Foundation of Love

LOVE…..

The 4 letter word we spend our entire lives learning and relearning. We tend to go through phases of feeling as though we have it all figured out; until we reach a new level along out journey. Many say we experience love when we first burn. This is because children are pure. When we are born we love everyone and everything; or just about. Others may say we never truly know what love is until we meet our first love or one true love. But the question is, ” Do we really know what love is?” We spend most of our lives being coached on the do’s and don’ts of love as well as what to look for when it happens. The truth is love looks and feels different for all of us. However, the foundations of love are all the same. Why!!! How!!!! Think about a house. Each house may look different yet the foundation of each house structurally the same. We need a blue print, carved out dimensions, frame, insolation. The look and strength of the house is dependent upon the individuals within the relationship. When it comes to a relationship we oftentimes hear, ” love is the foundation of any relationship”. If a relationship is looked at as a home  and love being the foundation; everyone needs to be solid. So, what make a solid foundation?

I’M GLADE YOU ASKED.

When we hear the word  RELATIONSHIP  or LOVE we tend to instantly think of intimate relationships of any kind. But, the truth is relationships are everywhere; we ourselves in relationships with our parents, siblings, extended family, co-workers, children, friends, etc. Each of these relationships has the potential to display an example of love.  However, our foundation of love is built at a very early age. From the moment we are born we begin to observe and learn what is it to be a human being. As a child we watch and mimic our parents or caregivers. It is within this very moment we learn about relationships and what love looks, sounds, and feels like. When it comes to Early Childhood Development love is at the center. Our foundation of love is built within the early developmental stages of our children. How we nurture our children as well as the type of environments they are in influences their development. When we talk about nurturing we are shining a light on the relationship between child and parent. Some may argue, “The first and most important relationship a child experiences in their lifetime is with their mother and father.” or “A child’s first love is their mother or father.”.  This is due to the fact that children learn by way of mimicking what is they see as well as what is they hear. Everything is mimicry for children all the way down to a child’s first laugh. This is only if a child’s brain is being stimulated. Human interaction is important from birth and our parents are who we interact with the most during the “prime years” of our life.

“It is important to keep in mind Brain Stimulations and Human Interaction is about more than words and sounds; this consist of touch, smells, sounds, words, as well as personal actions.”

The first thing a child experiences on this earth is human touch. It is here we gain an understand of what love feels like. Human touch to this day has proven to be a very important factor for mental health; as well as deemed sacred to some across the world. This is because we as humans need affection. Affection is something every living organism needs; and can be something as simple as a hug , kind words, or a pat on the back. Affection is one if not the only way someone truly feels loved and secure. Researchers show that a child who grows up without affection from parents lacks a significant amount of confidence in their adulthood. Because affection and human touch plays such a heavy roll with our emotions especially human interaction children that grow up without these things in their life tend to become socially awkward; not really knowing what it is to truly have a positive relationship. Because of this many researchers believe child that lack these things will not be as successful as they progress and transition in to adulthood and the working class.

Our foundation of love starts with our parents. It is our mother and father who teaches us how to lay the foundation. Because of this parents are expected to lead by example; this is the corner stone of effective parenting. It has been said that children not only learn how to treat others from their parents but also how to treat themselves in the process. Researchers also argue that children who are raised by parents who practice self-care, take breaks, and problem solving effectively with spouses tend to be less anxious and “better off” in their adulthood. Let’s explore this  a little more in-depth shall we?!  When it comes to positive rearing many parents will tell their children, “Act like you have home training.” or ” Act like you have some manners.” However, these are things a child can only learn from watching, listening, learning, and practicing; when given the opportunity.  Children learn communication skills from their parents and environment. As a child observes their surroundings they learn what is socially acceptable and unacceptable. This is also how the concept of respect is learned. Communication is all about respect or the lack there of. How we talk to one another says a lot about how we feel about them; it displays how much we care for them and how much respect we have for them. As a child grows up this is how the child will not only act towards their parents but towards just about everyone they interact with. This will also be the bases of what a child believes a healthy relationship looks like all the way into adulthood.

At the core of relationships is Self Love and Self Care. If we do not give ourselves the respect and love we deserves we cannot hold anyone else to that standard. However, this is again something that is learned with our parents. When a daughter watches her mother she learns what is means to take care of herself. She learns the important of hygiene, pampering, and much more. Much like sons learn similar core self care routines from their father. These things can be expounded upon in terms of how we treat ourselves and how we allow others to treat us. If a child sees their parent talking badly about or to themselves, working none stop, not taking care of their mental or physical health; a child will think that is normal for all adults. However, if a child sees their parents taking care of themselves by working out, doing yoga, meditating, or simply setting out time to laugh, be happy, and healthy; the child will mimic this as they grow. It is here a child learns the do’s and don’ts of relationships as a whole. Too many adults are going through life learning what it is to have a healthy relationship while trying to heal from childhood traumas and unlearning the toxic norms of their past. The foundation of love is something we begin building from the moment we are born with the assistance and guidance of our parents. Because of this we must have the goal of learning a from our parents yet aspire to be better for the next generation. If we rear our children in a positive way and help build a solid foundation there would be less trauma children would have to heal from as they grow up. And because of this we as adults would know how to heal ourselves without depending because we were equipped as a child. Broken children come from broken homes and create broken relationships.

Peace and Blessing,
My thoughts my views, share with me, vibe with me

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Solskr Healing

Solskr  is a company that creates 100% all natural hand crafted botanical products. And let’s just say their products are nothing short of luxurious. I had the pleasure of trying Solskr Products for about 5 months and my body loved every moment of it. The products I received were the Lavender + Chamomile Botanical Oil and Bath Salt. First thing I noticed instantly was the sweet aroma of the botanical oil once you apply it to your skin or hair the scent is long lasting. The bath salt is amazing all together; if you are someone who loves herbs and flowers in your bath this is made for you. The herbs and flowers are not a pain to clean out of your tub which is a plus. A little bit goes a long way with both products even if you use them a lot it will last you at least 2-3 months.

I used the botanical oil on my hair as well as on my skin. I often mixed the oil with raw shae butter when applying to my skin however you truly do not need to do so. After about 2 weeks of using the botanical oil I noticed my nails took well to the oil. My nails had a natural shine, grew very long, and didn’t break off as easily. When applying to my hair I would simply spray my locs and little massage the oil into my scalp; the same applied after washing my hair as well. The oil does not leave residue or build up in your locs. Because of this I truly believe this botanical oil would be perfect for hair skin and nails. The company does sell other products such as Sage, Palo Santo Wood, and Rose + Hibiscus Infused Oil and Bath Salt.  This is by far one of the best produces I have used.

You can shop Solskr by clicking HERE

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @solskrhealing

Art Of Detachment

Take A Deep Breath In Through The Nose.

Let It All Go. 

      In today’s’ climate we are all plugged in; including myself. We can’t help but tune into the latest scandal at the White House. The injustice that seems to be hitting us from every aspect. Not to mention we love our daily dose of Tea. When do we every have time to decompress? Many of us use our daily dose of Tea as a way to decompress because let’s face it, “Our lives aren’t filled with this much drama so we have watch it somewhere…… Right?” Wrong. Now listen it is totally fine to indulge. However, we haven’t mastered the concept of balance just yet. In most cases our tea only adds to the excessive doses of negativity we invite into our home. Sometimes we need to unplug and find a way to detach from the world around us.

Detach: to separate from something else or from others especially for a purpose.

To separate especially from a larger mass and usually without violence or damage.

Detachment: the state of being objective or aloof.  Lack of interest in worldly concerns.

Freedom from the favoring of one side over another.

Why is it so important to Detach?!

          Some of us may assume that being detached means being careless, withdrawn, and emotionless. Well, that would mean being extremely cold and in some cases out of touch. The Art of Detachment is about self-care; being able reconnect with self and what we truly care about in regard to values, morals, and interest. We are also able to have the luxury of viewing things from a birds eye view.  Detachment is about taking a step back to gain clarity above all things. With some much of our information controlled by media we do not have the time nor space to gather information and understanding for ourselves. It oftentimes feels as though negativity is thrown at us a mile a minute; as well as constant reminders of how people in society should be living with zero signs of letting up. Because of this we often times feel overwhelmed and drained. Because of this we seek coping mechanisms or outlets.

      As a people it is important for us to detach from negative people, thoughts, and tangible things. Within the spiritual and/or conscience community we often hear people say, ” Let go of everything that no longer serves you.” Well what does that even mean?! Letting go of what no longer serves you means to let go of things that do not make you a better person in the long run. It also means letting go of what may be holding you back from advancing along in your spiritual journey. Letting go is a very hard thing to do. However, the hardest part is always getting started. The idea of letting go is oftentimes hard for us to fathom because when we are emotional invested into anything we tend to cling.  Even if that thing doesn’t align with our beliefs and values we will hold on to it because it is something that has been with us for so long. It is simply because the things we hold on to make us feel comfortable; it is something we have grown used to. However, holding on often times does more harm than good. Letting go is in many cases the best thing we can do to preserve our mental and spiritual state above all.

What Is Holding You Back?

What Is Holding You Down?

What Cause Harm or Dis-Ease Within Your Life?

What Are You Constantly Consuming?

     Many of us do not know what it means to unplug. Unplugging is essentially detaching  from everything. Media, Phones, TV, People outside of your loved ones. Often times when we hear the word unplug  we think that we have to completely go off the grid. Well sometimes we can’t do that unless we are on a vacation. Perhaps, turn off your phone for a day or 2 over the weekend. Delete your social media apps, go without TV for while, visit a park, or drive to the beach.  Maybe you simply spend a day inside and begin a self-care routine. Detaching begins and looks differently for everyone. However, within today’s’ society social media or our phone rules. And because of that one of the first steps is to ditch the phone and reconnect; getting back to self as well as nature. Ultimately this is because we have to be mindful of what we put into our bodies in every way. It is good to ask yourself every once in a while, ” What am I consuming?” The Art of Detachment is about acknowledging that we may be in this world however we are not of this world. In unplugging from the world this allows us a chance to reconnect with who we are and what truly matters to you. Oftentimes we are told or directed in how to feel and view things. When we are able to detach we begin to make judgments of our own. Just because we are told how we should feel and view things does not mean we have to subscribe to it. Not everything that is fed to us we have to eat. As we gain a little perspective, over time we may come to the realization that certain things truly don’t affect us anymore. We may also begin to notice how a large sum of things do not hold any value within our lives and simply do not matter. This is okay; we are not meant to be engulfed in worldly matters that are not of serves to our highest good or the highest good of others. Today it is easy for us to get distracted however there no situation that is new under the sun. However, we have a habit of blurring the lines of what is beneficial and what is self sabotage. We have the capacity to be aware of everything that is taking place without giving our energy away.

      The Art of Detachment also teaches us a lesson that many of us are uncomfortable with. All too often we become obsessed with the vision we have in regards to how our life should be; it has to be on our terms on our time. We as people like to have a hand in every aspect of our lives. Because of this it seems that fear of the unknown is almost second nature to us. However, we shy away from this conversation because no one wants to be labeled a “Control Freak”. And those that do consider themselves a control freak tend to glorify the name without acknowledging the high anxiety and anger associated with the habit. When wanting to have a hand in every aspect of our life we run the risk of being too attached. To What?!! We tend to be attached to the expectations we set for our self. We “hold the vision” without leaving room for growth perhaps even mistakes. Mistakes and failure are both opportunities for growth. Detachment teaches us that no one is perfect and it isn’t our fault. While we do have control; there are somethings that just aren’t in our power because we are apart of something bigger than ourselves. Detachment allows us to be okay with letting go. Being “too” attached and worried is saying we do not trust the Universe The Most High. Leave room for magic

Have you ever read the 4 Agreements? The 4 Agreements are agreements we make with ourselves each day. The 4 Agreements are:

  1. Always Do Your Best
  2. Be Impeccable With Your Words
  3. Take Nothing Personally
  4. Don’t Make Assumptions

     The 4 Agreements teach us the basics of the Art of Detachment. These 4 agreements act as a mindfulness kit; our coat of armor. When all 4 are put into practice we are able to defuse a situation and calm our anxiety before it come up to surface level. This is because we are protected within on a spiritual and mental level. Each agreement acts as mindfulness check for the soul. Giving us the power to detach from situations, habits, and more that may not matter to us in years to come. Unplugging is also a great tool to have whenever we feel we are losing touch with self. It is something that can be viewed as spring cleaning for the soul. However, it should be done more than once a year because it is a healing process. And each time may be and look different. The beauty is each time we unplug the more we learn about ourselves.

     The Art of Detachment brings about balance that overflows into our personal lives in a positive way. We gain a sense of duality  within our daily life by being able to decipher how to distribute time between what we need and what we want. By doing so we are less likely to experience burnout, anxiety, or irritability because we are satisfied. This feeling shows up in the way we approach situations and how carry ourselves. Find balance within the Art of Detachment is the true essence of being unbothered in a society that is designed to hit our emotional triggers.

 

Peace and Blessing,

My thoughts my views, share with me, vibe with me

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I Love Africa Designs

ILA ( I Love Afrika Designs) has been an household name for my husband and I for 2 years now. So it was no surprise when my husband requested them as the final touch to his wedding attire. ILA is a online boutique from Trinidad that sells Loc Caps, Crochet Tops, and much much more. My husband and I both decided our dreads would be wrapped on the day of our ceremony. Since we had a summer wedding we both needed something thought would make us sweat too much. ILA loc caps are my husbands go to because they allow your head to breathe even on hot summer days. After purchasing the loc cap I personally reached out to inform them that we needed the loc cap for our ceremony and she graciously mailed it out the next day.  I love how personable ILA is which their costumers. They inform you how long shipping will take due to the fact that it is being shipped from another country which did put me at ease. The loc caps come in different sizes depending upon how long your dreads are. Also you have a choice in how long you would like the elastic band to be for the perfect fit. There are loc caps for men and women alike as well as knitted hats. Once it arrived my husband was so excited. Thank You ILA for making my husbands day and for being the finishing touch for my husband on our Wedding Day.

For more information on I Love Afrika Designs Click Here.

Empressive Finds For An Empress

Every little girl has this fantasy of how she will look on her wedding day. As for me my vision changed over the years. It wasn’t until I knew who I was that I was able to see myself for who I truly am. Luckily I came to that realization before wedding bells started to ring. Once I evolved into the woman that I am today I put much thought into my attire for our ceremony. I knew the attire must be symbolic of our union as well as my families history. Another huge factor was that my husband and I address one another as Empress and King; I wanted my attire to symbolize not only a royal but also a spiritual union.

Once the time came to go dress and accessory shopping I was already captivated by a beautiful woman by the name of Empress AK on Instagram. Without hesitation I personally reached out to her for ideas and inspiration. I have followed her for a little over 2 years and watched her grow as a woman and brand. When it came to supporting her business I was waiting for the perfect time and occasion.  What influenced my look for the ceremony was the love of my heritage within the African Diaspora and our cultural attire across the world. Woman such as Nefertitit, Queen Makeda, Empress Menin, Oshun, and many other African Queens. For me our ceremony signified my rights of passage as an Empress as I begin to create my own dynasty along side my Emperor. I knew that I could only got to Empress AK to make that vision manifest. Alli was such a joy to work with and so humble the entire time. The first day I got into contact with her she sent me so many adornment ideas and consulted me about how I should wear my wrap. Even though she is located in New York she made it a point that we communicated back and forth up until the wedding day. It meant a lot to me because I wanted her to see the final look with everything put together.  These moments alone felt like a dream come true. I will never forget trying on the full attire at Impressions Bridal with Empressive Finds jewelry adorning my head. The entire bridal shop was completely quiet; everyone was in complete shock because everyone said this look couldn’t be done in a classy or elegant way. Well The Empress AK proved them wrong. I am forever grateful .

What I love about Empress AK is she informed me on when she shipped the adornments and in the package she takes the time to write a thank you card which is personalized. Empressive Finds boutique has a variety of things. She is known for her glossy head wraps however she offers bases wraps as well. Aside from wraps she has third eye jewelry, earrings, and much more. Her card brought tears to my eyes and put me to ease. Alli puts time and love into her work which overflows into how she interacts with her customers; or as she calls us her cousins.  Again Allie is so humble, real, and sweat. She will forever be family in my eyes. Thank You having a hand in making our ceremony magical. I am not sure what I would have done without her.

For more information on Empressive Finds Click Here.

Shopaholic Ghana

The Groom has to look as good as the Bride right??!!!

Well thank to Etsy that was possible. Etsy has been the talk of the town over the past year. For much of my planning people have referred the site to me for things such as invitations and decor. However I have always been skeptical about using the site and any other online shopping site. When it came to our ceremony my husband wanted something cultural yet different. Often times when looking for African Attire unless you look online or at a Middle Eastern shop you pretty much see the same thing at each store. Our primary drawback when shopping was that we couldn’t find anything in all white. Each attire had gold or silver embroidery. When looking at different designs at other cultural shops it just wasn’t what we were looking for in a cultural garment. When shopping we were going off of a design I found on the internet however we never looked to see who the designer was. All I knew was I didn’t want him to have to buy something offline. After doing some digging I found the shop on Etsy.com. My husband decided to order the attire with high hopes and expectations. I was on pins and needles because I had never ordered from Etsy. Once everything came in he was thoroughly impressed with everything. I tried my hardest to find the man or woman behind the brand yet I couldn’t find anything. The attire is made in Ghana with very light material and is made to order if you send in your own measurements. My husband was comfortable the entire ceremony and was able to wear it through the reception. He truly looked like royalty.

Shopaholic GH is a etsy boutique that specializes in African Clothing. There is attire for men, women, and children. You will find that some of the attire is a matching set for the entire family. Shipping does not take long to arrive at your home and you are able to track the shipment.

Thank You Etsy and Shopaholic GH

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CoCo Hut Catering Blues

As a bride you want to start wedding planning as early as possible to be able to lock certain things in such as venue, catering, and any other vendors that may need a early deposit. Which is why my husband and I took a winter trip to New Orleans. Originally we went to lock in a location for the ceremony and reception; we tried food  just to give us an idea of what we possible wanted our menu to be. One afternoon we stumbled upon a Caribbean restaurant by the name of CoCo Hut.  A very small family owned business where the food is made to order. Thoroughly impressed we asked if they catered and was told yes on the spot. Once we returned home I called CoCo Hut as I was instructed to recieve a quote for all that would want at the wedding. Our reception menu was based on there menu and specifically what we ordered on our visit. After speaking with CoCo Hut I was told I should expect a call to confirm by Friday.

The Catering Blues begins here……..

A we goes by and we never received a call back.  Each time we reach out we are told the owner isn’t in she will call back. Unfortunately the owner is the only person able to discuss catering matters. During this time we are going into Christmas and I decided to wait until the holidays die down before continuing with vendor confirmations. The second week of January I am calling twice a week yet I can not get in touch with CoCo Hut. Once February comes I am a little on edge as I am calling and continually being told the owner is out of town or not in yet. I assume Madi Gras may have taken up some of her time; so again I wait. March there is no call back and we are 3 months away from our ceremony. By the middle of March we are over the waiting game and decide to make a trip to New Orleans to finalize everything for the wedding. By this time we have everything for the ceremony and are dropping things off for our cake and doing a final walk through of our venue. Yet and still we have nothing for our guest to eat. We decide to visit CoCo Hut in hopes that the owner is in for us to speak with.

As we arrive the owner is in casually talking to her brother.We greeted the owner and expressed we would love to have a moment of her time and she was instantly defensive and ask, ” For what?”.  Unfortunately she was not willing to have a seat and discuss our catering menu which we gave her months in advance. After explaining we had been trying to call about catering our wedding she asked us to, “come back tomorrow”. We were willing to come back however she refused to give us a definite time she would be in. While trying to engage she continued to have a side conversation with her brother. The entire experience was extremely frustrating. While at the restaurant we considered waiting to grab a bite to eat. As we waited I was able to take in the entire restaurant kitchen area included and I was dissatisfied  with some of the conditions the kitchen was in. My husband and I decided to look else where for a caterer and to never eat at CoCo Hut again. Livid doesn’t express how upset we were when leaving the establishment. However, we cancelled our order and left in peace.

CoCo Hut was very unorganized and unprofessional which  put us in a very uncomfortable position. I would have appreciated and respected the establishment if we received a phone call let us know they were unable to accommodate us. In the months leading up to our final visit we were scrambling in search of a Plan B for catering. Having to deal directly with the owner has ruined our experience with the business establishment. The cashier as well gave poor customer service that day as well while taking the orders of others. Perhaps it was a bad day? However, we chose to take our love for Caribbean food elsewhere when in New Orleans.

For more information on CoCo Hut Click Here

Johnny’s Jamaican Grill To The Rescue

People visit New Orleans for 2 things. TO EAT & DRINK. Everything else is usually a plus. I have been to New Orleans a few times over the years and I thought I knew just about everything I needed to know about the beautiful city. However, what I didn’t know is that there is a huge food truck culture.  I found this cool fact out on our final trip to New Orleans when we went to save our wedding reception from hunger. If you don’t remember anything from a wedding you remember the food; usually because of how bad it was. Needless to say we were on the hunt for the best food in NOLA but not your typical Cajun Cuisine. We wanted Caribbean Food!!! Unfortunately we had a rough time finding a reliable caterer and was down to the wire. Not to mention there aren’t a lot of Caribbean restaurants in New Orleans.

I found Jamaican Johnny’s Grill on Yelp a site I was very skeptical about depending on. We sent someone to New Orleans to scope the restaurant out and to everyone’s surprise it was food truck. I was intrigued off of that fact alone so my husband and I took a trip to meet the owner. Before leaving we got in contact with the own and sent our menu request and informed Johnny’s Jamaican Grill we were making our way back to New Orleans. Our first time Jamaican Johnny’s Grill we felt like family. The Food Truck is located at Deja Vieux Food Park. The atmosphere is that of an outdoor restaurant or food court with amazing food and drinks. When the owner Mr.Johnny heard our experience with finding a caterer he stepped in with nothing short of refreshing energy.  Mr. Johnny also offered to show my husband the inside of his food truck and what he would be using to cook everything. We also had the luxury of trying quite a few of his dishes while visiting and was blown away.  Johnny’s Jamaican Grill has great customer service and an open line of communication. Mr. Johnny was extremely open and transparent which made our experience unforgettable. We knew each others schedule which put one another at ease when we were not in communication for periods at a time. What I love about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill is all foods are made to order and come in big proportions. Outside of that all ingredients used are fresh; each dish is authentic Jamaican cuisine.

The day of the wedding Mr. Johnny cooked all dishes the morning of the wedding. Everything was fresh and the food arrived on time. Each pan of food  was devoured rather quickly. Everyone enjoyed the food and had nothing but good things to say about each dish. We wanted the food to be buffet style because the reception was an informal setting where everyone could relax. Our main concern was that there would be left overs; safe to say there was no food left behind. Thank You Jamaican Johnny’s Grill for saving our wedding reception.

To see more about Johnny’s Jamaican Grill Click Here

Fanm Djanm

When it comes to scarfs, head wraps, and hejabs I am all in. Often times I consider wearing one for everyday of the week. However, being a yoga instructor you sweat a lot and I tend to sweat in my head. Nevertheless when I dress outside of yoga 90% of the time a head wrap is in tow. So it was only right that my head be covered for the most important day of my life. The colors for the ceremony were Turquoises and Silver and I wanted my wrap to be the accent of Turquoises. Finding the perfect wrap was pretty hard. Many of the wraps I came across were Turquoises and orange or had patterns that clashed with the ceremony. My vision was simple and elegant and Fanm Djanm had exactly what I was looking for. My biggest concern was that the color wouldn’t be the exact shade that I wanted considering the fact that Turquoises comes in many shades. However, the wrap matched everything perfectly and I was able to wear it the entire day because the material isn’t heavy.  The wrap fit perfectly over my base wrap creating the perfect amount of height and fullness I was looking for. Shipping was easy to track and actually came earlier than expected. Fanm Djanm wraps was another major factor in creating the vision for the ceremony. I can also wear the wrap multiple times because it is a solid color which was the deciding factor when making the purchase.

Thank You for beautiful wrap.

For more information on Fanm Djanm Click Here.

 

Jamaica No Problem!! Negril For The Thrills

When you think of Jamaica what is the first thing that comes to mind? Shottas or Bob Marley?Is it the beautiful resorts and white sand? I recently heard someone say, ” People Think That Jamaica is Beautiful But It Isn’t Some Real Bad Things Happen There.”

The truth is bad things happen in our own backyard often times on  our doorstep. However that doesn’t stop us from going out every week. There are “bad” areas in every city; places you should not go if you don’t know anyone in that area. For that reason alone Jamaica was a wonderful way to break in my passport. Honestly, I was excited yet nervous about being in Jamaica because I went with zero expectations and reservations. I just knew I had a list of to do’s that needed to be checked off; everything else was a bonus. We stayed in a town named Negril, Jamaica that had so much to offer. Unlike Montego Bay things are a little cheaper and less touristy. Many people stay here to get away from the shenanigans of the city. Of course people still on their hustle but after a while you either ignore it, shake your head, or they leave you alone all together.

The 2 main things that I loved about Jamaica is the food and you get Alkaline everywhere. Because the island has many natural fresh water falls the alkaline water comes straight from the source to the people. Making the process more eco and people friendly. Each day we made it a point to try out local foods away from the resort and we were successful. The entire trip I was mindful about eating strictly sea food and ital  dishes; which is not hard in Jamaica. Majority of the people are vegan which made it easy to find Ital food. Also everyone has access to different types of fish daily due to the fisherman on the island. Needless to say everything was fresh and everything we ate was made to order. A place by the name of Rasta Lemonade made a huge impression on us. The restaurant was right down the beach from us so we ate there a couple of times. Rasta Lemonade is a strictly Ital restaurant that makes your food to order; along side daily freshly made juice. The portions they give you for each platter is massive. The 2 days we ate there we were full for at least half of the day. However you can honestly find good food on accident anywhere that you go on the island. Also since everything is made fresh it is best to never be in a rush to get anywhere. On average the food can take anywhere between 5-20 minutes to make. But, you’re on vacation what’s the rush anyway RIGHT!?

While in Negril, Jamaica we blended in fairly well. It was clear we weren’t raised up on the island itself. However, many people assumed we were American Jamaican which made our stay a little less nerve wrecking. Meaning we weren’t a target for shenanigans most tourist find themselves in. Because of this we made friends with some of the locals. In Negril many people are on their hustle in a good way. Two of the people that we became acquainted with were our personal drivers. In Jamaica there are a lot of tour companies that own buses that strictly take a group of tourist around the country.  This may sound cool until you look at the prices they are charging and how crowded the buses are. Also the tour bus is often in a rush to get you to all the places people want to see. So it’s not worth it. On the other hand locals in Negril made their own Uber or Lyft system. They wait for tourist to come out of the resort and ask if they need a taxi. Having a taxi is much like having a personal driver. The cost is cheaper because it is calculated by the distance of the drive. Also because they are using their personal cars to drive you around. The drivers willingly act as your tour guide and wait for you at each stop you make.  Some may even enjoy the day with you if each part feels comfortable. Each day you are there you will most likely have the same driver. If the driver is not available they send someone else in their place for that day. The drivers we had while in Negril were Roger and Chris (yes we made it a point to know their names). They really made an impression on us because of how laid back, kindhearted and open they were. The entire time in Negril Roger was our main driver and we had the pleasure of meeting his father which was such a treat. We made it a point to genuinely ask questions about the history and culture of Jamaica; which they willingly answered. This made the trip an educational experience as well. While with Roger he went to every site with us and often times gave us a little tour of his own. He also didn’t mind having fun with us along the way; which made each of us comfortable . Chris was a little different; he was more of a talker than a hanging out type of guy. As he drove us around we made frequent historical stops; such as Columbus Landing. Turns out Columbus actually landed in Jamaica before redirecting himself to America. He also shared with us his experience growing up in the country side and how things have changed over the years. Each of the drivers really knew how to maneuver through the jungle and rain forest. Yes we went on some adventures willingly.

This may seem scary right? To just go an adventures with some men who claim they’re taxi drivers?!!

Well we also made friends with the security at the resort as well as some of the staff women. Because of this we knew where to go and who to talk to while in Negril by our second night their. So each day and night people did look out for not only us but other tourist as well. What really made the trip magical is that everyone we encountered we made a connection with. We bridged a gap that some people are too afraid to do or so self righteous. We did witness times where people were very rude to the those who are simply doing their job. It is something special when you see someones face light up because you actually came back to speak with them or to even buy something that they may have. Often times to get something free or a little extra just because of that simple moment of kindness.

Now I am not going to lie by the 6th day I was tired and ready to go back home. Only because each day we got into something. We would wake up and hit the beach running. if we weren’t on the beach all day we were in the hills going on adventures. I will say that it would be awesome to spend a week in Negril or Jamaica period then got to another island for another week. We did meet a family who spent 3 weeks in Negril. I was amazed because in a week and a half you can pretty much see the whole island if you moved around like we did. We purposely left some things untouched to have a reason to go back. However, we did everything we set out to do and a little more. Of course we had our iffy and scary moments while there. But it only lasted a few minutes because we realized we were okay. Luckily we ran across some genuine people; yet at the same time we didn’t linger long enough to get taken advantage of as well. We developed a fine line between being nice and being gullible because at the end of the day it is am island that has been raped and taken advantage for so long. Because of this everyone is trying to make it the best they know how.

Tips for Jamaica:

  1. Convert some of your currency and spend before reverting back to your cash.
  2. Bring a small bottle of mosquito spray. Try to find a natural brand because the smell is string.
  3. Do not stay on the resorts the whole time. The resort is not Jamaica; there is so much the island has to offer. It helps you throw away the stereotypes.
  4.  It is okay to say NO!!
  5. Do not fall for the tricks. Sometimes people will try to talk you into buying them food or drinks.
  6. Let nothing ruin your trip.

 

Places To Visit:

  1. Ricks Cafe: The world famous Ricks Cafe is known for their cliff divers. The cafe opens around 1pm and closes around 8pm or 9pm. There is a live DJ who is really good who is accompanied by dancers who convince tourist to dance and have a good time. The drinks are really good and very strong. The food isn’t the best on the island however it is good. There is a live bad that places everyday at 7:00 but they aren’t a good act. All in all Ricks Cafe is a great places to relax and enjoy the end of your day.
  2. Pelicans Bar: If you are up for an adventure and a good time Pelican Bar is right up your alley. Pelicans Bar is a bar that sits in the middle of the ocean right off of the Black River. You have to take a boat to get there which isn’t a problem because there are many boats that go back and forth to the bar. At Pelicans Bar they serve food and drinks all day. The food is freshly caught around the hour to serve the guest. And there is great music to set the mood. Sounds crazy?! Not at all. The Bar is completely solid made of bamboo and real solid wood. It offers seating inside as well as outside. If you pay close enough attention you may even be able to met the amazingly talented Rasta who built the bar himself not once but twice. As a really bad hurricane did come a few years back. Definitely a place I will always return to.
  3.  Mayfield  Falls: The beautiful Mayfield Falls is a place like no other. You have to go a little ways up the forest to get there however it is worth it. The Mayfield Falls is a tour through the falls and the rain forest. You are accompanied by a tour guide who is well experienced through the rivers and water falls. The tour guide is hands on and helps you along the path and takes pictures for you. When in the falls you are free to swim and sit in the water falls. After taking the tour you are welcome to order from their kitchen and have a bite to eat. The food at Mayfield is amazing and they give you really big portions.
  4. Bob Marley Mausoleum: If you are a Bob Marley fan the museum doesn’t do his justice. The Bob Marley Mausoleum resides in Nine Mile where he was raised and grew up. The Mausoleum is on the land where his family lived. There lays the tombs of his Mother, Brother, and Bob Marley himself. When you arrive you are appointed a tour guide. While on the tour you sea the home if his grandmother as well as his mother. There are areas where you are not allowed to take pictures. When walking through the mausoleums you are directed to take you shows and to not take pictures. Bob Marleys mother made her own jerk and dipping sauces while living. They are only sold at the mausoleum;during the tour you are given time to rest and listen to music while taking her sauces. There are gift shops and a restaurant where you are able to eat,drink, and indulge.

 

See pictures of more adventures below