There comes a certain point in life when one must step out of their comfort zone in order to gain a new perspective on life and broaden their horizons through the unseen world. As a professional filmmaker I’ve logged more hours than most in aluminum tubes flying back and forth across the US and Canada over the past decade or so, but it’s always been chasing snow, and I’d somehow yet to step foot off of the North America continent. Luckily, this past spring I ran into an old friend at the Whole Foods ramen bar in Brooklyn, and next thing I knew was in Kingston, Jamaica for a House of Marley commercial shoot. My lunch decision that fateful day had paid off in a big way.

From the second I stepped out of the airport I felt an energy like no other. Thanks to our amazing and knowledgable guide, we were welcomed into whichever neighborhood we visited and the interactions with locals became so much more natural. One minute we found ourselves up in the jungle-filled hills with everyone hanging outside the little stores playing intense games of dominos, and the next in Trenchtown visiting the house Bob Marley once lived in. I had come to Jamaica to see another world, and all had been fulfilled.

Observing a place where many go barefoot by choice, play soccer in dirt fields, and live in humble homes made of sheet metal, yet still are kind and generous with huge smiles on their faces, was so incredibly eye-opening. Living their lives as they know them, balanced between nature in the hills and the hustle of the city, not worrying about the Kardashians or other nominal bullshit—just living. It was beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back.