Winnifred Beach, Portland

Winnifred Beach in Portland, Jamaica is a success story of what can happen when a community works together and fights for a worthy cause. Majority of Jamaica’s best coastline is in the hands of private owners, auctioned off and sold by the Jamaican government to large hotels and investors who rather keep the beaches of their beachfront hotels and resorts exclusive for paying guests. This practice prevents citizens from enjoying most of the country’s best beaches. It’s a prevailing notion in Jamaica that only tourists get to see and enjoy Jamaica’s finest attractions since the prices charged for us to visit these places, even with cheaper rates for locals, still make them inaccessible to many. This wasn’t something I thought much of until visiting another Caribbean island last December and realizing that not a single one of their beaches had an admission fee, and for the other attractions which did, both locals and tourists were charged the same. In fact, many Jamaican businesses which cater for tourists often ignore locals when we enter their establishments so it’s an interesting turn of events that many of these places are now trying to attract and capture support from locals since tourist arrivals are at an all-time low for obvious reason.

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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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My 30 Before 30 Bucket List

I’m always making lists of one sort or the other. I’m a planner so lists keep my thoughts organized, allow me to keep track of how many goals I’ve accomplished and remind me of my dreams and aspirations. My lists range from simple things like what chores I need to take care of that weekend (which sometimes by Sunday night stares back at me without a single tick) to as fun and exciting as my travel goals and life’s aspirations.

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How to Travel During A Pandemic

Now, now, you didn’t really think an essential worker who’s preaching “flatten the curve” would come here posting about how to travel during a pandemic, did you? Of course not. That would be wholly irresponsible of me, but I’m glad I have your attention. It’s business as usual for me everyday as I already spoke about in my previous post from the #covidchronicles. However, I’m aware that’s not the same for many of you who are staying safe at home everyday. Staying home has infected a lot of people with a serious case of wanderlust as I keep seeing a tonne of throwbacks and people lamenting having to cancel their travel plans on my social media feeds. In response, several corporate entities have made their content free as an incentive to provide home entertainment and encourage people to remain indoors.

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Ten Things to Do at Devon House Besides Eat Ice-Cream

Devon House in St. Andrew, Jamaica makes the best ice-cream I’ve ever had in my life. International critics agree too, ranking the Devon House I-Scream parlour as serving one of the world’s top 10 best ice-creams. I recently relocated to a next corner of this beautiful island so Devon House is no longer as accessible for me, but I do crave a delicious patty and ice-cream scoop set against the lovely antique theme of red brick and cobblestones ever so often. That being said, there’s so much more to Devon House than delicious ice-cream and being home to Jamaica’s first coloured millionaire. Devon House has evolved into an exciting village with gourmet à la carte restaurants, a relaxing day spa, quaint souvenir shops, a first-rate bakery, clothing stores and interesting delicatessens which slip below the radar when we brand Devon House solely as a mansion and award-winning ice cream parlour. Thus, this week I decided to share 10 other ways to enjoy this beautiful property.

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Peter Tosh Museum, Saint Andrew

Peter Tosh is a platinum-selling Grammy award winning artiste and is one of the most talented reggae musicians to emerge from Jamaica. He got his claim to fame from the Wailers, a trio which also consisted of Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Peter Tosh was born in 1944 in Westmoreland, Jamaica’s most western parish and his life was brought to a brutal abrupt end in 1987 after a home break-in and robbery-turned-murder. Tosh had a rough start with an unstable family background, shuffled around from relative to relative based on circumstances but his musical talent emerged early despite the upheavals. Tosh is a self-taught guitarist and keyboardist who got his first real taste of music and performing when he moved to Trench Town as a teenager and met his fellow band-mates in the early 1960s. He taught them how to play, and they dabbled in ska and rocksteady before finding their calling in reggae, infusing their tunes with spiritual and political messages from their newfound conversion to the Rastafari faith.

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Jamaica Rum Festival 2020: Recap & Highlights

Time sure flies when you’re having rum, I mean, fun. 2019 was the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival and social media would not let me live it down that I missed it! The pictures looked epic and even my friends and colleagues were speaking about it for days. Thus, I eagerly anticipated the second staging, knowing that the event would be here to stay given all the success it had in its first showcasing and I was not left disappointed. The Caribbean produces some of the world’s best rums and our history is intricately intertwined with the spirit. Rum production dates back from the 17th century on plantations where my enslaved African ancestors toiled to produce this lovely liquor from sugarcane and its by-product molasses, and rum became the region’s chief export product after muscovado sugar.

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The Art Exhibit in Kingston You Need to See: ‘Jamaica, Jamaica’

Jamaica, Jamaica!: How Jamaican Music Conquered the World‘ is the latest art exhibit being shown at the National Gallery of Jamaica. It opened on February 2 and closes on June 28, 2020. It’s one of the most exciting exhibits ever launched by this gallery and was aptly opened in February, locally observed as Reggae Month. This exhibit was previously shown at Philharmonie de Paris in 2017 and titled “The General” after the 1985 hit song by artiste Brigadier. Renamed Jamaica, Jamaica! after gracing local shores, this exhibit documents how the tiny Caribbean island of Jamaica was able to become a global musical force to be reckoned with. The capital city of Kingston and venue of the exhibition is recognized as the birthplace of six distinct musical genres which led to Kingston being designated official UNESCO creative city status in 2015.

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Eight Best Places to Watch A Jamaican Sunset

The sun rises and sets at roughly the same time in Jamaica each year, give and take a few minutes. This constant supply of golden sunshine is guaranteed because of our close proximity to the Equator at 18 degrees North, and is the reason behind the golden stripe on the Jamaican flag. That being said, we don’t always appreciate the beauty of the sunset in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, with buildings, billboards and rush hour traffic blocking the view. When you get a chance to slow down and admire a Jamaican sunset, here are the eight best places to do it.

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