#RebelGrrlRemote: A Caribbean Digital Nomad Goes Local and Inward

Intention: See Jamaica with fresh eyes and fresh adventures.

Location:  Jakes in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

My Workation Needs: Strong and Consistent Wifi. Fresh Conversations with Smart and Quirky people. The Beach. Good Music. Fresh Adventures. Really Good Food.

“This is going to be the summer of rediscovering your own neighbourhood and your own country. Lean into that and have loads of fun.” 

I tweeted that a couple of weeks ago.  It was a reflection of my own resignation, that turned into full acceptance, of where we are in the world and in Jamaica, as we flow through this pandemic. I now call it, the COVID Retreat. It has limited our international travel options, flamed our business plans…thwarted our in-person events and activities as we knew them, before March of this mutherfunkin’ leap year. It has forced us to go internal and local.

As a Digital Nomad/Location-Independent Entrepreneur for 13 years, who’s been used to working out of the quiet corners of cafes, restaurant, bars, and hotel lounges wherever I am, as well as getting things done on trains, planes and in airports – the last 5 months has been humbling…a clipping of my wings.

Yet, it has made me even more grateful that I took that year-long sabbatical in 2019, to recuperate from my second burnout. That ended in November, and now I have memories of Kuala Lumpur, London, New York, Atlanta, DC, Florida, and Trinidad and Tobago to nourish me.

We’re now in the month of July, of the year that would have seen me living in New York, working online growing Rebel Grrl Media (Parent Company of SiliconCaribe), as usual, spending more time with my close friends, dating a gorgeous nerd, and allowing the spins and twists, grit and glitz, smarts and art that is New York energy, to have its way with me. On the agenda too, was seeing Janet Jackson live, and getting my outfit ready for Afropunk Brooklyn to show up with my Jamaican, Trinidadian, and Gotham posse.

That said, riding out this pandemic in Jamaica, has been a blessing. I mean, who doesn’t like having space to walk house lawns and neighbourhood hills while under quarantine. Who doesn’t like knowing that the beach is only a 40-minute drive away and fresh mangoes and avocadoes are always available in your backyard or from your friend’s house.

Still, while I am very grateful for dodging the New York Corona bullet, it took me a while to align with my current reality of only being in Jamaica. You see, as much as I love my country, in many ways I believe I’ve outgrown her (I’m a GenXer), yet it seems, there may still be some things about her that I am yet to know and appreciate.

And now having rescheduled the New York move to 2021, I’ve decided to use this COVID Retreat to rediscover Jamaica and see if I will fall in love with her some more, again….by adding a little breadth and more depth in how I show up with her every day.

Aerial view of Kingston | A part of Jakes Hotel
Jakes Pic: Gary Dean Clarke

A GenX Rebel Tries New Things?

So I’m going to more of my favorite spots to see what has changed or what has thankfully remained the same; to let life on The Rock be beautiful and try new things with some new people. Maybe I will try kitesurfing, bamboo rafting, ATV shyte, wellness stuff, learning to cook some things ( My friends are LOL right now), chase waterfalls; check out new outdoor, fine dining and cafe spots and other sweetness the Abundant Universe sends my way. And as long as they have their health protocols in place, I’m game.

It really calls for a fresh approach by someone who believed she has done it all here already ( my 20s and 30s rocked…I got lots of stories and my friends have loads of blackmail material). Can I view things with naive eyes again? I want to see how I can create new experiences in this place that birthed me, raised me, gave me the opportunities it could, and unlocked new levels of creativity and resilience from the things it could not.

And for someone who left for many months to destress, deconstruct and reset from the second coming of burnout, maybe I can finally answer that question – can I really live here full time again, beyond this COVID Retreat, or will this be an awesome #RebelGrrlRemote Workation, that is an extended stop while what’s next, unfolds for me. Challenge Accepted.

I’ve set my intention to be the best dryland (local) tourist ever. It’s time to peel back more layers of the boom and pulse that is my Jamaica…by playing tourist, and also going into those parts that are a match to my now more worldly and restless soul. I’m going to remain in this open, fertile energetic space and allow what’s meant for me, to come right in.

A Global Trend for Some. A Chosen Life for Others.

Working at Susie’s Cafe in Kingston | Me kickstarting my Morning Wellness Routine

Remaining open and flowing with what is, is part of the mindset you have to have, so as to stay agile and be successful in this journey of working remotely and embracing a digital nomad life while growing a business. It’s what I love. I love my time, travel, and financial freedom.

I believe that an entrepreneur is an artist. We create something out of nothing by connecting to people’s needs, desires, and problems and providing them solutions, for profit. I don’t know about you, but I constantly need new conversations, books, magazines, things, and experiences of a certain kind, to keep me inspired, growing, and thinking differently. This is why I love the dynamism of New York, and this is why I love the challenge of seeing if Jamaica, as it is now, can give me what I want, as the person I have become.

As I head to a Workation at Jakes in Treasure Beach, I had to acknowledge too that this is a continuation of a journey for me, as being been back “home” 8 months now, has amplified a bunch of questions that are being answered in different ways.

Plus, I love Jakes, it’s a place I fell in love with it about 19 years ago when I started going to its annual Calabash Literary Festival, seeking to convert my love of reading and performing poetry to writing my first poetry book. I didn’t finish that. I chose tech and business instead. So, let’s see what happens when I’m there without the event…without my BFF Marlon (who chose writing and made it a really huge thing for himself) and without that global community of book writers and book lovers.

I head to Jakes when it opens. It’s like it was built to ride out a pandemic…3hrs from the Capital City Kingston, rooms, bungalows, and villas are spread out along the beachfront and interior. There is lots of space to roam, have personal space, ride the WIFI for work, and enjoy others through those social distancing protocols.

So stay tuned to this blog, my IG @ingridrileyjm and my twitter @ingridriley, and I’m publishing another article on Wednesday, July 29th and then I will be mostly on IG and Twitter every day that I am at Jakes. You can also follow my #RebelGrlRemote hashtag.

With that said, my two mantras right now are to continue to #MakeWorkFeelLikePlay and #SummerStillAhKeep. So I’m going to engage, with a mask on and an open mind.

Currently have this Summer Banger from Koffee on repeat and on my evolving summer playlist.

Author: HCPA

This post was originally published on this site

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