Wow! September already! Where has the time gone?
With business not as bustling as normal, I decided to spend some quality down time in Jamaica where I have a house. I never tire of it and it is truly a paradise. Roaring rivers, mountains, beautiful gardens, 100+ year-old churches, lighthouses and hidden caves to explore, old canons from an era long past; while many feel it is all sun and fun, I think it is much more. It is such a rich and diverse culture.
While the pre-packaged tours are fantastic, I find that with my clients, they appreciate a more personal view of Jamaica. And, with my detailed knowledge, I can give it to them. How many of you have gone there and perhaps stayed with a local family or may even have a place of your own to stay? Have you ever gone to one of the many rivers running through the island? Not simply the ones in the fancy brochures. It warms my heart and reminds me that we are “one people” when I see the kids jumping in the rivers (both mine and the locals) with smiles a mile wide having such a good time even though the water is as cold as ice. And, as a bonus, I did not have to spend a fortune for them to enjoy themselves. We cooked right by the river, building a fire from the wood we gathered in the area, I guess it was more like camping out, except we did not sleep there.
We went to Middle Quarters where the vendors sell their bags of really spicy crawfish by the roadside, ate from a little roadside shop selling jerk chicken. We stopped by a stall where a Rasta man was selling cold coconut water. It was the true, local, real Jamaica!
Did you know there is a large German community in Jamaica? A group of Germans landed there in 1835 and stayed. Only recently they began to integrate with the “locals.” It is always seems like a mind trick when you come across a blond-haired, blue-eyed German with a heavy Jamaican dialect.
While we have enjoyed our home there, there are still so many areas other areas of Jamaica for us to visit and explore and I look forward to the chance to do just that. As my in depth knowledge expands, I am better able to design the perfect vacation experience for my clients. How many of you do community tourism?
Every country I visit I try to get a feel for how the people really live, I want to see beyond the great resorts and food. I want to see the people. I am well on my way for Jamaica and there are others on my bucket list. Do you work with immersive travel? How do you do it? Do you feel your clients get it and appreciate that type of experience more than others?
Jenna Kameka, with Outstanding Destinations, is a Certified Sandals Specialist, GI Wedding Consultant, and a Specialist for Jamaica, Mexico, Cayman Islands, and Puerto Rico. She is also an Anchorage Wild Expert and specializes in destination weddings & honeymoons.