Photo Credit: Lyncoln Miller
Jamaica Me Crazy: What Ladies Love Most About The Caribbean Getaway
For millennial women, the 1998 film How Stella Got Her Groove Back painted the perfect picture of what a getaway to Jamaica looked like. Based on the book by Terry McMillan, crisp, white sands, brisk breezes, and sultry beach scenes littered the minds of women everywhere who made it a mission to make their way to the Caribbean coast.
More than two decades later, black women are still in love with Jamaica and make it a point to visit the island as often as possible.
Photographer Aseuleni Deloney, 40, visited Jamaica in 2018 on a Carnival cruise. Her favorite attraction while visiting the island was the Dunns River Falls, a national treasure near Ocho Rios with towering, overflowing waterfalls.
“My favorite thing to do was Dunns River Falls,” Deloney said. “It’s a waterfall that starts at the base of a beach and ascends upward. It was definitely an unforgettable experience.”
Although the boat was only at port for 12 hours, Deloney made the most of her experience; having lunch at a local Jamaican restaurant and participating in river rafting. The relaxed vibes of the Jamaican locals was something she’d never forget.
“I took away the leisure lifestyle of Jamaicans,” Deloney said. “They are very laid back with no sense of urgency. They are really friendly, all of which is something that Americans desperately need to adopt.”
Jen Iro, 32, went to Jamaica on a girl’s trip for a friend’s birthday a few weeks back and counts it as one of her favorite travel experiences. While visiting, Iro was enamored with the Soca nightlife and exquisite cuisine.
“Everything was set out, and they had freshly squeezed juices to the gods,” Iro said. “For dinner, it was family style on Friday’s, so a great chunk of meat was served very nicely. Every morning I headed straight to breakfast and snagged croissants; something about the croissants, jerk chicken, and beef patties!”
Baton Rouge native Narcisse Burchell, 28, also found much delight in the array of delicious foods available in Jamaica. The fresh fruit and native dishes were her favorites to indulge in while visiting the island for her wedding anniversary in April 2021. She also enjoyed horseback riding alongside the beach and racing ATVs with her husband.
“If you would have told me before that you’d call it a goat, and I’d call Billy dinner, I would have called you a liar, but baby, that goat curry changed my entire life,” Burchell said.
Most travelers to Jamaica recognize that the locals are very friendly, full of smiles, and ready to help make your vacation experience unforgettable, said Cherie Obilon, the birthday girl who invited Iro on her trip earlier this year. With a rich cultural history, Jamaica has a little of everything for every type of traveler.
“Jamaicans are proud of their culture,” Obilon said. “They don’t force it on you but they welcome you. They are very kind and laid back. There’s almost a laissez-faire quality to them.”
Iro agrees and left Jamaica appreciating life and culture differently than before she arrived at the Caribbean paradise.
“I really left appreciating the country more because of the people and hospitality,” Iro said. “Out of everywhere that I travel, I have never felt so welcomed and comfortable. I’m planning to go back in the summer.”
With white, sandy beaches, historic landmarks, and a plethora of local, fresh foods to choose from, Jamaica is the ideal destination for any woman looking to get a few spoonfuls of Caribbean vibes in their next travel cocktail.
“I’ve never traveled to a place where everyone seemed genuinely concerned about you having a good time,” Burchell said. “I can see how Stella got her groove back!”