A Break-Up Letter to My All-Inclusive

Dear My All-Inclusive Resort,

You don’t know me. My name is Emily and I stayed with you for almost a week. But don’t worry, you wouldn’t have noticed me. There are just so many of us, and only one of you. I don’t take offence. But, we need to talk. 

Lets’s start off by stating the obvious, you’re beautiful! Like, wow! And full of surprises with so many food options and secret room treats (I get tickled pink with a free minibar after all!). You have multiple pools, several that are only for adults. I can get a glass of white wine at almost any time of day. Your treadmills in the gym are great (though they are set to miles not KM, wtf?).  I completely realize how truly lucky I am to get to spend time with you, it’s something many people can’t experience, and I got to.  So thank you.  You made me a better person. 

So really, it’s not you, it’s me.

I just don’t get you. Maybe you and I are not on the same paths. We come from different worlds. I don’t speak your language and you don’t know what I’ve been through.  To be honest, you’re not really my type.

Why now?

Reality is a tough pill, but I don’t think you and I are meant to be. Of course, this week, staying with you, I’ve had a blast! I love 24-hour food and bottomless daiquiris (I actually think those words may be triggers of mine). I dig having a pool 100 meters from my room. My Jacuzzi got one heck of a work out (I may have flooded the floor just a touch overdoing the bubbles… thanks for being so understanding).

But maybe that’s all this was supposed to be, a wonderful week where I took and you gave and then I judged you for it. I can be a jerk like that. And I just have so many questions.

Like answer me this:

We’re in Jamaica, which is a beautiful, diverse, and fascinating country, but most people just chill at the pool all day. Doesn’t seem right to me, you?

Speaking of the pool…. A spin class in the water? Is that a thing now? Have I been out of the Global North that long? Shouldn’t there be rules about people riding spin bikes in bikinis and banana hammocks? Sounds like an outbreak of something waiting to happen.

There is a bar, in the pool. I like this about you. This is not a question.

I know, the pool has to be huge and the activities have to be diverse because you need to appeal to so many people. So. Many. You are huge! There are actually golf carts buzzing around so I don’t have to physically walk around because you are immense. You have so many restaurants and buffets and areas of interest I actually received a map upon check-in. Like a map one would need in a small country. Or a large country.

Your staff is delightful. I’m not sure how they are so nice and friendly, makes me suspicious. One guy took a specific interest in me when I was walking alone in a wet bathing suit. He was so helpful and wanted to know my name and where my husband was.

No really though, the folks who work for you, peaches! How do you find such non-judgmental people who just keep filling up my wine glass and keep their eyebrows in their rightful positions? Is that part of the training? How does one get that training. Can I register my cat for your training? She’s so judgy when I drink alone out of plastic cups.

You made me wear a lilac plastic bracelet all week. Lilac doesn’t really go with my wardrobe of black and white. Next time can I get bright pink so it at least matches my daiquiri?

Your food may have made me fat. Why do you have so many brownies everywhere? I feel victimized.

But really, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Jamaican, steak, seafood, buffets, sports bars… It’s too much! No person needs that many choices, it just overwhelms me and makes me give up and opt for beer and peanuts from my mini-bar.

The rum punch upon arrival was a nice touch. Kudos.

I love sleeping in a king sized bed. My starfish yoga posture is really coming along. Thank you for enabling my practice. Namaste.

The card in my room says that my housekeeper’s name is Sharon. Is that true? Is it really the same nice lady named Sharon who comes in and makes my bed everyday? Does she not get days off? What does she think of me? Are her eyebrows firmly fixed in the same position too? Did she get the same training as the bartenders? What if Sharon gets sick, does a different lady come in and will the card be changed? Or does the Sharon card stay for continuity purposes? Should I trust Sharon with my dirty underwear and valueless toiletries that have been stolen from other hotel bathrooms? Is it true what they say about hotel rooms and black lights?

I think my sarong flew off the balcony during a windy patch. This is actually the second time this has happened to this sarong. Does my sarong hate me? Can you find my sarong?

You have a nurse’s station. This means there are enough people here to qualify employing a full time medical professional. That’s more than most rural villages around the world. If I was to put you on a road map, how large would your icon be? Unincorporated village? Village? Small Town? Town? CITY? Do you have a fire truck somewhere?

A friend of mine hit on one of your dancers. Sorry about that. It was awkward.

Speaking of awkward, why are there Bud Lights in the mini-bar? Like, really? Of all the beer… Don’t worry, I’m still drinking it.

But back to you and me. I mean, it’s been fun, but did you really think I would go to college still dating you? Sorry, that’s a line from a popular mid-90’s teenage Rom-Com.

But seriously. You and me? Now isn’t the best time.  Our babies would be so confused. On one side they would want to be pampered and have clean towels, while at the same time wanting to eat jerk chicken out of tin foil on the side of the road. Your jerk chicken comes on plates. That’s just wrong.

I’m a fly by the seat – climb volcanoes at night – bungee jump naked – sleep in a tent on the beach kind of gal. You’re a room service, wine in glass glasses and special towels for the pool and others for the shower type. Why do you need two different types of towels?  It’s all water…

There’s nothing wrong with either of us, we are just different. And I totally get why people think you’re cute. You’re fun, you’re easy (in the simple way, not the slutty way); you take the fuss out of the week. Clean, tile floors are really nice! Food at your fingertips is super cool. And if I only had a week off from my job, a week hanging with you may sound pretty appealing.

Perhaps I’m just difficult. Or I thrive on solving unnecessary logistics quandaries and fighting with cab drivers in languages I don’t speak.  Maybe I like the very real possibility of being uncomfortable. With unknown comes occasion and occasion becomes adventure. And isn’t that what a passport is for? To join the rest of the world outside your daily life and to venture beyond the unknown, sampling the shoes of others? 

Maybe I’m a masochist.

Again, All-Inclusive Resort, it’s not you, it’s me. You’re lovely! You’re going to meet a really great girl one day who appreciates everything you are.  You don’t need me. 

All the best,



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Dear All Inclusive Resort. We can't see each other anymore. It's not you, it's me. You're nice, but just not my type. We can still be friends. xo Emily.

14 thoughts on “A Break-Up Letter to My All-Inclusive

  1. As a wise woman (AKA your mother) once said “Don’t get used to this!!”
    That stated, some jerk chicken in foil, eaten along the road, sounds heavenly.

  2. I know exactly what you mean, after growing up in what was Rhodesia in Africa, camping in the middle of wild animal’s territory, and loving “roughing it” as we would say..BUT every girl needs a little pampering every now & then, and I am so glad that you experienced a little of that !! I loved your article, very witty & very true hahaha (made me think of the all inclusive resort we went to in PLAYACAR..especially the swimsuits (lack of !) you described !! )…

  3. This post is hilarious 😀 A nice hotel every now and then (jacuzzi…hmmm…) sounds nice, but hey, i´ll just stick to my couchsurfing account and my free camping skills 🙂 my skin hates pool water anyway!

    1. Thanks so much, I agree that every so often a little luxury is nice, just not as the go to for “travel”. I think travelling should be a little uncomfortable haha! Pool water is the worst, when you could have sea water that is…


  4. LOL! Now if we could just get the others to break up with their all-inclusive. Exploring Jamaica’s little off the beaten path b&b’s is the way to go.

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