I’m Eromonsele Emmanuel [@ericotrips] and today I’ll be talking with Rochelle Knight [@rochelleknight_], she is a twenty-something year old blogger [adventuresfromelle] and junior doctor who hails from Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica. Thanks for joining us.
Q1. What inspired you to become a blogger?
I love to write and I also enjoy travelling and experiencing all my island has to offer. A lot of Jamaicans, myself once included, see all these lovely beaches, waterfalls and all-inclusive resorts which tourists flaunt on social media and think, gee I wish I could afford to enjoy that side of Jamaica. However, I’ve learnt that exploring Jamaica doesn’t have to be expensive at all if you know how and where to go, so I decided to start a blog to help other Jamaicans explore more on a budget as well. It just so happens that foreigners benefit from my travel advice too and I’m really happy and honoured to be able to teach people more about my island home through my blog.
Q2. For how long have you been blogging?
December will make three years, on adventuresfromelle.com at least. I’ve had blogs in the past but they never amounted anything.
Q3. Why be a travel blogger?
You get to share all those details of your adventures that can’t be communicated in a single Instagram photo or caption and sometimes even in a vlog. It’s also fun to bring you family and friends on your travels virtually, stay in touch and give useful advice to other people who may be interested in planning a similar trip or are just looking for ideas on what to do in that city or country.
Q4. How would you describe your style of travel and your travel blogging content?
I am a budget traveller, always looking for ways to have a lovely rewarding experience without breaking the bank. I also enjoy off-the-beaten-path outdoor/nature travel and authentic experiences. Thus, my content reflects that. I believe everyone can travel so I tend to focus on more of the “how did I get there” and “how much did it really cost” rather than “look where I went.” I don’t believe the latter style of travel blogging helps anyone at all. I’m also honest about my experiences. If I didn’t enjoy an aspect of an adventure, I’ll say so.
Q5. Briefly describe what you use your different social channels for and what is your dominant channel for you personally.
Facebook is the dominant social medium I use for my blog, while I use Instagram more for my personal life and day-to-day updates.
Q6. How do you balance your day job and blogging?
I genuinely enjoy writing so I tend to use most of my free time brainstorming article ideas or I’ll scribble something here or there in my phone’s memo app so I don’t forget the idea, then work on that idea when I have the time. Sometimes, I’ll barely have time to complete a draft in one sitting because I’m tired or busy with my studies or (since I recently completed medical school) on-call duties but I’ll certainly revisit it when the next opportunity presents. I guess it helps too that I’ve never had a blogging schedule either. I blog only when I feel moved enough to write about something which means a lot to me such as why one shouldn’t support dolphinariums in Jamaica, or when I actually have a blog-worthy adventure to share.
Q7. Where do you get your travel inspiration from, who gives you the advice?
I mainly get inspiration from the places I visit. When you see these majestic mountains, idyllic beaches, charming waterfalls, delightful rivers and all the friendly people you encounter when seeking to find and enjoy these gems, I get filled with so much awe and creative energy that it’s impossible to not write about these memories before time erodes the details from my mind. I take pictures of everything too in case I don’t get to write soon. One look through my photo album from that trip and I’m inspired again. In terms of advice, I don’t really ask for any but I read lots of other quality blogs and sometimes get ideas and indirect advice from these great minds.
Q8. Name the location that was 1. Most Fun, 2. Most Inspiring, 3. Most Challenging.
Most Fun: a day trip I made through Portland to the Boston Beach and Reach Falls. It was such amazing sensory overload– from the churches and quaint little cottages along the road which alternates from coastal views and verdant slopes, the best jerk pork I’ve had in my life then finally, the experience at one of Jamaica’s best beaches and waterfalls. Perhaps my phone dying helped make the experience so priceless too because I could take it all in– no distraction of trying to get the perfect shot.
Most Inspiring: a trip in the Blue Mountains.
Most Challenging: Blue Mountain Peak!
Q9. What is still on your bucket list?
So many places! In terms of Jamaica, I still haven’t been to the popular Negril beach on our west coast or the Blue Lagoon in Portland. I’m also dying to go rafting on the Rio Grande and see the bioluminescent bay aptly called Luminous Lagoon. In terms of overseas, I have several dozen countries to visit but most important to me is exploring more of the Caribbean islands. We are similar because of our common geography and history but there are so many subtle differences which I never appreciated until university. I had the privilege of attending one of our three regional universities, and while I attended the campus in my home Jamaica, I made friends with so many other islanders that I’d love to actually see more of the places they spoke about so fondly.
Q10. Have you had any celebrity encounters while travelling?
Unfortunately no I haven’t.
Q11. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself since you started travel blogging?
I’ve grown so much more confident since I started travel blogging. Initially I felt vulnerable sharing my thoughts and adventures so publicly on the Internet, not to mention promoting my own work on social media. I surprise myself a lot too, I’ve always loved to write but never considered myself a writer so to speak. I sometimes am surprised too that I’ve seen all the places I have–especially the remote off-the-beaten-track places. I’ve been asked before “how many people did you go with? Did you feel safe?” Some of my friends would never visit an off-the-beaten-path place on the assumption that it’s dangerous, so I surprise myself in how fearless that makes me seem in comparison. I didn’t think of myself as brave before. (P.s. As a female however, I don’t visit uncommercialized places solo, and I wouldn’t recommend it either.)
Q12. What was your very first travel blogger destination that you produced some content for?
A lovely place in my parish called Cane River Falls, which I hadn’t known existed before. It’s a spot where Bob Marley used to wash his dreadlocks and meditate regularly.
Q13. If they were to ever make a movie about one or all of your adventures, what would the title and plot summary be?
Ha! Perhaps “Life on a Rock” and it would be about the beauty, landscape and cultural diversity about life in the Caribbean.
Q14. What is your most embarrassing moment while travelling?
Definitely in 2017 when I visited a waterfall and beach on a group trip and accidentally left my swimwear home. My friend wore shorts and had on a bikini underneath, so I had to ‘borrow’ her shorts so I could dip my feet into the water. I’d been wearing leggings so no way I could’ve gone in the water any at all otherwise.
Q15. What is a little naughty secret you have not openly told before!?
Ha, if I did, could it still be called a secret? 😉
Q16. Do you have any funny stories to tell?
Well, I can laugh about it now but I did a 2 hour hike once in an unfamiliar rural area with no guide. We got lost a few times and by time we reached back to ‘civilization’, i.e. the village square at around 5pm, we learnt that taxis weren’t really a thing at “this hour.” There were 4 taxi drivers in the community– one was overseas, one was out of town, another’s vehicle was out of service and the 4th kept saying he “soon reach” and was “on his way” for a while. We thought we were gonna have to spend the night in the bar where we enquired about the taxis, chatting to the friendly bartender/owner. Eventually Mr. “Soon Reach” reached and we each slept in our own beds at home that night several hours later.
Q17. What key lessons do you have for everyone based on what you have learnt from the gift of travel blogging?
If you feel like starting a travel blog, just do it! Travel blogging is certainly a rewarding hobby. It will take you out of your comfort zone, encourage you to enjoy the best life has to offer and there’s always someone who can benefit from what you have to say. Read the work of other bloggers, engage with the community and only put out quality blog posts you’re proud of.
Adventures from Elle is a refreshing take on exploring the best of Jamaica written by Dr. Rochelle Knight.
As a budget travel blogger, Rochelle frequents waterfalls, beaches and places with interesting history. She makes Jamaica more accessible for locals & visitors who want to experience the island, one adventure at a time.