I took my first solo trip to Jamaica for 8 days this September and it was absolutely amazing. This trip was exactly what I needed. I’m so grateful for the Girls LOVE Travel Facebook group that inspired me as well as encouraging me to take this leap.
Driving to the airport (Hartfield-Jackson), I was nervous, excited and terrified. As I drove those 2.5 hours to Atlanta, I became this ball of nerves and missed my exit to international terminal. Once I pulled myself together, I made it to long-term parking and caught my shuttle to the terminal.
I decided to check one bag, take a duffel bag as one of my carry-ons and my cute backpack (see the pic) and yes, I packed everything because I wanted this to be the perfect trip.
The flight to Montego Bay was uneventful. I took a nap and read some of The Alchemist (an amazing book if you haven’t read it). I was so excited when we arrived. Once I cleared customs, I caught a taxi ($15.00) to my apartment rental on Glouster Ave. I gave the guy a 20 and he gave me no change—Jamaica. Was I a little intimidated? Yes, it was my first time alone.
My Airbnb was nice. It was a one bedroom flat with a huge balcony on the 14th floor that gave me great views of Doctor’s Beach, sunrises and sunsets. I think I shed more tears in this trip to Jamaica than ever in life. I was actually living out my dreams. Dreams of traveling and there I was alone and doing it.
My flat had a full kitchen, so I brought food and coffee (got to have my coffee) for my 8-day stay. The first night in Montego Bay, I walked to KFC because everyone says it is a must to eat there and it is! The KFC offers original and barbecue and the seasoning on this food is x10.
The next day I got to know the neighborhood and went spent the morning at the beach. It was glorious. No deadlines, no phones…just crystal-clear water, cool breezes and amazing views. It was everything and more.
On Friday, I did something totally un-Trenia-like. I went on a 2-hour hike in a rainforest. Oh, Oh, I forgot to tell you that I rented a car for 7 days and I was driving. Now that was scary, but I mastered it and drove the Jamaican countryside.
The rainforest hike was absolutely beautiful and very informative. My guide Alex was amazing. I am not an outdoorsy type, but this hike was spiritual. Being out in nature and seeing flowers, plants and the herbs was something I never even dreamed but I am so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone.
I sat at a fresh water pool that is feed by underground springs. It was cool and so refreshing. I baptized myself in this water and had an amazing feeling of being renewed in the moment. I smelled fresh lemongrass and learned about healing herbs growing in the rainforest. It was great.
I didn’t think it could get any better but the drive to Portland was the BEST! It’s a four-hour drive but of course it took about 7 hours because I made several stops along the way. The views and the mountains were stunning, and I think I cried on this drive because I was experiencing this untouched part of the world.
I did everything on my list for Jamaica except for parasailing and spending some time in Kingston but that will be the next time in Jamaica. I am actually considering moving to Jamaica for a year and visiting most if not all of the Caribbean islands. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let you guys know.
Let me sum of my trip:
The street food was so goooood, the jet ski experience was so fun, the hikes (yes…hikes. I took 2 hikes) and I went ziplining too.
I think my first solo trip was a success. There were some hiccups but there were memories made that I will tell my grandchildren about. I am so grateful that I decided to take this leap of faith and go solo. Now I am planning my next solo trip…Where To Next?
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