Jamaica’s Hidden Charms

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amaica is that one destination every traveler must experience and should be a part of their bucket list.  Jamaica is the heartbeat of the world, with a cultural giant that continues to have an indelible impact on the world’s food, music, sports, and literature while offering a larger-than-life bucket list experience with extraordinary attractions and talented people. 

There is so much more to experience in Jamaica than just all-inclusive resorts. Jamaica has some lovely hidden charms that not many visitors experience, and that is because they only visit the resort areas of Jamaica.  To experience the true authentic beauty of Jamaica, you have to venture outside of the resort areas for the real wonders of the island and create unforgettable memories.  Here are two of  Jamaica’s hidden charms that offer the authentic Jamaican vibe and impressive scenery.  

 

Somerset falls

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omerset fall is one of those hidden gems in Jamaica that you cannot go to and not fall in love with its tropical paradise. It is located at Hope Bay, about 10 miles west of Port Antonio on Jamaica’s north coast.  The moment you set foot on the property, it will feel like you have just landed into heaven’s best-kept secret. 

The scenery is so breathtaking as the waterfalls are hidden in the tropical rainforest, where the Daniels River plunges down a narrow gorge through a lush garden of ferns, heliconias, lilies, and crotons into glistening teardrop pools. If you are a lover of waterfalls like me, you will definitely love it here. With waterfall after waterfall, that provides for a nice therapeutic back massage.  A perfect place for relaxing and swimming in picture-perfect deep rock pools.

Spectacular, nature at it finest! 

Touch of Paradise 

There is a cost for entry that depends on the days you choose to visit the attraction. On Monday to Friday, the price is 1000 JMD for ages 13 and older and 5- 12 years is 500 JMD, and on Saturday and Sunday, the cost is 1500 JMD for 13 years and older and JMD 750 for 5-12 years old.  A discount is available if you go as a group.   After payment, you will have a beautiful picturesque walk to the area where a small boat dock and the guide/lifeguard will provide a short but lovely boat ride that takes you down a river into a cave to the magnificent waterfalls where you can climb up through and jump off.  Somerset falls a perfect spot for just about anyone to have a lovely time. 

Just breathtaking 

Old Spanish Bridge

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f you are looking for a place to get away from the bustle of the city and closer to nature, then look no further. The Old Spanish Bridge is one-stop fun, with a lot of excitement where water, relaxation, sun, greenery, and adventures can collectively enhance your satisfaction. 

The Old Spanish Bridge is complete with the captivating White River flowing beneath, is located roughly 45 minutes from Ocho Rios, which is the borderline between the parishes of St Ann and St Mary.  The scenery is magnificent and nothing short of breathtaking. You will fall in love with the heavenly sight of this spot. 

Isn’t this magnificent?

One of the most loved at the bridge is the rope-swinging activity. The ropes are tied to a big tree that towers over the river.  Challenge your inner Tarzan and launch from the middle of the bridge, and the yarn takes you a few metres across the water, where it is deep enough for you to jump off into the calm river.  If you are not up for the challenge like me, just enjoy a swim or relax with your feet dipped in the refreshing water while enjoying some good Jamaica music and vibe.  A perfect way to mix with locals and enjoy some authentic Jamaican food and culture. 

Wanderlust, challenge your inner Tarzan. 

Jamaica is packed with so many adventurous and hidden charms that have not yet been explored by many. As a visitor said, “ it is not fair; Jamaica doesn’t even have to try.”  Jamaica is nice and is considered to be the heartbeat of the world. 🙂 🙂 🙂 

TRAVEL AND YOUR WELLBEING

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hen, Huang, and Patrick (2016) argue that taking a leisure trip provides a relatively long and uninterrupted relaxation time; an individual can potentially benefit from any form of recreational travel because it is the experience that matters as well as relieve from stress and anxiety.  Taking vacations can contribute to subjective well-being because people have more opportunities to detach from their work environment, experience new things, and control what they want to do during vacations. Therefore, travelling to new places is suitable for everyone. If you’re feeling stressed at work, a break can be the best solution.  Travelling can improve your health and wellbeing by:

Improve Well-being

Having new experiences is beneficial for improving brain function and boosting your mental health. Travel has been linked to stress reduction and can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Whether you’re going to another country or escaping for a long weekend in a nearby town, travelling can have a substantial impact on your mental health.

Taking time from work to see new places releases the stress you’ve been holding onto. Relieving the tension and stress of your work-life lets your mind relax and heal. Being under pressure at work not only stresses your mind and body but also hurts your physical health.  According to one study, travelers report feeling less anxious, more rested, and better mood three days after taking a vacation. Interestingly, these benefits tend to linger for weeks after the trip has ended. 

Boost Happiness and Satisfaction

Most people tend to be happier when they’re travelling and don’t have to worry about work, of course. However, one of the more interesting takeaways from a Cornell University study is that people also experience an immediate increase in happiness from just planning a trip. 

The study found that the anticipation of taking a vacation is far greater than the anticipation of acquiring a physical possession. Thus, the benefits of travelling abroad begin well before the trip does.  That is because planning a vacation with something to look forward to creates happiness and excitement when you make a plan. And when you take a break, pressure and stress are alleviated, and your mental health is boosted. 

Travel Improves Sleep Patterns

Poor sleep mixed with high stress is a toxic mixture for our mental state. The health detriments of poor sleep are varied, from irritability to poor cognitive performance and efficiency. It is recommended that adults sleep at least seven to seven and a half hours per night, which can be more easily achieved while travelling.

Taking a vacation relieves stress, and stress wreaks havoc on our body and often affect our sleeping patterns. When on vacation, you might move around more and relax a lot more, and as such, sleeping will improve given that your brain will be rest from everything it usually does. 

Make You Healthier

 Travelling  help whip you in shape because travel has the opportunity to escalate your fitness routine. While travelling, you are generally more active than sitting in an office all day. And as such, touring around Europe or other destinations, you are more likely to cover 20,000 -30,000 steps per day and activities such as paddleboarding, hiking, and swimming can help boost fitness and improve your wellbeing. 

Boast Mental Health

If you have chronic stress, your memory and goal-setting abilities are negatively affected. Taking time to go somewhere new and learning new languages opens your mind. This might feel counterproductive, but getting out of your comfort zone and away from work can help you feel more productive, focused, and appreciative of your surroundings when you return home. This is good for your mental health. 

Your empathy increases when you go to places you’ve never been before and experience other cultures.  A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.

In conclusion,  make your travel plans, whether big or small.  The vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic for you to get great benefits from them. Therefore, make travelling a tradition since there are lasting effects of a vacation. People who travel regularly experience those effects for more extended periods.  After travelling, you’re more likely to feel clearheaded and ready to take on whatever’s waiting for you at home. This is why people are more productive after a break. Try to visit a new place every once in a while to help better your mental health. 

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND YOUR NEXT VACATION?