Stay With Locals in Jamaica

Available on Apple iTunes!

Citizen of the World Jamaican Podcast series 1/3

I have been to Jamaica several times before, but never to stay with locals. This time I’m staying with locals, living the Jamaican way of life. A Jamaican family opened their hearts and homes to my father and I, and literally offered us their beds to sleep on. Learn about the experience of staying with locals in the Jamaican Countryside through the Citizen of the World Jamaican Podcast Series. A three part series dedicated to documenting my travels outside my comfort zone in Jamaica. Listen to interviews with Rasta’s, learn how to cook curry chicken, and step into the Jamaican culture.

Stay with locals Jamaica

fishing beach citizen of the world jamaican podcast

Listen to the Citizen of the World Jamaican Podcast Series on Apple iTunesGoogle Play & Spotify.  Get off all inclusive resorts and stay with locals in Jamaica. We stumbled upon this secluded fishing beach while staying with a local Jamaican family. See the real side of Jamaica!

I’ll share tips and advice from my personal experiences of living with a Jamaican local family. First and foremost, it’s important to be respectful and tolerant. No matter where you are, it’s crucial to be open-minded. Do not travel to Jamaica, or anywhere in the world with high expectations. Flow like water and see what happens! Does that sound scary? Good – because it’s through challenge and discomfort that we grow, evolve and learn.

authentic travel experience

Jamaican Travel and Culture

It’s easier to learn the culture and traditions of Jamaica by staying with a local Jamaican family.  Experience staying with locals for a trip that money just cannot buy. Stay with locals when visiting Jamaica to truly experience the Jamaican culture, and way of life. Step outside your comfort zone, and into the Jamaican perspective. Experience Jamaica with Citizen of the World ,author Kathleen Parisien for a raw travel experience.

stay with a jamaican family Instead of spending too much money on all inclusive resorts, opt for an authentic travel experience in Jamaica. Take travel time for spiritual growth and experience the Jamaican way of life.

Stay with a Jamaican Local Family

As soon as we arrived, the grandmother passed me a newspaper. Stay with a Jamaican local family to get an insight look into the Jamaican culture. The newspaper was filled with articles about sex, including an article about a sex worker position right on the first page. Other articles in the paper were about a mother walking in on her daughter’s threesome, and a dear priest section where people ask the priest questions about sex. Welcome to Jamaica and the Jamaican way of life! Stay with a Jamaican Local Family to experience Jamaica. 

stay with a jamaican family jamaican podcast series

The family we stayed with opened their homes and hearts to my father and I. They treated us as if we were family by bringing us into their home and giving us their beds to sleep on. I share all the details in my Jamaican podcast series.

Jamaican Countryside 

So for one week we are staying in the countryside, mountains of Jamaica about 30 minutes drive from Negril. Waking up here means waking up to roosters, goats playing and birds chirping. It’s a real country experience in Jamaica. Staying with a big family in an authentic Jamaican home is the way to see real Jamaica. The Jamaican countryside is where goats, cows, chickens, roosters, cats and dogs run free. Everyone is free in Jamaica.

jamaican way of life countryside

Get off All Inclusive Resorts

Four years ago my dad and uncle would visit Negril in all inclusive resorts. While staying there, my dad developed friendships with the bartenders and servers. They kept in touch over the years and my dad would return to Jamaica every year. This year, my dad was invited to stay with a local Jamaican family. I wanted to experience Jamaica’s culture and the Jamaican way of life so I jumped along for the adventure.

Peace and Love

The first night was very difficult. I was tired and hungry. But on my second night I came to truly appreciate and take it all in. Feeling of peace and love. That’s the Jamaican way. Sitting in the sun on the swing in the morning represents living a simple life. All the time in the world to just meditate, clear your mind, relax and unwind. This is what the soul needs for a calm stress free life. More travel to free your soul.

Raw Travel Experience

It’s a raw experience. This is the genuine way of life in Jamaica. No hotel or Air B&B but living authentically with the locals.

How many of us go to resorts and don’t get to know the staff ? Jamaica is more than just sun and beach, it’s the people. The warm people is why it’s worth visiting Jamaica.

No Running Water

I quickly learned that not everyone in this world has running water in their homes. Taking a shower with no running water is pretty difficult and complex. It’s already hot out and you get a workout taking a shower. The act of bending over and having to pour water over your head is stressful at first then you get used to it, but you’re working out a sweat in the mean time. No running water means washing clothes by hand, every morning! Be sure to listen to the Citizen of the World Jamaican Podcast for more details.

One Meal a Day

Most Jamaican families only eat one meal a day, maybe two meals. Eating one meal a day is a difficult transition from our life back in North America. Do we over emphasize food too much?. We are so used to our ways of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of us just pick up food without thinking about where it comes from or how it’s prepared. Stay with Locals Jamaica to learn about Jamaican food and the Jamaican way of life.

curry chicken jamaica authentic travel experience

Religion in Jamaica

The country is a very Christian country. Our Jamaican homestay was right beside a Church, and on Sunday’s mass goes from 10 am until 2 pm in the afternoon. Everyone is so elegantly dressed. I noticed that women were all dressed in white, red and black. Later, I discovered that they were apart of the choir. We don’t see the same enthusiasm for church in Canada, like we do in Jamaica.

The grandmother I’m staying with is also very religious. She placed a bible in my bed to sleep with me. It’s my first time sleeping with a bible.

Rastafarian Culture in Jamaica

In Episode 1 of the Citizen of the World Jamaican Podcast Series learn about Rastafarian culture in Jamaica. I interviewed a local Rasta to find out what their philosophy is on life. Rasta’s believe that we, human beings and nature are all one. We all help each other fulfill our destinies on earth by having a good heart and being good to one another. Rastafarian culture in Jamaica believes that you treat others the way you want to be treated, just like Jesus. Rasta’s mantra is you give love, you get love. Rasta Saska also talks about the influence of Bob Marley on all Jamaican children. Listen to the interview here.

Why can’t everyone follow this this Rastafarian mentality?  Seems so simple but sometimes we need reminding.

Please leave me a comment below or e-mail me directly at [email protected] with your feedback or if you are interested in visiting the blessed island of Jamaica!

Citizen of the World Kathleen Parisien

Citizen of the World is an inspirational book to get out of your comfort zone. Live a life of adventure by stepping outside your comfort zone. Read a courageous story about a 23 year old Canadian girl, who quit her 9-5 job and traveled the world for a life changing trip. 


Kathleen Parisien shows that personal growth occurs outside our comfort zones. Instead of accepting a mundane life, dream big and transform your dreams into a reality. 

  • Inspire action outside your comfort zone
  • Learn how to volunteering abroad can open countless opportunities for your future
  • Learn about the world through travel
  • Be encouraged to learn about the world around you, by jumping into the world of travel
  • Quit making excuses for yourself, and get inspired to propel into action

Kathleen continues to travel responsibly, and continues to inspire action outside your comfort zone. Citizen of the World the book is available here.