The first day when we were on Boston Bay beach I met a guy called Ocean. Ocean is not his real name but Oschane, but since it was too hard for me to memorize it he told me to call him Ocean. And that suits him perfectly since he has been living his whole life at Boston Bay, on the beach by the Caribbean Sea. Not bad.
We met and started chatting because me and M wanted to go for a walk further away on the beach, to a place where you can climb high up and see the wide open ocean in front of you. We wanted to take pictures from there so we brought our cameras. However, the way to go there was too rocky and slippery so O and one of his friends suggested they walk there with our cameras and we can swim to the shore, what we did. Up there, the view was stunning and we could swim in springs of crystal-clear water. Then of course O came up with the idea that we could jump from the cliff. It was not even that high, maybe 4 or 5 meters but the water was so clear that you could see all the rocks that are in the bottom. Even if O swore thousand times that the water is deep enough for jumping and that it just looks like the rocks are very close, I was seriously worried that I would hit something. But like always, once I had made my mind I had to go through with it and jump. So O showed the example and then finally I jumped as well, M following right after. And it was so much fun that I didn’t want to stop at all.
After a while we swam back to the beach and got some lunch (Jerk chicken!) and then spent the afternoon with the guys. They took us to a “secret” part of the beach where people don’t usually go. Going there we had to climb up the hill and up there is where O lives, with many of his relatives. It is a very simple house but he was seemed happy and proud about it. The house is surrounded by a garden where almost anything grows. I don’t remember anymore which one was which but I wrote down that I saw ackee, banana, grape, breadfruit, pear, pineapple and mango treas. I wish I had a garden like that.
He also took us to his favorite spot on the hill. The view from there looks like this:
After the tour we stayed on the beach with the boys, listened to some music, danced a bit, played with the swing, admired the sunset and looked at the stars.
I talked a lot with O and he told me that his life really is always like that. He has spent basically every day of his 24-year-old life on that one and same beach. He does surfing and gives classes, he swims and goes jumping from the cliffs. He spends time with his family and his friends who also live around the corner. A couple of times he has traveled to another island for surfing competitions but apart from that he doesn’t know many other places. I had to ask him the obvious question: even if it’s wonderful living there, doesn’t he ever get bored? He told me no. I think it’s amazing how some people can live like that. They don’t need much, they don’t stress or worry about stupid things, they know how to appreciate what they have and how to make the most of it. The guys also introduced us to a new friend of theirs, an American man who was camping and staying with them for a while. He had built his tent in O’s family’s house and when we met him he was sitting at the “perfect spot” and, like we did, admiring the view. If I had trouble understanding the guy who spent his days smoking weed in Ocho Rios, this makes a lot more sense. For whatever reason he had come, he had chosen to live a simple, quiet life for a moment and he seemed to be loving it. I don’t think I’d have the patience for that. Even if I love it at Boston Bay, and even if it feels like the best possible kind of life, I need more action and intellectual activities. But if only for a few days, I’m happy I came there and saw how different life can be. Stopping for a moment and taking it all in made me once again realize how good my life is and that I should appreciate more what I have. I also realized that I’m extremely lucky to have the chance to travel to the other side of the world and even better, stay here for a longer time. Learnt at Boston Bay, I promise you I’m going to make the most of my stay in Latin America. :)
Today we came back to Boston Bay with J and found O and some of the other guys. This time we went surfing together, so I have already started my new hobby! The waves were not that good though but it was a nice start. Either O was a very good teacher or I have a natural talent but after less than 10 times of trying I actually managed to stand on the surfboard for a short while, before falling over again. So I can say that I have surfed. But it was so cool I can’t wait to get to Colombia and make surfing a real hobby!
Then we went jumping again and when the sun started to go down we had our own little beach party with music, dance and stars, like the other time. I don’t know what it is but there's just something I love about the sea. I grow up by the sea in Helsinki and of course it’s not the same thing than the Caribbean but I remember that I have always loved going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. Same thing every time we have travelled somewhere to the south, beach life has always been the highlight of my trip. Even now, every time I go to Helsinki I need to get to my spot: same rocks where I always sit and look at the sea. It’s a quiet place where I go whenever I’m happy or sad, or just want to take a breath and think about my life. It is soothing and looking at the sea always helps me put things in perspective and understand what truly matters. In Paris I have made a same kind of habit of walking around île Saint Louis. But even if I love it, it’s just not the same. Nothing can ever beat living by the sea and because for the coming 6 months I won’t have Paris, I need to make the most of the sea.
Read the next story here.
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!