Jamaica is beautiful. Clear and blue water, white beaches, warm breezes, and amazing people. The staff at the resort were phenomenal. We were treated to the best service and provided everything that we needed. Our resort was clean, lovely, accommodating, and the food and drinks were over the top. We had the best time. We loved it so much that we booked another vacation to a different island next year. We were sold on the ease of the all inclusive experience. I loved not having to carry a purse for a week.
Now for the American guilt. The area that we were in was rural and probably very poor. We saw a lot of homes that would not be able to be lived in here, lived in there. We realized that pretty much the locals would never experience what were were experiencing. We got to eat when we wanted, snorkel as much as we wanted, and go on a dolphin swim. We would be able to have all those experiences knowing that the people that were working so hard for us would not. And so my liberal, American guilt was really strong.
I cannot come up with some rationale to make it better. It is what it is. I have had opportunities that most of the world will never have. I have had an education that most will never have. I earn an income that some will never see in their lifetime. I am not lucky, I was just born in to the right set of circumstances to get me to a place where I could make choices that got me to beach in Jamaica. I am blessed. I know this and everyday I thank the Universe for what I have. I have known what it is like to struggle to pay the bills. Many times as a teen my mother could not pay the electric, water, and gas bill. There were a couple of weeks that all we ate were eggs and hot dogs which is still better then most of the world.
I did feel like an over privileged American. I know that my being there also helped the people who worked at the resort have an income. And perhaps being there makes things possible for them. We make it possible for others to be employed. Is that enough to make the guilt go away.... I am hoping so.