You Miss A Lot When You Island Hop!

I sort of dig Caribbean cruises. I enjoy sampling different islands, I like the onboard activities, and I kind of love being able to eat every hour if I want to. That being said – there is one thing that will make me to rent an island villa over cruising every time. The island locals.

A quick day trip through an orchestrated excursion makes it virtually impossible for me to immerse myself in the local culture. For me, meeting new people and learning about their lives and their island is the whole point of traveling in the first place.
One of my favorite ways to experience the island is through local cuisine. I mean, come on. You can eat a cheeseburger at home, no? Not sure where to go? Do what Rob Herrin does. When he travels, he avoids the touristy restaurants and finds out where the locals dine.

“Starting up a conversation is always easier over a meal,” he said “especially when adult libations are involved!”
There are also opportunities to take part in island life through festivals or local events. Find out what’s going on during your stay and venture out. Better yet, plan your holiday around the island’s Carnival, music festival or other annual activities.
When you return home from your enriching holiday, don’t forget to spread the love (figuratively speaking, of course). Telling people about your experience heightens your vacation memories and encourages others to venture out, too.
“It gives me a personal reward in sharing the beauty I've experienced, and stories that are told by those who live in the local communities and have done so their whole lives,” said Susan Elaine. “For just one moment in time...you become a part of their world!”

During one of my trips to Jamaica, I attended a local church service. I know, it’s not typically what you think of doing on your Caribbean getaway. However, it proved to be one the of coolest things I experienced during that trip. For the first time, I felt like I actually became part of the community. I didn’t feel like a visitor anymore. I’ve found that the more I learn about people who are different from me, the more I notice how much we really have in common.

A big thanks to Jim Burchett, Susan Elaine, and Rob Herrin for contributing to this blog. Happy travels!

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