Photographer

Richard Sitler is a photographer for The Southern Illinoisan.

Now that winter appears to be firmly upon us, it seems like a good time to reminisce about and share photos of my recent trip to Jamaica. (Use the arrows to click through the photos above.) Hopefully this will help warm people and not spark envy and hatred toward me — as I, too, am here in the cold, looking at these photos and asking myself why I ever left that Caribbean paradise.

A little background as to my purpose for going to Jamaica might temper the envy. I traveled there in December to do research for the Fodor’s Guidebooks 2016 update. Okay, yes, I know, traveling to a Caribbean island as a travel writer and getting free stays at top resorts sounds like a dream job. And it kind of is, except when you consider that I had over 300 entities to research in a very short period of time, and after doing the research had a lot of writing to do.

As a guidebook travel writer, there are many obligations, such as taking tours of properties, while actual vacationers are sitting back sipping drinks with umbrellas. While others are enjoying themselves with all that a resort has to offer late into the night, I am holed up in my room writing or planning the next day’s itinerary. Yes, I try to experience a bit of what a place has to offer, or at least talk to others who are enjoying all a resort has to offer, but for me this is work.

On this whirlwind trip I didn’t even do what most people travel to Jamaica to do. I did not swim in the ocean or in one of the many huge swimming pools that were usually just steps from my room. I did walk on some white-sand beaches; each time just to get to businesses that were on the beach or to confirm that the beach was still worth walking on.

Despite the fact that it was a work trip, it still was a pleasurable trip overall. I got to stay in some very nice places where I normally would not have stayed. I had the good fortune to meet up with some old friends and acquaintances and make some new friends. Best of all, I got to see some of my Jamaican family and meet and hold my newest nephew. That alone was worth it.

I was in Jamaica to write about why people initially go to Jamaica — the sun, white-sand beaches and so on. The reason I — and so many — continually return to Jamaica, though, is because of the people. I’ve made lasting relationships there, and no matter the amount of time between my returns I always am welcomed back warmly and am made to feel at home. So, yes, I wish I were there right now for the constant 80-degree temperatures and sunshine, but I really just want to be there to hang out with Jamaican friends and family.

0
0
0
0
0

Load comments