"There’s a special kind of pride and confidence that comes from growing up in this part of the world. Sure, the region has beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, but so do many other places. Caribbean people, however, are unique and inimitable." --JetSetSarah
CGR: When/How did you fall in love with writing?
JetSetSarah: I was a big reader as a child and still am, and I think my love of writing comes from that. How amazing is it that mere words can transport you to another time – and in my case, other places.
CGR: How long have you been writing?
JetSetSarah: I can remember writing poems for my mother when I was four or five. English was always my favorite subject in school, and writing was a big part of my former career in travel public relations. I’ve been writing professionally since 1997. I think my first piece was for Air Jamaica’s inflight magazine, Skywritings.
CGR: Was the transition from magazine to blogging easy?
JetSetSarah: I don’t consider myself a blogger; I’m a freelance travel journalist and content creator who has a website, JetSetSarah.com. My site is a great source for all types of Caribbean travel-related intel and inspiration; its full of original content and links to the work I do for other travel brands. But JSS is really a portfolio site, a destination where readers and editors can get a feel for my voice and the depth and breadth of my Caribbean knowledge. As an established magazine editor and writer, the transition to freelance was certainly easier for me because I already had contacts in the industry and because I had a specific niche. But either way, going from working for someone else to working for yourself is challenging. In my experience you work harder, longer and for less! Which is why you really have to love what you do!
CGR: Tell us about your first experience traveling.
JetSetSarah: I flew from London to Kingston, Jamaica, when I was four. I still remember vividly how fascinated I was by the plane and the entire flight experience. I looked out the window and said, “Mummy, the clouds are upside down!”
CGR: What is your most memorable trip to date?
JetSetSarah: I’d been dating, now husband, for just a few months when he surprised me with a birthday trip to Vegas. I’d always wanted to go, and it was the most thoughtful, romantic and fun experience. The lights were bright; the hotels were larger than life; and streets were filled with crazy characters. Like it or loathe it, Vegas is one of those places that is just the same in real life as it is in the movies.
CGR: List 3 things that you can’t leave home without when traveling.
JetSetSarah: My iPhone because I need to be constantly connected. My hair products because my new TWA (teeny weeny afro) is much more high-maintenance than my dreadlocks ever were. My running shoes, because a morning run is such a great way to discover a new place.
CGR: If you had to choose between writing and traveling which one would you pick? Why?
JetSetSarah: Ooh, that’s a tough one! I’d pick travel. I’m on the road about three times a month and after four or five days at home, I’m ready to get back out there! But my passion is sharing my travel adventures, so I’d still do that through video and photos – as I do now!
CGR:Planes, Trains, automobiles or boats?
JetSetSarah: Planes are my favorite because they can take you so far so quickly. I’ve cruised a lot and there’s nothing more relaxing than a sea day. And I’d love to do an overnight train trip in a sleeper cabin. Road trips, however, really don’t interest me that much. But I suppose I could be convinced!
CGR: You’re a self-described Black-Belt shopper. Please explain.
JetSetSarah: I have a real talent for sniffing out “shopportunities” (beautiful and/or useful locally made items) wherever I go. I’ve bought beaded necklaces from a boat in the middle of the Grenadines; handmade Mexican cowboy boots from the airport in Cancun; and a wooden mask from an artisan in the foothills of St. Lucia’s twin volcanoes, the Pitons. It’s rare that I don’t come home without at least one memento from a trip. If only I could make money from shopping!
CGR: Do you have a favorite piece/item from one of your retail missions?
JetSetSarah: I wear the silver hook bracelets I bought from St. Croix, USVI, every day. Almost every Crucian has one, and the way you wear it – with the hook either facing in or out – tells people whether you’re single or attached. There are a lot of imitation hooks out there so make sure you start with the original, from Sonya’s in Christiansted. Then complete your collection with stylish variations on the hook IB Designs and Crucian Gold, also in the capital city (and online.)
CGR: What do you love most about the Caribbean?
JetSetSarah: The people! There’s a special kind of pride and confidence that comes from growing up in this part of the world. Sure, the region has beautiful beaches and stunning landscapes, but so do many other places. Caribbean people, however, are unique and inimitable.
CGR: What’s your favorite Caribbean dish?
JetSetSarah: There are so many! In Jamaica, I have to have ackee and saltfish, escoveitch fish, bammy, fried dumplings and a Tastee patty before I leave. And let’s not forget Jamaican KFC; trust me, it’s the best!
CGR: How has living in Miami influenced your vibrant, positive, and fun filled social media posts?
JetSetSarah: Miami is so photogenic; it just begs to be immortalized on Instagram – which I do almost every day! I run at dawn by the water and it’s impossible not to share the beauty of the sunrises over Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic. And Miami has so many of the tropical icons associated with the Caribbean – beaches, palm trees, waterfront views – that the city is a great visual fit for my brand. It’s also the American gateway to the Caribbean, full of island people, food and culture. So where I live and where I work are inextricably linked.
CGR: Where can our followers find you on social media?
JetSetSarah: I’m @JetSetSarah on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Periscope. Let’s connect!