03 Aug Recap 2015 – Forward Ever, Backward Never
2015 is coming to an end and so we’ll wrap it up with a recap, looking back on our main events of the year.
But first of all we want to say – big up to all of you for the love, support and contribution to Real Jamaica! We’re all part of this growing community and together we’re setting the new tone for tourism, traveling, and more so – for people all over the globe to connect and bond.
Spring Tour 2015
Our first research and mapping tour went on between February through May 2015, where we traveled Jamaica to expand the project and widen our network. To do this, we:
- Visited new guesthouses and featured them on our website
- Explored new places to get more insight of the island and its many attractions
- Met and talked with locals to learn about the country and make new connections
- Documented the journey with photos and videos to share everything with our community.
Smile Jamaica TV Interview
Johannes participated in TV-show Smile Jamaica to speak about the project, what we believe in and promote the on-going spring tour. Thanks to this, new guesthouses got in touch with us and we made some new collaborations with other businesses.
Start Up Jamaica
This year we became a part of Start Up Jamaica. This means we have access to their office space in Kingston, where we can work in a highly inspiring environment together with interesting and driven Jamaican entrepreneurs. We have further plans to team up with some of these start-ups, and we are excited to see what synergetic effects and the impact we will have of working together.
Some voices from our team sharing what Jamaica meant to them personally this year.
Busting myths – the danger of traveling Jamaica
Nicole went from Sweden to travel Jamaica alone and bust some myths about the dangers of traveling the island.
“Going to Jamaica on my own was a dream coming true. I always wanted to visit the island, but didn’t want to stay in resorts or just hang out with tourists. I wanted to see, feel and become a part of the real Jamaica, experience life from the perspective of locals – but the rumours of its danger made local traveling seem like a big risk.
Traveling almost every parish, I hung out with locals and stayed in everything from charming guesthouse rooms to bamboo cottages and lofts. I learned patois, how to cook ackee on a beach bonfire, and had magical outdoor showers with nothing but the full moon and fireflies as my light. I mean, resorts can definitely be comfortable, but where could you ever have experiences like this? I wouldn’t trade anything for the memories I made – real Jamaica is remarkable.”
Revisiting old friends
Florentina went back to the island to revisit old friends she made on her last trip and since has stayed in touch with. This is what we love and what our community is about – we believe one of the amazing things about traveling local is the long lasting friendships you’ll make.
“When I think back on my year 2015, I realize how Jamaica played such a big role in it. In February, my 6-months stay came to an end and I left the island feeling very sad but knowing that I would be back soon. I didn’t expect it to be as soon, but in September I decided to spend my holidays again on the island of One Love. It was also around that time that I started managing the RJ-instagram account. It brings me so much joy to receive daily updates from all the beautiful instagram-accounts and receive so many likes, comments and shares of our pictures.
Amongst many, my top 2 highlights in the last year have been:
The Bob Marley Birthday celebrations in February, starting with a blissful concert of my favorite new-roots reggae artists at the Bob Marley Museum on Friday, a massive concert at the waterfront on Saturday and finishing with the original Trench Town Rock concert on Sunday. 70 years and the legacy continues!
A full moon Blue Mountain peak hike! This very unique experience made me physically reach my limits, but once you stand on top of the mountains, watching the sun rising, you know it was worth the pain! Leon, a guide from the Jamaica Hiking and Heritage Tours is not only an expert on finding the best hiking trails, but can tell you a story you about every plant, bird and butterfly that you encounter while hiking.
I give thanks for an unforgettable year 2015 and I feel blessed to be part of the RJ-family. One Love!”
2015 of Real Jamaica in numbers
We put a lot of time, effort and love into our project. And with every month, we grow bigger and become better. Here are a few numbers to keep track of the progress at Real Jamaica. (As from 27.12.2015)
- 20 Guesthouses online
- 20 Volunteers working with us
- 2769 members in the backpacking group
- 9254 Facebook Likes
- 2546 Instagram Followers
- 275 Twitter Follower
Sneak peak on 2016
In January we’re setting off on our 2nd research and mapping tour, where we will be in Jamaica for 3 months and travel the island, visit more guesthouses, meet old and new friends, and develop our business collaborations. Do you run or know a guesthouse you think should be featured on Real Jamaica? Sign up here or forward this link to your favorite guesthouse owner!
We give thanks for 2015, and all your love & support throughout the year.
It’s amazing to see so many people supporting and contributing towards Real Jamaica. With every day we grow stronger and get better, thanks to you and our amazing team. We have many new ideas to realize, great motivation and much excitement for 2016. It’s gonna be large! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to find out what’s next to come.
I’m a freelance writer, social changemaker and world traveler.