Jamaica. When they say “Make it Jamaica again,” I could make it Jamaica again and again and again and again, from the Blue Mountains to the beach, to the hills of Mandeville, oh my god, to the whole experience of Negril. To the food on the street, the food in some of the pop-up restaurants, the clothing that is made, the baskets that are weaved, the braiders that have the intricate style, the women and how they approach their natural beauty as African descendants. My mother was Jamaican and she lived in Kingston, so I’m very often in the city, but I love to take off and make it to the beaches. I just hope they don’t continue to privatize beaches and give the best to tourists, because I think everybody should have access to the beauty of Jamaica. There is one place in Jamaica that I think is highly underrated, and that is Port Antonio. It takes you a while to get to Port Antonio, but once you get there…it’s amazing.
What kind of packer she is:
I’m the worst. The day before my trip, I’m never packed and I’m a nervous wreck believing that I have forgotten something. The day I arrive home, I am the worst because I don’t how to unpack. And I’m the packer that always carries an extra fold-up duffel bag, because I know I’m going to buy treasures.
The things she packs in her carryon bag:
Every kind of plug you can imagine, because sometimes when you get on some planes, you have to have the other kind of plug, and I like to stay connected. If it’s a long haul, I’ll carry one of those facial masks to keep hydrated and moisturized. I cannot say enough how important it is to try and drink some water along with your cocktail when you’re flying.
How she spends in-flight time:
I love foreign films. I don’t care if they’re Japanese, Korean, French, or French Canadian, I love to discover a foreign film to see how other people see the world through their lens.
Her favorite places around the world to shop:
I can shop anywhere. I’m that one person that can go into the $1.25 store and spend $125. It can be in London, when they would have those rows and row of stalls, and you could find just about anything you were looking for. Back in the day when people used to wear fur, I found the most amazing fur coat that every time I put it on people were like, “Oh my god, you look amazing.” I know it was the coat that they were looking at. I remember that. I remember I was somewhere and there were stacks of the real pashmina, and when I compared what I thought was pashmina, it was just amazing, breathtaking. I tell people, don’t forget to shop in your own backyard. I came up to Vancouver—I’m here often because I shoot a series here called Motherland: Fort Salem—and I discovered a luxury resale store and you get these hardly or gently used Chanel, Vuitton, anything. They’re just done with such care. It’s called Turnabout Luxury Resale. Love it! That’s some of the best recycling we can do is to recycle your fashion, clear out your wardrobe, sell it off, give it away.
Her travel pet peeve:
I can’t stand it when backpackers forget how big their backpacks are, then they walk down the airplane aisle and knock you over with their backpack. And don’t even realize they hit somebody!
The hotel amenity she always looks for:
Makeup removers. Stop acting like only men need shoe polishers! We need makeup removers. Thank you.
The next trips on her roster:
There are three places. My niece is getting married, a destination wedding in Italy, so we’re all headed to Sorrento. A friend of mine said for my big birthday, he was taking me to Paris. Well, that was four years ago! So we’re going to head to Paris. And then another friend, he passed away and his partner said, “You have to go with me to London to spread his ashes, because that’s what he wanted.” Those are the three things I’m doing. And of course, I’ll be back and forth to Jamaica.