Since this is a late post, I should say that I went to Montego Bay Jamaica on April 24th and returned back to Miami on the 29th. So, I was in Jamaica for 5 days and 4 nights and my visit to the country was limited to Montego Bay. Unlike Barbados, you cannot drive the entire island of Jamaica in a Day– and because my stay was not as long as it was in Trinidad and Tobago, I did not do much sight seeing outside of Montego Bay.
That being said, I really enjoyed Montego Bay, although I would not necessarily travel there without company. The streets are not that well lit at night, we did not stay at a resort (I would not travel there with company) and street harassment was rampant (even from boys as young as 10). Montego stood out drastically to me than other Caribbean countries for the aforementioned issues. However, you just have to be smart of course and pay attention to your surroundings and you will be alright! If I had a friend to go with, I would definitely want to go back to MoBay…I should also note that generally, I have yet to solo travel.
The first thing we (and myself who were in JA for the SALISES conference) did upon landing in Jamaica, was checking into our Airbnb accommodation and then went grocery shopping straight after. Whenever I travel, grocery shopping is always a must, especially if you have a kitchen, since it saves money from having to go and eat out. Our bnb accommodation was gorgeous! The colonial legacies of the Caribbean sometimes shows through the architecture and our accommodation was no exception.
Due to the layout of our accommodation, I am 90% sure that it was once a plantation. The “main” building is under construction, and that one is more evidentially so the former “house” of the slave master/ white settler. I did appreciate the architecture nonetheless, and like that for the most part, it is upkept since it serves as a reminder that we’re still here in spite of the atrocities we’ve faced.
Just to end on a lighter and quicker note, since these late posts serve as quick updates into some of my thoughts that have passed: I finally ate at a KFC in the Caribbean! Fried chicken is still not my fave, even though the KFC in the Caribbean does taste fresher than the ones in the US. Whilst in Jamaica, getting around further proved difficult, since we did not rent a car– when you go, RENT A CAR! We rode inside of quick dollar taxis which many people utilized as a hustle and I am so happy that it got us from point A to point B with a low charge.
Whilst in Jamaica, I heavily supported their Red Stripe beer, because the company is doing best practices— in terms of sustainability, employment, and teaching Jamaicans how to brew. I liked that they also give farmers long-term contracts to harvest cassava which will be the new starch in their national alcohol. Red Stripe is now owned by Heineken however which somewhat strips the brand of being truly nationally owned– but as long as they upkeep the good practices, I’m a supporter.