The summer is officially over! In reflection it has been a great year and it's not even over yet. As you can see from the amazing photo above vacation is a MUST! But we don't always have time for one reason or another. This year I wanted to make traveling more of a priority and I did. At the closing of every year I host a vision board party for a small group of friends. If you've never been to a vision board party its purpose is to assemble friends together with a pile of magazines for the ultimate DIY experience. Participants bring poster board of their choosing and after sifting and clipping find themselves arriving at a final destination of direction through visual representation. In 2015 one of my bucket list items was to travel somewhere outside of these 50 United States at least once. I found myself traveling to not just one destination, but two! This year I visited Cozumel, Mexico 🇲🇽 and Montego Bay, Jamaica 🇯🇲.
Normally when I travel I take an opportunity to not only have fun as a tourist, but to also experience new countries asa student. These destinations were no different. Some of the most beautiful natural wonders were found. From Jamaica I wanted to share my experience through excursions I was both referred to and able to witness...
During my vacation I took residence at the Riu Palace Jamaica. This location was an all inclusive, adults only resort. I found this hotel to be both simple and contemporary. The resort came equipped with a full mini bar, a jetted jacuzzi bathtub, unlimited beverages, and 24-hour room service. The peak of my stay at the Riu was by far the view and OH MY GOD the food! From my full balcony I was able to oversee the entire pool area coupled with beach access and unlimited cocktails. Did I mention the food! Meals were conveniently made available three times daily at four different on site restaurants with an additional buffet for added variety.
Historically, traditional Jamaican cuisine is an infusion of cooking techniques, flavors, spices and influences from the indigenous people on the island of Jamaica, Spanish, British, African, Indian and Chinese who have all inhabited the island. And goodness does the food reflect this melting pot of diversity. Popular dishes like curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee (the national fruit), saltfish (cod), beef patties, fried plantains, "jerk" chicken, steamed cabbage, and rice and peas. My favorite new item was the "festival" which is a cornbread fritter which goes best with jerk chicken from what the locals shared with me. I found them to be exactly that!
For me, when staying in any resort relaxation is key! Spa treatments and deep tissue massages were made available right on the beach! Imagine... the calm vibes of the ocean surrounding you as you relax to natures sights and sounds. That is aside from the one-drop rhythm of Jamaican music. Talk about RE-LAX-A-TION! The resort pool also made way for unlimited cocktails, lounge seating, and beachside chefs.
So what did I do with my time when I wasn't relaxing?!?! I toured the island of course!
These were just a few of the local attractions I found after spending almost a week on this beautiful island. The Jamaican locals are such a peaceful and compassionate community... everyone was so eager to help. There lies so much diversity and culture there. The locals are so welcoming. They open their homes andwant everyone they come into contact with to experience the wonder they see everyday.
So why is traveling good for you? I find that traveling abroad makes you an overall happier person especially depending upon where you go. I understand that taking a hiatus from your demanding workload and busy schedule isn't easy. By traveling somewhere new, you enable yourself to immerse yourself in new surroundings and experiences. Vacations can be designed to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul while unknowingly refreshing your mental health. On vacations you'll find that you're more likely to enforce rest time, sleep time, and even explore new activities. According to Dr. Margaret J. King, the director of the Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis "Human thrive on novelty, and travel offers the complete package with new faces, sounds, and sights." Don't avoid taking a break. It leads to stress overload and furthermore damages effects on your physical health. So, carpe diem... Traveling is good for your health!