I Felt Safer At A Hotel Than Work.

True Story: I felt safer at a hotel which is being used as a quarantine site for tourists coming from CoVid-stricken countries, than I do every day at work. Here’s why:

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Benta River Falls, Westmoreland

Benta River Falls is a family-owned business found in the lush verdant outskirts of Savanna-La-Mar, Westmoreland. The property features a beautiful river with seven small waterfalls flowing underneath tall bamboo trees and other tropical plants which filter out the piercing afternoon sunlight to cast a cool viridescent glow over everything. What’s lovely about this gem is the owners’ commitment to sustainable tourism. Very little has been done to modify the grounds, and the the building materials for the limited buildings and staircases are eco-friendly.

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Elle’s Favourite 10 Places (Updated)

In November 2018, I published an article featuring my ten favourite places in Jamaica. Back then I hadn’t seen everywhere beautiful Jamaica has to offer, and I still certainly have not. I barely feel as if I’ve scratched the surface, and I feel I’ll be singing the same tune in another year or two when I update this list again. I’ve now published 67 places and events across 11 parishes of Jamaica in three plus years, so you know I have a lot left to see, do and experience and thus this list may be entirely different in 2021 or 2022. Check out the previous list here, and compare it to this new list of my favourite 10 places in Jamaica to see which places didn’t make the cut this time, and which ones remain. Feel free to use this as a travel guide if you’re interested in seeing the best this lovely island of Jamaica has to offer. Spoiler alert: This article is FILLED with waterfalls! Shall we begin? 🙂

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Anatomy & Physiology of a Jamaican

If I love my people one more time, my word! I came across this picture below recently and had a good laugh. We Jamaicans are very headstrong people– we name things what we want, we sometimes take English words and pronounce them HOW we want, and we refuse to stand corrected by other native English speakers. Also, English is Jamaica’s only official and national language, but the creole Jamaican Patois or Patwa is widely spoken here– a beautiful, vibrant language which is chiefly lexified by the English language but bears a lot of similarities to several West African languages in terms of words and sentence structure.

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Bob Marley Beach, Saint Andrew

When one thinks of going to the beach in Jamaica, St. Andrew is perhaps the last parish that comes to mind. Some go as far as to ask if this parish even has a beach to begin with, and I’m always happy to educate and say yes, SEVERAL! 🙂 All 14 of Jamaica’s parishes are washed by the Caribbean Sea so it’s a little weird that people assume St. Andrew doesn’t have any beaches just because it’s a largely urban parish and commercial centre. Three years ago I took a trip to the Carib and Wickie Wackie beaches which I wrote about here, and now I’m back with another lesser-known St. Andrew beach.

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Blue Lagoon & Monkey Island Tour, Portland

Blue Lagoon is located in Port Antonio, a quaint picturesque town in Portland which hasn’t been hit with mass-tourism like our other resort towns. Portland is my favourite parish in Jamaica because literally around every curve is a beautiful beach, cay, river or waterfall waiting to be discovered. Does Blue Lagoon look or sound familiar? Well, there may be a reason for that. Brook Shields’ movie by the same name Blue Lagoon (1980) was filmed in Jamaica, and it’s also a popular spot used in filming numerous Jamaican music videos. This coastal lagoon shrouded by thick lush greenery is rumoured to be bottomless in Jamaican folklore but is actually 65m (210ft.) deep at its deepest point, and its colour ranges from a deep mesmerizing royal blue to shimmering turquoise depending on the way the light hits its surface throughout the day.

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2020: Mid-Year Mark

Mid-year posts have become a trend for me two years in a row, and by the title of this post you can guess I’m writing a third. I began Adventures from Elle on December 28, 2016 and I wrote end of year recaps for 2017, 2018 and 2019, slightly changing the format each year. I try to be as candid as possible without belabouring the not-so-glamorous parts of my year. Mid-year recaps, however, keep me accountable on what has been good or bad about the year so far, allow me to identify what I’d like to improve on or accomplish before the year ends and gives insight on the adventures I have my eye set on for the rest of the year so you have an idea what posts to expect from me.

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Making Cocktails At Home 101 & An Easy Colada Recipe

I’m not a huge drinker, but I do enjoy a good bottle of wine and a delicious cocktail here and there. I usually only have cocktails when I’m out with friends, and if I’m not having a margarita, I’m ordering something with rum. I can’t help myself; I’m Jamaican and rum is quintessentially Caribbean– a fancy way of saying rum is in our DNA. However, I’ve always been interested in learning the basics of mixology so I can make my own cocktails, and that’s why Corrie from GirlAndTonic.co is here today. Let’s learn how to make cocktails from scratch at home, then put your new knowledge to the test with her easy piña colada recipe, made exclusively for Adventures from Elle.

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Five Words & Phrases I Hope Never to Hear Again After 2020

I vividly remember ringing in the New Year on the streets of Arima in Trinidad, watching the distant fireworks over the Savannah and shouting Happy New Year. I went up to the attic to get a better view of the firework show, exuberant and full of life after 2019 was such a successful one for me. I graduated with my medical degree debt-free, had been working for six months by that point, was on leave since Christmas Eve and used it to take a trip to Trinidad. I’d had a lot of lovely experiences in 2019 too– moved out on my own, went ziplining, parasailing and stayed at an all-inclusive hotel for the first time, just to name a few, and I was eagerly looking forward to what lay in store for me in 2020. 

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Ackee & Saltfish: Cooking with Jamaica’s Most Controversial Fruit

‘Rona has forced me re-evaluate the purpose of Adventures from Elle, the kind of content I want to produce and how I want to engage with my small but vibrant community going forward. I started this blog in December 2016 to inspire and show others, mainly locals, how to explore my beautiful island home of Jamaica on a budget. Traveling off-the-beaten-path in Jamaica and writing about those experiences has grown my love and appreciation of Jamaica and our culture, introduced me to a loving positive community of local, regional and international bloggers, given me some memorable experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise, grown my confidence, nurtured my creativity and developed into a hobby I thoroughly enjoy.

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