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A Love Letter To My Home, Jamaica

I'd never thought there'd be a time in my life when I felt homesick, but surprisingly enough, that day has come. Almost daily, my mind often travels to June 1, 2022, when my friends and I sat at a table overlooking the beautiful Bahia Luxury Principe resort in Jamaica, eating our last breakfast there. A soft girl at heart, it didn't take long for my eyes to start welling up with tears, not because anything bad happened, but because I did not want to return to my beloved home of New York City.

While I didn't have the privilege of being born in the gorgeous land of Jamaica, my family's roots run deep there as both of my parents traveled from their respective neighborhoods to migrate to America over thirty years ago. Last year's much-needed trip marked my brother's milestone birthday, where my friends and I enjoyed a rejuvenating time of good food, thrilling excursions, cultural enlightenment at Bob Marley's childhood home, and warm crisp nights marked by the most iconic beach party I've ever been to. Not only were we celebrating another glorious Earthstrong, but the trip also marked my first time in my family's homeland, making leaving even harder to comprehend, much less physically do. Of course, I knew the celebratory getaway had to end when booking my ticket. Still, I underestimated how much I was impacted mentally, emotionally, and physically (hence, my amazing tan, which I miss so much).

After getting tired of hopelessly looking through my photo album of precious memories and not being able to hop on the next flight out (bc adulting, lol), I decided to do something to settle my emotions finally. I created a look and concept that evoked the pride of being a proud Jamaican — freedom, peace, and joy. Keep scrolling for more visuals and details on my outfit and creative process.

As pictured, I wore a yellow graphic Bob Marley tee I purchased at his house (because why not?) and a denim maxi skirt with cutouts and deep-dye detailing. To elevate the look, I wore a pair of extreme gold platform heels, wrap-around orange sunglasses, and gold jewelry. Naturally, I accomplished this project with my girl, Mariama Hutson, who's been my photographer for almost three years. After much research, I finally found a spot between the inlets of Marine Park and Rockaway Beach that would be beautiful and quiet enough for us to let our creative juices flow. Of course, we wouldn't be true New York creators if we didn't encounter someone who tried to hinder our grind ("you can't take pictures here"), but thanks to Mariama's push, we proceeded with the photo shoot anyway!

I'm so glad we did, because this project was the most important to me of the many things I've done. Not only did it have sentimental value, but it reignited the fire inside that made me love creating. It's no secret that I have a fashion writing career that takes up much of my time and energy, so I don't have as much time to devote to my blog as I used to. However, this shoot refueled my empty creative cup and reminded me to find balance and that beautiful things will happen at the right time.

Jamaica, I miss you aren't even the words to describe my sentiments adequately, but I know I'll see you soon. If you made it this far, thank you for reading my letter to the baddest Caribbean country in the world. "Jamaica, wi likkle but wi tallawah!"

Shop the Look:

Shirt: Bob Marley

Shoes: Miss Lola

Sunglasses: Poppy Lissiman

"From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth."

Psalm 50:2 {NIV}

Stay tuned for more. Much love and peace,

- Nay.

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