2021: Mid-Year Mark

The ability to reflect on the past and use it to plan for the future is one of the abilities which sets humans apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. I reflect at the close of every chapter of my life, be it relationships, leaving an old job, ending an academic year and certainly, at the mid point of every year. I’ve been sharing mid-year reviews since 2018 to summarize what I’ve been up to so far and where I’ve reached in my goals. Read on for a few life updates and what to expect from Adventures from Elle for the rest of 2021.

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Decorate Your Home With PhotoWall Wall Prints

A home ought to tell a story of the people who live there, their passions and their history. A home should also inspire its occupants and fuel their creativity. Photowall is an international wall-art company headquartered in Sweden which does just that. Passionate about creating inspiring living spaces with their canvases, posters, framed prints and wallpapers, Photowall was founded in 2006  when brothers Niklas and Charlie Johansson realized that the selection of personalized wall art on the market was relatively limited. With their technical background and a strong interest in design, they decided to try something new by printing wallpaper digitally. Without any previous printing experience, the brothers bought their first digital printing press in 2006, and the rest is history.

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2020 Year In Review

What a year! 2020 was not what we were expecting, and I still find it hard to wrap my mind around the one million deaths and counting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Thankfully, my relatives and friends all ended 2020 alive and healthy, and the few who were infected recovered nicely. For me, 2020 was a year filled with many disappointments and challenges, but it was also a year of immense personal growth and a modest amount of blog growth too. Today I take a look back on the year that was in terms of personal life, adventures, blog growth, milestones and 2020’s top posts.

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What’s Elle Up To?

I decided to do this check-in post for my consistent readers who may be wondering where I am and how I’m doing. I’m alive and well, just busy, so I haven’t posted all month. I’ve been posting consistently on my blog’s new Instagram account though which is inching closer to its first thousand followers and I’m happy about that. If you use Instagram, and aren’t already following, please go follow right now!

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Rediscover Jamaica at The Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites

The Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay on Jamaica’s North Coast is a five-star all-inclusive hotel that prides itself on luxury as much as safe and responsible tourism. Jamaica reopened its borders on June 15, but in spite of this, there has been a huge push for locals to explore home and experience the sights, scents and tastes of Jamaica which are not often marketed to us. This campaign by the Jamaica Tourist Board is known as Rediscover Jamaica and has been hailed as a huge success thus far, with more and more locals making reservations at the country’s leading resorts, and is possibly the largest wave of locals exploring yaad. This uptick in ‘staycations’ is also due in part to the numerous deals and specials put in place by these large all-inclusive hotels to appeal to a local crowd, and I’m here for it! Millions of people save for months and years to afford a trip to Jamaica, while Jamaica is our birthright. With that said, if you’re looking for another great location for your next staycation, look no further than Iberostar.

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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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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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