Jamaica Honeymoon - Day 2

Jamaican Honeymoon | Negril, Jamaica | Apollo Fields Destination Wedding Photographers

Jamaica – Day 2
8:00 am, local time

Another welcoming morning on the Caribbean Sea.  The birds fluttering overhead, searching for scraps and seeds while Heather sits up in bed scratching at her mosquito bites.  The waves crashing with a regular familiarity that’s impossible to forget, kind of like your mother calling you home for dinner from the front porch.  Who knows what the world has in store for us today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The first two nights Heather and I cooked and stayed in after dark.  A combination of the mysterious foreign streets and a travel-induced fatigue, we drew a bath and enjoyed each other’s company in a tub of lukewarm water.  There is a definite fear of the unknown, of sitting on a wooden stool in a straw shack on any of the thousands of dark streets in Jamaica.  Horror stories from the United States embedded in me creating a hesitance like that of a lost child.  I am ashamed for it.  It makes me think of the role that caution plays when a person finds themselves in a different culture and how trust is linked to the environments that we know.  

Heather’s uncle, Rick. is a great example of this.  Conservative through-and-through, he comes down to Jamaica to shake hands and bask in the safety of nostalgia, eating dishes that he knows in bar stools that he’s warmed.  Surrounding himself with other light-skinned tourists, there isn’t much difference than home, other than everything that exists outside of the Treehouse’s gated walls.  When does caution or comfortability take too much control of one’s assimilation into another’s culture?

As of this morning, I’m as stifled as Rick.  I want to stop at an authentic Jamaican restaurant tucked onto the side of the road like a beach shanty, but because I’ve seen none of them populated by tourists, deep down I consider them unsafe.  It feels like a hard-wiring that pulls back on the reigns as I ride through a culture I do not know.  Today, I will make a better effort at launching myself into the Jamaican culture and trusting those that I my ignorant instincts tell me not to trust.  It’s funny how trusting people is usually my strongest attribute, yet when put to the real-world test, I’m as cautious as anyone.

Yet yesterday I jumped from cliffs at heights I’ve never leaped from before and snorkeled in rough waters close to dangerously sharp rocks.  There’s an adventurous spirit in me that needs to be nudged into action, but once the opportunity arises, I tend to bypass the safety valve and dive head first.  Even riding a scooter for the first time on the opposite side of the road was pretty daunting.  In these moments, it’s either you do what you are afraid to do, or you live with your cowardice.  The many times in life my that I’ve approached this dilemma, I’ve found that great relief lies just beyond the other side of fear, hiding behind the louder voices in your head, waiting to see if you will do it.  Today I will silence those voices and immerse myself in a culture I do not know.