How can you afford to travel?
My question of the day – How Can You Afford to Travel?
For those who know me well, they know I love to travel. For me, travel is an essential part of who I am. God has blessed me with the opportunity to travel over 680,000 miles in the last 20+ years to a lot of places. I am very thankful for every journey, every experience, and the new friends made along the way.
I recently posted pictures from Anguilla (a compilation of several trips). I have been traveling to Anguilla since 2005. It is a very special place for me, I have friends there, and it feels like home.
Someone shared a comment that Anguilla was too expensive and they could not afford to go there. The comment was made by a person who makes a lot more $$$ than I do, with the subtle implication that they cannot understand how I can afford to travel (so often) to this beautiful place.
Anguilla is not a cheap destination. It is not Mexico, DR, Jamaica, or an all-inclusive Caribbean destination, but it can be an affordable destination for anyone who chooses to spend the time, money, and effort to travel there, particularly during non-peak season (December – April). Anguilla is paradise, without the trappings of Americanized vacations. No fast food. No all inclusives. No duty free shopping. No shopping malls. No gambling. No jet skis. When I travel to Anguilla, I do not stay at the most expensive resorts (Viceroy, Cuisinart, or Mahaillouana) and I do not eat at the most expensive restaurants. I have found accomodations and local restaurants/eateries that are within my budget. I will even go so far to say that I can stay in Anguilla more affordably than I can in some domestic destinations like Miami, New York City, or San Francisco – where hotel rates can be very pricey.
It is a matter of priorities. I do not have children, an expensive car, expensive home, nor do I shop excessively on designer purses, shoes, clothes, etc. I choose to spend my disposable income on travel. I have traveled over 680,000 miles in the last 20+ years to a lot of places, some far more expensive than Anguilla. I took offense at the subtle implication that I cannot afford to travel to Anguilla.
I chose to post this for those who may ask the question how can you afford to travel. My question is how can you afford not to? I only have one life and I intend to live it to the fullest.
2014: Passport to Happiness
Welcome to 2014….Passport to Happiness begins here:)
“It might seem crazy what I’ve about to say. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m Happy. Clap along if you feel happiness is the truth. Because I’m Happy. Clap Along if you know what Happiness is to You. Can’t Nuttin Bring Me Down. Because I’m Happy.” ~ Pharrell
Happiness seems to be THE song of 2014. It’s everywhere. Gotta love it! So, I have not written in a very long time. Too long. The topic on my brain is PASSPORT TO HAPPINESS. So we need a passport to travel, right? So how many of us have discovered the Passport to Happiness? Happiness is not a destination, it’s so about the journey.
Happiness can be found in the least likely places. For me, I’ve learned it is not about “material” things. For me, I’ve found happiness in traveling to exotic places, seeing a child’s smile, feeling the love of my dog every time I come home, seeing my roses bloom, reaching out to help someone who may need a hug, meal, or word of encouragement, and in my prayers for friends, family, and loved ones. You see I am not a millionaire, I have never had a mansion, never driven a Bentley, never flown on a private jet, never been CEO, supermodel, or a celebrity’s wife, not Oprah, not Beyonce….none of what we define as glamourous and beautiful. What I learned….my passport to happiness starts right within me. It is not determined by my bank account, looks, size, wallet, address, title, or marital status. My passport to happiness may be different from yours, because we are all uniquely made. For me, happiness is gratitude, love (love of myself and for others), giving (giving back), peace, living in a positive state of mind and staying in tune with my Creator. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I’m HAPPY! Happiness is not a destination, it’s about the journey. Happiness is the truth.
I will write more in 2014! I have more stories to tell.
It’s 2013: Are You Going to Make it Extraordinary?
It’s been a long while, since I wrote a post. 2012 flew by at lightning speed, it was an amazing and eventful year in it’s own right. London Olympics, U.S. Presidential election, Costa Condoria cruise ship runs around, Queen Elizabeth’s jubilee celebration, Aurora massacre, protests in Egpyt, Hurricane Sandy, Newtown CT massacre, and Apple becomes the largest company in the World. The loss of so many talented entertainers. There are so many events that made headlines in 2012. For me personally, 2012 was a time of lots of change. New beginnings, new opportunities. I clocked 22,000 miles to Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and to two of my favorite hangouts, Las Vegas and St. Maarten. Life lessons? Money, jobs, and expensive clothes/jewelry/cars/homes do not guarantee happiness or success. Material things come and go. What is most important? Family, friends, good health, pets, following your passions, and being happy.
I leave the lessons and events of 2012 in the past, and begin 2013 with hope, optimism, passion, positive energy, and a strong desire to give more, travel more, and achieve happiness in every area of my life. Yes, 2013 will be extraordinary. Why? Because I will make it extraordinary. I am willing to do whatever it takes to inspire and enrich my life. I end with a quote that I read today from DebnDave (theplanetd.com), “ordinary people can live extraordinary lives.” Everyone has the right to live the best life possible. There is never a better time than the present. Make 2013 extraordinary! Would love to hear your thoughts.
What would the world be missing without you in it?
Time is flying by, it’s almost the end of summer. Summer is my favorite time of year. I love the sun, sandals, BBQs, flowers, outdoor bistros…Where did the time go? I begin today with the question…..What would the world be missing without you in it? Each of us are unique, with our own set of gifts and talents. What would the world be missing without you in it? This is key to understanding what makes YOU authentically YOU, and living with gratitude for who you are, not what you have. As we all know, the material stuff comes and goes, but the authentic self is here to stay. Its family, true friends, and pets that love us unconditionally in this journey called life.
For me personally, my gifts are abundant and still growing as I grow older. I have left my footprints with my photography (what I am most proud of), my global travel experiences (documented here in this blog), my flowers (the love and hard work to make my roses bloom every year in my yard), the friendships I’ve cultivated over time and distance, my love for technology gadgets (everything Apple and sharing with others who want my advice), my love for cupcakes (stories documented on Twitter), my love of live jazz (attending concerts to patronize the contemporay jazz art form), my love of champagne (mimosas keep life interesting), my love and passion for everything Caribbean (my second home and yes I’m Caribbean at heart), my generosity and giving spirit, my thirst for reading and knowledge (articles shared daily on Twitter), and finally my love of aviation/airlines/airplanes (loving being on a plane, taking pictures of planes, watching takeoffs and landings). I have yet to write my story, but I will write a book, one day. So now it’s your turn, what would the world be missing without you in it?
Life Tips: Life Crisis at 40? Now What?
What happens when you turn 40, and realize you’re not living the life you expected?
You are divorced (single and dating at 40+ sucks).
You have no children (and your biological clock is ticking rapidly).
You have been laid off (or want out of your job)!
You don’t own a home.
Your bank account is not registering millions:) (you’re barely paying the bills!)
You don’t have anything tying you to a specific place.
You look in the mirror and yes, you have gray hair.
You aren’t exactly sure what you want out of life, but know what you’ve got isn’t what you want?
What do you do when you realize the life you’re living is not what you envisioned?
Did anyone say tears, burnout, meltdown, mid-life crisis? Or all of the above. What happened to the husband, 2.3 kids, dream job, and white picket fence? So many others are living the American dream, what happened to me?
What do I do with my now and my future?
What I’m doing (present) and what I’ve done up to now (past) is not working….so it’s time to try something new. I realize…if I want my life to change, then I have to…CHANGE…MY…LIFE…No one else is going to do it for me. As Tony Robbins would say, you cannot continue to do the same things and expect different results…Where do I begin?
For me, I begin the journey to life after 40 with an open mind, focusing on life change and career change. Life change started with breathing, having a positive mindset, new travel experiences, trying new things, and meeting new people. Most importantly letting go of all the baggage from the past, along with anyone or anything that does not add value to my life . Career change means letting go of 17 long and stressful years in Corporate America and moving on to something new, fun, and totally different, in a place where my value and ideas are respected and appreciated.
In closing, the road to ending my 40+ life crisis started with accepting it’s OK if my path is different. My life is not any less without the husband, kids, white picket fence, and six figure bank account. My journey is my own, unique and special. I must live my truth and be my authentic self. For now, I am committed to living with passion and purpose, with gratitude for what I have (not focusing on what I don’t have). Every day, I am still learning about me, learning about others, and learning about life. My new motto: Live. Travel. Blog. No regrets! Crisis is over for now!
“Love the life you live, live the life you love.” ~ Bob Marley.
Life Tips: 5 Tips for Living with Self-Confidence
Today, I begin a new day writing about what is important. Living and loving life, with a positive spirit and gratitude. I recently wrote tips about getting your Mojo, or self confidence back….Here are a few things I’ve learned in life that made a huge difference in elevating my self-confidence.
1. Size does not matter. As women, we spend years obsessing over our weight, body shape, and dress size. No more. You are beautiful, regardless of body size, cellulite, or spider veins. The key is to love yourself and your body, and eat healthy regardless of where you are. Weight fluctuates, your love for yourself should not fluctuate with it.
2. Start living your life for you, not for anyone else. This milestone is huge. Do not waste a minute of your precious life worrying about what others think of you. Don’t waste time and energy living or trying to live out others dreams for your life. Be who you really are. Do what you love, do what makes you happy. I wish I had understood this years ago, but I guess with age really does come wisdom:)
3. Stop putting off your life until later – live your life for the present. How many of us put off enjoyable things until a later, more “perfect” time. How many times have you put off things to wait for the slimmer body, to have a boyfriend or spouse, the promotion you’ve been waiting for or more money? Life passes way too quickly to approach each day with that attitude. Now, I’m all about living life for now and enjoying every minute. I don’t want to put anything off.
4. Stop worrying about what you eat – start enjoying all kinds of food. Yes, I said it, do not worry about what you eat. That said, if you have certain medical conditions, then you should follow your doctor’s advice. The key is to eat with balance, and enjoy good food (with some bad food). I love french fries, brownies, and cupcakes, I can still have them in moderation. I also eat more fresh fruits and vegetables regularly.
5. Live with a positive attitude. Life brings hills and valleys, often when we least expect them. The key is the attitude and energy you bring to each day. We attract to us, what we really are. If you’re positive, you will attract good things to you. This is a fact.
In closing, it’s only when I started taking charge of my life – pursuing the things that made me happy and fulfilled instead of the things I thought I should be doing, that I became a whole lot happier with who I am. I love me – extra pounds and inches and all. Satisfaction with our lives, definitely starts within. Life is much too short to put off enjoying a single minute. Would love to hear your take…
Life Tips: Tips for Getting Your “Mojo” Back
It’s time for me to post again…..I begin this morning with a question….Are you loving the life that you live? Is your Mojo up and running? Mojo, for those who may not know, simply means “self confidence” or “self esteem.” Having your mojo allows you to do more, to be your authentic self, and ultimately guides you to a happier life. The past 2 years have been very difficult for many. Our lives have been touched by a stagnant economy, high fuel prices, housing crisis, layoffs, health care uncertainties, and student loans, plus many more issues on an individual level. I’m sure every one knows someone who has been touched by one of these issues.. So I go back to my question, are you loving the life that you have? For me personally, I would have to say that 2011 and 2012 posed some challenges for me, but I finally feel I’m getting my Mojo back. Here are a few tips for getting your Mojo back:
Turn off the extras (TV, Cellphone, Facebook, and Internet)
Give Back (Do Something Good for Someone Else)
Spend time with Family
Travel to a new place
Adopt a pet
Never give up hope!
Spotlight: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life
I begin with a question today, how many of us want to simplify our lives? I recently read a blog post by Ryan Sonnenburg with advice on how to simplify your life…it was a great list and it made me think. We are all so busy, with jobs, school, children, spouses, elderly parents, pets, friends….How do you keep life simple? Here are my top 13:
LET IT GO
TELL THE TRUTH
LIVE WITH LESS
APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE
LEAVE WORK AT WORK
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
DON’T LOOK BACK
NO IS AN OPTION
Life lessons from me to you. Life is short, and my philosophy is to be happy and live life to the fullest. Can you have it all? Yes, emphatically YES. At the end of the day, do you need to have it all to be happy? What I’ve learned….you don’t need to have it all (wealth, privilege, luxury cars, luxury homes, big bank accounts, VP title, spouse, 2.3 kids or the white picket fence) to be happy or to have an extraordinary life. Life is what we make it. Simplify your life.
Life Tips: Are You Living an Extraordinary Life?
Today, I realized that Memorial Day is over, summer has officially begun, and we’re almost six months into 2012 already. So, it’s time for me to write again. Time is passing quickly, and I have started a new journey. The journey towards an extraordinary life. My life has always been full, but never extraordinary. I started to ask the question why? Why should I settle for an ordinary life? From here, I will begin with the question, are you living an extraordinary life? What exactly does that mean? More importantly, how do you get to extraordinary?
An extraordinary life is different for everyone. For some, it may be material. Owning your own business. Making a million dollars or more. Having that dream home. Owning luxury vehicles. For some, it may be less tangible. Growing a garden. Having a successful marriage. Raising amazing and productive children. Securing your dream job. Traveling the world. Ultimately, an extraordinary life is life on your terms. It starts with finding your passion and purpose in life, what you truly want, and what YOU were made for. It means never settling for less than what you can be in life. When you are living an extraordinary life, you will find a greater sense of meaning, not only in what you do, but who you are. So you would ask, how do I get to an extraordinary life? According to peak performance coach Tony Robbins, you need two things: the science of achievement (the ability to take anything you envision and make it real) and the art of fulfillment (this allows you to enjoy every moment).
For me personally, at this moment an extraordinary life means being connected with my Creator, giving 110% effort at everything I do, going the extra mile, sharing, creating, traveling and giving in ways that are meaningful to me and to those I care about. Contributing and giving completely and generously. Embracing love fully – love of myself, the love for God, love for life, and love for others. Lastly, gratitude and appreciation for everything that life has to offer. That definition of extraordinary will likely change as my life changes, as the seasons change.
An extraordinary life cannot happen without achievement and fulfillment. Achievement requires you to have a much higher standard. Demand more from yourself. You must want to be excellent. When your standard is excellence, you get all the rewards and all the impact that come with it. Fulfillment is much more than just feeling good. The only way to be fulfilled is to constantly grow and contribute in a meaningful way to other people and to the world. And, in order to grow, you have to be willing to let go. Growing means letting go of your fears, who you are, setting standards, and challenging yourself to do more and be more. We are all here to support and grow and contribute to one another. An extraordinary life happens when we make sure we maximize our capabilities and gifts as human beings. Living an extraordinary life simply means living on your own terms, at the best and highest level.
In closing, I encourage you to live with a mindset of abundance. Understand that wealth is much more than what’s in our wallets. How we feel is more important than what we have. Living an extraordinary life is a journey, not a destination. It starts with YOU. Never settle. Live life on your terms – doing what you want, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want. I welcome your feedback.
Life Tips: Traveling with Success
I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by, we were just beginning May and now Memorial Day is already upon us. Time is flying, and for me, it is so important to life in the present and make every moment count. Some would argue that this is all motivational BS, but I will tell you that it is not. There is tremendous power in positive thinking. We are taught that what we feed (mind, body, and spirit) will grow. If you want positive results, then that is what you have to stimulate your mind with. Today’s topic is continuing on the theme we last discussed, traveling/living with purpose. On May 20th, Oprah Winfrey gave the commencement address for Spelman College’s 2012 graduation. Here are a few nuggets to ponder:
1) Know who you are and where you’re going.
2) Find a way to SERVE.
3) Always do the right thing! Doing the right thing will alway bring the right things to you.
SERVICE + SIGNIFICANCE = SUCCESS
In closing, I am on a path to finding what success means for me. It is different for each of us. Oprah reminds us, “when you are excellent you become unforgettable.” So today, I push forward towards excellence as my personal brand in everything that I do.
Life Tip: Are You Traveling with Purpose?
For the past two weeks, I have put my all into developing the travelpreneur blog. Today, I will spend some time pondering the question, are you traveling with purpose? Traveling, not just in the literal sense, but moving through life with purpose. This week I attended a leadership conference and left so motivated and inspired to elevate myself, my personal brand, my thinking, and my purpose. There were so many nuggets that I have to share, but the first which struck me most is “Average is Over.” Average is over. Translation, in today’s global economy, we are faced with more challenges, competition, economic crises and uncertainty than ever before. You, meaning all of us, must always bring your “best game” all of the time. It is now more important to do your very best. Why? Because average is no longer acceptable. Extraordinary and phenomenal is now the norm. So I begin with a few treasures from the conference, I hope they will help you as much as they helped me:
1) You have to know your purpose
2) What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
3) You don’t make excuses, find a way to get it done!
4) People who achieve WORK. They do the WORK. They create the WORK. Find the WORK. Make “it” WORK.
5) It is what you do with what you have, that makes you what you are.
6) Leaders are people who care about others and never forget those who care about them.
7) Each of us have something to contribute.
8) Make no apologies for who you are and what you believe!
9) Be open to change!
10) Your personal brand (YOU) is always evolving. (nothing should be stagnant, you have to grow and evolve)
11) Your 9 to 5 job or profession is what you do, but not who you are.
12) Don’t waste any time living out someone else’s vision for what you should be doing!
13) You have to be authentically YOU!
14) If you are truly living in purpose, it is impossible for you to fail!
So, I will ask the question. Are you traveling with purpose? Do you know what you were put on this Earth to do? If not, take the time to find out. Once you know your life purpose, you can travel without failing. On a personal note, I was deeply moved and inspired by the messages of this conference as well as Oprah’s Life Class series on Gratitude. For a very long time, I thought my career defined who I was, but after leaving corporate America I learned quickly that was so not the case. Marketing is what I do, but not who I am. At the end of the day, I am so much more. I am a travelpreneur, blogger, photographer, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, mother of Sammie and lover of dogs, cupcakes, champagne, jazz and flowers. I am still learning my life purpose, I am still working on being authentically me every day, but I will get there. I would love to hear your thoughts.
An Interview with…the Travelpreneur
It’s Monday….the start of another week in paradise….It’s been a really busy weekend filled with friends, food, and a tour of the new International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Today, I will start with a short interview, sharing my background, why I love travel, and why I created the Travelpreneur blog.
More about me….
First off, I am a marketing guru by profession. Travel, photography, and gardening are my passions. I love to travel to unusual destinations and photograph the sights, sounds, and people that I encounter along the way. I also love dogs, cupcakes, chocolate and champagne. I am most inspired when I’m snapping pictures, exploring a new place, or giving back. I recently participated in Oprah’s Gratitude Lifeclass, and it literally changed my life. What I learned….gratitude and appreciation change your world, opening the door to abundance.
Lesson 1: Every breath we take is a gift!
Lesson 2: The reality is…what we have is this moment, with the people you love and the air you breathe.
Lesson 3: Whatever you feed will grow.
Lesson 4: Life happens not TO me, but FOR me.
From this moment forward, I choose to live my life to the fullest every day, being true to who I am, and GIVING! Every day is the best day of my life!
What made me fall in love with travel?
First and foremost, travel opens my mind and nourishes my spirit. Travel allows me to see beyond where I currently am, and what the possibilities are. Infinite possibilities to experience different sights, people, cultures, food, seasons, nature, and languages. Travel also presents the opportunity to have fun, de-stress and rest the body.
In all of my travels, which one place stands out?
A small slice of paradise in the Caribbean called Anguilla changed my life. This tiny island is beautiful, luxurious, exclusive (and expensive), and relaxed. The beaches are unlike anything I’ve experienced before or since. Crystal clear turquoise water, the softest powdery sand, and breathtaking sunsets that make you never want to leave. Top notch resorts and private villas draw celebrities, the likes of Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Derek Jeter, Sandra Bullock, and Brad Pitt have vacationed in Anguilla. Words alone cannot possibly do the island justice, it is a place where you can find peace, tranquility, and privacy. I travel to Anguilla often, have made friends, and call it my second home. More to come on Anguilla.
How did I get into blogging and why?
I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and see places that others just dream about. Travel and photography are my passions, they inspire me. I found myself wanting to share my travels and photos to inspire others to see new places. I started by sharing my photography collection on Facebook and Twitter, and then graduated to blogging in 2011. I switched from blogger to a self-hosted WordPress blog, and started promoting my site with social media for the very first time this month. Blogging is still a work in progress for me, and I am now starting to meet up with other bloggers to grow, learn, and improve.
What is my best Travel tip?
Bring a good attitude and an open mind for every trip. Every new place you visit is unique and special in its own way. Be open….experience and learn more about the local food, music, artwork, entertainment, and customs.