2017 Travel Goals

I posted back in 2015 one of those inspirational Instagram quotes that I love so much. “2016 is the year of the passport.” Speaking it into existence right? Or at least Instagramming it into existence. Maybe I could have made a Pinteresty dream board or some aesthetically pleasing poster to remind myself – but that cancels out the idea of becoming nomadic. Am I supposed to put up the dream board in every hostel dorm room I stay in? Imagine the looks that would get me! I’d like to think I achieved my goal in 2016. I’ve visited 7 countries (I write to you from Belize) and will finish the year in my 8th (Guatemala). My total country count is almost to 20! My passport has been my best friend and most valued possession for the greater part of this year. The best investment I’ve made in my life. Oh […]

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Being Black in White Travel Culture

I’ve had in-person conversations with about 3 black people in the last month. Just three humans who look like me. Nothing prepared me for just how white travel/backpacking culture is. That my blackness would have such an impact on my experiences with and perceptions of fellow travelers. I’ve made some incredible friends. I have so much love for fellow wanderlusters. But with the exception of the travelers in my beloved Salvador, Brazil – they’re all white. At home, I very purposefully surround myself with Black people and immerse myself in my culture – my blackness. My inner circle is exclusively POC. ¡¡¡omg reverse racist!!! The time I spend with MY PEOPLE strengthens me. After a month in melanin dipped Salvador at the start of my trip, I was confident, proud, and thought that energy would sustain me for months to come. Though, I was not in the least bit prepared for my […]

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Why I Decided to Leave South America Early?

Reading Time: The highs. The lows. The love. The hate. The happy. The sad. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.  South America was one hell of a ride. I planned and embarked on my trip almost four months ago, on August 18th, 2016. I’d planned on 4 to 5 months to visit Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and maybe a bit of Central America. I strutted onto that plane to Brazil, seeping confidence, clutching my passport, backpack and one way ticket. I was idealistic, eager, and thought I was ready for anything that could possibly be thrown at me.  Look how cute and idealistic I was. For most of my life, I’ve been able to coast. Don’t get me wrong, I know what hard work is. But I must acknowledge my privileges – the support of my family, amazing friends, a great education, and strong professional connections […]

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I Got Food Poisoning TWICE in Peru!

Reading Time:  Digestion problems are very common when traveling in places that do not maintain the same sanitary standards as wealthier nations do. I had brought antibiotics and anti-diarrheal medicine with me, but nothing prepared me for actually getting food poisoning. The kicker is that I got food poisoning twice in Peru. There I was, laying in my bunk, my whole body shaking beneath three thick blankets, I struggled for breath and squeezed my eyes shut as the dorm room swayed from side to side. My breathing was shallow and strained – probably disturbing the whole 16 bed dorm room I was staying in. My troubles began the night before. I’d been gearing up for a 10 hour bus ride from Puno, Peru – near the border with Bolivia, to Cusco – the city that is the gateway to Machu Picchu. I walked from my hostel toward the center of the city. […]

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Why I’m Not Returning to Bolivia Anytime Soon

Of my shitty travel moments in my 3 months of travel thus far, most of them have happened in Bolivia. I’m not returning to Bolivia anytime soon. Never before have I felt like such a bureaucratic pawn. My experience was particularly rough as I utilized the less popular Corumba Brazil – Puerto Suarez border crossing. I’m still really bitter and unable to compose myself enough to post or make a video about it. My bitterness has permeated through the entire month I’ve spent here so far. It should have dissipated by now…but I just haven’t had the same love affair as with Brazil. I probably sound like a spoiled first world brat right now, who’s never faced the slightest immigration or visa woe as many in the developing world experience. The Bolivian visa fees are in place as a reciprocity measure against the US. A sassy “take that!” kind of response. […]

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Struggling with Homesickness While Traveling on a One Way Ticket

When I plan for travel, I make spreadsheets, map out accommodation, delicately allocate budget, points of interest, where to eat. Prepared for the event that I may be ill, get robbed, lose an important possession. Seriously I have about 4 different spreadsheets that I use to organize my travel life! I never prepared myself to struggle with homesickness before embarking on my long term journey through Latin America. It’s even more intense when traveling on a one way ticket – not knowing the next time I’ll be home to see my cat and loved ones. The first time I got homesick lasted about 3 days and was sparked by a two hour wait for a city bus in Salvador that was supposed to run every fifteen minutes. Frustrating. Annoying. But a reality of life. My annoyance with quickly escalated to rage as I talked myself up. When I finally boarded […]

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Reflection: 2 Months Traveling Brazil

I never could have imagined the incredible growth I’ve experienced while traveling Brazil solo for the past two months. I’ve partied until sunrise, been welcomed into the homes of complete strangers, sat for hours talking with friends over fresh coconuts, and discovered my favorite city in the world (Salvador). Firstly, I’d like to apologize for my sporadic blogs. Blogging hasn’t come naturally to me and being present in real world moments has contributed extensively to my internet absence. I do upload YouTube videos more regularly, if that’s of interest? No regrets, right? I’m about to begin my 4 day journey from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Bolivia. The next chapter in my solo journey – just me and my backpack. I’ll write more about the annoying process of getting to Bolivia and actually being allowed into the country later. Where Have I Been in Brazil? I started in Nordeste (Northeast) […]

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What I Packed for 4 Months of Travel!

Here’s what I packed for 4 months of travel! As I believer in style, comfort, and a sprinkle of minimalism – packing for long term travel was a BIG FRIGGIN DEAL. I compiled a basic packing list about two months before leaving (over-preparer). As a planner embarking on a highly unplanned trip, I took advantage of areas I could control. I read over tons of blogs, watched about 500 packing videos – and then made my list! Currently I’m in Salvador, Brazil – 1 week and 1 day into my 4 month trip. I’ll be in South and Central America, so the list is catered to these regions. I don’t plan to do extensive trekking or wilderness stuff, so this is reflected. I have massive disdain for “travel” clothes with all the convertible zipping parts, because they look so damn unattractive. I only packed clothes that I love and will […]

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4 Days In: Salvador da Bahia Stole My Heart

There is something magical in the air of Salvador da Bahia. In days, I’ve begun a love affair with this city. I arrived in Salvador da Bahia, in the Northeast of Brazil four days ago. After 24 hours of flights and layovers, and a two hour city bus ride to my hostel (ya girl was not feeling the 60 reais price tag of a cab), I expected to be exhausted, pissed off and grumpy. But the moment I arrived to my hostel, Hostel Galeria 13 (highly recommended) in the heart of the old city, Pelourinho, I knew.  I knew this was the right place to begin my journey. The drum beats pulse as practice for Carnaval in February. The people come in every shade of melanin, walking with elegance. Impromptu dancing and singing break out in the streets. My favorite “street performers” being the triangle man and the guy in Praça […]

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Biggest Fears as I Leave to Backpack Solo Long Term

Today is the first day of my four month (and maybe longer) solo backpacking trip.  I finished up my internship, got all my vaccinations (including painful Yellow Fever), said my goodbyes. Did everything I was supposed to. Did all my research. Carefully saved my money. But still…as the plane door stood open on my first of three flights, I thought, “I can still turn back.” My biggest fears. 1. That I’m making the absolutely wrong decision for my career. Maybe I’m jeopardizing my career. I essentially turned down my first ever stable non-internship adult job to take this extended trip. There’s a ton of digital nomads, bloggers, YouTubers who turn a travel lifestyle into a career – but I’m still not convinced it’s for me. 2. That I’m being incredibly selfish. Taking an extended solo trip for the purpose of….seeing shit…..exploring cultures is pretty selfish. That’s not necessarily a bad […]

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