We love when travelers in our community share with us how they experienced the island of One Love. Here is a story from Therese from Norway –sharing the crucial part the Jamaican people had in making her stay unforgettable. It was a time for firsts. It was my first time going to Jamaica, and my very first time to travel all by myself. It was all kind of a “spur of the moment”thing. I was nervous, not knowing what to expect, and I had decided to say goodbye to Norway and go to Jamaica only 10 days before leaving. I always keep an open mind, and of course going to Jamaica made no exception of this. Despite being warned by everyone about potentially being robbed, raped, kidnapped and murdered, I was pretty safe in my decision and ready for a new adventure. I’m a firm believer that every little thing is gonna be alright… no matter what.
One thing I quickly picked up on was the attention from Jamaican men. As a “whitey” and “fluffy gyal” it did not take long before I got noticed. As soon as I stepped outside Sangster International Airport I got approached and before I knew it I even had places to stay throughout the island, but I kindly declined their offers. Throughout my travels I did get lots of proposals, but I never felt threatened. I quickly understood that Jamaicans are very, very honest and blunt what they see is what they say, and I found it very refreshing.
I usually took their approaches with a smile and more than often struck up a conversation. That way I made new friends, found people who willingly helped me with questions or other concerns I had, and had people looking after me. Especially in Kingston this was a good trait I found in most of the people living in the neighbourhood of my hostel, and I always felt perfectly safe when I was out on my walkabouts.
I found Jamaicans in general to be very proud, heartwarm, helpful and kind it was a cultural experience I truly never had before. I made some connections online before I arrived and these people helped me out a lot. They really worked as a safety net for me and I was glad to have the chance to meet up with many of them during my travels.
Couchsurfing I had a great experience with a man in Montego Bay – staying with him gave me a chance to for a moment live like a true Jamaican. He was an excellent host, showing me around, introducing me to other locals in the community he lived in and they were all so friendly and open. I had a coconut at the front stairs with one of the neighbours telling me all kinds of stories those are the moments that truly stick with you. And oh, how I miss those fresh coconuts.
I also stayed with a lovely woman I linked up with over Instagram, and I’m convinced she was sent from up above. I was coming down with one of those dreadful ”climate colds”, and by the time I left her house I had gotten rid the worst of my cough and stuffy nose. I’m forever greatful for her kindness. What more? Well I got myself two ”mothers” in Treasure Beach, they were so lovely and welcoming. I was the very first guest at a newly started B&B, and I was welcomed into their famiy in a way I never would have expected. I always tried taking the time to stop and talk to those I met on the road, sometimes leading to the great company I found with some locals in Negril, showing me the best time ever in the otherwise super touristy area.
I am completely in awe of all the people I met along my way and I’m sure the universe went out of its way for me to meet every single one of them now they are such a big part of my love for this country. Such vibrant people with a love for life that exceeds everything. The positivity of the Jamaicans really rubs off on you, and I dare to say they made me a much better person trying to adapt the «no problem» lifestyle into my own. Because really, there is no problem.