• hotfootroams

Green Eyed Bandit

There’s something about Jamaica...

I’ve become a fan of the Meet the Mitchell's YouTube Channel

Family YouTubers aren't my faves, but #MTMfamily, I love it! Wayne & Tami Mitchell, husband and wife, both musical artists from Jamaica, their 3 sons (+one overseas), their younger brother and their Nanny, housekeeper and all the other friends and family that pop up on random episodes, give me life. The Jamaica snippets have my eyes goggled especially when Tami and Wayne go on staycations throughout the island. They went to the Jamaica Inn Resort a few months ago (I’m catching up on episodes) for a couples retreat. I know they're not looking for a throuple, but I wish I was there!

We are building snowmen in LDN and the temperature drops daily. My moon boots are daily attire, so you know what time it is. Their vlog has me wanting to teleport myself to Jamaica to sit at the table, have a cocktail and chow down on some seafood. It’s amazing. The sea, the greenery, the everyday life. No they are not completely corona free in Jamaica and have had some high numbers compared to other islands (nothing on the scale of the UK or USA), but people are still living life. It’s not just travel envy for me, but I get to sit virtually with my “in my head” family, every episode.


Travelling friends...

One of my friends from a Sista Circle I’m a part of has recently moved to Jamaica, from London, for as long as possible. We, the Circle, checked in with her this month. Rain was in full effect, the sparseness of the country parts, her home a quiet little reflection of her now passed Grandmother, and she at points feeling the lonely vibes (which many travellers don’t talk about) all had me mesmerised via Zoom. Travelling is a mirror of many emotions: exhilaration, fun, tiredness, hectic-ness, excitement, fulfilment, uncertainty, loneliness and so much more. All of which are important to surrender to. I’ve been there, so I know. With all that said, it won't be long before she sees me as an extended house guest. We barely know each other, but who’s really paying attention to that. I’m just saying. I’ll be there soon!


One of my other friends is currently residing in Mexico after a long stint in Colombia. She's an alumni of the same Sista Circle. There’s a lot of us who like to travel in that Circle. It’s good to be in the company of roamers! Her initial plan was to travel solo across South America. Covid hit, then lockdown came, a month after starting her travel journey. Fast forward, as soon as South America started to open up, she made her way to Mexico and met other roamers, mainly African American’s, but she blended right in. In our recent convo, she told me that she’d be continuing her travels throughout 2021 and that there was absolutely no reason for her to return to the UK and that she’ll do whatever it takes to not return. A tear came to my eye.

I mean I’m overjoyed for her but I’d like to be there too. She had been working her UK 9-5 remotely but is now working for herself, delivering personal development workshops and yoga whilst learning Spanish. Like me, she went with no language skills, but she’s working on it. Proud of you girl! If and when she decides to return to Colombia, I’ve got another friend to visit in a place I’ve been wanting to return to. I had the opportunity to visit Colombia in 2018. However, I was knackered by the time I got there. So all of the amazing sites and islands off the coast of the mainland, that travellers to me about, I didn’t venture to. Travel fatigue took over! Oddly enough, being a cultural enthusiast travelling to Mexico has never really been high on my list - Belize - a real interest in its African history, Caribbean vibes in Central America, Nicaragua - yes, volcano sliding, an interest in its African history also, not as commercially touristy as other Central American destinations, namely due to his history of drugs, crime and war. However, Mexico, not so much.


When we could cross UK borders, problem free, one of my work colleagues took a week off and travelled to Scotland. She drove, solo, 11 hours each way, from London. She ended up in some remote part of the country, no WiFi! Just what she wanted. Then whenever she felt like it, she caught up with friends and explored the remote parts with company. That definitely beats my day trip to Margate any day of the week. Oh I need a holiday!


What I found on the web...

I’ve just discovered @Tishwonders on Youtube. A UK food influencer who does travel too (I think), randomly popped up as a recommended to watch. She has a recent video of her “Living in Aruba”. OMG!! If you know me, you’ll know I LOVE ARUBA, it’s my happy place! Everywhere she highlighted I’d been, at least twice on my 4 month stay, that was actually only meant to be 5 days! That’s how much I love the place. I’m inspired by her movements, particularly as a Black influencer from the UK. Of course, my heart fell out of my chest and my eyes turned green in no time, when she was enjoying a dip at the Tres Trapi beach (which means 3 steps in papiamento - local Creole). One of my fave places. But it's this vlog that had me in tears:

I’ve purposely avoided social media, to be honest (I’ll be back on instagram, soon...just not there at the moment) as I’m struggling with not being somewhere else but here, in the doom and gloom of London, in lockdown. Although the recent snow was nice to see, with my eyes, but not with my feet!


Childhood travel memories...

Whilst still on the topic of travel envy, my first international holiday was to the tiny island of Bimini, in the Bahamas, age 10. Me, my friend and her family went for the entire 6 weeks summer holiday, celebrating my 11th birthday whilst there. Bimini has been completely regenerated now and is now the go to island of the 30 (inhabited) islands of the Bahamas.

However, 80’s Bimini literally consisted of 2 roads - top road and bottom road, that was it and everyone, I mean everyone knew everyone (and were most likely related, in one way or another), it was that tiny. Coming from a housing estate in London, this place was smaller than my postcode. As a single working class parent, sending your child to the Caribbean, via the US, in the 80’s was a huge deal. I never thought about it until adulthood. My brothers were both super jealous, without question. I swear they would still throw that in my face now.


Future podcast episodes...

After recently chit chatting with a friend, I found out that her friend, who I know, is currently in Tanzania with her new job. It’s her first flight in 20 years! She initially went for a few weeks, but it’s actually been a few months already and she’s loving it! I’m Well Jel.

My friend L did 3 months in Italy, with her partner, during lockdown, of course. Working their UK jobs remotely, delivering yoga workshops online and just enjoying the ride. They drove all the way there and back from London. Looking forward to sharing their podcast interview with the world.

Some people are just living their best lockdown life. Good for them! I’m looking forward to it being me.

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