If you're already dreaming about your next vacation getaway, whether it be because you're sick of work or you're just a bit of a travel addict, then you're in luck—because we're about to run through the pros and cons associated with a particularly popular destination over in the Caribbean. That destination is Jamaica.
There are a lot of different things that come to mind when the name is brought up, but for the sake of this piece, we're going to put all of the stereotypes to one side. After all, deciding where to go on your next adventure isn't about going with the status quo.
10 PARADISE - The Locals
Receiving that friendly vibe from any given holiday destination is always important because while you aren’t exactly going to fly home immediately if it’s not up to scratch, it certainly puts you in a better state of mind.
So many of the locals over in Jamaica are relaxed, laid back and just want to have a nice, friendly conversation. The perception that they tend to be a bit more aggressive falls flat upon stepping foot on the island, and more people need to appreciate the resilience and natural charisma of these people.
9 NOT PARADISE - Crime
It’s not like every single street corner you turn down is going to lead to trouble, but there’s certainly a prevalent amount of crime throughout the streets of Jamaica. Areas such as Kingston are littered with problems, but now it’s extending to other regions, too.
The ongoing ‘gang wars’ that seem to be infecting the country are at the top of the list when it comes to issues that desperately need to be resolved, mainly because innocent people wind up getting put in the crossfire when there’s just no need for that to happen.
8 PARADISE - Sporting History
Celebrating the history of any given country is important if you want to understand it better, and for Jamaica, one big element of their historical attraction stems from sports. They like their football, as we all know, but you need to look a little bit deeper for the good stuff.
Usain Bolt has been a hero on that island for longer than most of us can remember, and they certainly seem to be hell-bent on carrying on their phenomenal legacy in athletics. Plus, if you’re feeling nostalgic, there is the option to go bobsledding at the Mystic Mountain in a callback to Cool Runnings.
7 NOT PARADISE - Getting There
Due to being located on its own island down in the Caribbean, actually getting to Jamaica can prove tricky from time to time. Even if there’s some kind of a direct flight, it’s not like you’ll be arriving in 30 minutes to an hour. Most of the time there are layovers and when it comes to flying, nobody enjoys that process.
When you arrived none of that is going to matter, obviously, but with great power comes great responsibility – and if you want to be sat with a Pina Colada in hand without a care in the world, you’ll need to make the trip.
6 PARADISE - Gorgeous Beaches
White sand beaches and crystal clear waters. What can possibly go wrong? Montego Bay is littered with beaches such as these, but in truth, you’ll be able to find great ones all along the coast.
It’s not your standard, stereotypical beach, either, it always seems as if everything is spot on. The water is never too cold, the sand rarely gets everywhere as it does on most standard beaches, and if you’re up for relaxing there is literally nowhere better. This is what it means to chill out – especially if you’ve got a nice Red Stripe on the go.
5 NOT PARADISE - Drugs
One of the popular stereotypes most people associate with Jamaica is their overindulgence on marijuana. While it’s all fun and games poking fun at it, the actual possession and selling of the drug is an issue, especially when it expands to every corner of the island.
In addition to that, there are a few more ‘Class A’ drugs that have grown increasingly popular around the idea, and we don’t need to be the ones to tell you that these issues can start to get out of hand pretty quickly.
4 PARADISE - Music
Relaxed, enjoyable, calm. Three words we’d use to describe the music scene in Jamaica which many would argue is revolutionary. Dancehall and reggae music are considered to be genres that were formed in the great nation, and it’s hard to disagree with that.
The obvious stand out is always going to be Bob Marley, and it’s genuinely really interesting to learn more about his past, where he came from and what led to his overwhelming international success. It’s all so very mellow and so very enjoyable, and the scene will only continue to go from strength to strength.
3 NOT PARADISE - Political Issues
Ever since pretty much the Second World War, there has been a frequent and ongoing political conflict in Jamaica. It has certainly gone through some bad times and not so bad times, but for the most part, they don’t seem to react well to change – or to the whole ‘democracy’ thing.
The People’s National Party and Jamaican Labor Party tend to be at the forefront of the controversy more often than not, and it has certainly caused a great deal of heartache over the years. Hopefully, we move towards a more peaceful Jamaica soon.
2 PARADISE - The Food
Sampling the local cuisine isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea, because home comforts can be a little bit more, well, comforting. However, we’re of the belief that it’s all pretty great local food over in Jamaica.
Goat curry is up there but we understand why that might throw people off from the name alone, whereas Jamaican patties and Jerk chicken seem as if they’re going to be a bit more popular amongst the general population. They also love their fish, too, and they’re quite unique in the way they mix ingredients together. Basically, we love it all.
1 NOT PARADISE - Crowded Summers
As is the case with most other places on earth, there is always going to be a steady influx of visitors throughout the year until you reach the summer – which is when it gets absolutely crazy.
Jamaica isn’t the biggest island in the world and it all starts to get a little bit overwhelming, and when it’s that crowded, it isn’t quite as pleasant of a place to be in. Sure, you can still have some fun, but it’s all about soaking in the serenity of your surroundings in Jamaica.