Three reasons why I ‘Jamrock’ (and a few life lessons to help you live more fully).
Every time I am asked this question about Jamrock, I get a sense of judgement from my enquirer. The undertone of the question is one of, ‘poor you, it’s rather sad you don’t branch out and try something new’. It’s as if they think I’m stuck in an unconscious pattern of holiday repetition, doing the same ol’, same ol’ with little knowledge that there is a vast world out there waiting for me to have the courage to discover.
I must get biblical on this one, ‘Forgive them, father, they know not what they do’. Oh bless, the non-jamrocker, if only they knew what Jamrock is about. I must admit, that in the past I found myself trying to defend my Jamrock stance and I would try to convince my enquirer why the cruise is so amazing.
Yet, as a seasoned psychotherapist, I know all too well, that trying to convince people is often a waste of time. That’s because people have often made up their minds and often hold firmly to their views. Plus, when people are defending their opinion, they’ll naturally select evidence to back up their claim.
As such, I see such encounters as a waste of my precious energy and I disengage. My current philosophy is to just be and do me. Nevertheless, as a person who is sensitive to undertones, there was a time when I would try to justify my actions. I would over-explain and give longwinded explanations why I had been on every Jamrock cruise since 2014, even cruising twice in 2015. Today, I no longer do that, my roommate calls me the Jamrock Queen and, secretly, I love it.
The First Lesson
Watch my thoughts from Fort Lauderdale #Blessed
And now, your girl Key’s thoughts on Jamrock…
Life Lesson 1: Don’t try to convince people – they have already made up their minds.
This year, as I touched down in Miami six days before the cruise, with all the expenses one incurs for flights (£463), hotels (£500), food (£ unknown) transportation (boy did we Uber, I don’t want to even want to add it up), shopping (again, I don’t want to know) and so on. I found myself pondering, why do I Jamrock every year?
Life Lesson 2: Indulge yourself, you’re worth it
So what is my Jamrock affection all about? It’s not as if I watch all the performances or attend all the promenade parties. I have never once been to a celebrity meet n greet or asked a famous performer for photographs. I have never been on an island excursion and I miss out on a lot of activities. So why do I Jamrock insistently? Why is it that when the next year’s cabins go on sale, I log in and pay up within a heartbeat?
Em, my mind churned and I got curious. Jamrock is not outrageously expensive (depending on your cabin of choice and if you’re prepared to share). However, the additional expenses do mount up. So, what is my Jamrock love all about? I pondered this question for a few days, then the answer bubbled up as I sat sipping rum n coke conversing with random Jamrockers at the 5th-floor bar.
Life Lesson 3: Talk to random strangers at a bar
That was the day we’d been off the boat and visited the lushness of Ocho Rios. As the eager swarm of Jamrockers re-boarded Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the sea, where Buju Banton’s much-anticipated performance was scheduled for the night. The ground floor lifts were in full use, so I decided to ascend the 10 flights of stairs to get to my interior cabin ($1499). On route, I decided to stop at deck 5’s bar for a little respite and refreshment. After all, I had paid for the drinks package and wanted to make full use of my $200+ investment. That was where I met Jasmine and Adam, (I recall that Adam was a seaman and Jessica had been on an excursion to Blue Hole that day), as we chattered away. Each of us sharing our Jamrock affection it was this casual conversation that helped me realise what my love of Jamrock is all about. Jamrock is about living in the moment, you have to because by the time you blink the cruise is over.
Life Lesson 4: Live in the moment!
Heightened, special, precious moments are rare in life. On Jamrock, you share an experience with likeminded people that share a love of reggae music and the principals of Rastafarianism. This reunites a diverse community of people and that is addictive, beautiful and in my view, the essence of humanity.
Here is my best attempt to explain what Jamrock is for me.
One reason to Jamrock: Living in the present
All too often we fail to be in the present moment. We’re either stressing over the past or thinking about the future. On a short 5 day cruise, you learn to live in the moment. You learn to be in the present because the time goes so quickly that before you know it you’re packing up your bags and being ejected back into reality – the one where you’re scrolling through your phone’s gallery looking for pictures that captured your memories. Jamrock has taught me to appreciate the moment, to live a regret-free life. After all, the moment is all we have, no one is promised tomorrow* and if we can embrace the ‘here and now’, instead of living in the ‘there and then’, we will be blessed to live more fully in the present. When we live in the now we live more wholeheartedly. More appreciatively with much more gratitude. Knowing that life is incredibly precious, and we are privileged to be alive.
The second reason to Jamrock
Heightened, special, precious moments are rare in life and they’re the experiences that make up our memories (be it good or bad). Jamrock provides a special place to have a concentrated time of magical, euphoric moments with people that share a common theme – a love of reggae music. The Jamrock experience inspires profound beautiful memories with dear friends, new friends and random strangers that become a part of your personal Jamrock family. In the main, those memories are filled with love, laughter, giggles and smiles. Wild stories, conundrums and characters that make me smile and marvel at the diversity of the human spirit. At an emotional level, there is love, lust, frustration, fun, annoyance, joy, passion and laughter to name just a few. All these emotions are part of the makeup of human relations, that enables me to feel alive. I embrace it all, the good the bad, the indifferent and most importantly the joy.
The third reason to Jamrock
The vibe is electric and unlike anything I have ever known. You enhance your relationships (and other relationships wither on the vine) as you adjust your expectations in accordance with reality. You make new friends and take risks by meeting new people, taking their numbers with the ambition to build a relationship back on the shore. You let people get to know you a little more intimately, you drop your guard and are open to what may occur. You give yourself permission to be indulgent and treat yourself for working hard throughout the year. You say yes, when ordinally you may say no. You let your hair down, free yourself from concern and let your inhibitions go. It’s so good to free up yourself. You give yourself permission to go with the flow and in doing so, you experience a little more of yourself. You may surprise or even astound yourself as you gently or boldly step out of your comfort zone and see what occurs.
This is what Jamrock does for me. What does it for you?
My hope is that you have or find an experience that does something magical for you. If you’re stuck for ideas or have never found your thing, sign up now for my bucket list that gives you 101 ideas to get you thinking. I am all about experiences and often share them on this blog.
* for more insights read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Browse all recommended reads on my free resources page.