#60Days in Paradise: Tobago’s Island Connoisseur

I’m an island gal born and raised, ergo I feel I’m somewhat of an island connoisseur as it is. From beautiful Victoria on Vancouver Island, to the Aran Islands in Ireland, Brac in Croatia, and Koh Samui in Thailand, I’ve had my fair share of experiences to further justify that statement.

As I sit here on a dock in Grand Cayman with the sunset on my right and a rainbow on my left, I’m still dripping wet from my swim in the rain. This island, and this moment, invigorates me, all the while soothing me and allowing thoughts to flow clearly through my mind, just as they did while I wrote a musing on buoyancy.

60Days in Paradise | Tobago's Island Connoisseur

I’ve been traveling my entire life, propelled by my first real taste of it at the ripe age of 14, when I made my way to Kentucky to participate in the World Series for fast pitch. Since then, I’ve played the wandering nomad and explored territories, provinces, states and entire countries.

I’ve quit jobs to travel and have made contacts all over the world. Want to be introduced to someone in Konigstein just outside of Frankfurt? I’ve got you covered. How about someone in Krakow, Poland or Aquascalientes in Mexico? Give me your hand, and I’ll have you shaking it in no time.

Just as I do on every trip, I try my darnedest to get to know the locals: where they hang out, what they do, who they are. I take public buses, I fumble my way through foreign languages, I eat everything offered to me, and I’m open to a variety of outings and accommodation.

From camping, hostels, local’s houses, and cabanas, to B&Bs and ritzy hotels, I have slept in the entire spectrum of housing. From hole in the wall diners and home cooked meals with acquaintances, to the most esteemed restaurants, locally and internationally, I’ve tasted an array of culinary delights as well.

I spent six weeks cycling Ireland with my father and sister and later cycled from Amsterdam through Belgium and around France. I have backpacked and “couchsurfed” in more countries than I can count, and I have learned something in every situation, whether it be as simple as a dirty word, or as complex as peeling away a layer of my being. After all, the best lessons in life are learned not through institutions, but through living!

Do I like food and libations?

Absolutely. I’ve been eating, cooking, experimenting and snapping photos of them both for most of my life, inundating my friends on Facebook with my gastronomical experiences.

Weirdest thing I’ve eaten to date? Preserved silkworm in Vienna.

Best thing I’ve ever eaten? Green curry in Thailand.

Most luxurious thing I’ve eaten? Certified organic caviar in Whistler.

Most exotic thing I’ve tried? Crocodile in Australia, or Turtle in Grand Cayman.

Do I like to photograph and write?

I do both almost every day. I was raised with a darkroom in my house, took a photography course in college, and have logged thousands of hours behind my many lenses. I wrote a self-developed column for my college newspaper, which I turned into an audio piece for CBC. I’ve been writing for pleasure avidly since I was a wee one, and I have been writing professionally about lifestyle for more than two years.

My core values are freedom, productivity, and connection. Solid reasons why I should be Tobago’s Island Connoisseur. People live vicariously through me, and I’d love to give them even more reason to.

With love,
Kelly Jean

Not convinced? Check out my video submission.


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