Photograph by Lauren Smee

The topic of joy is both simple and difficult to discuss. Rick Warren, a famous pastor in the U.S. says, “I have found that happiness is fleeting, but joy abides. Happiness comes and goes, but joy [endures] forever”.

When I think of joy, traveling to the unknown comes to mind. Recently over reading week, I went to Jamaica and found much joy under the sun! Jamaicans are very open and honest people, and born as a Canadian with a Jamaican background, I found it very invigorating when locals would notice, without hearing my voice, that I was a foreigner. The culture in Jamaica is very vibrant and relaxing. Being on a beautiful island surrounded by water, I noticed that Jamaicans take advantage of time by going to the beaches after work to enjoy its warmth and “coconut tree” scent before heading home, which to me spells “J-O-Y”.

Until now, I had felt somewhat incomplete before traveling to my ‘home’ country; the mystery of Jamaica had revealed itself to me and I was satisfied beyond my imagination. Joy ripped through my heart as I finally traveled through the unknown, as if I were filling pockets of empty spaces within me. This is my joy.