Young doctor chronicles local hotspots with Adventures from Elle
With the lockdown lifted, to some degree, many are looking forward to returning outside and living their best lives. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on where to go and what to do locally, then make a quick stop at the travel blog, Adventures from Elle.
“Adventures from Elle is a travel blog where I share candid accounts of my Jamaican adventures to inspire and assist other Jamaicans with exploring Jamaica,” Rochelle Knight told Living.
Reading and writing coexisted in pure harmony for the young Knight. As she grew older, the creative began to nurture that literary duo, she developed a love for the great outdoors. Merging all t’s, no wonder that she combined that literary duo with outdoor excursions, chronicling her sojourns across the island with Adventures by Elle.
“I find joy in contributing to the collective body of written word out there. I spent lots of time journalling or writing amateur novels and comics as a child, but I’d stopped as I grew older and life got busier. Blogging has revived that old passion for writing,” she revealed.
Reggae Falls was the first trip on her local bucket list. The visit to one of Jamaica’s off-the-beaten-path gems back in January of 2016 led to a series of epiphanies. She had been living on this beautiful island for 20 years by then, and knew little of its alluring sites. She also discovered that her introduction to getting to know her country better came from international tourists, rather those closer to home who were born and raised in the rich culture.
“People save for years to afford a Jamaican vacation, yet we have this beautiful island and limit ourselves with repeat trips to the same places,” she pointed out. And she found it embarrassing that foreigners knew more about the luxuries within her own backyard than she did. So Knight did what any forward-thinking individual would do: become the very change she wanted to see.
Cane River Falls in Nine Miles, Bull Bay, was the subject of her first official travel blog in December of that year. Hesitant about her blog name, due to her inexperience in the field, she has made significant strides since her humble beginning, earning her stripes in the exploration department. She has since hiked to Blue Mountain Peak for sunrise, her most awesome adventure yet, visited the Upper Rio Grande Valley of Portland and done not one, but three rum tours.
One of the major misconceptions she discovered when it came to locals visiting hotspots was that they believed it was expensive. That, she says, is often not the case. She once had that belief as well, but she came to learn that it was not the case at all. “Most of Jamaica’s best spots are still inexpensive or free. Frequent day trips became my trade-off for elusive and expensive staycations, and I’ve never looked back. I wanted a platform to share these experiences and inspire other Jamaicans to explore Jamaica.”
She ensures that she includes admission costs, making social commentary on the prices.
Nature stands as her biggest inspiration. Her creative process includes making the visit and immersing herself in the location. She started out as a blog as opposed to vlogging because she wanted to unplug from the outside and just be one with nature. “I’ll snap some photos that will support the article or serve as personal photo memories, then put away my phone so I can get back to soaking up everything. Sometimes I’ll record a few details which I know I’m bound to forget,” she added.
While those who are aware of the locations are upset that the secret is out, those from neighbouring communities are warm and welcoming in their approach, and they appreciate the exposure.
It was hard to balance this adventurous lifestyle when she was a medical student and this matter only exacerbated now that she is a doctor. But Knight is intent on her mission of putting out great content for persons to experience the country’s rich culture.
Other areas on her bucket list to visit are the Cockpit Country, Cinchona Botanical Garden, rafting down the Rio Grande and visiting Nanny Falls, Nonsuch Falls, Spanish River and Turtle Bay in Portland. “I’d also love to visit Luminous Lagoon, have a farm-to-table gastronomy experience at Stush in the Bush, see the turtles hatch in Oracabessa, and I’d love to spend a quiet weekend at an eco-friendly boutique hotel or cottage in Portland,” she shared.
For those wondering if she has dreams to go international, the answer is yes. She would love to explore countries like St Lucia, Costa Rica, Mexico, France, Kenya, Morocco, Japan and Thailand. Outside of blogging, Knight is an avid foodie and enjoys dining in new restaurants and trying new foods and wines and teas.
For local travel, the good doctor recommends making a budget and sticking to it. Accommodation, she says, accounts for the biggest travel expense of any trip so if you can trade stay-cations for day trips to save on funds, that’s a viable option. “There’s an adventure out there to suit every budget.”
Visit the Jamaican budget travel blog adventuresfromelle.com for more information.