I was fortunate enough to visit Montego Bay, Jamaica for my 26th birthday. It was the best birthday trip thus far. It wasn’t my first time outside of the country, but this particular trip did something to me. I became more saucy. I became more in touch with myself. It gave me a boost. I’ve always loved myself, but man did Jamaica enhance that! This trip gave me a sense of myself that I never really tapped into. It gave me extra sex appeal. It gave me the juice to leave a dead, unhealthy relationship. It reminded me of my value.For lack of better words, I was feelin’ myself (as the kids would say).
I knew I would gain tremendous memories after this vacation. However, I never thought it would shape the way my mind saw the world. It changed me. It changed the way I viewed life. It altered how I viewed my current and future romantic state. There are a few reasons for this, and I’m going to break them down briefly for you.
The Difference Between American and Non-American Men
When I went to Jamaica, I was about a month or so into a break-up. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to experience. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, as if God took extra time with it. Jamaica also has the most beautiful people you’ll ever see. There’s melanin to your left and a bunch more just one glance to your right, girl. If you’re anything like me, you’d be in heaven. I wasn’t thinking about old bae at all.
Immediately, when we stepped on the soil, men noticed. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen here in the states. Sure, men notice beautiful women. However, what I will say next is the plot twist.
Some of you misguided, American men do the bare minimum. You guys are afraid of effort. For whatever the case may be, you think approaching us with a backhanded compliment is supposed to get our juices flowing. Nah. “You’re so cute to be a dark-skinned chick.” Was that supposed to make me want to sit on your beard?
Meanwhile, over in God’s special project, I’m being referred to as nothing less than Queen. A typical pickup line in the states: “Aye Red, aye Chocolate. Dang you’re sexy. Dang you’re thick. You got a man? You can’t have friends? Let’s chill.” Over in Jamaica: “You look beautiful this morning, Queen. May I penetrate your mind, Goddess?”
They were catering over there. Whatever we needed, they wanted to make sure we got it. What a breath of fresh air. Here at home, I’ve been approached by guys who didn’t seem to be raised properly. It’s not just me. I’ve also witnessed my friends and other women get disrespected by American guys. Too much Future, not enough Luther Vandross.
I connected with a Jamaican while I was over there. He made me feel happy to be a woman. It wasn’t just him, though. Every man there uplifted us and they never expected anything back. That’s their culture. They embrace love and passion. Meanwhile, Daquan can’t figure out if you’re the one he wants to cheat on for the rest of his life.
Now, this isn’t me bashing American men. I love my kings. And no, it’s not all men, but guys, let’s hold your homies accountable. We shouldn’t have to go to another country to feel loved and valued. You all should make us feel saucy, just as Winston made Stella feel. Why do we have to travel hundreds of miles away to feel like queens?
To wrap this thing all up, men (especially my chocolate-covered ones), step up and be the kings you were born to be. Stop selling yourself short. Stop under-appreciating your queens. We fight on the front line for you every day. Uplift us the same way you want us to uplift you. Listen to a little more Bob Marley and a lot less French Montana. Learn about love. Not just romantic love, but learn how to love yourself.
Melanin is Dope
Everywhere I looked in Jamaica, I saw beautiful, dark skin. Everyone looked like me. I loved it. The way the sun hit their skin and the sweat glistened from their bodies, it was amazing. I began to appreciate my skin a little more. What else in the world looks like this? God took his time with this procedure. No one had on designer clothes, so that wasn’t what made them beautiful. I didn’t see much makeup. It was nice to get away from a country that looks down on you the darker your skin. It was the total opposite here. The darker your complexion, the more of a Goddess you’re thought to be. Taking this trip really made me want to get in touch with my people. I wanted to learn even more about my history. Jamaica is so rich in culture and just being around that atmosphere made me want to dive into mine. I learned the true meaning of ‘black is beautiful’ after this trip.
Be Happy With What You Have
What I loved just as much as the men and the melanin is their ability to be happy with what they had. Sure, Jamaica is a gorgeous place. However, there are many people there living with next to nothing. We visited areas where people didn’t have a real water system, so they had to walk sometimes miles to a lake to get water. Most people there didn’t make thousands of dollars, but still everyone had smiles on their faces. Nobody had fancy clothes or even drove fancy cars. No one had iphones, but still managed to meet up with their friends and family to spend quality time together. It made me appreciate what I have. Sometimes we tend to be greedy. We have it all but always want more, not being satisfied until we get it. Not in Jamaica. From what I experienced, laughs still poured in. People still went out to have a good time without stressing over what they didn’t have. They basked in the ambiance even through the struggle. This is a lesson I’m thankful that Jamaica taught me.
All in all, I encourage traveling in the black community. We really have to get out more. It’ll change your life. Get out of what America has brainwashed you to believe and go see the world. Thank me later.