Being a Tourist in Jamaica

As soon as we stepped off the boat in Jamaica, I instantly realized I was stepping into a paradise. The people surprisingly lived up to the stereotypes I had of them; they all were very laid back and constantly throwing around the phrases of “no problem” and “yeah mon.” And, of course, they did love listening to Bob Marley.

We were only on the island for the day so we headed towards the biggest tourist attraction on the island, the Dunn’s River Falls. It was an incredible excursion. We were climbing this massive set of waterfalls… We did everything from swimming in between the sets of falls to scaling the outside of walls to even jumping into the water from one of the sides of the fall. It was an extraordinary scene; the water was such a beautiful blue. The scenery was also breathtaking because on one end you had the beach and the horizon but on the other end you were in an almost jungle-like setting.

Unfortunately we had no time to go and eat on the island but we were able to look around at the shops briefly. As we walked around, I noticed how much of the shops were specifically catered to the tourists of the island. There were shops with things that were completely American but just had their color changed so it would appear “Jamaican.” I began to question if the whole thing was an act. Did people actually say yeah mon and no problem? Did they even care about Bob Marley as much as they appeared to? It makes you wonder… when you visit a place are you actually living life as a local or are you specifically being catered towards so that you will have a positive connotation of the island?