Connecting the dots in Costa Rica

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During the months leading up to my trip to Costa Rica, I stumbled across a powerful message from Pastor TD Jakes. The words “Nothing just happens” jumped out to me, and grabbed my attention. I pondered on it and began to reflect on my own situation. As a result, my perspective on the break-up did a complete 360. The message went on to say “nothing just happens and anything that does happen happens for a reason”. The funny thing is, I heard this message months ago, I was just not in the best place to receive it. Like Drake, I too spent a lot of time being in my feelings and was unable to see the bigger picture.

Time really does heal all, because I no longer saw the break-up as something negative, but necessary. In a weird way, I found closure and comfort in Pastor TDJakes message. It silenced all of those ‘what if’ questions that had taken up residence in my head. I now found myself at a true place of acceptance. Acceptance of what was, what remained and what was to be.

If I had not been so resistant, I would have been able to check out of Heartbreak hotel a lot sooner. But in life, nothing ever happens before the appointed time. By changing the way I looked at the break-up, it allowed me to give birth to a new me. I was no longer the victim that I had allowed myself to become. The best feeling in the world is when you arise from the dust that once consumed you.

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Things quickly turned around for me as I went on to enjoy one of the best summers of my life to date. I truly lived my best life making the most of my summer days. I was on a roll and did not want to slow down. My trip to Costa Rica was at the end of the summer and I promised myself that I would recharge once I got out there. But not before I ran two last laps at the London Notting Hill Carnival. It was a great way to kiss goodbye to summer. Especially since my brother and I unexpectedly landed a live TV interview on Sky news during the parade. O M G – I never imagined something like that would happen to us, lol. Check out the interview below.

Catch flights, not feelings

Running on 3 hours sleep the day after carnival, I set off on an 11-hour flight to Costa Rica with my cousin Aaliyah. I was so excited because I had never been to that part of the world before and it was our first ever trip together. Spending two whole weeks in Costa Rica does not come around often, so we were both determined to make the most of it.

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After surviving my first 11-hour flight, Aaliyah and I checked into Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica in Guanacaste. As we arrived, we were welcomed with a champagne/cocktail reception. You know I have a slice of Boujee in me, so this type of welcome was right up my street. I was all smiles because, within a few months, I went from passing out at work due to the stress of the break-up to sipping champagne in Costa Rica. What a way those tables turned and my oh my it sure did feel good. Our hotel had all the trimmings, 24-hour service, spa facilities, Wi-Fi, 4 restaurants, entertainment, two pools and an on-site photographer. We even had access to the sister hotel across the street.

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There is no such thing as a coincidence

During our first few days, we wasted no time getting comfortable. We spent most of our mornings by the pool, chilling, snapping and sipping on our favourite cocktails. Aaliyah and I had become very popular at our hotel because of our distinctive British accents. The staff loved us and always went above and beyond to ensure that we were well looked after. Things were only about to get better once we discovered a Black Travel group had checked into our hotel.

We were super hyped to see a group of Black travellers and wasted no time finding out who they were. I love meeting new people on holiday, so I was happy to go mingle with the new guests. Aaliyah and I walked right over to the tallest person in the group, Ricky he was as tall and brown as the bear from Bear in the big blue house. Ricky who was the group’s leader, was cool, calm, loved our British accents and invited us to hang out later to meet the full crew. img_5913

Every year for labour day weekend, the crew who are based in America travel to a new country to explore and party. SAY WHAT NOW? this blew my mind because out of all of the places in the world, we all ended up together in Costa Rica. What was even crazier was that Aaliyah and I were supposed to go to Aruba but somehow ended up booking Costa Rica instead. Now if you have followed this post break up travel series you already know, that there is no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to me, lol. With the arrival of our new guests, it was clear that our time in Costa Rica was about to be lit.

Within 24 hours it was as if the hotel had been hijacked. Everywhere you turned, all you could see were our melanin faces. One thing I love about being Black is we always tend to flock together come rain or shine. It was such a beautiful sight to see and felt even better to be a part of. We truly brightened up the place and it caused other hotel guests to want to be down with the clique, lol. I had never experienced something like this before. I loved it, plus everyone in the group treated Aaliyah and I like their little sisters since we were the only two people in their 20s.

Our day parties by the pool were literally some next level shit. Just think of the pool party scenes in the ‘Juicy‘ music video by Notorious BIG. It was such a vibe and every day our laughs got louder. The atmosphere was just filled with good vibes only, nothing more and nothing less. I remember getting messages from people back home on snapchat asking me who these people were lol. Overnight Aaliyah and I had been sworn into this new travel family and they never left us out of any of the fun. We hung out during the days, had dinner in the evenings and partied throughout the night. It seemed like my plan to recharge was taking a detour. But that is the funny thing about life, it always turns out better than the way we plan.

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Chase the adventures 

Our hotel was literally in the middle of nowhere, so we made plans to do things off the hotel complex. We hopped on a local bus into one of the oldest beach communities in Costa Rica, Playas de coco. When I ran out onto the beach and saw how beautiful the scenery was, I became very emotional. I realised that in order for me to be where I stood, I had to go through all that I did. I had come such a long way and even though I did not understand why the break up happened the way it did. I knew that it served a greater purpose.

This just reiterated the Nothing just happens message that I heard a few months earlier. Sometimes in life things may happen to you and you may never know why. You just have to trust and believe that things all things will work together for your good. I don’t know why but in Costa Rica, everything just seemed to make a lot more sense to me.

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Costa Rica is known for its tropical beaches, wonders of nature and Caribbean influenced culture. Aaliyah and I wanted to make sure we got to experience it, so we spent about $300 each for three days of excursions. One of my Jenna’s Travel philosophies that I truly live by is there is no price tag on experience, so spend whatever is necessary‘.

The first excursion we did was the open Catamaran Ocean tour. I love ocean water because it has so much healing benefits and I always feel a sense of peace whenever I am around it. Sailing along the gold coast was refreshing. It is not something you get to do on a regular basis, so I took the time out to really enjoy it. I channelled my energy and took in the natural views of the ocean. It was peaceful, but very short-lived because I was eager to get my body into the water and go snorkelling. You already know that your girl is unable to swim, so I had to be accompanied by an instructor. There is no shame in my game though, I put on my protective gear and went out into the water like a G.

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Feel the fear and do it anyway

The next stop on the list for Aaliyah and I was a day tour at the Vandara Hot springs and adventure. This included a 10 lap Zip-line tour, horseback riding, waterslide and the Vandara Hot Springs. Unknown to Aaliyah I secretly planned to skip the ziplining. The truth was, I did not think I was capable of doing it. But I did not want to tell my little cousin that I was feeling inadequate because of self-doubt. The break-up had bruised my confidence and as a result, I had been questioning myself and my capabilities. I somehow convinced myself that the failure of the relationship was a reflection of me. Now I do not know how I came up with that bullshit, but there I was, lol. I had internalised the break-up in such a way, that it made me forget who the fuck I was.

There I stood tweedling my thumbs, feeling petrified and contemplating whether or not to go through with it. Aaliyah took one look at me and said: “Jen, you have come too far to turn back now boo. You have nothing to be afraid of, you can do this”. There were no lies told because she was right, I was capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. The break-up did not define me and I had to stop letting what happened in my past, stop me from moving forward. I had to start undoing the damage and this moment was the perfect opportunity to make a start.

I thought to myself it is what it is at this point, let do this. So I strapped myself up and completed 10 full zip line laps. It gave me an instant adrenaline rush, that boosted my energy as well as my confidence. I was so proud of myself for going through with it. I proved my self-doubt wrong and I felt like a Baddie. People can encourage you, uplift you and tell you that you are capable of doing great things, but if you do not believe it for yourself, it means nothing.

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God makes no mistakes

I spent the rest of my time in Costa Rica reflecting. I thought about the girl that I once was and I thought about the woman that I was becoming. I felt inspired more than ever to get my blogging journey off the ground. I told myself that I when I got home, I would create a website for #Jenna’sWorldView. Costa Rica spoke to me in many ways and I really wanted to share more about my travel journeys. I also felt very eager to go out into the world to seek new experiences. Travelling has opened me up in such a way that has changed my perspective on myself, life, love and the world.

I never thought that I would ever end up visiting Costa Rica. I never imagined that I would be single at this age either, but hey life comes at you fast. My post-break-up travel journeys were filled with many highs and of course some lows. I travelled to escape my reality. Yet, with every country that I visited, I had no choice but to face it head-on. Most people say that after a break-up you must take time out to go find yourself. But the truth was, I was never lost, I just needed to be broken in order to uncover the hidden layers within me.

Anything that happens to us in life will never be wasted. Everything and everyone serves a divine purpose that only pushes you further into your destiny. I have no regrets, hate or anger in my heart because I now understand that in order for new things to come together, old things must fall apart.

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Thank you to my vocal and silent readers for keeping up with my Post-break-up travel series. When it all started, I had no clue about how it would all play out. Giving you a glimpse into my past challenged me in ways that I never imagined. Although the wounds have healed, the scars still remain. I no longer hide them because I wear every scar with pride and gratitude.

Many times, I questioned whether I made the right decision bringing this series to light. I have now come to know that although it was painful, it needed to be endured, in order to be shared. Use my experience as an example, take from it what you will remember God knows best and life GOES on.

To follow the full journey from the beginning, click below:

1. Intuition: A blessing in disguise!

2. The Aftermath

3. The wall that came down in Berlin

4. Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

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I live for a good picture backdrop baby!!

At the end of The wall that came down in Berlinthings looked promising for me as I made the decision to break down the wall of disappointment and start the process of moving on after the breakup. It was an unexpected heart to heart with one of my good girlfriends Lola that gave me the push in the right direction and I thank God it did.

There was a 3-month gap between my trips to Berlin & Santorini and in that space of time, things got better. I would not say they were great but things did get better. With each new day that came, the memories of the relationship did not hurt as much. I spent less time replaying the trauma in my mind and more time trying to catch back my rhythm. I had no other choice but to purge my ex out of my system. The crazy thing is, I did not realise just how deeply woven he was into the fine details of my life until the time came for me to eliminate him. From my Netflix password to the passcode on my phone, everything had to be changed.

I finally reached the ‘it is what it is’ stage and when a woman hits that point, there is no going back. Think of Angela Bassett in ‘Waiting to Exhale‘. Now I did not burn any clothes or cars, but I did sale the remainder of his things in my possession on eBay and disposed of the rest. I slowly morphed into a  new me. I kept my hair and nail appointments on the books like clockwork. I stayed busy, revived my social life and slowly got myself back into the groove of things. I even started to wear red lipstick, something I vowed to never ever do, lol. Putting your life back together after it has been scattered is never easy and I made sure to have fun with it. My glow was not back in the full effect just yet, but baby it was on the way.

I have to keep it real with you, when I told Aunty Lorna that I was going to Santorini for a party holiday, I am pretty sure she was convinced that I had lost my mind. A whole Jenna going on a party holiday? The same Jenna who can only manage two Pina Coladas? It sounded like a major risk on my part and it was definitely out of character for me as I have never been on a party holiday before.

I heard about Supa Dupa Fly x Santorini through Astra, who just happens to be another one of my big sister figures. Astra came into my life when I was 15, as the girlfriend of my older brother. Astra is the girlfriend your brother brings home, the whole family fall in love with her and even after their relationship ends, she still remains a part of the family.  Yeah, that’s my Astra, so when she told me about her plans to attend Santorini for this festival, my intuition sent me signals that I just could not ignore.

Supa Dupa Fly host the number one throwback RnB and Hip Hop nights in London. Throwing the hottest parties all through the year. Three years ago the team took their magic to Santorini and the rest is history. Astra, me, Kerry, Frankie & Liz attended SDF in their second year of residency on the island.

All the girls were aware of my breakup so everyone was determined to make sure that I had the best time. We departed from London on an evening flight, then stopped in Athens to hop on our connecting flight to Santorini. For the record, I despise layovers, but we had no other choice because our original direct flight got cancelled, lol

As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was welcomed into Santorini by a beautiful sunset and I just felt a calm sense of peace. I gave myself a little pep talk like  “Jenna you are in Santorini boo, you deserve this. Forget about the last few months baby girl it is time to turn up”.I was determined to enjoy this trip and make the most of it.

My first thoughts on Santorini were that it was authentic and untouched in most aspects of appearance. I did not fall in love with it at first sight and I ignorantly asked Astra where were all of those blue and white buildings I had seen on Instagram? I did not do much research on the place so you could imagine the shock I felt when I kept seeing Donkeys on every street. But, I thought to myself it is what it is if I have to ride on Donkeys for the next few days, then so be it. I was thousands of miles away from my comfort zone and I had no choice but to bite the bullet.

This was the first thing I saw when I jumped off the plane!

From the airport, we went straight to our serviced apartment, which I must say was absolutely gorgeous. It was better than I expected and I am a hotel junkie who is very hard to please. We stayed in a local area, with a tight-knit community that was ideally close to everything we needed. Once the rooms were sorted, we secured our Quad bikes, sourced some food and patterned things up for our first night in town.

We attended the Welcome party on the first night and it was such a vibe. No one’s face was screwed up, everyone was bubbling and smiling. The drinks were flowing, the video cameras were rolling. People were snapping and the crowd was losing their mind to whatever song the Dj was spinning. I was surprised to see such a mixed crowd of people, but no-one I recognised, so that was an added bonus.

One thing about me I love my music and although I am not a party girl, I am a dancehall Queen who is always in and out of retirement. It did not take long for the girls and I to find one corner and start getting down. Supa Dupa fly are known for 90s RnB and hip-hop music, so when I heard Vybez Kartel ‘Fever‘ ring out inside the place, it was game over lol. Astra took one look at me and said “Jenna your time now” anyone who knows me should know what happened next. Dancehall queen Jenna came right up out of retirement.

I had to catch a 5min breather from all of that dancing, so I went outside and started to cool off with my signature fan. As I stood outside, the scent of sweet cologne smacked me right in the face and awakened my senses. It did not take me long to find out who was behind the scent. The stars in Santorini must have been aligned that night because what I saw snatched the little piece of edges I had left.

The mystery man that stood a few steps away from me was about 6ft 4, dipped in Chocolate and glistened with all kinds of sauce. I scanned him from head to toe in under 8 seconds flat and then happened to notice a festival wristband on his left arm…BINGO lol. 8 seconds turned into 30 and just as I was about to take my gaze off him, our eyes made four. Whewww Chile…..

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We both smiled, I looked away and then he swayed off into the crowd. JENNA why did you not say hello???? I asked myself in frustration. Then I thought, even if I did say hello, what the heck was I going to say? I did not get a chance to answer that question because before I knew it he reappeared and I went for the plunge and said ‘Hiiii’.

I am so glad I did because he turned out to be really lovely, much older than me and he certainly was not from London. Mystery Chocolate was from the states and he lived and worked in one of my favourite cities. The more he told me about himself, the more I became impressed, especially when he mentioned that loved to travel. Now I won’t spill all the tea due to these new GDPR changes lol, but we did exchange our details and jokingly said that we would try to do brunch before our time on the island was up lol

Now I know you are thinking OMG and you probably did not see that one coming, but neither did I.  However Astra on the other hand, saw the whole thing and came rushing over to me once he slipped away back into the crowd. “Tell me everything JEN” Astra insisted but, honestly there was not much to tell. I saw a guy, our eyes made four, we chatted and exchanged details. It was no big deal, but  I was so proud of myself for being a bold baddie and saying hi.

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These party holidays are hardcore stuff you know. I partied all night and got back to our apartment in the early hours of the morning. I missed breakfast and woke up just in time for brunch, left with only a few hours to enjoy the day before I to get ready to party through the night and do it all again. Lucky for me, I managed to get a beach day in and boy it was truly worth it. I visited Perissa Black sand Beach, which is famous for the red and black volcanic pebbles that lay across the shores. I had never been to a beach of this kind before, I only ever head about it in songs.

I decided to take a walk across the shores of the Perissa beach, play my favourite gospel song at the time and pray (see video below). Water is purifying and I always feel the presence of peace whenever I am around it. Between you and I, I released old layers of myself and life in that prayer that day. It was not planned, but I guess it just had to happen. After my prayer walk across the beach, I sensed that something greater was coming my way because whenever you release, you always gain.

It was halfway through my trip when I met two sisters from London Chanel and Chloe. Now I remember spotting them on our flights, but we did not end up speaking until we found ourselves dancing the night away side by side in a cave on the island. Chloe and I clicked instantly and she revealed to me that she and Chanel spotted me at the club on the first night getting my Life to Vybez Kartel, LOL.

We exchanged details promised to link up before we left. On that same night, I met so many people. It did not feel like an I was in a rave, but more like a large scale networking event. I established so many divine connections in that one night, I will never ever forget my raving experience in Santorini. I strongly sensed that I was right where I was supposed to be, just like in Berlin. So I vowed to keep my eyes and ears open because I was sure there was something that I was supposed to receive on this island.

The rave in a Cave!

Party holidays are like a yo-yo, you party day and night and the cycle continues until it is time to fly home. I did get a chance to meet up with Chanel, Chloe and Mystery Chocolate again. It was these two link-ups in Santorini that made me start to look at the breakup in a whole new light.

After an evening of raving, everyone was scattered across the strip trying to buy food. Now I do not know how this happened, but I got lost and could not find the girls. One minute they were there and the next they were gone. So I made my way into a Chinese shop and low and behold I came across Chanel and Chloe.

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I immediately sat down and ordered food to their table. You know how Women can be we start a conversation about food and then end up talking about Men and that is exactly what happened. Before I knew it, Chanel and I were exchanging war stories about our past relationship. If you have learned one thing about me by now, you know that I am not afraid to tell my story.

The conversation that I had with the sisters that night blew my mind. The girls and I spoke for nearly two hours and I truly felt empowered by these two sisters who were complete strangers to me only a few days ago. Chanel was older than me and Chloe and before I left to go back to my hotel, Chanel looked me dead in my face and said ‘Your ex-did you a favour. The betrayal is actually a blessing and I know that you can’t see it now, but when you do you will never be the same again”. Those words sent a chill down my spine and she was right I did not understand it but I knew that the time would come when I would. I went to back to the apartment, sat on the balcony and let the cool breeze of the night soothe my soul.

As for Mystery Chocolate, we kept running into each other at the parties, both still in limbo about when we were going to pencil in this brunch. It eventually became a running joke every time we saw each other. Eventually, we did get a chance to catch up to enjoy a lovely stroll in perfect sight of the Caldera View.

Our link-up was so refreshing, he was an educated Black man who knew his stuff. I told him a bit more about myself and how I had gone through a really hard time after my break up. We talked about the ups and downs of relationships, the music business, the welfare system in the states, Obama and the rap lyrics of Notorious BIG  lol.

Before we departed ways he told me to take a good look at the remains of the Caldera. So there I stood snapping away on my phone and he begins to tell me about the history of Santorini. MC begins to tell me how the existing Island of  Santorini is the remains of a bigger Island that was destroyed by an explosive volcanic eruption in 1646 BC.

The Volcano left nothing but this big blackened rock that I was awkwardly staring at.  As I gazed on, taking in the view, he turned to me and said: “the result of the eruption created five separate islands including Santorini and from an explosion, beautiful things are able to be created”. I stood in awe as I  let those words penetrate through my entire system. WOW, I thought to myself I just received another piece of the puzzle.

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Santorini will always have a piece of my heart, nothing more or less. I went there with the intention to party hard and have fun. However, I received more than I expected, as I danced through each day and night. The people that I met and the conversations that I had helped to guide me through to the next level. Things were finally coming together for me and I was ecstatic.

On the plane back home I thanked Astra for letting me hop on the girls trip. Astra laughed and said ‘anytime Jen, you know I  got you. You did good girl, I could not believe you were able to hang in there”. I laughed because I could not believe it myself. Astra went on to say this and I quote. ‘you’re doing well Jen, you took that fall and you got back up, everything happens for a reason and remember Jen, karma is a B*&^H, so we keep our noses clean. 

I gave Astra the biggest smile and rested my head back on my seat. I was more than ready to get back home to London and start living my new life to the fullest. Summer 17 was soon approaching and I was not going to let the skeletons of my past hold me back anymore.

Love you Astra!

The last stop in my post break up travel journeys will be Costa Rica. I might as well go ahead and tell you that the hurt and heartbroken Jenna that you have read about during this series did not make it to Costa Rica. Sit tight because the Jenna that I am about to introduce you to will have you screaming YASSSSSS from the top of your lungs, lol

One last thing: Make sure you sign up to my subscription list so that you never ever miss the drop when I post new blog content. Also, if you missed the memo Jennas World Views Glow up that was planned for Monday 6th August 2018 was put on hold until further notice. There were some difficulties behind the scenes and although I still wanted to reveal my logo (which is amazing btw) I decided NOT to.

In addition to that, the Post break up series must come to an end before I transition into my new look. In order for me to sow fruitful seeds into #JWV I can no longer mix the old with the new.  As soon as things are back on track, you will be the first to know.

Thank you for your patience, time, love and support.

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo