Author: Kathryn GerkenReconnect

Reconnect with Travel

Travel helps to connect you with other areas of the world, experience different cultures and appreciate what you have in your own back yard.

I have been married for 25 years. I think that one of the keys to our great marriage is taking time to reconnect with each other. We began coming to Jamaica on vacation at the suggestion of my Grandparents. They had a resort that they loved and wanted to share with us. At the time, we had a 13-month-old and a 3-year-old at home. We looked pleadingly into our parents’ eyes and asked them to babysit for a week. As they say, the rest is history. We have been back to Jamaica 10 times in the past 20 years. We come to relax, rejuvenate and most of all to reconnect.

Jamaica is an island nation that is all about treating its visitors right. They speak English so there is not too much of a communication barrier. They are on east coast time and have sunny weather and a laid- back hospitality. It is hard to go wrong. We go there to disconnect with the world and reconnect with each other.

Activities

There is a lot to see and do on Jamaica. It is home to the famous Jamaican Bob-sledding team featured in the movie Cool Runnings. The tourist industry has made a whole adventure park built around that theme in Ocho Rios. Everyone is familiar with the natural attraction of Dunn’s River Falls, but there are many other natural treasures to seek out around the island. A down-hill bike ride will show you the Blue Mountains and their world-famous coffee beans. On a trip to the south shore you will discover the beauty of Y-S falls. And your trip may not be complete without discovering the distilling process of Rum at the Appleton Estates.

Negril, on the west end of the island, boasts 7 miles of white sand beach. Walk along and discover the people and local life of the town of Negril, while the waves gently lap at your feet. Rick’s Café has nightly cliff diving and a fun atmosphere to watch the gorgeous sunsets. You can also take a catamaran cruise and see the divers from the water and return just as the sun is dipping below the horizon.

Accommodations

There is something for everyone and most budgets on Jamaica. If you want to rent a villa for your family or large group of friends, they can come with a chef and other services. If a small bungalow on the beach is more your speed, they are dotted in many of the towns around the island. Many people come to Jamaica for the all-inclusive resorts. Jamaica was the first destination to offer all-inclusive and they still have it all. Beaches Resorts, caters to families, while other resorts offer an adult only atmosphere. There are even clothing optional (Au natural) beaches and a few resorts in both Negril and Ocho Rios!

Getting There

Since I live on the West Coast, I am asked frequently why I just don’t go to Hawaii, since it is closer. The trip from Seattle to Honolulu is about 5 hours. Once you transfer planes and have a lay-over to island hop to one of the other islands it can more like 7 hours. We can be in Jamaica in just a little over 8 hours of flight time. The water is warmer in the Caribbean, in general, and the prices are much more reasonable. In short, it is a very different experience from Hawaii. There are people who travel from the east coast to go to Hawaii and we travel from the west to go to the Caribbean. It is personal preference. I would encourage you to try them both and decide for yourself.

My love affair with Jamaica deepens each time I travel to her shores. Each client I have sent has returned refreshed and reconnected. It is a culture and hospitality that is hard to find elsewhere in the world. It is the land of One Love, Irie, and All-right. Try it, mon, and see for yourself!

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