I’ve always loved travelling. I remember my parents waking my siblings and I up at 4am in the morning and telling us to get ready. They never told us what was happening, or what we were getting ready for but ‘get ready’ mean’t get ready, no questions asked. After piling into the car with suitcases, you’d think it was evident but after asking your ever-so-honest parents “Are we going to America?” and them saying “no no no”. Well, hell..a no was a no.
It was only after physically driving into the airport parking lot and checking in did my siblings and I start screaming and celebrating in the departure lobby. It was probably the beginning of our collective trust issues due to the constant lies. It’s funny now that I think of it but I digress. Travelling was always a high point because we NEVER went out in Jamaica. It was always school, by my parent’s store then home. It was so bad that simple after church MegaMart (a superstore) runs on Sundays were highlights of my childhood. Nothing like pre-packed rotisserie chicken and dinner rolls in the car.
My childhood really allowed for my love for foreign countries to grow.
After a few missed opportunities to travel and study abroad because I was constantly being told to ‘wait’, I finally got where I wanted to be. I worked with this amazing U.S. based event company in the Jamaica office immediately as I turned 18. I started as a regular intern, but decided this place had crazy potential. I went above and beyond my expected roles and got promoted to full-time! After a few months of working there, my bosses held a meeting and said “I love your work ethic and we would love to have you in our New Jersey office. We would give you an apartment, you would always have a driver at your disposal and of course, a huge bump in your monthly salary”
I heard own apartment, and foreign so I was READY before the meeting was over. It was if all my dreams were coming true. After a few weeks of arguing with my parents because they wanted to once again, tell me to ‘wait’, I finally packed my bags and left! It was exhilarating truly. It was hard to be truly happy the car ride to the airport because I had to listen to my dad tell me that I might be human trafficked but I couldn’t care less if all the Arabs in the world personally drove me to their human trafficking site at that point. I was too happy to register anything sketchy.
Fast forwarding, a few weeks into my new environment and job, I was genuinely enjoying it and my apartment with huge warehouse windows.
It was something about those windows and tie-dye ‘curtains’ that made it not so bad. It was something about those same windows in the open kitchen that made it not so bad. It wasn’t the greatest but I made that home, and that’s okay.
I quickly learned however that not everything that glitters is gold. I was doing 8am to 3am shifts. I was barely eating well. I was tired and stressed. It felt like I never had a day off. I was in the city every single day but I still loved every second of it because I was living some remnant of my ‘dream’.
How it all ended? I am a multi-tasker at best. I liked doing multiple things all at once, so I had a registered business on the side in Jamaica. It was doing very well. My bosses found out about my side business and assumed I was using their time to work on my own business, and that didn’t sit well with them. They immediately let me go after deliberating with me about me closing my business and me denying to listen to them.
Now, I started thinking that I was in New Jersey and my REAL dream was to have a nice cozy apartment in NY, and work in the city amongst the hustle and bustle. I loved the idea of stopping for a bagel and small coffee on my way to work, with my earphones in and nothing to bother me. I loved the idea of the bright city lights and the 24/7 joints on every street. The city never slept, and neither did I nor did I want to. I decided that me losing that job was the beginning of everything. I went by a friend’s place in Jersey for a few days and job hunted for anything in the city. My motivation was piqued.
I got that destined call, and I was packing my bags again to catch a train to New York City to start a new chapter of my life.
Thanks for reading!