for us and it was great. One morning Norris showed up with a big bag of ackee, yams, and breadfruit, all fresh picked from his Mom's trees! We definitely would not have gotten that at an "all-inclusive"!
My experience in Jamaica was perfect. I didn't ever want to leave and I could see myself living there very easily. I felt fantastic and beautiful and free. I felt myself thriving and was blissfully happy. Lincoln felt the love too and it was great to see him experience the West Indian side of himself! Now that we are back in Florida and back to "reality", whatever that means, I am realizing that a major shift occurred in me during my time in Jamaica. My priorities have changed and it will be interesting to see how it manifests in my life...
Most importantly, I want to send my hugest dose of gratitude to my darling sista Barbara for making the whole adventure possible and for being such a loving and supportive blessing in my life! Thank you more than I can ever express! xxoo
Big ups to all of you peaceful warriors out there! Big love and Irie vibes to each and every Emperor and Empress! One Love!