Now let me tell you all about my latest trip: JAMAICA! Out of all the travels we have done, this was the one where -hands down- I seemed to have had the most fun. I was joyous, playful, happy and at ease throughout the days we spend on the island known for sunshine, reggae, rum and that beautiful yellow and green.
This picture was taken on the train from our hometown to Schiphol-airport (Amsterdam), a mere minute after embarking on our journey. Even though we were still in The Netherlands, the vacation had already started for me. It may be a falsehood to think that all autistic people like trains (they don't), but boy do I love those 'fast metal dragons'!
People often wonder how I cope with the waiting time at airports. Well; I always find something to entertain myself with, like these rows of chairs which can perfectly be used for my daily workout routine!
This is me having the time of my life during a stopover in the Dominican Republic.
Oh and flying, even if it's going to take longer than 10 hours: not a problem anymore. I sleep most of the time and mommy and daddy always get compliments from the people sitting behind and in front of them, as they often find out a toddler was in between them during the entire flight when the aircraft lands and everybody has to stand up to get their luggage from the storage compartments.
OUR RESORT: RIU MONTEGA BAY
After being on the road, in the air and waiting at two airports for almost 15 hours, we finally arrived at our luxurious RIU resort in Montega Bay! Now this place has amazing pools and as you probably know by now: I LOVE being in the water, so this was simply paradise to me!
But the resort had much more to offer. Probably most importantly -well, at least for me- is its location directly at the beach. I love the beach, especially when they have pedal boats and stand up paddle boards, which I find possible the coolest (and most soothing) things on the planet!
Now there is more than water activities to a RIU resort of course. People need to eat and -especially in Jamaica- drink a lot as well. My parents were surprised I behaved so well at the restaurants, something that has proven to be difficult for me on previous trips. This time around, I remained seated and had little to no urge to constantly get off my chair and run up and down.
After diner time there was always great entertainment in the form of dance, performances and reggae music. When I was still awake, I loved hanging around at the bar (no worries: drinking milk and softdrinks only) and making new friends.
My best bud for the evening. The resort was a wonderful homebase for our days in Jamaica. Now let's get into some of the most amazing sites the island has to offer!
Now Dunn's Falls is cool, because you actually get to walk up the cascades of the falls from sea level. When we arrived there were people asking mommy and daddy how we would climb up a waterfall with me around. They deemed it daring and virtually impossible. They clearly had never met my mom and dad before...
And the most exhilirating moment? The three of us freefalling backwards into the water.
Dunn's Falls was a great adventure, totally fitting our style of traveling and tackling the idea that the life of an autistic child should somehow be more limited compared to the life a non-autistic person.
SEVEN MILE BEACH
We took a bus to the 'Seven Mile Beach', presumably one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. The busride got me a bit sleepy so by the time we arrived, I was fast asleep and dreaming of cars, cuddly bears and swimming pools.
After the nap, daddy took me into the water which I loved very much!
Next stop: Rick's Cafe! Now this place is one of the most visited tourist-spots in Jamaica and widely known for cliffdiving. Rick's Cafe is therefore more than just a cafe: it's a thrillseekers' fortress, a place to enjoy great food and dance, and -of most interest to me- one of the most scenic places to swim, especially during sunset. We enjoyed watching people plunge into the water and stayed in the water until the sun went down. It was truly magical!
MARTHA BRAE BAMBOO RAFTING
Since I love boats, water and everything in between, going bamboo rafting on the Martha Brae river was a highlight for me. I loved how soothing the experience was and our rafting guide was very patient and insightful. And the best part? Well, you must have guessed by now: jumping off the raft into the water for a swim. And don't worry: although crocodiles are common in Jamaica, the Martha Brae river is luckily 'crocodile-free'.
Look at me being all impressed and happy!
ROCK WHARF LUMINOUS LAGOON
There are only a few places on Earth -five to be exact- where millions of organisms live that emit light when being touched, a phenomenon known as bioluminescence. This is simply MAGICAL to experience and luckily one of the places where this is possible can be found in Jamaica: Rock Warf Luminous Lagoon! Now I was sleeping already when the boat got to the heart of the lagoon, but mommy and daddy got into the water and told me all about it the next day.
Visiting Jamaica's capital city is noteworthy for many reasons, the Bob Marley Museum in particular. The museum is full of Bob Marley memorabilia and is situated in the house Marley used to live in during the first years of his succesful career. Now Jamaica and Bob Marley go hand in hand. One cannot visit Jamaica and somehow not be exposed to Marley's music. Songs like One Love or Three Little Birds are genuine anthems to the Jamaican people and mommy and daddy noticed that reggae music makes me happy.
After the museum, mommy and daddy got some ice cream at the renowned Devon House. As for me; mommy and daddy keep trying, but I still don't get what the fuss is all about. Ice cream is cold, funny looking and just too weird for my taste. However, at Devon House I was able to see Jamaican schoolkids, chase pigeons and just have a wonderful time.
We got a great view of the city as well from the Jamaican Bevery Hills.
And you might wonder: how did I do on the bus? It's a 4 hour ride from Montega Bay to Kingston, quite demanding for playful kids like me. But you know what? I love it and always find ways to enjoy myself.
And there you have it: another succesful trip to a beautiful and vibrant country. We look back on a great week, a week during which I showed joy, excitement and playfulness. I loved all the swimming I got to do, the various sites we got to see and yeah; I LOVE reggae! And after more than 10 hours flying getting back to Amsterdam, I will still happy and full of energy in the train taking us to our hometown. Already excited where our next trip will take us!