My visit to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho starting me blogging, but Jamaica was my inspiration to get in to travel. Though I was born in Jamaica, I don’t know it as well as I think I should.
When I got laid off from my job in November 2003, I was excited. For several months prior, two friends and I had been planning our next professional moves. Mine was to start a tour company that would showcase Jamaica the way I see it, not the sand, sun, reggae and rum tour that many people associate it with.
At less than 4,500 square miles, Jamaica is slightly smaller than the Connecticut yet it is as diverse as many countries twice its size. Part of the island’s beauty is its lushness. Jamaica is a garden full of a variety of flowers, including orchids – about 200 species, nearly half of them endemic to the island, several hundred types of ferns and trees which bathes this little piece of rock in a riot of color year round.
It was not surprising then that my first post was about flowers, the kinds of flowers that my mother, grandmother and countless Jamaicans grow, the flowers that make my heart smile. Since then, I’ve blogged about flowers several times.
Me no drink cawfee tea, mango time. Care how nice it may be, mango time. Mango Time, Jamaican folk song
We’re passionate about fruits but especially mangoes, which is celebrated by its own folk song. Yes, when it’s mango time in Jamaica we eat it at every meal. Almost.
Jamaica has more than 300 species of birds, more than two dozen of which are endemic to the island. The doctor bird, a swallowtail hummingbird is our national bird.
Domestic animals are also quite common. You’ll notice goats, cows, as well as donkeys, especially in the rural areas.
From large great houses, opulent castles such as Trident to small board houses, we have them all. Take a look.
Twenty or 30 years from now, I’m going to be on a beach in Jamaica. – Idris Elba
3rd Blogiversary Giveaway
In celebration of our 3rd Blogiversary, we’re giving away three prizes – two (2) copies of the Lonely Planet travel guide toJamaica, and a copy of The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson to three lucky winners. Enter by December 22nd by leaving a comment, tweeting about the giveaway #3Years3Prizes or liking us on Facebook. It’s that easy. The giveaway is open only to addresses in the United States and Canada. Good luck!