A confused American, who mistakenly joined a Jersey Facebook group, has been enjoying the beauty of the island after local people rallied together to offer him a free trip to the place he had been erroneously hearing about for years.
Joe Hill and his girlfriend Amanda Rose say they have been overwhelmed by the welcome they’ve received and the beauty of the island they had never heard of - until Joe managed to join a local Facebook group called ‘Good and Bad Jersey Businesses’ which lets islanders review and recommend places and companies.
After realising he wasn’t reading about businesses in the State of New Jersey, the American from Plymouth in Massachusetts unveiled his ignorance to fellow followers of the page saying “I haven’t the foggiest idea of where it is.”
Explanations and invitations ensued from islanders trying to coax the foreigner over, including hotelier Alex Dolan, who offered to put the couple up in the Golden Sands Hotel and helped crowdfund the rest of the trip, which Express contributed too.
It was a gift which Amanda didn’t believe at first: “He has been telling me for years, like once in a while ‘did you realise there is a country called Jersey?’ pointing out what locals were saying about businesses in the island. Then he was like ‘I think I’m getting a free trip to Jersey’ and I was like ‘what is happening, what are you talking about’ I didn’t believe him at first.”
Although the trip didn’t get off to a flying start - after Joe discovered the joys of the British train service, leading the couple to miss their flight over. They finally arrived a few hours later to a warm welcome.
Pictured: Hotelier Alex Dolan warned islanders wishing to welcome Joe Hill and Amanda Rose to Jersey, that they missed their flight.
After spending their first day waking up to a view of the ocean from their room at the Golden Sand hotel, visiting Corbiére Lighthouse and German bunkers and eating the “best fish” they’ve ever had, Joe and Amanda have had a great first impression of Jersey.
“It’s way prettier than anywhere in the US” commented Joe.
“Yeah, I heard that it was beautiful but once I got to the lighthouse there, I hadn’t fathomed how serious you guys were on how mind blowing it is, it’s beautiful” added Amanda.
Pictured: Both Joe and Amanda have been impressed with the colours and textures of the island's nature.
This visit to Jersey has been eye-opening to Joe, as it’s the first time he’s travelled outside of America; “Every bit of the ground is completely different. Like we have one colour green and everything is kind of grey, and here I can see like 20 different colours of green from here. Like you have short grass that’s like moss, we don’t have that and our beaches are just like rocks and you have sand that’s like powder which is nice.”
Amanda agreed saying; “It feels like we are going through four-different countries because it just looks all geographically different. (…) I’m going to be upset to leave, he’s already asked me if I would live here, and I’m like ‘I totally would’.”
Pictured: Accidental tourist Joe Hill and his girlfriend Amanda Rose have been shown around Jersey by hotelier Alex Dolan (top left) and met locals including Giles Le Feuvre at Faulkner Fisheries (bottom right) where they ate "the best fish we’ve ever had."
They have a packed itinerary while they are here, including seeing a Jersey cow, going on a boat trip around the coast – where Joe hopes to spot wild dolphins for the first time – as well as visit places of historical interest like the Neolithic burial sites and castles, again something Joe has never experienced before.
There are also three ‘welcome’ events planned for the Old Smugglers Inn on Wednesday, JB's on Friday and the Old Courthouse in St Aubin on Saturday evening, to enable Joe and Amanda to meet everyone who has made this trip a reality. “It’s pretty mind-blowing. We woke up to cameras today which was pretty weird” said Joe.
“It’s really cool though; I can’t imagine this happens to a lot of people so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing” added Amanda.
Pictured: Joe Hill is now making recommendations on places he's visiting on the Facebook page which brought him to Jersey. He says he will continue to be a member after his holiday.
This is one holiday the couple will certainly never forget, as is a prime example of the social media ethos of ‘connecting people around the world’.
Express asked Joe is he’ll stay as a member of the local Facebook page which brought him to Jersey, he replied; “Oh yeah definitely, how can I not? I’m going to be posting on there, reviewing the places I go.”
Joe has already given the Golden Sands hotel and Jersey butter a score of 9/10.
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