On my personal Instagram page this month, I asked my followers what would they like to know about me or my blog and that I’d answer during my five-day 2nd anniversary celebratory blog-a-thon. I usually write from a more aloof position since I try to be very objective and matter-of-fact in sharing my adventures, but every now and again I welcome sharing more of me in my writing. Without further ado, here are my answers to those questions plus a few other questions I’ve received during this blog’s 2 year existence or just general facts I felt would be interesting to share!
What made you decide to start blogging?
(My favourite question to answer. It’s long, bear with me). As a child I barely went anywhere for one reason or another– didn’t have a family vehicle, couldn’t afford travelling locally and definitely not overseas (although I have left Jamaica twice). However, I read a lot and often daydreamed I would travel eventually to the places I read about one day. After an outing with friends to Reggae Falls in January 2016, I realized I barely knew my island at all and started taking my travel daydreams more local. For a while, I still believed I couldn’t afford even that or would need a car, but I still made a hobby of looking up and writing/keeping a mental list of places I’d like to visit from social media and online searches, often from articles with names like “12 places you didn’t know existed” etc. After I accomplished my first trip with public transport on December 16, 2016 with my then-boyfriend, inspired by a foreigner who had done a similar trip solo, I had an epiphany that ah! Travel can be inexpensive and accomplished by public transport! I wanted to share that travel philosophy with family, friends and anyone else who may be interested in visiting Jamaican places they never knew could be so accessible, or probably had never considered visiting before or even knew had existed. Since getting a car, my trips have mostly been with private transport but my off-the-beaten-path budget travel philosophy remains the same.
Reason behind your choice of blog name?
My name is Rochelle, and I’ve used the Elle portion of it before in usernames of all sorts. Elle means she (French) and to me, it sounds a lil’ fancy (ha!). Plus, since this blog documents my personal travel adventures, Adventures from Elle sounded fitting. I’d considered a blog name with something local/Jamaican-sounding, but I wanted the freedom to eventually expand my writing beyond the scope of Jamaica when my travels start taking me overseas.
Your 6 most memorable 2018 adventures? (In descending order:)
- Gut River…. most memorable trip of 2018 because of who I shared this adventure with, the road to get there being the most remote corner of Jamaica I’ve ever experienced in my life, where my fuel was low, the roads made me fret for the car and the hundreds of goats at which we had to blare the horn to clear the road (repeatedly. I’m not even exaggerating. The animals here are NOT used to cars at alllllll 😂😂😂).. made this hands down the funniest experience I’ve had all year. We still laugh about this day and I smile to myself every time I see a goat in the road. P.s. I really ask my friends to visit the weirdest places. Bless their souls. Neither of us were surprised when this drug bust occurred later this year on that same road. It really is too cut off from civilization.
- Kwame Falls…. again, bless the souls of my friends who trusted me enough to undertake this trip by public transport, hiking without a guide and with zero idea how to find the waterfall. We got lost a few times and it was awesome!… in retrospect).
- Frenchman’s Cove…. ’twas my birthday trip with some of my closest friends, also the first time my best friend was coming on an adventure with me since this blog grew while she had been overseas teaching English in Colombia.
- Appleton Rum Estate…. driving my colleagues back to our student accommodation after a rum tour where I thoroughly indulged was not the wisest thing, but I promise we waited a while before leaving.
- Dunn’s River Falls…. my mom isn’t an off-the-beaten-path person so I get happy when she comes anywhere with me. Even if it meant picking the most commercialized attraction in Jamaica.
- Breadnut Valley Falls…. the first of hopefully many local travel blogger girl trips! Post coming before 2019 if I can manage it.
Favourite food experiences this year?
Mi sorry fi burst unu bubble, especially since I got this question x 2. 😅 I don’t eat out much guys, and I never do restaurant/food reviews. I know my niche and enough other awesome local bloggers (e.g. here, here and here) already cover this content. But still, here are my favourite 2018 food/drink experiences:
- The best sweet and sour pork at Taurus Garden in Sovereign North, Liguanea.
- Best cheeseburger at Triple Century in New Kingston.
- Best cocktail menu and prices at A-BAR Restaurant & Lounge, Spring’s Plaza, Half-Way-Tree.
- As always, best coffee with a view at Cafe Blue in Irish Town. 😍
- And I quite liked the ambience at Yummy Cafe in Northside Plaza, Liguanea, a new restaurant & chill spot on the block.
Favourite adventure ever?
Blue Mountain Peak, hands down. I’m a lot fitter now than April 2017 so I’d like my re-do of this trip.
Worst adventure ever?
Lawd gee… I genuinely don’t have one. Bad customer service at a food establishment, sure, but thankfully no negative travel experiences to date. *knocks on wood*
What do you do besides chase waterfalls?
I’ve only been to 11 waterfalls in my life lol guys. And I’ve still yet to revisit any of the waterfalls I’ve been to, so I’ve literally only ever seen a waterfall 11 times in my life. But anyway, so much more! I’m a final year medical student so I study a whole lot, or worry about why I should be studying while watching Youtube or reading all sorts of random articles on the Internet. When I’m not doing either, I’m usually sleeping. I love to sleep. I still get at least 6 hours or more most nights. (Medical students reading this, come at me).
Favourite type of adventure?
Well, gosh. If I answer waterfalls, then the above question will seem valid.
Do you earn money from blogging?
No actually, but I have thought about it. Earning money from blogging requires some initial captial injection and then quite a bit of effort with SEO optimization, social media content creation etc. It’s actually a lot of work which I currently cannot dedicate time to, but I may eventually. For now, it’s just a hobby I thoroughly enjoy.
Vlogging or nah?
In the future possibly, but no immediate plans. Right now, graduating on-time in 2019 is my only goal. After internship and with a GoPro, camera, tripod or for starters, a better phone, perhaps I’ll take the plunge. Will definitely have a lot to learn.
Link me for future trips, nuh?
I’d like to say yes but I don’t make promises I can’t keep.
Weh yuh ago do when you done explore Jamaica?
Somewhere will always deh bout a yaad fi explore. I don’t feel like I’ve even scratched the surface. There are still 3 parishes of Jamaica I’ve yet to visit. And plus, like I said, I didn’t choose the name Adventures from Elle for nothing. Eventually I’ll travel overseas more frequently and write about those adventures too. You can bet they’ll have the same theme.. off-the-beaten-path, do-what-the-locals-do kind of travel and just enjoying authentic experiences with the people, food and culture of the places I visit. All-inclusive/ tourist-trap/ beach resort travel definitely holds zero appeal for me… and I do think of myself as day trip queen. 👑 (It’s cheaper & suits my introverted personality quite nicely too).
Learnt anything new? Hope this was as fun reading as it was to put together.
‘Til tomorrow, friends. ✌🏽