The Journey Begins

For quite sometime now, I’ve nursed a dream to return to Jamaica, the place I was born. It wasn’t one I shared easily as many people, my family included, worried. They questioned how I’d manage, how I’d deal with a place I haven’t lived in for more than 30 years. But I knew it was something I had to do. I knew Jamaica was somewhere in my future. That future is now.

Like me, Jamaica has changed but not always for the better. With a population of nearly 3 million, its rate of economic growth is estimated at only about 2.5%, inflation just under 12% and unemployment stands at nearly 12%. And though it recorded its lowest crime rate since 2003, it is still at worrisome levels.

One doesn’t need an advanced degree in sociology or economics to explain why this is. Whenever the gap between those who have and those who don’t becomes an ever widening chasm, there will be consequences.

Fishing boats at Little Ochie, St. Elizabeth
Fishing boats at Little Ochie, St. Elizabeth

The reality is that the Jamaica that a visitor sees is not the one I will live in. But reality becomes secondary to what the soul wants.

What I know is that Jamaica is the only place on earth that grounds me, makes my heart sing and makes me feel whole. It grabs my heart, infuriates me and makes me scream sometimes. But it is where I feel I have a voice. I can’t easily ignore the problems without wanting to do something about it, though I have no idea what.

As I wrote on my About page, I’ve longed to explore this place, touch its heart and find its soul. So for the next few months, I’ll be writing almost exclusively about Jamaica and sharing my experiences with you.

On August 6th next year, Jamaica will celebrate 50 years of Independence from Britain. I mourn what we’ve lost but I’m curious to see how we’ve grown, what we’ve accomplished, what we’re proud of. Most importantly, I want to be there to breathe it, to see and hear it, because Jamaica is more than a country, it’s a clash of contrasts. It’s an experience.

16 comments on “The Journey Begins

  1. Hugs and good luck on your venture……….my inner traveler will live vicariously through you.
    I hope your return home is everything you have hoped for, and more.

  2. How long is your visit? Glad to see you venturing back home. Even with all of the complexities of home, it’s still home and a place grounded in you. I imagine great photos coming from there as you explore and get reacquainted.

  3. I’d love to read your upcoming stories! We’re planning to visit Jamaica late this year/early next year and would love to see the country beyond its beaches and Bob Marley.

  4. So exciting!

    Will you be working as well?

    Are you going back to your home town or trying something different?

    Woo Hoo, we’re going to have an adventure.

  5. It’ll definitely be different. Except for vacations, I haven’t been home for more than 4 weeks in over 30 years. I’m kind of in between — wanting to be back at the old place and going someplace totally new. Will see. Want to be open to what feels right.

  6. You know we will all be thinking of you, praying for you, and looking forward to reading your posts from the motherland… I am glad for you and understand the power of that calling to do something; it is a compelling feeling that we often can’t shake… So I get it… Jamaica is home, and the ancients are calling you home to do your work there… We will be supporting you from here… Hopefully, my subscription will correct itself… Blessings to you! 🙂

  7. Thanks, Elizabeth and thanks for the prayers and good wishes. It’s a mighty undertaking but I think I’m ready. I believe and I will trust in their guidance.
    I’m not sure what’s going on with the subscription. Will have to check Feedburner again.

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