A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: JenniElle

...this non-existent travel rut must end!

It has been an absolute whirlwind of a year, which unfortunately had not included any jet setting since November! This makes me super sad. Seeing all of the "on this day" reminders in my Facebook that a year ago I was sunning and adventuring in Jamaica, 5 years ago I was dancing around Ocean City, MD. Too many "years ago" happenings and not enough, now!

...and this will change very soon! 2 weeks planned in FL and New Orleans and a long weekend in Atlanta in August. The dead of summer in the dirty south!

Until then, I may start posting some reminiscent blogs of the adventures I never actually posted. Stay tuned for lots of reminiscing and new adventures!

Posted by JenniElle 08:13 Comments (0)

Jamaica, revisited

Jamaica has stolen my breath and given me life again all in just one week.

Nine months. Nine long, painful, arduous, life altering months I stayed in the same place while I died inside just a bit more day by day while every fiber of my very being screamed for me to leave. Go somewhere. Anywhere, it said. Anywhere but here. Just go so you can breathe again. Live. And so I did, and here I am. Nine months is the longest I have ever gone between escapes. Never again.

Jamaica is even more beautiful than I remember. The hot, humid air sits wondrously heavy and thick against my skin as I write. Warm caribbean breeze washing over, perfectly timed like a loving caress as I sit in silence and solitude writing to a backdrop of the sun setting beneath the Caribbean Sea. Every blue and green imaginable touch upon each other in perfect harmony from the second the descent over the island began.

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When I travel I feel like it is as close to true happiness I will ever be allowed, even if it is only under false pretenses (so to speak). Temporary in its moments. I am still finding it very difficult to want to leave in the morning. There are very few things that I am looking forward to coming home to as the past week I have lived. Well and truly lived and I don't want to end this feeling of pure elation and happiness.

I rode ATV's through the ruins of a sugarcane plantation. Dust and rock of hundreds of years all within my reach to touch and explore. Ziplined through the rainforest canopy in the pouring rain and had my breath and words stolen as my heart tried to free itself from my chest like a caged bird; first, from anxiety, then from sheer elation. Tubed down the Martha Brae and partied on a Caribbean Beach in a white dress with one too many Rum punches and a bonfire.

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Snorkeled with eel and puffer fish and burnt to a crisp on pristine white sand beaches on the shores of the Caribbean where every color of blue and teal dances to the depths of the sea.

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Perused the streets of Falmouth, rich with history; and was humbled by the sacred burial grounds of tombs of those lost long ago. Reverently walking among the dead. Silent and forgiving as feet marched above their final resting place. Conch shells adorning burial sites as only the Caribbean natives do to pay homage to loved ones lost.

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Swam in phosphorous infused waters, glowing brightly under a blanket of stars until my arms were so sore I floated, staring at the landscape of space above me. Stars burning bright a million light years away; many no longer there at all. A soul for every star, as Plato wrote. Thankful I have been able to experience such a wondrous thing for a second time in my 33 years on this earth. Arms so tires I could barely pull myself back up onto the boat once I finally tore myself away. I will never get enough of the natural wonders this world has to explore and experience. I want to see, immerse and indulge in them all.

Took a trip three hours deep into the mountains and explored the Black River, complete with crocodiles, and soared above the Black Falls. No harness, no security. Mountain air fresh in my lungs as I inhaled deeply to still a frantic heart. Feet firmly planted on rocks, body poised waiting. Ready. Eyes closed for just one short sweet moment as I exhaled and jumped. Free falling first 8 feet then again 15 feet down the falls and into crisp cool water.

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Toured the Appleton Rum plantation to see where the lovely spirit of this island comes from and indulged in a tasting, albeit a bit too much of some of the most delicious rum. The hell ride to and from the estate through the mountains and countryside simply amazing, if not terrifying at times, to be on the edge of a mountain with no guardrail or safety net between the road and cliffs, parishes and forests.

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Rode through the rainforest on a horse named Storm Tracker and up a rather small mountain and down into the ocean. I must say, the views were breathtaking. I've ridden in the ocean before, but this time I had the chance to cleanse a rather distasteful memory and replace it with something fresh.

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And so, as day turns to night and the sun has now sunk to the murky depths of the sea, it is with a heavy heart that I reflect on a week of grand adventures that is over all too soon. I'm forced back to reality in the morning. Flights back to the states in less than 12 hours.

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I am already itching for more and working on wondrous plans for travels through the fall; for without adventure and exploration I would be a burnt out shell of a human being. Check back soon for more pictures to come. Until then, lovelies.

Posted by JenniElle 13:01 Archived in Jamaica Tagged waterfalls mountains sunset ocean landscape travel ruins cemetery waterfall caribbean jamaica airplane rum falmouth caribbean_sea wanderlust black_river caribbean_cemetery Comments (0)

it has been far too long...

Well, the title says it all.

It has been far too long since I've woken up in the dead of the night to wrap shivering hands around the cold plastic of a suitcase handle. Sunglasses perched amidst curls dancing along with the symphony of wheels dragging across the airport parking lot only to steal off to a far away land before the sun rises full and bright in the sky. Like a thief in the night, I will disappear with my most prized possessions; passport and camera. If I could put my dog in my suitcase and bring the furry bastard with me, I would.

It's with a heavy heart that I step through the next 9 days, slowly putting a weeks worth of materialistic possessions into my luggage. Snorkel gear for solitary trips into the beautiful Caribbean waters of Jamaica to swim with the rainbow of sea life beneath the crystalline waters. To escape beneath the surface of the ocean; open my eyes and breathe again. The last half of a year of my life has been a warring battle. The last two days, nothing short of a test of strength; the next week will be another test of will, patience and sanity with the challenges I will face before leaving. Then, steel drums. Island pulse and rhythm singing through my veins the moment I step off that airplane into the humidity of the Caribbean to smiling faces and lovely accents that only the native tongue can spin so deliciously into poetry with just the spoken word. Beautiful vistas and white sand beaches; tropical drinks with umbrellas at a time that I truly need to be reminded that "every little thing is gonna be alright."

Posted by JenniElle 17:19 Comments (0)

SoFL, Volume 2

One thing I learned while spending 10 days in Florida, you wonder? Blogging via iPhone while traveling is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! Hence the reason it took me a bit (and by a bit, I mean 2 weeks) to get Vol. 2 posted; also part of the reason why I went and bought a tablet this past weekend. Much easier to document my travels and much more convenient than stuffing 2-3 books in my purse to carry onto an airplane or in the car while adventuring. Although, I must admit, I will never give up the love I have for actual books. I will sacrifice having a real book while away, but nothing will ever take the place of my library. I digress. Back to SoFL!

Our jump to the Keys was absolutely amazing. Boats, not so much. One foot seas turned to two to three foot seas, and me almost getting tossed overboard when we hit a rather rough patch further solidifying my aversion to boats. I have never been a fan of boats and I don't forsee that changing in the near future, even after our fantastic snorkeling adventure to Alligator Reef. Sadly, we did not make it to Christ of the Abyss; an hour boat ride on rough seas was about all I could handle, so concurs the eight inch bruise that lasted almost 2 weeks on my thigh from the side of the boat as I went flying into it; heart in throat. Battle scars make for great stories though!

Snorkeling under the Coast Guard light house at Alligator Reef was absolutely breathtaking! Cold steel meets the warm waters of the Gulf and the vast array of tropical fish darting beneath the surface just waiting to be discovered. It was phenomenal. Words cannot do it justice. It was worth putting all fears aside and stepping on a boat just to marvel at the simplistic beauty of life on a most primitive level; beneath the waves on the reef where the ocean and the sky blend together in the most perfect color blue.

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I can't thank my brother, Justin, enough for taking us out (and diving with the camera into the reef to get a few pictures for me as well). My stepmother for driving, and my sister for letting me borrow her underwater camera since I didn't have enough time to get one. I may not like boats, but the hour trip to the reef was well worth the chance to snorkel with the indigenous barracuda and thousands of other fish. To be able to swim through schools of fish was absolutely breathtaking. I honestly have no words left to attempt to describe how amazing snorkeling in Key Largo was, so I will let the few pictures speak the words that I just cannot find for such an amazing experience.

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One of the many indigenous barracuda we had the pleasure of snorkeling with.
This lovely was about fifteen feet down, thankfully!

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First stop, under the lighthouse! Schools upon schools of fish!
Snorkeled right on through with the local population, hoping no barracuda popped up.

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On that lovely colorful note, it is well past my bed time and I must join the nine to five world again tomorrow. I promise not so long of a wait before posting SoFL Volume Three. There is still plenty more tales of adventuring, or perhaps I should say tails! Lions and tigers and bears, more aptly put in this case, alligators and wolves and giraffes!

Posted by JenniElle 20:31 Tagged boats fish water boat ocean keys florida underwater lighthouse snorkeling sailboat fl keylargo Comments (0)

SoFL, Volume 1

sunny 85 °F

I've raced storms to catch the sunset. Flown till 12:30 am to drive four and a half hours the next morning to visit enchanted castles and goblin banks. Been stormed away from a zoo by lightning. Ate the best tacos and drank cucumber margaritas while watching Germany win the World Cup. Burned on white sand beaches and swam in 75 degree Gulf waters.

It has been an eventfully good few days, and I'm loving every minute exploring Central and Southern FL!

The expansion of Harry Potter at Universal was phenomenal. The rides, you can only experience for yourself; I will not share the secret of how to get to platform 9 3/4 on the Hogwarts Express. I turn into a teenage fan when it comes to Harry Potter. Every new corner is another adventure. I can't believe I was able to experience it, (and even some Gilly water and Butterbeer ice cream) first hand on opening weekend. Walking through Diagon Alley truly felt like walking into Harry Potters world. This is the second time I've been to Universal to see the world of Harry Potter, and for that I consider myself very lucky; for there are fans who have never even set foot into Hogsmeade, let alone had the luck of visiting Diagon Alley, and I have been enchanted by it all. The butterbeer ice cream in a waffle cone is my personal recommendation!

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We raced a storm last night to the end of Naples to catch a sunset over the Gulf after baking in the sun all day at Lowdermilk Park. Missed the Pier sunset because of the pesky storm but were offered a beautiful sunset tonight before heading down to Key Largo for a few days of snorkeling and exploring.

So, before I procrastinate any longer on packing for our jump to the Keys, I'll leave with some of my favorite pictures from last night and tonight. I hope you enjoy them second hand as much as I did firsthand!

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Posted by JenniElle 06:53 Tagged sky sunset ocean travel clouds pier florida naples universal harrypotter naplespier Comments (0)

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