After a restless night and an early flight out of Lexington, I found myself running through the Atlanta airport to the amusement of others who were fortunate enough to not have a flight leaving in 15 minutes.

When we finally reached the gate, our flight happened to have been delayed, so we ended up standing in the queue with small beads of sweat forming on our panting bodies. Luckily, the flight was short and painless and before long a landscape of tumbling jungle hills was getting closer below us. I felt that same familiar ping of excitement surge through my body when the landing gear hit with a jolt.

I was in a new country!

Albeit, this was only an 11 day holiday, an escape from Kentucky and a chance to free my mind as I roasted my skin under a tropical sun. I have been working day and night on startbackpacking.com, so sitting for long periods of time, doing nothing, and staring at the Carri bean rather than an LCD screen
had a great appeal. My laptop did sneak along for the trip, but this is the first time that I have taken it out of the bag and I have a strict no-HTML policy for this trip. 🙂

Customs went smoothly, other than my passport number not scanning as usual. Border officials hate my guts because my low-quality American passport has taken such a beating in the last 18 months that it no longer works and they have to key in the tiny 12 digit number by hand. There’s nothing like pissing off the very first person you encounter in every new country.

The airport was madness with locals already trying to get into my pocket. Egypt hardened me back in December and I haven’t met a tout yet that could break me after 1 month in that scandalous country.

Lyndsey and I had booked a place in Negril, which was a good 2 hours away and I had heard nightmares of US$60 taxi rides (each). As we ignored the horde of taxi drivers, I started throwing my vagabonding breakers trying to get back into the mindset. We ended up running into another couple that was going to Negril and we split a minibus for $20 each – much better. That old familiar excitement was coursing through my bloodstream – when you put yourself into a position for good things to happen, they usually do! The best lesson that I have learned while vagabonding is to just let go and not to interfere – things almost always work out as they should!

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