Jamaica’n Me Relax!

Working in the travel industry has a downside. I know, pull out the world’s tiniest violin because yes, it’s still completely awesome. But the part that people don’t always realize is that it’s still WORK, and a lot of it!

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When I travel for the show there’s months of prep work and planning that goes into each shoot. Contacting companies and destinations, researching the locations and adventures, promoting the trip on social media as well as basic camera charging, packing, etc. On the trip it is filled with shot lists, timelines and schedules, as well as directing and hosting. And if it’s a press trip and you’re with a group, there’s also the difficult challenge of getting every photo and video shot while not slowing down the group and getting all of the necessary information. And then of course after each trip, there’s the editing process, blog writing, more social media, and follow ups with contacts.

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE every single step of this process. But staying present in each epic moment gets tricky; coming home feeling “relaxed” is rare, and staying healthy and on track with my day to day life is usually impossible. On each trip I try my best to get up early to breathe in a sunset, or look up from the camera lens and see a landscape with my own eyes, or end the day with a glass of wine and turn off for a bit. But an actual “vacation” for me is a very rare luxury.

So when a friend of mine won an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica and offered to take me as his +1, I had a choice; try to contact companies to get in as much adventure as possible, film around the resort, or completely turn off and aside from occasional guilt for not featuring a location, ACTUALLY relax! I chose the later.

So instead of an episode (although I will still probably put together a little video with the few bits I did record…can’t seem to turn off completely) I decided to blog about what a real vacation felt like.

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First, I gotta talk about the ridiculous place that is the Moon Palace Resort. Right on the beach in Ocho Rios, this resort is all-inclusive and with a steakhouse, Italian restaurant, all-day buffet, and many other places to eat we never went hungry! And the staff makes sure you never have an empty glass. If you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan you’ll understand what I mean when I say, every staff member was our own personal “Linus”. So basically my days consisted of sitting in one of the many incredible pools and drinking Pina Coladas and Rum and Cokes at the swim up bars, afternoon naps, and incredible meals.

We ventured out for two excursions at the end of the week. The Luminous Lagoon is a lagoon made up Dinoflagellate Molecules that illuminate in the water with movement. There are only four places in the world where this phenomenon occurs and Jamaica’s Lagoon shines the brightest. So at nighttime, swimming here, the water turns blue with each movement. The night we went there was a faraway storm with visible lightning and a wide open starry sky. It was magical!

Our last full day we took a catamaran party boat to go snorkeling in the bright blue clear waters and then headed to Dunn’s River Falls where you climb almost 200 feet in the waterfall for some insane views. I was a little worried about this excursion because of it’s popularity and I usually prefer solitude and natural beauty with waterfalls, but the teamwork of helping each other up the falls and the moments to slide down and dive in made this day a blast!

Relaxation with a little bit of adventure and no work! This was luxurious to the max! And while I did record a few photos and video, most days I forgot to turn my camera on which was a rare treat. Not having to do my hair and makeup each day or plan out outfits, not having to upload and make notes at the end of each day, not even worrying about the indulgence of food and drinks was the perfect full-on legit vacation. And Jamaica with it’s “no worries mon” attitude was the ideal locale to kick back and truly breathe in the moment.

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