What does REAL Jamaica even mean? Is there a REAL and UNREAL Jamaica? Or has it someting to do with the reality in Jamaica? I would like to explain my thoughts on the word REAL in our name and its true meaning.
The whole island of Jamaica is real. Every stone and leaf, every city and ghetto, every person and animal, every food and drink, every hotel and guesthouse. All is real, simply because it exists. The definition of “REAL” is grounded in the feeling and way of traveling and the type of interaction between traveler and local. It is not necessarily connected to the country itself, but definitely related to the style of traveling it.
For us, REAL means to sit on a table with locals and share food which we cooked together, discover places and areas where tourists don’t go, create friendships, try new food, share our knowledge and way of seeing things as well as learning from locals and trying to understand their way of seeing things. We believe that cultural exchange with all facets is what makes a holiday REAL. You can have a REAL journey everywhere in the world and of course also in Jamaica. When I started Real Jamaica, one of my initial thoughts was and still is, that a traveler spends money locally within the community. While a tourist, staying in an all-inclusive hotel, does not.
There’s an ridiculous amount of hotels and resorts in Jamaica, and many of them are empty. Those places – mostly owned by rich foreigners or large companies – buy beaches to make them exclusive. Locals can’t get in or have to pay an entrance fee. Yes, they create some jobs, but also not paying well. And that’s not the only thing about all-inclusive tourism! The whole world is tearing apart and in 2016 only 1% of the people worldwide will own half of all wealth. We can’t support such places, simply because it’s against our beliefs and philosophies. Still we let everyone do what they think is right, simply because it’s none of our business. We love the country for numerous reasons and decided to work towards a positive direction. That’s why we #travellocal and #supportlocals. We are very happy and thankful that so many people think the same way. Big Up everytime – travel safe and enjoy fully!
If you have questions, please feel free to ask us anything. We’re happy to answer them all.