Meeting Travelers I Admire

The other night I was sitting at home doing nothing when I got a call from the Chef at one of my favorite guest houses in Black River.  He called to ask me if I would come over because he had some European guests who needed assistance planning the rest of their jaunt around Jamaica, so I happily obliged.

When I arrived at Paradise Ocean View guest house I met the cutest young couple from Poland of all places.  After chatting with them for a few minutes I learned about their epic two-week journey around Jamaica.  I was amazed that on their first trip here they were in Black River so I asked them how they ended up down here.  They explained that they found the cute little guest house on a Jamaica blog called Jamaica My Way lol.  So I told them that’s ME and they lit up with excitement.  It was so fun!


backpackers from poland


As I sat having a drink with them I asked what brought them to Jamaica and they said they just found a cheap Caribbean airfare from Poland to Jamaica so they chose this island.  They went on to explain that they landed in Montego Bay and were immediately intimidated by the aggression of the people and thought that maybe they’d made a mistake coming here.  They are backpackers and determined to use local transportation and accommodation but they had a LOT of trouble finding people in Mobay who were friendly and fair priced.  So they came down south with the hopes of finding a more relaxed vibe.  They found it in Treasure Beach where they stayed for a short time before making their way to Black River where I found them.

The reason Chef called me is because next on this couple’s agenda was the Blue Mountains but they needed to figure out how to get there and where to go once they get there.  I suggested the Knutsford Express right away because it’s the simplest way to get to Kingston from here.  Then I told them for accommodations while in the mountains, Prince Valley Guest House is a good option for what they’re seeking.   I’ve met the people who run it, seen the place in person and know it fits the budget of backpacker types.  I also know that the guest house would pick them up in New Kingston at the bus stop.

From Kingston they want to move on to Portland, then to Ocho Rios and if they have time they might check out Negril before flying home.  While they were outlining their journey to me they pulled out this most epic map of Jamaica that they put together before traveling.  I LOVE this thing!  They really did their homework and marked down all possible points of interest they might want to check out.


map of jamaica

The couple wanted to try going out one night while in Black River but because transportation after dark down here is almost non-existent they were having a hard time figuring it out.  It’s also difficult to find places to go for fun unless you’re familiar with the area.  It was Thursday and the only place I knew of that was happening is karaoke at Luana’s Jerk Center, which coincidentally is the same place they would be catching the Knutsford the next morning so I told them I’d pick them up at 9:00 and we would go check out karaoke and buy their bus tickets while there.

We had such a great night out.  The vibes were relaxed, we shared a couple flasks of rum and I had them home safe and sound just after midnight.  This couple was FULL of vibes and genuine excitement for their journey around Jamaica.  I loved their stories of getting around by route taxi, negotiating prices, walking through random places, etc.  They’re two of the coolest tourists I’ve ever met down here and such sweet people.  I totally dig their spirit, energy and zest for travel the local way!

Before they left they gifted me with a nice coffee mug from their country which was super awesome of them.  They told me they brought several gifts down with them to give away to locals they may meet on their journey and that they were grateful for all the help and advice I was able to give them.

When we said our goodbyes I wished them safe travels and was kind of sad to see them go.  I asked if I could blog about them and they said ABSOLUTELY, they would be excited if I did!  I truly hope they have a magical time on the rest of their trip in Jamaica!





  • Sarah says:

    Wow! And they’re so cute! Happy travels you two!!

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  • Kristi says:

    I know right! Friendliest people I’ve ever met while traveling!

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  • Kirk says:

    Amazing story and that k you for helping them! I remember your early days in Jamaica :p

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  • Vera says:

    Wow that’s a great story! They really do look like a sweet couple! A great experience for all of you 😀

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  • Kyra says:

    Wow Kristi you’re a local!!!
    That’s awesome that your paths crossed. I hope they enjoyed their stay.

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  • Kristi says:

    Thanks Kirk! I also remember my early days here. Actually, listening to their taxi stories made me feel nostalgic for a minute. You lose a little piece of the travel vibe when you can hide in the shelter of your own vehicle and things are easy lol. These two also made me think back to when my son backpacked around Europe for a month at the age of 18, and one of the countries he visited was Poland. If not for the local people he would have had a much more difficult time on his trip. I guess this is just me paying it forward.

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