J A M A I C A
“Love the life you live, live the life you love.” – Bob Marley
For Jay and I, we are becoming intentional about creating adventures, traditions and memories that last a lifetime for our family. We decided that traveling was something that we collectively enjoyed as a family. True story -- anytime we are driving in the car for longer than 45 minutes, the kids begin to ask where we are going and for how long. They absolutely love to travel. This is a passion we want to continue cultivating within them by showing them that there's an entire world out there for us to see and explore.
In 2017, we were able to travel to Hawaii and it was the best vacation EVER. From then, we decided to start an annual family vacation. We didn’t get a chance to travel in 2018 (because…life) but made a decision to try our hardest to pick the tradition back up in 2019. So towards the middle to end of 2018, we began to start our plans for the Annual Harris Summer Family Vacation for 2019 and booked our flights by the end of the year.
This year for our annual family vacation, we traveled to the beautiful country of Jamaica. We primarily stayed in Montego Bay but we were also able to travel to Negril and Ocho Rios. All of the cities were equally beautiful. (I think I enjoyed Ocho Rios the best!). The house we stayed in was breath-taking. The picture above is the view right outside of our room.
During our time there, our vacation wasn't a typical "lie on the beach and splash in the water all day" type of vacation. We actually became intentional about seeing the locals and working to experience the Jamaican culture. We spent a lot time driving around looking at the people, visiting their shops, eating their food and learning about their history. I actually had some curry goat and it wasn't bad.
One place we visited was the Rose Hall Great House. It is allegedly haunted but we know Jesus so whatevs. LOL Learning about the history of the house owner and her ownership of slaves was similar to what we hear here in the States but with quite an interesting "killer" love twist. Haha
On Tuesday, we traveled to Negil and ate at the famous Rick's Cafe. They have a cliff where you're able to jump off right into a small piece of the ocean below. Jay and my Aunt jumped in multiple times and knocked this off their bucket lists. I am happy to report that this continues to lie dormant on mine. Haha.
On Wednesday, we were able to get a day pass to the Rose Hall Hilton Resort and it was absolutely EVERYTHING. We had our own cabana and were able to order drinks and food whenever we felt like it for no charge. We spent most of the day in the lazy pool with the kids. They had so much fun.
On Saturday, we went to Doctors Cave and just enjoyed some peaceful time at the beach with one another.
Other interesting facts regarding Jamaicans that we experienced:
For starters, Jamaicans drive on the left side of the street. Really fast!! They will without a second thought bypass you if you are going too slow (even if that means entering into the lane of oncoming traffic).
They walk EVERYWHERE. They are hard workers. They are expert sellers. They mind their business. Their food is amazing. The Jamaican money seems deceiving (100 Jamaican dollars is less than $1USD but $1USD is roughly 130 Jamaican dollars).
This country has a so much to offer in regards to attractions that it could actually be overwhelming (not to mention expensive as tourism is their biggest source of income). We decided to take it one day at a time and just to go with the flow of the day. We normally went to bed by 12 each night and I must say, it felt really great to turn off all of my alarms.
Spending time in Jamaica afforded me the opportunity again to see how blessed we truly are. There are so many things that are readily available to me/us here in America that I/we necessarily didn’t have access to in Jamaica. Even with all of the controversies that are constant in America, I am proud to be an African American.
I am so blessed.
We are so blessed.
In Jamaica, I was able to relax, enjoy, unwind and reconnect. There were times when my peace was challenged, but I was determined to trust God to do what He does best, work it out. That He did!
I am learning how absolute God is. Either we trust Him or we don’t. It's really that simple. God desires to be our source, our provider, our keeper, our everything. Things become much easier when we become true to completely surrendering to Him.
I have shared some photos from our trip. I hope you enjoy!