Amazing Jamaica - Haitian gas riot blows world traveller to unforgettable visit to the island
In November 2015, Texas-born attorney-at-law Suzanne DuBose closed her law practice, sold everything she had and decided to live her dream of travelling to all 197 countries in the world.
Three weeks ago, she travelled to country number 85, Haiti, and her plan was to make St Kitts and Nevis the 86th stop. She intended to travel south from St Kitts and Nevis through the region and come to Jamaica last.
According to DuBose, she was having a great time in Haiti until increases were announced in the price of fuel. Haitians reacted violently as they contemplated 51 per cent increase in a country where the working Haitian earn less than US$2 per day.
Several days of blocked roads and burning streets led to the resignation of Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, but not before the United States government advised its citizens to stay indoors, or leave the country immediately.
DuBose became stuck in Haiti as only a few flights were going in or coming out. But she was lucky to get on American Airlines on July 9, and that's how Jamaica became country number 86.
'COULDN'T BE HAPPIER'
"It has worked out perfectly. I couldn't be happier. The weather has been phenomenal. I have met the most amazing people, and I believe that everything happened the way it was supposed to happen. So the gas riots blew me to Jamaica," said DuBose.
"I have to tell you that based on all my travels so far, Jamaica is on my top three countries in the world and the number one country for vacation. Jamaica is an absolute gem of a country.
"The people are warm, they are friendly, and despite the precautions that one must take, and I do, I have found the people are so protective of me. It's an amazing experience so far," DuBose told The Sunday Gleaner.
"Jamaica is the most diverse country I have been to in terms of what is special to you. If you want ocean sports, it's here; mountain sports, bobsleigh, plus the music. Not to mention the foods," she added.
Now the attorney, with a virtual law practice, said if it wasn't for a deposition in Texas last Friday, she would still be in Jamaica where she landed just in time for some of the country's staple music festivals, including Reggae Sumfest.
DuBose said she became a mother as a teenager, but her family stood by her and she was able to go to college and law school.
Her daughter, now 24 years old, was the only one whose opinion mattered, and when she got that nod of approval, she began to plan her trip around the world.
According to DuBose, her daughter has already travelled to 24 countries, as during college they either travel together or she would join her.
DuBose generally spends three months travelling and returns home for three weeks, but sometimes court appearance would cut into her travel time.