2020 has truly been “A” year! (I think we all can say that again…over and over again!) For me personally, I never stopped. While some “Netflix and chilled,” & some took on a new hobby… I was busy the first few months of the Pandemic I was switching from in classroom learning to graduating with a Master’s Degree virtually. I researched and assisted with a few elopements, destination vow renewals, postponing vacations & honeymoons along with postponing several weddings. I mentored lots of vendors in the wedding industry and created a full 3 month virtual educational weekly learning experience. Then moved my spring ACC class to virtual learning this summer and creating a safe face-to-face experience for my fall UNCG students. All while being a caregiver to my mother in during her final months of transiting to Heaven. To say the last eight months were rough is an understatement.
So when my favorite holiday (Halloween) looked to be canceled due to protocols and safety… me and two wedding planner friends jumped on a plane and traveled to Jamaica! We had been meeting virtually EVERY week since the Pandemic started so we knew exactly how safe each of us had been and how serious we took the current situation. We all took our COVID test, uploaded our Jamaican authorization letters and started planning to get scuba dive open water certified while on property.
I personally wanted to show my clients, friends & family that it IS SAFE TO TRAVEL! Honestly, I felt safer traveling through the airports than my local grocery stores. Getting into another country was hand sanitizer with a guard to make sure you did it every few steps (can we get that in the USA please). They don’t play! Screenings and lots of questions before allowed in… again I never felt safer! I would recommend any of the fast track options if an Island offers it because they were there every step of the way and I was through screening and customs in less than 15 minutes. Knowing everyone had a negative test & their temperature taken before allowed to even touch their bag took a lot of the stress off. We wore our masks in our transfer which was a larger van with one other couple.
Once on property there were hand sanitizers everywhere and they encourage using it frequently and required entering into buildings, resort shops, and any dining or food areas. They did encourage wearing masks when in small rooms or when not able to social distance. The resort was between 40-60% occupancy so social distancing was super easy! They required dinner reservations for all restaurants except the buffet. Don’t worry, the buffet wasn’t touched by guests… they would have a personal assistant walk with you from station to station to place food items on your plate. It was like having a personal chef walk you through the experience (kind of cool… local catering companies TAKE NOTES).
For my personal experience, once I got into my room I would have a mask in my small handbag but never wore it except when meeting with the staff personally, doing a tour of the resort or riding a taxi from one resort to another. Again, it was the FIRST time in 8 months I felt normal and honestly I can’t wait to get back down there. I miss the fresh air and freedom. Hence why I’m headed back down to St. Lucia for Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas to spend New Year’s Eve back in Jamaica… plus planning a group trip later next spring… Let’s plan your getaway!