Why you should move to Jamaica
“I’m not coming home honey, this is where I want to be…I’ll open up a shop and make some money…I’ll figure it out…the point is I’M STAYING IN JAMAICA!” were the words uttered by Jason* when he called his wife back home in Toronto while on vacation with a few close friends.
I personally know Jason and his wife. I had to console my friend in the midst of her marital distress; eventually she admitted that there is no place like JAMROCK!
The impact that Jamaica has on its visitors and residents can be compared to that of electricity running through a wire. For those living in North America or Europe, or as Jamaicans would say “foreign”, after you clock out from your 9-5 on a random Tuesday, how do you feel? Tired? Tense? Jittery? Many of you are already mentally dreading the next day. Now ask a resident of Jamaica how they feel after work?
“When work done mi jus link up mi friend dem and guh check a bar and hold a medz +” says 22-year-old Alec Taylor from Spanish Town.
Unlike other places in the world, the lifestyle in Jamaica is more relaxed and when work is over for the day, you feel that it’s over! This allows you to enjoy the island and all that is has to offer after work hours.
Jamaica is popular for its white sandy beaches with shades of blue that make you believe you’ve jumped inside a children’s coloring book.
However, the hidden gem that I recommend to any newcomer to Jamaica, are our fresh water rivers. A local Rasta man I met while visiting Hope River in Kingston, explained that taking a swim in the river is allowing the natural stream to clean ones heart of all the impurities and toxins of life, whether physical or psychological. It only makes sense especially when there’s an array of wildlife nestled between the lush green terrains that make you want to spend your entire life outdoors. Did I mention that most of our rivers are FREE?!
Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning, enjoying a traditional Jamaican breakfast (ackee and salt fish with roast breadfruit), gather a few friends, collect the gas money and then make your way to a nearby river. The beauty of my island is that we rejuvenate and express ourselves without any hidden fees or surcharges.
My friend Craig visited Hope River this Labor Day weekend and he wanted to share with you why weekends in Jamaica are like nowhere else.
“People ask mi why mi love Jamaica, look at this. We are at the river and we are seeing people jump into the river. That little boy over there is no more than 4 feet and he is brave enough to jump into the water. Jamaica guarantees you entertainment and quality fun.”
A day at a local river is usually free (not all but most!). After a cool dip, I don’t know about you but we get hungry. The countless amount of roadside food and beverage shops will make you indecisive, as you stroll and witness the hardworking men and women on almost every corner selling their rendition of Jerk Chicken, Festival, Gungo Soup or many other Jamaican delicacies to satisfy the tummy and soul.
A famous food stop known to many is “Faiths Pen”, located at the winding of Mount Diablo and leading it’s way into St. Ann. The set up of Faith’s Pen is similar to most Jamaican pit stops. What separates North American pit stops from Jamaican, are the quality and presentation of the food.
Faith’s Pen consists of stalls with various vendors enticing you with their selection of meals from roasted corn, steamed and fried fish, mannish water (Goat Soup), Jerk seasoned delicacies, roots wine and many more. After visiting Faith’s Pen and seeing the lovely smiling faces of the vendors and witnessing the massive lineups of faithful customers reporting to their favorite shops as sweet reggae music floats through the air, you will have entered phase one of your addiction to Jamaica.
Before being healthy was popular on Instagram and eating natural foods was a fad, anyone who visited Jamaica or grew up here knows how nutritious and delicious our food can be for the heart and soul.
Imagine grocery shopping on any day of the week at a farmers market with fresh produce for sale and the cut off time for selling/buying is nightfall. While it may seem a bit risky to use the skies as your hours of operation, you begin to adapt and appreciate the way it gets you the best produce first. The early bird is said to get the first worm, in this sense the freshest worm awaits while you make your way to Coronation Market in Kingston or Linstead Market in St. Catherine (plus many more) to gather your healthy necessities for the week ahead.
Some people wait for the weekend to party hard, Jamaicans waste no time to strut their stuff! Here’s a breakdown of a few of our local parties that are flocked to by all sorts of people:
Wet Sundaze : 8 Hillview Avenue, Kingston
Mojito Mondays: Susie’s Bakery and Cofee Bar located at Southdale Plaza in Halfway Tree
Nipple Tuesdays: King Jammy’s Studio, Waterhouse Kingston 11
Weddy Wendesdays: Stone Love Headquarters, 41 Burlington Ave, Kingston 10
Triple Thursdays: Triple Century Sports Bar and Grill at 69 Knutsford Blvd, Kingston,
MVP Fridays, 38A Trafalgar, Kingston 10
Saturday: ANYTHING! ROAM THE ISLAND AS YOU PLEASE!
Yes! We have a designated party for each day of the week. While some people make it their duty to learn the latest dance move of the week, others take it easy. And others prefer an altogether more exclusive affair.
Remember Jason and his wife? Jason ended up returning to Toronto and saving his marriage. Nonetheless, every time we get together as a group, he’s constantly putting together a master plan on how to make my home his new home. This time he'll just have to use ExpatJA and then we can relocate his wife also ;) . ExpatJA also offers a Research service, Jason can use this to make sure that his next business venture is a success.
*Names have been changed
+Meds: Jamaican slang for relaxing
Post by @sarzlee