Ain’t That A Trip? …when some things have to be entered into head-first


Somethings Have To Be Entered Into Head First. Negril, Jamaica

 “Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” ~William Shakespeare

 Growing up, I was not allowed to use training wheels to learn to ride a bicycle. Neither did my first pair of ice skates have double blades. No half-stepping. If you’re going to ride, ride. If you’re going to glide, glide. The message was clear: a half-step should only be the interval between notes on a keyboard. But, there are some things I can honestly say I have extreme respect for – one of them being heights.  

As I stood on the cliffs opposite this child of about 10 years, I rehearsed the meaning of the caption of this photo:

 Some things have to be entered into head-first.

One of the biggest challenges with shooting this picture was ‘when’ to shoot versus ‘if’ he would jump.  I knew enough about physics and trajectories to know I would have to train my camera ahead of his launch to get the best shot. Besides, “if” he would jump was not the question and his hesitation probably had very little to do with fear or lack of courage – it was more likely to do with him calculating when he could command the most attention.

These rocky cliffs are his playground – or at least during this strategic time of the day. The cliffs are next to Jamaica’s famed Rick’s Cafe, where tourists flock in a daily pilgrimage to experience the coveted Negril sunset. That evening, several party boats including the notorious catamaran, Wild Thing, had eclipsed in or nearby the small bay. Rick’s sits about 50 feet above the lovely Caribbean Sea. 

I was standing on a curved patio outside my resort, Catcha Falling Star, a sweet little Negril resort where the staff makes you feel just like family. And like a close family, keeps a good eye on your comings and goings which really makes you feel safe and cared for. Catcha is a neighbor of Rick’s and just close enough to draw energy from the festive partyboaters, revel in the cheers and whistles of their patrons that egg-on the divers, and perfectly poised to be inspired by it all.  

While most of Rick’s visitors who step up to the challenge of diving usually go in feet first, the local divers mostly opt to go into the sea head-first.  

Some of life’s challenges can only be entered into going head first. Going in feet first leaves too much temptation to change course. The playground I played on as a child had rocks of its own – small, gravelly rocks. And, if you changed course abruptly, a misstep could land you with a number of painful little reminders lodged underneath the skin on your knees.

Some things in life are uncertain, but not good cause to remain ashore.









As I become more familiar with digital photography, I am learning that sometimes the only game plan is to be contented and resigned to allow the subject to grant you the image it would have you have.

Can’t life be a little like that too?

Hummingbird: Fast. Fleeting. Like life.

Like this hummingbird, life is fast and fleeting. Though I hoped to capture the bright turquoise and rust plumage of my finely feathered friend, something more splendid was to be found in the shadows. On a perfectly sunny day, the lighting gave a hint of black and white.    

I did catch a star on this journey: Catcha’ Falling Star, a small seaside resort that I will visit again and again, as much for the warm feeling of being welcome as its location, location, location. What I also caught was the lesson that sometimes it’s not what we expect that brings the most joy.


Ain’t That a Trip? …when some things have to be entered into head-first.

We all seek different experiences in our travels; mention of the resort should not be construed as a review. Catcha Falling Star’s website is

9 thoughts on “Ain’t That A Trip? …when some things have to be entered into head-first

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hi Satori,
      Thank you for visiting and for your kind words. Sometimes the camera’s eye is not wide-eyed enough to take in the whole experience, nor are there ample words. I’ll do my best to share.

      So many of the memories of my travel are visual but so many more involve what I listen for, what I feel – not just the profound emotional sketches – but what I can reach out and touch. Every one of these journeys defy the upturned hourglass and are always present with me. Thanks for allowing me to share.

  1. Doreen Bethel

    So vividly described I imagined myself waiting in anticipation of the jump. I’ve been to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, but not Negril. I look forward to returning to Jamaica to visit Ricks, and the head first divers of the cliffs.

    1. Michelle Post author

      Thank you for visiting Doreen. Jamaica is a jewel in the Caribbean with so many different experiences to offer. Negril, I believe earned its reputation for being the ‘laid back’ destination because in the 60s and 70s, folks traveled there and roughed it – mostly staying in treehouses and simple cottages. What I like about Negril is that you have two options – either enjoying 7 miles of white sandy beach or the cliffs. I used to prefer the beach, but have grown to love the cliffs, where the sea crashes into the shore with a rhythm that takes me back to feeling like I’m being rocked in the cradle.

      I love that after years and years of visiting, it always feels brand new. I hope you’ll continue traveling with me and sharing the journey.

  2. Dr. D.

    Diving in! Thanks for the reminder and the beautiful words and photos! You know I’ve got a special place in my heart for this locale!!

    1. Michelle Post author

      Head-first. Thanks for visiting and yes, I know quite well, this place has a very special place in your heart! Thanks for journeying with me and I look forward to our next instant classic!

  3. Derek

    Love the pictures and the description of Negril, I felt I lived your experience. The sea is extremely calming even when it is busy. The hummingbird was riight on on cue for your camera, it was as almost it had seen you raise your camera.

    Thank you for sharing this trip, excellent.


    1. Michelle Post author

      Thank you for visiting, Derek. Negril is a special place, distinctly different from other Jamaican attractions. Thank you for your kind words. Honestly, when shooting wildlife of any kind, it takes lots of patience and digital memory! Or, if you’re lucky that one in a million shot. The “Hummingbird Cameo” photo took a lot of patience AND a lot of luck. I do hope you’ll continue traveling with me on Ain’t That A Trip? and let your friends know about the site.

      Thanks and happy journeys!


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