And Sunday means it’s time for me to introduce you to another travel blogger. This time let’s head to the Caribbean to my favourite Jamaican travel blogger, which in my mind easily makes her Jamaica’s number ONE travel blogger, and that’s Rochelle Knight. When she’s not travelling, Rochelle in a doctor and 2020 has, unsurprisingly, been a busy year thus far for her in that capacity, and yet she still manages to keep posting! Her blog posts showcase the incredible beauty of the island of Jamaica and the cuisine there too! Enjoy!
- Hi there. Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Would you mind starting by telling us who you are and where you’re from, and of course the name of your blog?
Hi there! Thanks so much for having me Andy. It’s a pleasure. 🙂 I’m Rochelle Knight from Kingston, the capital city of a tiny Caribbean island called Jamaica. I’m a doctor who recently graduated from medical school and I blog over at adventuresfromelle.com. When I’m not blogging or working, I’m looking up and daydreaming about new places to visit, reading other blogs, watching YouTube, listening to music or cooking up something delicious in the kitchen.
- When did you start your blog and why did you decide to start a travel blog?
I started my blog in December 2016 in order to show people how to explore the best of my island, and eventually the Caribbean region. Jamaica’s largest economic activity is tourism, and with many of our prime beaches and waterfalls being commercialized or privatized to make tourism profitable, it’s often said that “Jamaica’s beauty isn’t for the locals to enjoy.” That’s such a sad, but more importantly, UNTRUE statement, so adventuresfromelle.com is all about dispelling that myth and showing ordinary citizens and visitors alike the beauty and variety of hidden gems in Jamaica which are waiting to be discovered. I also enjoy inspiring people to travel regardless of their budget.
- What do you like to write about and why?
My favourite places to write about are off-the-beaten-path waterfalls in Jamaica, mostly because I don’t enjoy having crowds at my watering holes and waterfalls are just so lovely to admire. I like capturing a bit of that awe and magic in my posts.
- What have been some of your favourite destinations?
My favourite destinations so far have been local gems such as the Blue Mountains, and it’s so cool that Australia also has a mountain range by the same name! I’m not that well travelled internationally, but so far I must say I enjoyed exploring Trinidad and Tobago last Christmas as their culture is truly the most diverse one I’ve ever encountered packed into such a tiny land mass.
- Who do you see as the audience for your blog?
My audience comprises other locals who are passionate about local travel and ‘staycations’, and also foreign visitors who would like to see the real Jamaica behind the gates of their all-inclusive resorts.
- What advice would give to someone just starting out blogging?
Just write! Your writing and editing skills will improve over time with practice and experience. Aim to put out content you are proud of all the time, so that means grammar and spell checks etc. However, have fun with it. Don’t feel as if you have to stick with a particular posting schedule. Also, use social media to your advantage in attracting new readers.
- What is the hardest thing about running a travel blog?
Finding what to write about when you’re not travelling. Sometimes you won’t go anywhere for weeks or months at a time, and when you’ve exhausted all the places that you’ve seen to talk about, then what?
- How has your world changed due to Covid-19? What restrictions are in place where you are right now?
As an essential worker, I still had work everyday but my hours became different and greater attention is being placed on sanitizing. However, there were basically no opportunities for fun outside of work including a shutdown of all beaches, waterfalls, botanical gardens, parks and every other place that was deemed non-essential. Those restrictions began shortly after my country’s first case on March 10, and remained in effect until late June when we began to relax those rules. However, many people are not taking the coronavirus seriously and our tally has begun to increase. Thus, restrictions are being tightened once more except that travel into the country is still allowed, once you have a negative PCR CoVid-19 result, done within 48hours of arrival into the island.
- How do you think travel will change due to the pandemic?
Many airlines and cruise ships will hopefully reduce overcrowding and overbooking in order to maintain ‘social distancing’. Also, I think greater attention will be placed on maintaining cleanliness in public spaces which is certainly a welcome change.
- What place would you really like to visit and why?
There are several, but right now, seeing the Land of Fire & Ice, that is Iceland, is high up there on my list. I’m from the tropics so I’ve never experienced snow before, plus I’d love to see the Aurora Borealis and experience all the lovely geothermal activity which is bubbling in Iceland.
- You blog from your home country, Jamaica. Please tell the readers why they should visit Jamaica and what they should see and do when they come!
My pleasure! Jamaica is such a rich and diverse island in terms of its people, food, music, culture and landscape. There’s a lot to do in Jamaica including relaxing at postcard-perfect beaches, climbing delightful perfectly tiered waterfalls which look so beautiful you’ll wonder if they’re really naturally-occurring (but they are), our mountains, rivers, birds and tropical flowers are a sight to behold, and our food is also an adventure in and of itself. Above all, our people are really friendly and genuinely interested in making sure you have a great time. We’re just that proud of our tiny island nation and love to show it off (in a good way) to anyone who’s interested in experiencing it. I recommend trying the ‘touristy’ activities like parasailing over the Negril coast and climbing Dunn’s River Falls, but also doing off-the-beaten path things like taking a farm-to-plate tour, touring a Blue Mountain coffee farm (Jamaica is renowned for having some of the world’s most sought after coffees), explore an off-the-beaten-path waterfall in the jungle, and touring a historical greathouse or rum plantation.
- Please recommend three posts from your blog you’d like people to read (and why!)
Certainly! I’d recommend
- This article on my favourite 10 places in Jamaica (https://adventuresfromelle.com/2020/08/16/elles-top-10-updated/) because not only will it fuel you wanderlust to visit Jamaica, but also you can use it as a travel guide if you ever end up visiting my home.
- I believe the best way to explore a country is through its food so this article will show you 10 unique must-have food and drink experiences in Jamaica. (https://adventuresfromelle.com/2019/03/09/unique-food-experiences-jamaica/)
- This article showcases 10 free ways to explore Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city. Kingston is not a popular tourist spot because it’s busy, fast-paced and very loud compared to our relaxed resort towns of Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, but it’s really the heartbeat of Jamaica. I think it’s worth a stop for those who want to fully understand and immerse themselves in Jamaican culture. This post will show you where to go. https://adventuresfromelle.com/2019/04/19/top-10-free-things-kingston/
- Finally, how can people find you on the net and social media? Please include blog address, facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and any other channels you use.
You can find me at https://adventuresfromelle.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/adventuresfromelle and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/adventuresfromelle/. My Instagram page is very new so I’m trying to create regular content and reach a goal of 1,000 followers by the end of 2020. I’d love it if you could check it out and follow. 🙂
- Finally (again!) what are you hoping or dreaming for in 2021?
Jamaica is lovely and there’s still so much of this little rock I haven’t yet explored but I’m ITCHING to take an overseas trip. I’m not quite sure if or where I’ll be travelling to just yet because ‘Rona may have other plans, but for now I have my eye set on either Toronto, Canada to visit family (plus do lots of sightseeing on the side), Cuba or Tulum + Chichen Itza in Mexico. I’m leaning heavily towards the latter as it would be my first Seven Wonders of the World.
A MASSIVE thank you to Rochelle for participating. Please do check her blog it is honestly pretty awesome! Thank YOU for reading today, take care, and as always, May the Journey Never End!