Love comes in many forms. The older I get and the more I travel, the broader I expand my definition of love. Surely, love for a man, a child, or one’s family is a force to be reckoned with. But why stop there? Wanderers will recognize love for the world as one of the defining relationships of their lives. One can develop love for one’s land, for music, for ballet and for dinners with friends. If it gives you comfort and brings even the slightest amount of joy into your life, nurture it.
Except for the standard set of facts—a Caribbean island nation, proud birthplace of Bob Marley and reggae—I did not know much about Jamaica when I landed in Montego Bay one rainy afternoon, that type of a day when time stands still and nature itself is motionless from the heat. Over the course of one week, I came to love Jamaica’s jagged westernmost cliffs, wide expanses of its treacherous country roads, the tousle of its verdant forests and lush mountain peaks perpetually shrouded in clouds. I tasted delicious mangoes for the first time in my life and discovered, with gladness, that Jamaicans count more than ten varieties of this incredibly giving fruit.
I also deepened my understanding of the legend himself, Bob Marley. As many before him who’ve come to this world with an important message, Bob Marley left us too soon. But he gave us hope and he taught us how to love—both lessons reverberating through our hearts and minds to this day.
Jamaica is not perfect. Among the poorer nations of the Caribbean, it grapples with grave realities: tourism overdevelopment, inequality, and corruption. Yet, as I sat on the edge of the world—or so it seemed—watching sun fall into the azure waters for the last time, sweet mango juice running down both of my arms, I remembered the words of Jamaica’s beloved son: “She’s not perfect—you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can.”
I gave it all I had in Jamaica.
Discover some of Bob Marley’s most poignant thoughts as you travel through Jamaica with me
4. The winds that sometimes take something we love are the same that bring us something we learn to love.
Boston Bay on Jamaica’s northern coast holds dramatic cliffs and incessant surge of the waves.
7. Just because you are happy does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.
Everyone should experience the delight of an outside shower once in their lifetime.
9. None but ourselves can free our minds.
Jamaica holds many secrets inside its mountainous core—including the Mayfield Falls. Their cool, crystal clear waters are accessible only by a steep mountain climb.