Places I’m dying to visit!

I feel like everyone I follow on social media is planning or is on some sort of trip out of the country. I have definitely been bitten by the travel bug, and am longing for a trip somewhere! Are you planning any trips anywhere soon?

Since I’ve been day dreaming, longing and pining, I thought it only fair to share 3 of the places I’m dying to visit with you.

Positano, Amalfi Coast Italy

Positano is a cliff-side village on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s a very popular holiday destination with pebble beaches, steep, narrow streets, and many boutiques and cafes. It’sย Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta has a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary, and the Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail links Positano to other coastal towns.Dollarphotoclub-75249551-1770x1152_e2x1_0_151_1400.20170621115359

Italy is the place of my dreams! I even took Italian for 2 semesters in college! I first came across this place watching travel vlogs on Youtube and fell in love! The view, the beaches, the villages on the mountain, the view, the colorful houses, the people and did I mention the view! It is such a beautiful, quaint place. I grew up on a mountain so I’m used to the hilly terrain. I am so looking forward to the workout from walking the many flights of stairs around the village. Bellissimo!

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Cape Town, South Africa

Back to the motherland! Well the African slaves from Jamaica originated mostly from Ghana, so on the opposite end of the continent, but motherland nonetheless.

Cape Town is a port city on South Africaโ€™s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the amazing Table Mountain. The Table Mountains are so beautiful and stunning, and the South African beaches are so beautiful!

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Amazing features: slowly rotating cable cars climb to Table mountainโ€™s flat top for sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island and the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela that is now a living museum.

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Portland, Maine USA

I fell in love with Maine through watching the early 70s to late 80s tv series M.A.S.H where the lead character, Benjamin Franklin “Hawkeye” Pierce, was from Maine and always dreamed of his hometown when he was stuck in the Vietnam war abroad. I watched that entire series nonstop for about 2-3 weeks a few summers ago! I was crushed, devastated and depressed when it was over; to this day I’m gutted! I love seafood, waterfronts and beaches so Maine is the spot for me.

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Portland, Maine is set on a peninsula extending into Casco Bay. The Old Port waterfront features working fishing wharves and converted warehouses with restaurants and shops. Nearby, the Western Promenade is a public park atop a bluff, offering river and mountain views.

Completed in 1791, Portland Head Light is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and is located in Cape Elizabeth, at the entrance to the primary shipping channel into Portland Harbor. It was added to the the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

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What destinations are you dreaming of or planning to visit?

Leave me a comment and follow me on Instagramย โ™ฅ โ™ฅ โ™ฅ

Karissa ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Roots in Jamaica!

I moved away from my country of birth about 5 years ago when I was 16. The interesting thing is that when I moved to Chicago, it wasn’t as hard of an adjustment as I thought it would be. Yes, there are many things which took time for me to get used to or learn, but I never felt uncomfortable or veryย homesick. I do still miss my home because no matter where I go, it will always be my home; my roots; the place where my soul resides.

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I was born in the parish of St James, Jamaica, but grew up in my family home in a small town called Brown’s Town in St. Ann, Jamaica. More specifically, ย in a little village called Orange Hill, named for (you guessed it) the orange trees which grew there a long time ago.

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My cousin and I before my house with my aunt’s house behind us.

My house was on a hill, and I could look out into the distance over the abundance of fruit trees in front of my house and see mountains all around touching the blue skies. There were also palm trees which caressed every sunset and sunrise. I would wait on my veranda almost every night watching the sky turn beautiful hues of orange and pink until darkness fell.

I miss the natural beauty and old world charm of my homeland.

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I loved that jeep and those Barney toys so much! Take a look at the mountains though, beautiful.

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I swear every black person I know grew up wearing those socks lol

Some facts about Brown’s Town:

  • small market town 6 miles from the North coast
    • very close to Dunn’s River and Dolphin Cove
  • located within the Dry Harbor Mountains
  • founder Hamilton Brown was an eccentric Irishman who owned a lot of land

The lively market where women and men offer everything from fresh local produce, alcohol, cookware, cooked food to clothing. The market is definitely the hub of the town.

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Traditional market next to the mall

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Congestion due to the bus park and taxi stand.

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Another church on the outskirts of town

Within Brown’s Town is my church, St Mark’s Anglican church. My place of worship and where I made many friends.

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Hope you enjoyed this little snapshot of my humble and beautiful home!

-Kaj ๐Ÿ™‚

Cruising down to Chinatown Chicagoย 

I’ve been living in Chicago for about 5 years now, and I have not fully explored all that this Windy City has to offer. Every time I venture further out into the city, I exclaim how large it really is. It’s no fun to stay in the same area all the time, go out and explore!

This Sunday I decided to go to Chinatown because I had heard so many good things about it.  I live on the outskirts of the city, so it took me about 45 mins to get downtown. Once there I decided to take a water taxi from Michigan Ave to Chinatown. This was one of the best ideas I’ve had in a long while! I sat at the back of the boat facing the water and the city. The ride was super relaxing and amazing! I got to see the city from a new perspective, and I loved it! Tip: the boats get crowded after midday so arrive early if you want outside seating on the boat. I prefer feeling the river air and sun on my face, but the inside seating is nice as well, if you’re not one for sun.

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It took about 15-20 minutes to get to Chinatown. The boat stop was located in the beautiful Ping Tom Park which is a short walk away from the main square. The Chinese architecture and beautiful flowers and grounds makes this park perfect for anything from taking a walk to having a photo shoot.

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After crossing the train tracks right outside the park and walking through a quiet residential area, you get to the Chinatown square with amazing shops and restaurants galore. I must admit, I thought it would be bigger, but I didn’t cross the street to explore the marketplace, which I am sure was teeming with crafts and clothing, due to time constraints. In the middle of the square are statues with all of the Chinese New Year symbols. I was born in the Year of the Rat, so of course I took a photo with my statue.

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Walking through the shops caused me to grow hungry so I stopped in  one of the restaurants for some take out for a little picnic in the park. All of the restaurants are a little small and the seats are very close together in my opinion, so I decided to eat outside and enjoy the sunshine. It was so difficult to chose a restaurant because they are all so inviting, but I chose one and was on my way back to the park. The food was amazing! After eating, I enjoyed a paleta or Mexican cream popsicle from a guy selling them in the park.

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I ended the day by taking the boat back to Michigan Avenue, and hopping on a bus back home. If you’re ever in Chicago and have a day to spend, take a water taxi down to Chinatown and feel like you’re Chinese for a day.