During summer 2017, I had the privilege of going to Jamaica for two weeks with my mom. It was my second time going in twenty years. Yes I know, that sounds so bad! But the wait was worth it because I had such an amazing time and I already am itching to go again. Since it was my second time in quite some time, here are a few things I learned on my trip.
1. Jamaica is filled with rich history
On my trip, my mom and I visited the Bob Marley museum. It was such an incredible experience because we got to tour inside his beloved home and learn much more about him. One thing that stood out to me is that on the steps leading to his home, Bob Marley would often bask his guitar, sing many songs, and also give money to the homeless.
2. Leave any sense of privilege at the door
When my mom and I touched down in Jamaica, we had no phone service! As we waited for my cousin to pick us up, it seemed like a natural habit to just want to dial his number, call him, and tell him we reached the airport. However, I realized that many people in Jamaica don't have the same cellular service as I do back in the states. Further, I realized that many people in Jamaica have minutes and if they are run out, well, you're probably out of luck.
3. Pack fewer clothes next time
Like most, I overpack. I always have the mindset that it's better to be prepared for anything, just in case. This time around, I had way more clothes than I needed. Next time, I'll just post five basic outfits and call it a day.
4. Appreciate the little things
My mom and I stayed in Portmore, which is a good distance from Kingston or Clarendon, where my grandpa lives. Luckily where my cousin lived, we were within walking distance from a shopping plaza where we got our groceries, grabbed some dinner, went to the bank, or even got our nails and hair done. Walking is common in Jamaica. I noticed there were little kids walking home from school with their backpacks in tow, without any complaints. Other times, taking the bus is equally as common. But beware: they tend to try to fit as many people as they can so be prepared to lap up.
5. Take care of my grandpa
With my grandpa being in his 80s, I always think about how he is doing down there. Granted he loves being down there tending to his garden, sometimes I wish we would want to come back to the States. However, I know that as long as he is surrounded by family and doing what he can while taking care of his health, that everything will be okay.
Has traveling out of the country ever open your eyes and heart to new things? If so, let me know in the comments below!