Jamaica’s soft sand and crystal clear water are the things most people look forward to when visiting the beautiful island, but not me. My family vacation to Jamaica was one I will never forget. We spent our time in the hills of the island, where the people of Jamaica really live.
We didn’t stay in a fancy hotel on the strip or soak up the sun on the beach. Instead, we spent our time in Catadupa, building outhouses, for the people who were without one. We spent a week in Catadupa, and I loved every second of it.
We stayed in a small schoolhouse for the entire week. The women of the village made all of our meals, Jamaican style, and taught us a lot about life in Catadupa. We learned about its history and the customs of the people.
I always assumed that the people there were so much different than my family, but even though they had very little; they had fun and enjoyed each other’s company. They had the most amazing sense of community. They would do just about anything for their neighbors.nextpage–
Not only did the Jamaicans teach me how to have fun without electricity, they taught me that it’s not about how much you have, but what you do with what you have. When you think about ‘vacation,’ you think about resorts and beaches, mountains and lakes, or sunshine and road trips, but actually, being with real people, that aren’t trying to sell you something every five second, makes the trip so much better. They can relate to you, and it makes the trip more personal.
You can get to know the people on a real level. During our trip we learned so much, but I believe that the Jamaicans learned things from us too. They learned that having more money doesn’t always mean you are happy, and that they are not less fortunate; I’m less fortunate because I lack the close knit relationships and the love for my community, like they have.
I wouldn’t have changed anything about our trip. The people of Catadupa were the most amazing people I have ever met, and I will never forget them. Even though we didn’t stay in a resort or get great tans, the memories and bonds we made were worth more than any material things we gave up.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.