|I love it when the onset trip anticipation relieves me of my other mortal worries :D
As I prepare for my graduation trip to Jamaica, I am reminded of the last time I was on those beautiful shores. It must be just about 3 years since I've been on vacation outside of my home country, and to be honest - I can't wait to get out of here!
My previous trip to Jamaica was but a short glimpse (cruise ship stop) and gave me a quick flash of the country. We were situated in Ocho Rios last time, but now I'm preparing to visit Montego Bay. The trip is unique in that our group of students will get to experience and compare the resort experience and the volunteer experience.
I would just like to throw a few ideas out about my "pre-trip" planning experiences thus far:
1. Bathing suit season comes really fast! (Especially in Canada)
2. An interesting note from Canada's foreign affairs site regarding travel to Jamaica:
"It is illegal to wear (or to buy or sell) army or police camouflage clothing".
It's a really good idea to check out your country's foreign affairs page to prep yourself before traveling. A couple of
years ago I would have felt like a scolding mother giving this advice, but it's true! Canada Foreign Affairs also
allows residents to register with them when traveling abroad, just in case something should happen while you're
Foreign Affairs Canada
3. There's an alternative to the leather snake eating a small animal (aka: a fanny-pack), and you can likely pick one up for about $15 at your local mall or luggage shop. I've invested in one, and they are a great way to walk the local streets because they can be worn under your shirt to keep your valuables safe. (Although, we should all leave the pricey items behind to avoid this altogether!) Here's a neat style I found: Mount Equipment Co-op
4. The resort experience is only the beginning to a long list of amazing ways to see the world.
As I complete my last year of college and become closer to achieving my travel and tourism diploma, I am much more aware of this. A few members of my graduating class are traveling to Rose Hall Beach, Montego Bay in a couple of weeks. The the traditional curriculum was tweaked for the first year this time to incorporate an element of volunteer tourism.
The web has countless resources for both volunteer tourism and responsible tourism. Here are a couple of my
Hanover Parish Charities is the organization we volunteering through. Have a look at their website to get a feel for some opportunities in this wonderful country: Hanover Charities
The travel junkie, Julia Dimon, has been a huge inspiration for my future career plans. Let's put it this way, the girl kicks some serious travel but! She has been noted in an interview as a "socially conscious" traveler, and her trips most always have an element of cultural immersion, natural scenery, or an alternative edge to mainstream mass tourism. Check out her personal blog
The Galapagos Islands lie in the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of Ecuador. Being home to a vast amount of unique signature species, like the giant but ancient tortoise and gnarly looking marine iguana's, the islands are constantly striving for conservation. This has always been a dream destination for me! Have a look at a unique project called Living Galapagos
i-to-i travel is advancing in the area of international volunteer tourism with great gap year travel plans for students like myself, as well as other interested individuals! They also offer a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) program. i-to-i
There's a taste for now :) If you're interested by what you've read, please check back as I will post what comes my way.
Ciao for now,