Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

img_2932

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, then suddenly our eyes made four. Whewww Chile…..

img_2881

We both smiled. I then looked away because I couldn’t handle the heat lol. Mystery man and swayed off back into the crowd.

“JENNA why did you not say hello”???? I angrily questioned myself in my head.

But then I thought, even if I did say hello, what the heck was I going to say? Funnily enough I did not get a chance to answer that question because before I knew it he had reappeared and I just went for the plunge and said “Hiiiiiiiiii”

Thank the Lord that I did because he turned out to be really lovely. This fine piece of man was 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 he loved to travel. Now I won’t spill all the tea due to these new GDPR changes lol. But what I will say is we did exchange details and jokingly through out there that we would try to do brunch before our time on the island was up.

L O L,

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 have to admit, I was so proud of myself for being a bold baddie and saying “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii”

img_2969-1

Now, I have to be honest a party holiday is hardcore stuff you know. I partied all through the night and got arrived back our apartment in the early hours of the morning. I missed breakfast most mornings and only woke up just in time for brunch. With only a few hours left to enjoy the day before, to do it all again. Luckily for me, I managed to get a ONE beach day in and boy was it worth it. The Ladies and 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 (shout out to my Aunty Mary J Blige lol)

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 and I made another promise to link up before we left. On that same night, I met so many other people. It did not feel like 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 else 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. By now, I am sure you get the picture. I partied, I slept, I ate and I partied some more. Before I left I did get a chance to meet up with Chanel, Chloe and Mystery Chocolate again. It was these two link-ups that made me start to look at the breakup in a whole new light.

After an evening of raving, everyone was scattered across the local strip trying to buy food. I do not know how this happened, but I somehow got lost and could not find the girls. One minute they were there and the next they were gone. This is the only way that I can explain it. I was agitated, kinda shook and definitely hungry. I stumbled into a Chinese food shop and to my surprise, inside sat both Chanel and Chloe.

img_5142

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 relationships. 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 literally 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 both me and Chloe, she reminded me so much of my mum in the way she freely spoke her mind. It was raw and unapologetic and all I could do was surrender to her words and listen. As Chanel spoke, Chloe and I chimed in from time to time but we made sure to take our notes, lol.

The Chinese food shop owners wanted out so they could close down for the night. As we got up to leave 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 LITERALLY sent a chill down my spine. Chanel was right because I truly did not understand any of it. My ex cheating, the betrayal, the hurt, the lies, the pain, none of it made sense. But I knew that the time would come when I would and I could sense that I was getting closer to it. When I made it back to the apartment, I sat on the balcony and let the cool breeze of the night soothe my soul. I truly had no words, because what is understood does not need to be explained!

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 even became a running joke every time we ran into each other. Eventually, we did get a chance to catch up and together we enjoyed a lovely stroll in perfect sight of the Caldera View.

Our little link-up was so refreshing, Mystery Chocolate is an educated Black man who knew his stuff, he certainly was all that plus a bag of chips. We had good conversation and of course I told him a bit more about myself and how I had gone through a really hard time after my break up months before. 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 told me 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 and going over my little history lesson in my head. Suddenly 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.

img_3026

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 chapter of my healing journey.

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 series will be Costa Rica. I might as well go ahead and tell you that the hurt and heartbroken Jenna that you have read about so far did not make it to Costa Rica. So 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

#TravelDiary: 2015 On a high in Dubai

Burj-Al-Arab-Dubai-HD-wallpaper-465x262.jpg

Call me weird, but I seem to believe that odd years have been the most fruitful for me oppose to even years. Since I entered the world in 1991, your girl has thrived in every odd year since lol. Aunty Lorna (my mum) says that it is down to the seasons of life but I just believe it is down to the year. To have a better understanding of my trip to Dubai, I need to give you insight into where I was in my life during that time.

It was the year 2015 and my mindset was so focused on experiencing a turnaround. After a turbulent end to 2014, I was keen to see things do a swift 360 and they did. I landed my first graduate job as a Research Assistant at Kings College London University. Following a sudden illness, I made some lifestyle changes that resulted in me overcoming some major health challenges. Blessings were flowing and everyone was receiving something. I played in the Notting Hill carnival that year and I was so high on life. Things were finally looking up after being upside down for so long.  So a trip to Dubai at the end of the summer (September 2015) was literally the cherry on top of all the goodness that I was experiencing.

I had been fascinated with Dubai for many years and I always wanted to go. I am not sure why, but Dubai was the place on everybody’s lips. If you had been to Dubai, you were saying a lot. When I uploaded my first batch of Dubai pics, I was sure to drop my location and let everybody know that your girl was in town. However, going to Dubai for me was much more than just showing off on the socials with bigger than life captions.

A year before my trip to Dubai, I was in a place of turmoil. I was drowning in Postgraduate depression, something that is so common but sadly not spoken about enough. In addition to this I recovering from an unexpected illness and questioning whether God was real or fake. Now those are just some of the things that I was going through that I am now willing to open up and talk about. To the outsiders looking in, me flying to Dubai and posting all over the gram, I just looked like an over the top show off.  However, that was far from the case. If you have ever been through a storm in life and you make it out on the other side, alive, you just shine differently.

My trip to Dubai will always remind me of how God miraculously made a way for me. I don’t know how but he did it. My Dubai trip felt like a gift that I received after passing all of those obstacles and challenges. Have you ever had so many doors close in your face, that when the right door finally opens it makes sense why the others didn’t? Yeah, that’s just how I feel about that whole experience.

Dubai was so long ago, so with what I can remember I broke my trip down in different categories, enjoy.

The Hotel

I stayed in the 5-star hotel chain the Sofitelon Jumeirah beach on a half board basis. One thing I didn’t know prior to checking in was the 20 dirham a day tourist tax. I was young in the travel game back then, so things like that didn’t even cross my mind to check before travelling. If you plan to visit Dubai, spend some time doing some travel planning and research, visitdubai.com is a great place to start, so do check it out.

The Sofitel did not disappoint, as you know I am such a sucker for a luxurious, nice, clean hotel with all of the trimmings and it served me just that. The location of my hotel was so ideal and I couldn’t have been happier. It had absolutely everything within walking distance. I would highly recommend staying by Jumeirah Beach as it closely connected to most things.

91e0fbd5e462857841143044df5bb8ef

img_3898

The food

I ate a lot of junk food in Dubai, it wasn’t intentional but fast food was very convenient. On my first night, I had KFC and it was nothing to write home about because we all know that Jamaica has the best KFC in the world. People have told me that Trinidad KFC could give Jamaica a run for its money, but I am yet to try it, so Jamaica still stands at number one, lol.

Panda-Express-JBR-Dubai-1024x576.jpg

Panda Express was my go-to for lunch because the food was tasty and cheap lol. Chinese food is always a good idea and I rinsed this place out on a daily basis. However, for me, The Cheesecake Factory was hands down the best food that I had in Dubai on my trip. From the main meals right down to the desserts, The Cheesecake Factory was truly about that life. Please, please please it is not possible to visit Dubai without giving this place a try.

images (2).jpg

The Mall

The Dubai mall felt like an adventure playground, with lots to see and even much more to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any major shopping. I was more focused on booking activities and making sure that I had money to eat and pay my share for taxi trips. I loved the mall, but I was super conscious about what I wore and how I conducted myself. I was not interested in getting arrested abroad for my family to be making sad appeals on Good morning Britain. I was on my best behaviour because I really didn’t want any problems. I am not sure how much things have changed now, but whenever I go away I make it my duty to adhere to the customs of that particular culture.

Dubai-Mall-01-1

The Transport

Dubai is not an easy place to travel around like London. It is filled with too many highways and one way systems that make short journeys 10 x longer. The taxi system was a bump back then. I disliked using the taxis because most drivers were rude and obnoxious. Especially to us Black women. It was just a complete nightmare. Hopefully, they now have Uber, but I wouldn’t even trust that either. The trains ran a much better service. It was efficient, clean and very easy to use. Although men, women and children were required to go into separate carriages or be at risk of getting a fine. I always recommend for travellers to use the local transport systems, as it allows you to get a real feel of the country that you are visiting.

img_3926

The Nightlife 

The Nightlife in Dubai was pretty decent. Most of the clubs were situated in fancy hotels. Everything was plush, boujee and proper, just how I like it. Raving in Dubai never gave me that trashy feeling, everything felt expensive, lol. The clubs were strict, Ladies don’t think you can take your heels off and leave them in one corner, security will put you in check.

img_3937

I found that there were more men than women in the clubs, but I kind of expected that. Men of all ages who made sure their money did all the talking, without any introductions. I received a few offers in Dubai, all of which I nicely declined. I didn’t fancy being pumped out for a few labels as it has never really been my thing, lol. The only downside to the Dubai nightlife is that ravers were allowed to smoke in the clubs. It was the worst thing ever, we had to wash our bundles daily just to get rid of the stench. YUCK.

img_3946

My best clubbing experience in Dubai was at Cirque Le Soir. A boujee, circus theme nightclub, filled with burlesque dancers, fire eaters, an indoor funfair and multiple DJs. I had never experienced anything like it prior, but I would definitely recommend it if you want an unusual raving experience. The Dubai nightlife was pure fun, I even unexpectedly bumped into my sis @Mybreakingviews. We both went to secondary school together and it is amazing to now see where God is taking us on this Travel & Lifestyle blogging journey. Check out my sis, she has some great content out and even much more to come.

img_3936

How did I forget to mention that I had a dance-clash with one of the local dancer girls at one Dancehall/Reggae party? I couldn’t believe she actually challenged me, lol the poor thing didn’t stand a chance. I wiped the floor with her but I felt so bad after so we ended up hugging it out. If you have ever seen the film Dancehall queen you will know exactly what I am talking about. If not, click here lol

img_3942

The Activities

I did the Dubai Bus tour and I hated it. I felt like we wasted a day driving around getting fried in the sun. It is a great way to learn about the history of Dubai and do some sightseeing, but it just wasn’t for me.

img_3950

One activity I did enjoy was the Desert safari  it was so sick and I am pissed that I lost most of my Dubai footage. The Desert safari package was definitely worth it, I did so many activities in one go. I got a chance to ride a camel again, see belly dancers, try on a burka and hijab and have dinner in the middle of the Desert. This activity comes highly recommended as it was great value for money, which I would like to experience do again.

img_3954

img_3957

I am not sure if I had mentioned this before, but I do not know how to swim. The time that I have been worried about being 26 & never been on a Bae-cation… I need to learn how to swim, lol. I will eventually, but whilst I was in Dubai your girl was clueless about swimming. It didn’t stop me from going on the Jet skis though. Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway and I did just that.

img_3960

On my last night in town, I went to visit The Burj Khalifa and it was nothing short of amazing. How can you visit Dubai and not go to see one of the world’s largest skyscrapers? Once I got to the top, I watched a lovely firework display and it truly was a sight to remember. What a good way to end such an amazing trip. I felt so proud that I was able to take myself to Dubai and be able to see such a major landmark. Below is my favourite picture from this trip, I was sitting inside of the Burj Khalifa admiring the view. I uploaded this on Instagram with a caption saying “Hello Burj Khalifa, I am just a little black girl coming from Myatt’s field estate, now as a Young Woman, I am exploring different parts of the world”.

img_3961

One thing for sure, I have stayed true to that statement and I won’t stop travelling. I pray that God will spare my life to allow me to go out into the world and see much more of it.

DUBAI is an amazing place and if you haven’t already book a trip and get out there ASAP.  I can’t wait to go back to explore and see all of the new developments since my last visit. Dubai will always be a yes for me and it is one of those places that I will always be up for going back to again and again.

My Next Travel blog post will be about my 2016 trip to Miami and you really don’t want to miss that.

Anyways my Loves, you can find me on all the socials @Jennasworldview

Please keep reading, liking and sharing.

Stay Blessed

Lots of love

tempimageforsave-35

Jenna

xoxo