Friday 3 April, 2020

Travel Tuesday: Kareen Chin takes us through Rome

Talent manager Kareen Chin, founder of KBC Talent Management takes us on a tour of Rome. (Photos: Contributed)

Talent manager Kareen Chin, founder of KBC Talent Management takes us on a tour of Rome. (Photos: Contributed)

Welcome to Travel Tuesday, a weekly travel digest aimed at finding Jamaicans wherever their feet and cameras take them.

It’s true, there’s no place like home, and nobody knows this better than a Jamaican overseas.

The Loop Lifestyle team banks on exploring the world through the lens of our very own Jamaicans, who’ve been around the world!

Travel is less of a fad and more of a lifestyle, hence why we've given you eight reasons why you should give yourself a break, here. 

The first official Travel Tuesday subject is talent manager Kareen Chin, who takes us through Spain and Italy in one fell swoop.

Loop Lifestyle had a few questions for Chin, who, many-a-times have casually veered off course into parts unknown to explore either on assignment or for personal gain.

Indeed, unearthing Rock talent is the aim of her game, and wherever her services are required, she will be there, be it Portland, South Africa, or Belize, she’s been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt, no joke.

“…there is no place like my homeland – no place like Jamaica – but spending time away has made me have a much greater appreciation for the place I rest my hat and call home.”

What made travelling to Europe special to me?

It’s always on my to-do list, my fascination with the food, culture, and lifestyle was influenced by things I could only see in magazines or movies. The decision to visit made the experience nothing short of amazing!

Places I’ve visited: Spain… Palma de Mallorca (Palma for short) and in Italy… Rome, Bari, and Matera

Travel Tuesday: Kareen Chin takes us through Rome

Below Chin lists her favourite things about the places she's visited.

Spain (Palma)…

My little taste of Spain was on the largest Balearic Island of Mallorca – Yes! Spain has Islands, too – in the city of Palma. 

It was absolutely breathtaking and very clean, and being an island girl myself, Palma, felt like home. 

Going to the top of the Castell de Bellver (ancient castle) will give you a panoramic view of the island.

The dining experience was fabulous, the smell of freshly baked croissants filled the air in the mornings and you could get great tasting coffee from any of the nearby cafés.

Everything in Mallorca is only a walk away – sometimes too long a walk, but you can’t leave Mallorca without going shopping in the old town of Paseo del Borne.

That’s something that was on my must-do list, the fashion is so unique with an elegant flair. 

Another place to visit would be the Mercat de l’Olivar. It is a one-stop market for everything fresh, from freshly caught seafood to handpicked produce.

For good reason, the area is also a favourite among tourists and locals.

To relax after a full day of shopping, I highly recommend the Purobeach Beach Club, and to un-wind at night Tito’s Disco is definitely the hotspot. 

Italy (Rome)…

Rome was not what I had expected. There were way too many tourists and hardly any space to stand or walk, but, it was definitely worth the visit.

The city comes alive in the night with music, food and wine. 

Birra Moretti is a great spot to hang out and dine with the locals. The Colosseum and Trevi-Fountain are also must-visits when in Rome. 

Italy (Matera)…

Matera was one of the most interesting cities. Being voted the European Cultural Capital of 2019, Matera is known to be the third oldest city in the world. Also, a very interesting fact is that most of the dwellings are caves, etched in the mountainsides.

The architecture of the buildings was beautiful and breathtaking. I never imagined staying in a cave, that experience was interesting, to say the least.

From the outside, the restaurants seemed antiquated, but the interior had a modern flair you wouldn’t expect looking in. And, of course, the variation in pasta, cheeses, and bread was seemingly unlimited.

One of my favourite places there was the cathedral, Piazza Duomo. The interior was ornate and rich with historical reverence, mosaics, stained glass, etc – it was incredible, so much to love. If you visit Matera, then the trip would not be complete without a stopover at Sassi di Matera.

My advice is to wear comfortable shoes because you will walk off all the cheese, bread, and pasta you ate before, but it would be worth the trip, very picturesque, it’s like time froze in the 18th century and you get to capture it live. 

The town is packed with spontaneity, from a night at the opera to re-enactments of poignant historical events. 

There was so much to do and see, but the overwhelming feeling from my travels, particularly in Mallorca, was one of safety and well-being.

My travel must-haves… 

1 Coconut oil for my skin (hydration necessary)

2 MAC Red lipstick

3 Blanket/coat for the plane ride 

4 Sunglasses

5 Bermuda hat/mini Jamaican flag

6 Headphones and a European charger 

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