|Tunes & Travels|
by Jennifer Matthews
Going to college in Colorado was the greatest experience but when winter hit hard and the snow fell it made you dream of warm tropical places. One winter break from music school my old boyfriend and I decided to catch a plane to someplace very warm away from it all. In our research we discovered an island called Nevis and St. Kitts. I had never heard of it before but our travel assured us it was non touristy and gorgeous and was located in the West Indies which sounded exotic to me.
We took three planes to get there from Denver. When we finally landed it was 10 pm and the plane opened its doors right on the runway. We stepped down and I remember the air smelling so good and exotic. It was a steamy smoky night and I quickly became intoxicated by the smells, the sounds and the music. We were driven to our hotel which was an old sugar plantation. It was surrounded by tall stalks of sugar cane and above the stars were on fire. At the entrance of the place was a small table set up where the locals sat around drinking beer by torch candles and played a mean game of cards. We sat outside under the gorgeous night sky and ate fresh lobster that literally melted in my mouth. The beaches were natural and non touristy, there were no high rises or anything that resembled a chain store or coffee shop. There was a great day where we spent all day on a catamaran where we snorkeled and drank rum punches.
One of my favorite memories is walking the long white deserted beach and collected the most gorgeous seashells I had ever seen. We traveled up to the Volcanic mountain and had a picnic where they fed us homemade pumpkin guava jam that I still crave all these years later. The culture loves its music and I heard a lot of great local reggae. We took a ferry over to the sister island of Nevis, which is St. Kitts, and explored more. We traveled with the locals and found them to be warm and welcoming.
When you want to travel to this kind of island, go through a travel agent and be specific in what is important to you to experience. For me it was making sure it was non touristy.
I have been a professional singer for over
twenty years and teaching voice lessons for over ten years. I received
my vocal training at the University of Colorado School of Music at Boulder
and Denver and at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
in NJ. Singers who influenced me greatly in my early years were Linda
Rondstadt, Anne Wilson from Heart, Robert Plant, Ian Anderson from Jethro
Tull, Judy Garland & Aretha Franklin.