We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what inspires you?
The Caribbean is the biggest inspiration behind my work, which is why I call myself a “Carivangelist.” Through my articles, videos and photos, I’m spreading the “gospel” of the Caribbean – the gospel being that the Caribbean is an incredibly diverse region with different languages, cultures, cuisine, topography, music … we’re not just a bunch of identical islands with beaches! If you visit the Caribbean and the only thing you do is lie on a beach, you’re doing yourself and the destination a disservice. Venture beyond the resort and you’ll find people and places that are SO worth your time.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I studied hotel management at university in the U.K, and went on to work in travel PR in Jamaica. I was recruited from Montego Bay to lead in-house PR for the now defunct airline, Air Jamaica, which had an office in Miami. After that, I worked on the editorial side in custom publishing. And a couple of years later I snagged my dream job at Caribbean Travel + Life magazine, which was then the only newsstand magazine exclusively devoted to the Caribbean. I was there for six years until it folded in 2012. After CT+L closed, I reinvented myself and created my personal brand, JetSetSarah. It’s built on my passions – travel, style and fitness – and now I create content about those subjects for outlets including Travel + Leisure; Condé Nast Traveler; Essence magazine; The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. and Canada’s Globe and Mail. I love being on camera, and I also host travel videos for my site and for clients including Miami International Airport. I’m definitely not a natural entrepreneur! I’d happily be working for a magazine or travel brand if the publishing industry had remained what it was. But eight years of freelancing has taught me professional independence and the value of great content and self-promotion to set yourself apart from the competition. And, despite the huge challenges the pandemic has brought, I still love working in the travel industry. Even after more than 30 years, I still wake up excited to get to the airport!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If friends are just passing through for lunch or dinner, we make a beeline for Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, a buzzy indoor/outdoor spot in one of the Magic City’s hippest ‘hoods. In one stop we can enjoy Latin-inspired eats; sip rum cocktails with a diverse crowd; and tour the Wynwood Walls, where vibrant murals (including one by Shepard Fairey, who created the famous Obama “Hope” poster) are the perfect selfie backdrops. Then, if they’re up for shopping, I take my friends to Iniva, a really cool concept store in Upper Buena Vista that sells art, furniture, clothing and accessories from Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa and Zanzibar. If its a weekday, we’ll do happy hour at The Standard, where the waterfront Lido Grill is #SoMiami but in the best possible way. Frosées are half price from 4pm to 7pm Monday to Friday, so we’ll have to have at least two! We’re lucky to have so many waterfront running routes here, so I take my active out-of-town friends with me on a sunrise run along the Venetian Causeway, around Brickell Key or along the beach walk on South Beach. Other musts on my Miami itinerary: weekend drag brunch at Palace on Ocean Drive and window shopping in the Design District. When the giant Sky Views Miami observation wheel finally opens at Bayside Marketplace, I’ll be the first in line!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of a worldwide network of friends, most of whom I’ve known for decades. One of them is Pamela Jaccarino (“Pamarino,” to me), who I met in the ’90s when we both worked in travel PR and bonded over her superb taste in shoes. She, too, switched careers to the editorial side (she’s editor-in-chief of Luxe magazine), so we share many of the same career concerns. And of all of my friends she’s the most like me, so she always “gets” me. Over the years she’s given me great personal and professional advice and has always made me feel as if I could achieve any goal I set my mind to.