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My Year of Travelling in Jamaica & Elsewhere, Pt II

As 2012 drew to a close, I was plagued by the notion that I didn’t do enough travelling. It was making me feel a bit regretful so I started making a list — I love lists! Sure enough, I realized I had done a lot of travelling in Jamaica and that made me smile. I had even managed to slip in a few trips to New York and Toronto.

My photos helped to bring back memories of each place I’d visited, the people I’d met and the experiences I’d had. In the end, I realized that it wasn’t a bad year of travel after all.

Appleton Rum Tour

Appleton Rum Tour

Rum has become my drink of choice and in 2012, I was fortunate to visit Appleton Estate, the undisputed home of rum, twice. While the first visit was an amazing experience (we were offered rum punch and 13 rums to sample!), on the second visit, I joined the Jamaica Rum Society on a deluxe tour that came complete with a complimentary bus, tour guide, and bartender who served us sandwiches and as much Appleton Estate Extra and the Master Blender as we could handle.

On arrival at Appleton, we were welcomed with complimentary breakfast. We did the usual tour but at the end, we had a private tasting with four premium Appleton rums. Afterwards, we were certified as Appleton rum ambassadors.

The Colors of Independence

The Colors of Independence

In 2012, Jamaica hosted a year-long celebration of her 50th anniversary of independence from Britain. In August, I took these photos at the Independence Village that was set up at the National Stadium in Kingston.

The Colors of Independence

The Colors of Independence

In St. Ann, my cousin pointed out this statue of Christopher Columbus, near Seville – the place where he landed when he arrived in Jamaica in 1494.

La Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus Statue, Jamaica

La Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus Statue, Jamaica

Traveling means appreciating local flora, foods and historic buildings. This year, I discovered lionfish, a potentially harmful fish. It’s no surprise to me that Jamaicans have taken to it — we’re probably the only people who eat ackee, a potentially deadly food. We love it so much, we elevated it to national dish status!

Brown stewed Lionfish

Brown stewed Lionfish



Wildflower, Jamaica

Wildflower, Jamaica

Oakton House

Oakton House

Mineral baths are popular with Jamaicans who swear by their ability to relieve aches and pains. In 2012, I visited two – Rockfort Mineral Baths in Kingston, and Bath Fountain in St. Thomas.  After just 15 minutes in the water — you’re advised against staying longer — I felt relaxed and rejuvenated. I can’t wait to visit the others.

Rockfort Mineral Baths

Rockfort Mineral Baths

My travels also took me to Toronto and New York. Downtown Toronto’s vibrant street and public art, and its construction boom caught my eye.

Toronto's Street Art

Toronto’s Street Art

Toronto's Changing Facade

Toronto’s Changing Facade

In New York, I came close to China’s Terra Cotta Warriors — they make me anxious to fulfill a dream of seeing the actual sculptures.

Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

Here’s to the ending of another year of travelling Jamaica (and elsewhere).

Sunset boats, Negril

Sunset boats, Negril

Happy New Year! I wish you a year full of travels near and far.

This is my submission to Travel Photo Thursday, which is organized by Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.


  1. My travels were like yours this year–close to home. Nice to review in pictures.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..Hot Days: Hot JazzMy Profile

  2. Great photos. Happy New Year!

  3. After reading your posts, I’d conclude you covered a lot of ground this year! I remembered your colors of independence when I saw them above, loved those shots the first time and it was so much fun following you down Memory Lane to see them again. Happy New Year and Happy Travels, Marcia.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Kotor, Montenegro: Climb Every MountainMy Profile

  4. We saw the Terracotta soldier exhibit in Atlanta a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Made me dream of visiting China too.
    Tonya recently posted..Our Visit to Legoland FloridaMy Profile

  5. You had such a busy year you had to post a second part of your year-ender? 😀 I was supposed to do the same. I wonder if it’s still called a year-ender if I post it next week? Anyway, I have a lot of backlogs, too, and I use photos to remember my trips. Very good strategy 😀
    Aleah | recently posted..Going Solo for Archaeology TravelMy Profile

  6. You traveled and shared your journey with us… 🙂 Glad to reconnect…
    Glad to reconnect with you this year and many thanks for the blog support.
    •.★♥★Happy New Year to You & Yours!★♥★.•
    ElizOF recently posted..Welcome 2013: Tips For A Happy Healthy Year!My Profile

  7. It looks to me like you’ve done a more than respectable amount of traveling! What are your plans for 2013?
    Leigh recently posted..Ice Skating on Lake LouiseMy Profile

  8. Yes you did quite a bit of traveling in 2012! I’ve enjoyed visiting Jamaica with you. Someday I’ll actually make it for my self 🙂
    Debbie Beardsley recently posted..Alexandrowka – Potsdam’s Russian ColonyMy Profile

  9. I remember your post on Oakton House – I love that building. The girls look stunning in their colors of independence. A great year.
    budget jan recently posted..From Marrakech to the dunes of Erg Chebbi.My Profile

  10. The food does look deadly but you know what they say “we love to eat food that they tell us to avoid”. Why can’t you stay in the mineral bath longer than 15 mins?
    Connor Harley recently posted..7 Hot Businesses TodayMy Profile

  11. I think the rum tours would have made your whole year’s travels worthwhile!!! I guess becoming a certified rum ambassador gives you carte blanche to drink a LOT!! Happy New Year, and enjoy your 2013 travels!!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..12 Killer Australian Sunsets of 2012!My Profile

  12. It’s been wonderful traveling with you this past year. Looks like you had a great year of memories and experiences. Love seeing these photos again from your previous posts. Wishing you more travels next year and hopefully we get to meet at TBEX (if you’re going to Toronto again). Happy new Year!
    Mary recently posted..Washington, DC with Kids: 5 Free and Fun Attractions Beyond the MallMy Profile

  13. Have another great year of travel in 2013!
    Dick Jordan recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Capturing Look-alikesMy Profile

  14. Thanks, Dick. Same to you!

  15. Thanks, Mary! Looking forward to meeting you too!
    Best wishes for 2013!!

  16. I get to talk about rum. It’d be lovely if they threw in a few bottles every month, I wouldn’t mind.
    Thanks, same to you. Look forward to seeing where 2013 takes you.

  17. Yes, it was a great year, Jan.
    Still curious about the inside, planning to check it out this year.

  18. So glad you’ve enjoying visiting Jamaica with me. Let me know when you do, I’ll show you around.

  19. Yes, looking back now, I have. The only int’l trip that’s final is the one to Toronto. I’ve already began traveling Jamaica.
    Happy New Year, Leigh!

  20. You’re welcome, Elizabeth.
    Glad you took the journey with me and thanks as well for your support.

  21. It’s not too late, Aleah. You can still do it. Absolutely!
    Photos hold so much memory, I look back on trips I took years ago and they feel fresh.

  22. It’s a remarkable exhibit one that’s been on my list for years.
    Hope you get to see in China soon!

  23. Glad to have had you follow along with me, Jackie. Look forward to sharing more in 2013.
    Happy New Year to you too! Wishing you another year of fun and adventure.

  24. Thanks, Muza-chan!
    Same to you. Look forward to learning more about Japan.

  25. We can do a lot of traveling close to home, Vera. There’s much to see and do.
    Here’s to another year of travels!

  26. Hey Marciam,
    What a lovely compilation of awe-inspiring photos!!! Loved them!! I enjoyed reading about your travel. Thanks for sharing your journey through this post.

  27. Hi Marcia

    Alcohol intoxication, eating lionfish, bathing in hot water, tramping in the jungle on the Blue Mountain – it’s been the Year of Living Dangerously for you. I’m seeing a trend. What’s next?

    PS, I’m posting on Hakea again.
    Hakea recently posted..1/52My Profile

  28. Wishing you happy travels in 2013! I look forward to following along with your many adventures!:-)
    Jess recently posted..Buffalo Exchange Offers New Yorkers Clean Closets + CashMy Profile

  29. Lovely round to Jamaica and back 🙂 Seems to be a wonderful travel spot. Thanks for the ride.

  30. Thanks, Fatima. You’re welcome. Glad to have you on this ride

  31. Thanks, Jess! Wish you the same.

  32. Hahahaha, now that you’ve put it that way, I see it too.
    What’s next? Another year of the same. I’ll be over to see you soon.

  33. You’re welcome, Aayna. Glad to have had you along.

  34. Yes, some of us love to live on the edge.
    Prolonged exposure to the number of minerals in the water can be harmful.

  35. Rum, wildflowers and independence – a winning combination! I really enjoyed these photos, Marcia.
    Lesley Peterson recently posted..ArtSmart Roundtable: Bata Shoe Museum, TorontoMy Profile

  36. Thanks, Lesley, glad you did!