Photo Credit: Doreen Lillian Scarlett
Jamaica's Hidden Gems Are The Therapy You Never Knew You Needed
When you live in a tropical island paradise like Jamaica, you don’t have to go far to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. This is exactly how Doreen Lillian Scarlett likes to spend her weekends. The 30-year-old Kingston native shows off some of Jamaica’s hidden gems.
“I started exploring my island because I didn’t want to live a routine life of going to school, working, sleeping, and continuing that same endless cycle. I knew there had to be more to life. Once I finally started to explore my island, I realized I’d been living in a box!”
“I became obsessed with the natural wonders of Jamaica and I wanted so badly for my fellow Jamaicans to experience the beauty of this paradise we call home. On my site I show photos from the amazing locations I visit along with information about how to get to them.”
In addition to the pristine white sand beaches Jamaica is known for, it is also home to mountains, rivers, lagoons, waterfalls, hills, botanical gardens, and forests. Though people are largely familiar with popular attractions like Dunn’s River Falls, the Martha Brae River, and the Blue Hole, Doreen says there are many other amazing Jamaican hidden gems waiting to be explored.
“I want to explore all of Jamaica’s hidden gems. The parish of Portland has a community called Millbank with over twenty waterfalls. Portland is a favorite among native Jamaicans and has a lot of hidden gems. Cockpit County in Trelawny and the Blue Mountains have spots offering great opportunities for hiking and exploring.”
“The historic parish of Saint Thomas is another area that has loads of historic sites and great lesser-known spots but doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Copper Hole, Sunning Hill Waterfall, and Allen Spring are some of the hidden gems in Saint Thomas that get overshadowed by more popular sites.”
One of Doreen’s favorite things to do is explore her country’s many stunning waterfalls. She never tires of her endless search for the beautiful cascades, as each is unique with its own nuances worth experiencing. Some of her most recent waterfall discoveries include Brae Head Waterfall in Clarendon, Sunning Hill Waterfall in Saint Thomas, Spring Hill Waterfall in Portland, and Stewart Mountain Waterfall in Saint Mary.
Since she started traveling, Doreen has enjoyed the ways in which the additional physical activity and being in the outdoors has improved her life.
“I had been wanting to become more consistent with doing exercise. Now, because of my trips that involve hikes and long walks, it is happening.”
“99.9% of my travels are done via public transportation like bus, mini van, or taxi. It’s very cheap and I have lots of it at my disposal. However, there are, of course, places vehicles can’t reach. I can get to these spots by bicycle or walking, and this allows me to get in lots of great exercise. Being outside among nature is refreshing. Breathing the fresh air and feeling the cold river water on your skin will leave you rejuvenated.”
Doreen says exploring Jamaica’s hidden gems is therapeutic and provides her with a boost when she’s in need of inspiration or motivation. She can simply take a trip to somewhere new and amazing on the island and the ideas will magically start to flow.
“I consider travel to be free therapy. Meeting new people and having conversations can help reduce stress levels for both you and them. I’ve met people on my travels who have talked to me about issues that they were facing because they didn’t feel comfortable telling the people that they were around every day. After we talked, they thanked me for listening.”
“In fact, I have met some truly amazing people that have helped me changed how I view the world. This benefited me spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Seeing somewhere new and magical and meeting new incredible people brings about all kinds of happy feelings.”
Doreen says she would love to be able to someday make a living through her travels and that it would be a dream come true to be able to travel more frequently, instead of just on Saturdays and holidays.
“It feels ridiculously amazing to follow my passion and be able to inspire my fellow Jamaicans as well as people from around the world to travel, even if it’s only within their home country. But if this dream of mine doesn’t take place in this lifetime, it will be perfectly fine. I explore my home Jamaica because it’s something I’m passionate about and because I want others to experience the joy I feel when I explore.”