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Travel Memories: Sometimes, it’s the Characters You Meet

Most times, travel is about a destination. But what about the people and other characters we meet along the way? Sometimes, it’s all about them. Sometimes, they help us make lasting travel memories.

I had several ideas and a few half-written posts that I could have used for this week’s photo Thursday but I kept going back to this photo of a Rastaman I took on the beach in Negril. Then I found other photos of people I’d taken and a theme began to take shape.

Sometimes it's the Characters that Make Travel Memories

Negril Rastaman

It was his hair that caught my friend’s attention – she’d never seen locks as long as his. I was surprised how white his hair was since he didn’t seem to be that old. He stopped when I asked what he was selling and gave us an entire lesson on herbs and spices. I ended up buying turmeric, which now I can’t live without.

Sometimes, it's the Characters that Make Travel Memories

Accompong Man

I didn’t have time to speak with this man in Accompong. As soon as he saw my camera, he stopped, posed then walked away. If he’d stayed, I’d have to find a way to open the conversation without asking about the oversized glasses or the flashlight on his head.

Sometimes, it's the Characters that Make Travel Memories

Seaford Town Filipinas

Jamaica has been a magnet for people from all over the world but I’d never met anyone from the Philippines here before. On this excursion, I met not one but two Filipino women. One’s married to a Jamaican and has lived on the island for about 15 years. Her friend had arrived a few months before so she was showing her around. I was surprised to learn that there’s a “large” Filipino expat community in Jamaica.

Their stories about adjusting to life in Jamaica and their observances of us kept us laughing almost the ride back. Each time they saw something interesting, they’d asked the driver to stop so they could take photos. This stop was probably our fourth or fifth. When we got back into the bus, the driver said it’d have to be the last as he’d be late returning to our drop off point.

Sometimes, it's the Characters that Make Travel Memories

Dunn’s River Donkey

All but two of the photos I took of this flower-bedecked donkey and his owner came out blurry because I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve seen donkeys similarly dressed up but this one just had us cracking up. When I stopped laughing, my friend would draw my attention to something else and we’d both be laughing all over again. We took photos with the donkey wearing these goofy straw hat the owner gave us but those were out of focus. Even the day after, we’d look at each other and burst out laughing about the donkey.

Donkeys are everywhere in the countryside. Farmers use them take them to their farms and produce to the market. In the old days, the donkey operated the machine that squeezed the juice from sugarcane. The donkey in these photos from Appleton demonstrates how it was done then waits to be fed and petted.

Sometimes, it's the Characters that Make Travel Memories

Chef for a minute at Little Ochie

Sometimes traveling alone as a woman has its perks. Like the day this guy decided to make me chef for a minute at Little Ochie. I’m still not sure why he did it. My guess is he saw me chatting with the owner. Whatever his reason, I learned one thing from that minute — I couldn’t be a cook in a large kitchen as I cannot take the heat!

Linking to Travel Photo Thursday and Travel Photo Mondays. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.


  1. Cool photos… especially the one with Negril Rastaman.
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Hinoi Team – Ike IkeMy Profile

  2. Love that photo of you and what a heart warming post. The people you meet along the road add such a richness to one’s travel.
    Leigh recently posted..Cycling the Banff Legacy Trail from Canmore to BanffMy Profile

  3. Thanks, Leigh.

  4. Hello great “chef for a minute,” who wouldn’t let a cool, pretty chick like you share the kitchen with them? 🙂
    Love the post. When you asked Keith and I where our favorite travel destinations are? Those are the places where the locals deeply touched our hearts. No matter how breathtaking the destinations are, its always the people encounter that give soul to the experience.
    Marisol recently posted..Thimphu, Bhutan (Part 1): The Festival, the Big Buddha and the CityMy Profile

  5. I didn’t know my countrymen and women are also in Jamaica. We are everywhere! 😉
    Marlys recently posted..All About Gran Canaria NaturalMy Profile

  6. I was thinking earlier this week of the people I’ve met while traveling. I’ve met some amazing people. I love the donkey! What a fun photo. But that photo of you in the kitchen is my favorite this week. You have such a warm, beautiful smile. Happy Travels!
    Tonya recently posted..Taking a Walk at Gorman Nature CenterMy Profile

  7. You’ve certainly met quite some characters, Marcia. I love how you remember your interactions with them. I remember some interesting people I’ve met but I don’t think I’ve taken pictures of them. I didn’t know there was even a Filipino community in Jamaica. We are everywhere 🙂
    Mary recently posted..Strolling Down the Golden Lane in PragueMy Profile

  8. “Jamaica has been a magnet for people from all over the world …”

    Jamaica is a brand (beaches, reggae, dancehall, rasta, Bob Marley, Usain Bolt etc. ), and I will surely visit one day!

  9. The people we meet during our travels is definitely one of the main reasons I enjoy traveling so much. Because what they teach me is that we’re all pretty much the same. Hmmm…I wonder if Jave knows the white-haired rastaman on the beach – I’ll have to show him this post. Also, I had no idea that there was a Filipino expat community in Jamaica either – interesting! Enjoyed this post!
    Dana Carmel recently posted..Masaya Volcano: Staring Into the Mouth of HellMy Profile

  10. You look like a very happy chef! Love these stories, Marcia. Don’t know how you resisted asking the guy about the glasses and flashlight right off the bat. That’s a very cool pic of a someone who looks to me like a very cool guy. 🙂
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Into the Vineyards at Tenuta MasselinaMy Profile

  11. I’ve been collecting similar memories on this trip Marcia and had been thinking about a similar post after we return. Isn’t it amazing how a person can make such an impact just by a smile, or by just being? Loved this one!
    Jackie Smith recently posted..G’Day Mates from Down Under!My Profile

  12. Marcia, just reading the part in the post about the donkey made ME laugh! Did you notice the sun glasses he was wearing??? I’m still laughing! Btw….that picture of you at the grill rocks, my friend! 🙂

  13. I couldn’t agree with you more Marcia, about the journey and the people along the way! This is a philosophy I hold near and dear to my heart when traveling!! Loved how you highlighted all of the interesting “characters” you met along the way, especially that friendly man in Accompong–loved the flashlight and glasses too and he looks like such an interesting man with lots of tales to tell.
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..Disney’s ‘Frozen’—Powered by Visit Norway!My Profile

  14. It’s so true that the people we meet along the way can lead to some of the best travel memories. You have have had some great encounters – and I desperately want to know what the deal is with those sun glasses!!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..A Day in Stratford with London Taxi TourMy Profile

  15. You’re so right, it’s really mostly about the people you meet. Makes a huge difference as to how yo remember a place.
    Sophie recently posted..Coxen’s HoleMy Profile

  16. Those are some interesting characters indeed, especially that silly donkey. I had no idea that there were Filipino expats in Jamaica.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..The Sunshine AwardMy Profile

  17. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. You must Visit to Dubai for Party Cruise Dubai.

  18. Definitely Lisa Goodmurphy we meet many different people when we travel and the memories they gave us becomes unforgettable memories.

  19. Dubai’s on my list, Anna!
    Thanks for stopping by.

  20. You have some fantastic looking characters in these portraits, Marcia!

  21. Thanks, Andrew!

  22. I really love your blog! The way you describe the place and the people! 5 star for this! Keep it up!
    Bai recently posted..Island BuenavistaMy Profile