Toolsie’s take on travelling the world
From the tender age of five, Kristen Toolsie was on the go and ready to travel. She attributes her natural affinity for adventure to her exciting family who toted her to beaches, restaurants, hotels, and excursions. Today, she has carried on that timeless tradition, inviting others to take a trip with her through Toolsie Travels.
“Travelling is my therapy. I wanted to make an impact on people’s lives, to get out of their houses and travel more. So I made audiovisual blog posts that would allow them to have a full understanding of where they are going and also provide them with a sense of security that where they were going was safe and just right for them,” she told Saturday Living.
She started Toolsie Travels in March of last year and, so far, she has loved every moment of this journey. The sheer thrill of exploring famous sites and discovering hidden gems, both locally and overseas, is something that she looks forward to.
“I was always the person people would ask for advice on future travel endeavours, so it encouraged me to start a broad-perspective blog that caters to everyone in Jamaica and around the world.”
Traversing almost every parish in Jamaica, she has also visited Miami in the United States of America, Nassau, and Castaway Cay in The Bahamas.
“The first place that stood out to me the most was Floyd’s Pelican Bar. Located in St Elizabeth, the bar and restaurant are built on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean and the only way you can get there is by boat. I loved the entire concept of a bar in the middle of the sea, the unique infrastructure, how great the food tasted, and the overall ambience.”
Castaway Cay stood out to the explorer as well. According to Toolsie, the small island in the Bahamas, which is owned by Disney, has clear waters, lush plants, and freshwater ponds. Plus, the infrastructure is unique because it is built on the full Disney theme. The overall travel experience, she reflected, has been “out of this world.”
Her blog posts are usually short and sweet in delivery, which proves to be effective alongside the accompanying visuals. “People normally ask for more information on some, where they want to go, or they also share their experiences as well if they have been to the place I published. The feedback is always honest opinions, and excited travellers are certainly ready to hit the road and do something fun as soon as they see something new.”
These adventures have not only allowed her to meet and interact with new personalities all over the island, as well as internationally, but she has also been able to form a partnership with her dear friend, Keyshawn Gordon, to create Travellers’ Hub DMC in the same year, “Travellers Hub is our starter travel agency where we provide travel plans and packages for hotels, airlines, cruises and local excursion parks such as Chukka.”
The Montegonian did confess that her favourite spot, to date, is Doctor’s Cave Beach, located in the parish. It always feels like home and holds a very special place in her heart. “I definitely plan to continue trailblazing in tourism in the future by continuing my travel agency and vlog work, especially advancing in areas such as property management in Airbnbs, villas and condos, transportation, and advancing booking technology,” she said, adding that she can’t wait to tick St Lucia, Trinidad, Thailand, Egypt, and Italy off on her bucket list.
Outside of travelling, Toolsie works in the sales and marketing aspects of tourism. She also attends The University of the West Indies pursuing a bachelor of science degree in tourism management. She hopes her posts will encourage people who are skeptical about trying new places to tap into their adventurous side. Her goal is to inspire others to be free-spirited and enjoy life, to shed some light on local tourism and the beauty of travelling to experience new cultures.