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Back in 2005, when RastaVacations was first launched, things weren’t so easy. We had no banks willing to allow accounts associated with our industry. We had to tip-toe around laws that kept cannabis and anything to do with cannabis far out of the legal zone. We worded things covertly. We did everything right to keep within the law, and yet we were cut off for life from PayPal for using the term “goodie bag” is connection with a trip to Jamaica. That goodie bag was to include papers, a lighter, an innovative sunburn product, and a handy backpack! Yes, because of it, we could not even offer a payment solution for travelers and friends that we served.

Move forward 12 years, and we’re in business and ready to roll! Gone are the days of hush-hush conversations, and dancing around the word “weed”. HERE are the days of candid speak concerning where to stay, what kinds of strains to expect, pricing, cannabis inclusion in vacation packages, and everything that each and every one of us always wished we could discuss and enjoy!

Since mainstream advertisers will not allow cannabis related businesses, RastaVacations remains the logical choice for retreats and vacation spots to showcase their offerings. If you know of somewhere that would like to advertise their location on the oldest, most established cannabis focused vacation site on the web, you’ve found it here! Have them call, or email us and let us know who we need to contact to make it happen for them- and for you!

RastaVacations is BETTER than ever thanks to our fans, and thanks to those who have so tirelessly championed the cause for legalization of our beloved plant. We stand at a new dawn, and an exciting rebirth. Join us as we move forward with so many other cannabis related businesses and discover all that our future holds, both here in the USA and everywhere else in the world.

When we travel, we find ourselves.

Find yourself- on your OWN RastaVacation!

Yep- that time of year again. The time when the east has snowstorms threatening, snow and ice scattered around, and long grey days. Our area is always on the cusp, weather forecasters being wrong more than right. Not heed warning, though and you can get caught in a  the snow that  can be deep and even fierce. You never really know.

No worries here though- I have sand on my mind and the Caribbean n my heart. Got my bag always packed, and am looking for a flight. Next good opportunity, and I”m outa’ here.

Being ready to go to paradise is simple: flip flops, water shoes, sun block, Zimbali after-sun, a couple t-shirts, a couple pairs of shorts, snorkel mask, a comb and a toothbrush. Maybe a couple other small things, like mini shampoo- and my camera.

I won’t take a blow dryer, heels, cologne, any jewelry other than what I’m wearing, my watch, radio, anything more than one very chill cotton dress, thoughts of work,  or thoughts of any responsibility.

Leave out all those unneeded items and your bag is light- as should be your soul. Jet on down to Jamaica or Grenada and enjoy what you know will be a chill 420 friendly vacation, and relax. Let that Caribbean breeze rejuvenate your soul. Can you almost feel it? Listen to the sound of the breeze, rushing though the trees, rattling the palms, sendings flowers and fronds to earth to be whisked away by loving, attentive gardeners.  Enjoy a simple and nourishing way of life, if even for a week, and feel your should find it’s center gain.

Horseracing- where do they get those names?

Horse Racing and Cannabis?

Are you a race fan? By race, I mean horse racing? Do you watch the Kentucky Derby? Do you have a track nearby and do you follow the sport?

Do you ever wonder about the names they name horses, and, as an insider, know that it’s usually about the lineage, the sire and dam’s names mixed or interpreted in such a way as to pay homage to both… but sometimes no mention of either and just a wild assed name?

All rather fascinating. I can see why horse racing enthusiasts would be intrigued. Who knew?

Well, so goes it with strain names as well.

I was just enjoying a look at Harbourside’s recent strain offerings.  “Sweeee-eeet” does not properly convey how nice of a variety they have. “Good on you, Harbourside”, as they say! I”m looking at it thinking just how wonderful it is to not only have the choice, but to appreciate it, and appreciate the meaning behind all those names we all love and love learning about.

I am looking at those names and seeing resemblance and references to strain names passed- today’s strains being morphs of the sires and dams of the crop.

I find it rather interesting, and wonder if you might, too.

Here: check out a great article here about horserace names and why they are what they are.

 

 

Gulf side paradise

Gulf side paradise

 

It’s that time of the year: you’re either on vacation, or thinking about being on vacation!

Are you one of those wishing? Did you think that April would have been the time to book your vacuum? Or maybe last September?

Traditionally, our phones get busiest September and April, so you would not have been alone. It’s always interesting to see what the ebb and flow of any business is. In travel, it’s fall and spring for planning- any time is for doing.

However, you can book a great vacation any time of the year. During “shoulder season” agents have a lot more time to research or you. Plus, you can get some tremendous travel deals if you are able to take advantage of short-notice booking. Resorts large and small all have one thing in common: an empty room doesn’t make money.

The calendar says kids will be back in school in just a few short weeks, but it also says summer is barely started, and there’s a whole lot of it left to enjoy. I prefer to travel after school starts back up, and so I will wait until mid September to start my journeys. That way all the kids going back to school will be done with their summer’s last hurrah, and the parents will be back to work. More beach for me. More quant cafe’ time. Less crowds at the museum- and a more mature group to talk with at my destination. Don’t get me wrong- I adore kids. I really do. But having been past the age of raising them for a few years now, I adore peace and quiet at a whole new level than ever! Besides, I never know if parents have discussed cannabis with their kids, and how they’ve discussed it. I always want to uphold a parent’s right to raise their kids as they see fit, and so it does cause me pause to light up around someone’s child unless I’ve already spoken with the parent and gotten the go-ahead.

Aaaah, sitting on a less crowded beach, in piece of bud to share with a friend, old or new, perfect breeze, and sunset. I can almost feel it as I type.

And so, I think I will take a look and choose my next vacation. After all, it’s fun for me to go and see, because I can then share what I found with YOU!

TIN_shell at grill

Treasures of Jamaica

Here in the states, we have abundance. We have plenty of foods, we have clothes, shoes, handbags. Our national past-time is shopping. We want, We covet. We buy. We save up our money for tattoos and we never miss out on the newest cell phone upgrade. Our dogs have fancy clothes, our cars are traded in for new cars. Our children participate in structured sports leagues, with fancy uniforms and special gear, and fees just for participating.

Granted, not all of our kids. And we don’t ALL spend our spare time shopping, and there are certainly those struggling to pay for food, but the point is: our society is based on us being in debt, credit card companies and banks getting richer, and us keeping up with our neighbors.

Imagine a simpler place. Imagine a place where the fruits and vegetables grown from rich soils grow abundantly. Imagine a place where you can fish and catch dinner, or pay a couple bucks for fresh caught fish pulled out of the ocean that very morning. Imagine a place where kids aren’t afraid to play or to explore on their own, where every day living gives them the exercise growing kids need, where the sun shines every day, the natural beauty surpasses most northern landscapes bought and paid for thanks to gardeners, and where the foods are so wholesome and real that you just don’t crave snacks- and your sweet tooth is satisfied with delicious fresh, exotic fruits.

In Jamaica, they are richer than in America, yet they have so fewer possessions. There are no big malls. People spend their spare time talking, laughing, visiting. In Jamaica, you hear the roar of the ocean waves hitting the shore, and you don’t hear the roar of cars speeding down the highway. You hear birds, laughter, dogs barking. You hear the sounds of joy. People are happy for those who’ve managed to have more, because those who have more don’t treat those with less like they are less. People are kind to one another. In Jamaica, news travels faster by conversation than by any tv or newspaper. People are engaged with one another in Jamaica. People know one another in Jamaica.

People hang on to things in Jamaica and use them for many years. They don’t replace things until they wear out. In Jamaica, they’re still using the same knives and stew pots that their aunt left them when she passed, or that they’ve had for 40 years. Jamaicans make due with what they have, and they don’t worry about finding the newest greatest re-invention of the same cook pot or a different take on a hammer. They pass life skills on to one another, rather than paying others to do work they can do themselves. Jamaicans are far more self-sufficient, partly because they have to be, partly because they can be.

In Jamaica there is far less material wealth and far more appreciation for what is. Leisure time is relished, because a hard day of work is done. Friends are cherished because they’ve stood by you in work. A ride in to town is offered up by those with cars, and those without cars are appreciative. Visiting another town is a big deal, because responsibilities keep you closer to home. Time away is planned for, and looked forward to. Plants aren’t just pretty, but offer healing and food. A roof overhead isn’t really needed most days, but the refuge from the sun and barrier to the rain is appreciated. Flowers are abundant, yet never overlooked.

In Jamaica, things mean more.

 

stmartincaribThere’s lots of it, you can mold it, you can shape it- but……it’s damn cold… and frozen.

How many of us east coasters are wishing we had planned a trip to the Caribbean this year. Or Florida. Tezas. Any gulf state. Hell- anywhere but here right now.

My mind is near Negril. Seeing my friends.

Seeing Hannah at Tingalaya’s. Sitting in the wave fed pool. A good laugh and some unwinding.Steel drums. palm trees in the breeze. I can hear it. I can almost smell it.

I can feel myself there, on Mike’s beach in Little Bay. The breeze just perfect, the view from across the bay to the reef: flawless. I’m reminded that Bob Marley himself has a home there, and it’s easy to understand why.

My mind is at Roberta’s place. Roberta Raigh Pryor, has written a book, “NEGRIL Reggae, Riots & Romance”, it’s a really great book that successfully depicts life in Negril and Jamaica at a very interesting point in Jamaican history. Jamaica is a fairly new country, having just been gained independence in 1962. Negril itself is a very small town, and remains  a very small beachside happening even at this point  in time. Go back 32 years to the 80’s? A fascinating moment in history, and well worth a read.

Of course, my mind is also at my soul’s home: Zimbali Retreat. It is there where I find my absolute seld. Good friends, Good people, Privacy with no boundaries. Mountain, jungle. natural pools, trails, hidden springs. gardens. and wide open natural beauty presented in a way that would rival Eden. It is a place like no other, indeed, and I cherish and grow from every trip there.

I can’t think of snow an sand. I actually like snow. I think it’s beautiful. But it has it’s drawbacks, and I have yet to find a drawback about Negril. If course, I I’ve and work here, but Negril is only a short flight away. You don’t have to pack much at all to be very comfortable, and it’s perfectly chill and wonderful.

Rather than think of snow as sand, though, I’d prefer to not think of it as all… like from a beach chair with a fancy drink and a nice old school bud and a million dollar view. I tried my hardest to make a solid connection between snow and sand and could not focus or keep anything on track because I am seriously thinking about Negril. I give up. Seriously. I have to go. I need to take one of my own trips. I wish you  better success keeping on track than I’ve just had! (Damn!)

 

 

Rasta_Cali_Typical beach closer up

Get to know yourself and you’re never really alone.

Because I tend to mix work and pleasure, or pleasure with work, I tend to travel alone. But in doing so, I am never, ever lonely.Sure, I’ve traveled with people. And it’s nice to have someone to talk with, someone to lot world domination with. But honestly, my favorite trips have been solo. It’s honestly not that I am filled with great ideas of things I want to do to amuse myself. Far from it. Instead, it’s that I am totally open to whatever adventure might come my way.

It’s incredible to be able to do what you want, when you want, and not have to have the idea voted on or vetoed by a travel mate (or lit mate!) who may not share my sense of adventure. How many really, really cool things would I have passed on because my partner wasn’t up to it?

Rastafarians in Jamaica cooking s’mores over an open fire. That was priceless. Smoking on the coffee sip (weed boat) in Maastricht. Very cool. Traipsing through the waterlogged fields on Vancouver Island picking mushrooms, spending hours learning to trim bud well, taking that helicopter ride along the coast in California, feeling the energy immerse my body at the vortex in Negril. The list goes on. I wasn’t rushed during any of my solo trips, and I was able to fully enjoy each and every unforeseen outing.

Now, I’m not saying to never travel tandem. But I am suggesting that you do take a trip now and then on your own. Take the time you need to nourish you. Find your soul, your passion, your next you- all on a vacation alone. After all, once you get to know yourself, you’re never really alone anymore.

IMG_1645Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be coming of age in the 60s? Maybe you were there. What about being there when the airplanes first transported people to distant places, and all the excitement of packing those suitcases, getting dressed up real fancy, and being seen boarding and riding on an airplane. Or when railroads were the means of transportation across the country, and news traveled by messenger. When ships, small by today’s standards, were like small cities, and people boarded with trunks and jewels and thoughts of finely heeled adventures captivated the minds and souls of travelers everywhere.

All of these things were very, very special times in history. Times when we reflected, and had the rare intuition to know to take a close look, because history was unfolding before our eyes. That is the exact reason I want to vacation in Colorado this year- and next year as well. Because history is unfolding. That which is good, and exciting, and memorable is happening, and I can be a part of it- and you can be a part of it, too.

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Marijuana Vacations: Ready to roll???

It’s vacation time, and wow! Look at the choices!

Never before in history has the 420 friendly vacationer had the destination choices found today. Interested in Europe? Sure: Amsterdam, Portugal, Spain, and more. Plenty of great places to visit all weed friendly.

What about something on the US? Well, choices choices choices! Completely legal cannabis has bred an entire state industry in legal marijuana vacations in Colorado and Washington State! Alaska and Oregon have just passed access laws as well, and we’re looking forward to adding some prime locations there, too. Washington DC has voted in the green, and are awaiting Congresses’ approval for their future bud industry as well.

Not all locations, however, welcome weed smoking tourists, You need to know before you go where to stay where to shop, and where to smoke. Don’t think you can light up anywhere and everywhere just because the state laws allow for consenting adults to make their own choices. You can’t pop open a beer at the library in Colorado, and you can’t smoke a joint there, either! You can’t smoke in most indoor locations and most motels, either- so know, before you go!

Rasta_Cali_Perfect Cali beach sceneRemember back in the day, just one short year ago, where the only place being talked about that had “legal” weed was California? You know- all you needed was a doctor recommendation and a Cali ID and you were good to go? You know: the “good old days”, lol!

Remember when you were told that the only way you could legally access that fine Cali bud from a dispensary was to be a resident of California?

Well, RastaVacations proved that WRONG, and we still are.

Truth is, you do NOT have to be a California resident to a) get a doctor’s recommendation, and b) get into a dispensary. What you DO need is a doctor that understands the law correctly, AND a dispensary that understands it as well. Are these doctors and dispensaries easy to find? No, not always. Are they impossible to find? No, they are not.

For over 5 years now, we’ve scouted out doctors and dispensaries who will work not only with US citizens but with people from around the world. Not sketchy, back room doctors, but good, solid doctors that charge reasonable prices to see you. The dispensaries we’ve worked with offer large varieties of top shelf indicas, and my favorite, sativas.

Not sure about you, but I personally find it very satisfying to thumb my nose at naysayers who say you can’t, or it’s illegal, when it’s not. I have personally enjoyed numerous shopping trips to California dispensaries, and although it’s a lot easier to walk into a Colorado or Washington dispensary, it’s a long drive from LA to Denver or Seattle. So, when in Cali, I get legal… and I get bud. Good,  honest, California bud.

That’s what we do. Legal, above board- and with a big “F’ you” to those who say we can’t. We can. We did. We’ll do it again, too!

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