This post is also available in: Suomi (Finnish)
In the beginning of September, I took a holiday. I stepped into a plane and flew to all the way to Jamaica (it’s a long way from Finland, phew!). Since coming back I’ve been mainly surrounded with moving boxes and all the fun that comes along with moving, but it also means that we have a new home, yay! So now that I’m slowly getting back to everyday life I finally have some time for blogging too.
My sister worked in Jamaica for the summer, which meant that I had a pretty good excuse to travel there at the end of her stay to enjoy some sun and heat. This was my first time in the Caribbean and I hadn’t really done any research about Jamaica before our trip, as I trusted that my sister would know all the good places there.
We arrived to Negril, that’s on the west coast of Jamaica, just as the season was ending and the rain season was about to begin. The beach was quiet and some of the hotels already closed, which turned out to be quite nice. The days were still hot and humid and on a couple afternoon there was some rain. Or more like heavy thunderstorms, as I think I’ve never seen that much rain in my life. But the rain didn’t bother us, as you can still swim and read books while it’s raining.
The most beautiful thing in Negril were the absolutely crystal clear waters, that were something really amazing. In the morning the water was really turquoise and the sand white, just like in postcards. During the day the colors got mixed and the sky and the sea started to look similar and you kind of forgot how turquoise the water really is, until you woke up the next morning and saw it again.
We went snorkeling and swimming a few times in the caves and islands in front of the beach. For me, snorkeling is like meditation, as you have to focus on your breath and on the current moment. Also just floating in the sea is like magic for all the noise in my head. You really start to relax and forget the unimportant stuff when there’s just you and the water.
We stayed in a hotel at 7 Mile Beach, which according to it’s name is 7 miles long. The beach has a lot of hotels, restaurants, bars and small stalls that sell wooden statues, beachwear, different kinds of day trips, boat cruises and snorkeling trips
Jamaican food is quite simple: lots of rice, peas, fish and seafood. My favorites were all the exotic fruits (especially those ripe mangoes, yum!) and fish in papaya or pineapple sauce. As it was so hot, I didn’t feel like eating a lot during the day so we just had some smoothies and fruits and then in the evening we tried out different restaurants. The best smoothies and vegetarian food was on the beach in a place called Vegetarian Cafe. Or maybe it might have a different name, or a few names, you can never be sure. You can get smoothies also in pretty much every restaurant but ask them without syrup, as they add it to a lot of drinks. For dinner my favorites were Rockhouse and Ivan’s Bar, which both had delicious food and a gorgeous view too.
The service is slow, always and everywhere, but that’s just part of the culture. So take it easy, relax and maybe bring a book with you if you get bored easily.
There’s a lot of people selling lobsters on the beach and grilled lobsters are served in many cruises and trips. And I think I spotted lobster in every restaurant menu as well. I’m not the biggest fan of lobster but it was pretty memorable to eat freshly caught lobsters that were grilled in front of us after we had been snorkeling. And I truly believe that they tasted a lot better there on the beach eaten by hands than in a fancy restaurant.
Jamiaca is known for its sunsets and there’s something magical in them that makes everything look pink. There’s something really relaxing and calming in those sunsets and while you’re sitting on the beach looking at the sun you really feel like being on a holiday – and far from home.
I’m usually the one that makes to do lists and trip plans for a holiday and I pack carefully to be sure I have all I need. Taking the right stuff with you is important but it’s even more important to have a relaxed attitude with you. You don’t have to be efficient, be gracious to yourself instead. Do a hundred different activities if you want to, or just lie on the beach. Do things you enjoy, whether it’s something boring or something crazy.
Traveling is wonderful and exciting but luckily I love being at home too. And the best thing being at home is that now I can start dreaming of the next adventure to somewhere else. Have a beautiful beginning of autumn, friends!