Until I get my new site about living and working in Jamaica as a single woman, freelance writer, American transplant, web entrepreneur, etc., I’ll be blogging about it here on InkwellEditorial.com in periodic posts.
I WILL NOT send these entries to newsletter subscribers because I don’t want to overload anybody’s inboxes. If you want to read about my life here in Jamaica though, just check the site a couple of times a week for the latest. Sooner or later, I’ll be moving these posts to a separate site (GirlaGoGo.com) I plan to set up; but for now, you can find the info here. Here’s the first one.
Update: December 2016. I’ve had the domain name (GirlaGoGo.com) registered for years, but have yet to develop it. The posts about living in Jamaica have become such an integral part of this blog that I may never move them. The GirlaGoGo.com domain name points to the beginning of this series.
Also, this series started out to be just a peek into what it was like for me to live abroad as a freelance writer for the first year or so. It’s continued for over six years as of this update, and will for the remainder of my time in Jamaica (however long that turns out to be; right now, I”m looking at returning to the U.S. in 2020). So look for future adventures/insights soon. 🙂
Girl a Go Go! A Freelance Writer Takes Her Life on the Road (to Negril, Jamaica)
I landed on Tuesday (May 25th) and got to my little studio apartment. It’s about 300-350 sq feet. Not big at all compared to my 5 bedroom, 3-bath, 4,200 square foot house in the states. But you know what, one thing I’ve learned very quickly is that we don’t need much to be happy at all.
Things I Love about Living in Negril, Jamaica in a Studio Apartment Close to the Beach
The Cheap Rent: You just can’t beat $275/month. My electric bill will be b/t $30-$40/month, according to the friend who stayed in my place until I got here.
Less to Clean: At home, I can literally spend 3, 4 or 5 hours – easily! – cleaning my house. Here, I straighten up and am out the door in 15 or 20 minutes.
The Beach: As a runner and avid outdoor person, I love being so close to the beach. I’m about ¾ mile away; I can see slivers of the water from my terrace – which can hold 8-12 people comfortably.
The Laid-Back Attitude of the People: It is Jamaica after all. I lived in NYC for 18 years and have always been a fast walker and talker. These traits stand out even more here. I’m learning to slow down and relax more – cuz it’s too friggin’ hot to do ANYTHING fast here (well, there are a couple of things you can do fast and enjoy :-)).
The Healthy Lifestyle: Because there’s no fast-food restaurant on every corner, it’s so easy to eat healthy here. Of course, fresh seafood is everywhere. And, so is fresh fruit. If I eat one more mango, I’m going to turn into one!
I also go to bed earlier and get up earlier. At home, I’m an insomniac and rarely turn in before midnight or get out of bed before 8 a.m.. Last night I turned in at 11 (after a 2-hr nap yesterday afternoon), and got up at 5:40 a.m. for a run on the beach. I could get used to this!
Also, because I have no car, I walk practically everywhere. I’ve lost at least 5 lbs since last Tuesday (no exaggeration) and am well on my way to being back down to my ideal weight (around 130 lbs). You practically melt when you walk, so the weight just falls off.
And when you throw in running (I’m always training for a marathon), it’s easy to be “bikini ready.” So girls, if you’re looking for a surefire way to lose 10 pounds in a week or so, come on down and hit the beach for a run/walk/swim. You’ll be giving skinny-ass Giselle (said with complete envy, of course!) a run for her money in no time at all.
The Beauty: At heart, I’m a tomboy and a country girl – grew up in the back hills of Alabama and Georgia, and the beaches of Florida. So the burst of nature that is Jamaica just makes me smile a goofy smile for no reason at all.
It’s sssoooooo gorgeous here. Reminds me that truly, there is very little that is needed to be obscenely happy. I not only stop and smell (and touch) the “roses” every day, I gorge on their beauty with my eyes every chance I get. The beauty of the flowers here make my very heart sing with joy!
The Men: Let’s just say I love dreadlocks, foreign accents and men in good physical shape. Jamaica offers plenty of that.
The Nightlife: At home, I’m a homebody, but because everything is so close here in Negril, I’m out a lot (reminds me of living in New York on this point).
I need to stay my little broke behind home some though. Gotta start watching the old budget now that my vacation is officially over. But come on, $1.50 for a rum punch – ya can’t beat it (or resist it!).
Tragedy in the Garden of Eden (My nickname for Jamaica)
Saw a motorbike accident on the road a few days ago. Motorbikes are ridden by a lot of the young guys here. And they drive extremely fast.
Unfortunately, this young kid (he looked to be 15 or 16 years old) was killed. I saw his body in a river of blood in the street. There are no ambulance services or hospitals here in Negril – so it takes a while when there’s an accident for emergency medical services to show up.
My thought was, “I wonder if he would have survived if care had gotten there sooner. Very sad.”
On a happier note, I’m planning a birthday party for one of my sisters here next month. Some of our friends from the states are coming. Can’t wait!
Tomorrow I’ll detail some things I don’t like about living and working in Negril, Jamaica as a freelance writer.
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P.P.S.: Following are All Posts to Date in This Series
A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Jamaica for a Year, Part XVIII (First post with video; lots of video!)
A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Negril, Jamaica for a Year, Part XXVIII Note: This part appears as a guest post I did for another blog. It details how and why I made the move to Jamaica permanent in October 2014.