Vol. 6, No. 9 | The Jamaica Edition
Whew! I’m exhausted. I got back from Jamaica on Monday night and I can’t understand why I booked such a short trip. My body aches and I’m still processing most things, but here’s where I am today:
Hold on tight to your visions. Almost 10 years ago, I saw a photo of this hotel in a magazine and I fell in love with it. I wondered where in the world it was located and then found out that it was in Jamaica, on a part of the island that I was completely unfamiliar with. I couldn’t afford to stay there, but about a year later I ventured to Port Antonio, stayed at an Airbnb perched on a hill for $50 a night, and started my love affair with the area. I’ve made the trip to Port Antonio every year since and I’ve been very content. However, this year, I got to stay at that dream hotel, GeeJam. And not only did I get to stay there, but that’s where this year’s Holy Sip Jamaica dinner was held. When I first saw that photo, I couldn’t have imagined that my life would unfold in such an amazing way.
This one was really hard. Chef India couldn't make it. The four other people that have made it to all the others couldn't make it—including Will who has been at every event I've done for the past six years. And of course…we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. All of this made me incredibly uncomfortable. But in the end, the dinner turned out even better than I could have hoped for. I needed to be stretched. I feel more inspired than I have in years.
Also, I wasn’t alone. Hena kept me sane, especially during the moments when it felt like everything would collapse. I couldn’t have done this without her.
I know that there are still a lot of people wondering how I could even possibly consider doing something like this right now. And I’ll tell you why—some people need it. I was reminded of that when I found out one of the people on the trip lost his wife to cancer about six weeks ago. It brought me so much joy to see him smiling and laughing even as he was still processing his grief. I understand that not everyone is ready to get back out there and I don’t think that anyone should rush to do so, but try to understand that some people might need something different than you do and that they are also attempting to take care of themselves. Mental health should not be overlooked.
I didn’t have a chance to see my father on this trip, but I did meet my brother. He was on my way to Port Antonio and so I stopped and saw him briefly. I haven’t had any time to process this.
This year I did something that I don’t normally do. I picked a date for next year before I even left Jamaica. Next year will be the fifth dinner! I’ve had an idea since the first dinner and I’m giving myself a year to try and pull it off. I’ll announce the date soon.
Hope you’re all well!