Keeping Aware of Travel Scam & Hustle

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Keeping Aware of Travel Scam & Hustle

Travel Scams.png

Scams that rip off tourists are common. Travel long enough and you’ll find yourself the intended victim of at least one of these travel scams that I fell for strictly for the purposes of research to help you out, Dear Travel Buddy, because, I mean, who needs to keep all their money anyway.

Taken

In Thailand I was taken by a tuk tuk driver. To a jewellery store. See, it’s common practice around Phuket, Thailand to hire a tuk tuk to take you to your destination, only to have the driver first stop off at a jewellery store or tailor shop so you can look around. Against your will.

Most people don’t mind this if they’ve already come to expect it. I was prepared for this to happen. The driver pulled in front of the store and motioned for me to go in. When I walked in, the salesladies greeted me and asked me if I wanted to buy some earrings. I was in the market for a necklace, so I looked around the display cases. But I didn’t see anything I wanted, so I turned and bowed a little to the ladies and walked out the door.

The tuk tuk driver and I smiled at each other and we started moving. I thought we were on our way to my hotel. But he stopped at another store. He turned to me and said “You didn’t stay long enough minutes for me to get commission.”

I didn’t know there was a 10 minute minimum.

I wasn’t in a hurry, and I actually did want a necklace. So I went into store #2 and repeated the process but at a slower pace. I still didn’t buy, but my driver seemed satisfied and took me home.

Do the Right Thing

Saigon, Vietnam is hot. With humidity that makes wiping away the sweat totally pointless. If you tried to re-enact the scene from Do the Right Thing where Mookie rubs ice cubes on Tina, you’d fail. The ice would be completely melted before you left the kitchen.

 

Now Vietnam has delicious street food. I stumbled on a street cart selling Bahn Mi sandwiches with a line 6 locals deep. This was the Sal’s of the East, and I was eating here no matter what. I got in line and waited for my turn for deliciousness. The lady in front of me ordered the exact sandwich  I wanted. Pork paté with a fried egg on top. She handed the vendor 10,000 Vietnamese Dong (around 50 cents) and he gave her change back. I couldn’t tell if it was 1000 or 2000, but I figured with the “tourist tax” that’s illegally but commonly charged, my sandwich would be closer to 20,000 dong. I was prepared to pay that price no problem.

The sandwich man cut open my baguette, fried the pork and an egg, and piled the vegetables onto my sandwich. He wrapped it in paper and sealed it in a plastic bag. Then as I took the sandwich from him, he sad “Ninety.”

I don’t speak Vietnamese. I at first assumed he had made a mistake with his English. I said “Do you mean nine?” as I handed him a 20,000 dong bill. He said “No, ninety.”

***The travel life lessons continue. Hop over to Stephanie's corner of the internet for the rest of your Hustle avoiding tips. Click Here*** 

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Target Asia - 6 Asian Destinations To Add To Your Travel Bucket List

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Target Asia - 6 Asian Destinations To Add To Your Travel Bucket List

*This is an affiliate post via Casey Barnes*

For something different from the typical beach getaway, take the family away to somewhere unique. Asia boasts some of the most exciting and stunning locations on the planet, regardless of whether it’s a bustling city or a secluded island. Here are six of the best Asian destinations your whole family is sure to enjoy.

Jaipur, India

Image via India.com

Image via India.com

You may not have even heard of it, but Jaipur is one of India’s must-sees. A lavish city full of gorgeous architecture and rich culture, you’ll find it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of things to do. There’s something for all the family, too – whereas the parents may enjoy touring the Palace of Mirrors in the Amber Fort, the little ones will be eager to tour the abundance of street food stalls available in the city.

It’s in Jaipur that you’ll be able to experience one of the most genuine cultural moments, too – by staying in the home of a local family. Here, you’ll have a unique experience. Homestays in India are best described asimmersive, as you're likely to get cooking lessons (so you’ll be able to make some of that aforementioned street food for yourself) and come together with families and friends in the community in the evening, who will share stories that will intrigue both you and the kids.

Kuta, Bali

Image via Youtube

Image via Youtube

Bali is usually a considered a tranquil getaway for the traveler looking to head off the beaten track, but Kuta offers something much different. It has quickly become a hotspot for tourists – especially families – that offers a harmonious balance between natural calmness and vibrant energy. For example, sitting by the beautiful beach is one of Asia’s best waterparks. Waterbom Bali is a must visit for any family looking to have some pure, unadulterated fun.

There’s also the opportunity to try your hand at surfing. Kuta’s waters are renowned for their perfect conditions, so why not let the little ones try their hand at something unique? That’s not to say Kuta is all fun and games, though – take a step back and explore the two famed temples in the city, both equally as stunning and offering a wealth of historical value.

Tokyo, Japan

Image via Groupon

Image via Groupon

You’ll find Tokyo will become a sprawling playground – and it’s not just for the children. It’s easy to become immersed in the neon lights of the city center, where technology is king and multi-storey gadget stores tower on every street. Yamada-Denki LABI is one example. It’s not only one of the best gadget shops in Tokyo, but it’s housed in a huge red and white building in the Sotokanda district with its tubed escalators on the side of the building giving the impression of a huge hamster cage.

Tokyo is full of these eccentricities – there’s an abundance of strange cafes in the city for you to dine in, too. These range from the increasingly popular cat cafes (which are now popping up all over the world) to the N3331 café, sandwiched between two train tracks. Here you’ll be able to enjoy a beverage whilst watching commuters zoom past all day long. You might get bored, but this will be one of the fascinating things your kids will ever see in their lives.

Bangkok, Thailand

Via Youtube

Via Youtube

For an introduction to a city that’s full to the brim of vibrant culture, look no further than Bangkok. You’ll find incredible experiences on both sides of the Chao Phraya River – as well as upon it – and they’re all as suited to you as they are to the little ones. Take the Grand Palace, for example. There’s plenty of glorious architecture to be struck by here at the former residence of the country’s Kings, and the kids will be satisfied enough with that fact.

In the evening, consider cruising down the aforementioned Chao Phraya River. It’s an unforgettable experience being able to sail through the city and see the majestic landmarks that stand on the water’s edge. It’s a luxury that you’ll all likely never forget. The experience was even impressive enough to convince an anti-Bangkok traveler he’d been wrong all along about the city.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Via Vietnam-guide.com

Via Vietnam-guide.com

For a more peaceful and relaxed family holiday than the usual, Hanoi is the place to go. The Vietnam capital doesn’t feel much like a capital at all –it’s serene and laidback, and you’re able to go with the flow and explore at your own pace. The HoanKiem Lake is a perfect spot to take a quiet stroll, and let the atmosphere wash over you as the breeze flows between the giant trees.

If the kids are looking for something a bit upbeat, Hanoi isn’t completely void. The Vinpearl Water Park sits in the center of the city inside a shopping mall like a hidden paradise –colourful slides intertwine amongst cascading water features to create an unrestricted haven for the little ones. For something a bit more creative, head to Bat Trang Ceramic Village, where you’ll be able to try your hand at crafting your own ceramic products. These little peculiarities make for an intoxicating city full of wonder.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Via Planetware.com

Via Planetware.com

Head to Western Asia (also technically the tip of Middle East) for a true taste of luxury. Dubai is perhaps the most quickly-developed city in the world, with towering skyscrapers and lavish resorts seemingly appearing by the day. The feats of engineering here are breathtaking – the BurjKhalifa sits in the center of it all, boasting the title of the tallest building in the entire world. Next to it lays the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world, where you’ll likely spend all day exploring its attractions – including the immense aquarium.

Perhaps the most alluring attractions in Dubai are the Palm Islands, the three manmade islands that are instantly recognizable. The Atlantis hotel, residing on Palm Jumeriah, is the place to go – a monumental hotel that is as costly as it is luxurious, you’ll also find the Aquaventure waterpark here. It’s safe to say your inner child will be unleashed as you discover the incredibly unique and thrilling attractions awaiting you.

 

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Nomads in Koh Samui

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Nomads in Koh Samui

*This is an affiliate post by Sandra James*

Digital nomads looking for perfect destinations to work and travel often make their choice between the best Thai islands and Koh Samui is among the most demanded places. Gone are the days when Koh Samui was just a small fishing community framed by white sandy beaches, coral reefs and palm trees. Today it’s one of the best vocation destinations for travelers all over the world.  Despite the locals here you can see a cosmopolitan mix of independent budget travelers that prefer staying there for a couple of months. Some even buy homes and condos and live for years. Many celebrities have their private villas on this luxurious island. However, we are here to discover Koh Samui for independent travelers including nomads. Let’s go!

 

So, even if you are not working online just keep reading, as it’s really useful to know about nice cafés to sip a coffee and upload your holiday pictures with a good wi-fi connection in Thailand’s best island.

When and Why

One of the most frequently asked questions about Koh Samui is why and when should you visit there. Of course Thailand is a tropical country and it’s sunny almost all year round but there are rainy months of winter that you may avoid if you want to enjoy the sun, the soft and shiny sand along with the stunning water of the sea. Thus, the driest months are from December to February where prices tend to peak. If you come after February, you may find lower prices. March and April are still amazing months to choose for this destination but the perfect choice is of course summer. It goes without saying that September tends to be warm yet very subtle at the same time. All in all you can travel to Koh Samui whenever you want depending on your interests, nomad lifestyle and preferences.

 

Cafés and Restaurants

As for cafés and restaurants to chill out or work most of them have wi-fi connection with some exceptions. Actually the speed of the internet connection is very fast and the only reason why it can lose its power may be the bad weather. The following cafés are perhaps the best for nomads; Coffee Club in Chaweng, June Art Café in Bohput and Nathon, Coffee Cup in Bang Rak, Black Canyon Coffee and Sunset Café in Bang Rak.

 

Getting Around The way you choose to get there depends on your country but the fact is that it’s a simple issue to deal with. Just when you arrive make sure you have already booked a Koh Samui villa before your arrival. It makes your trip much productive and saves both money and time. It’s quite easy navigating around Koh Samui.Compact and cozy driving around the whole island will take 1-3 hours depending on your means of transport. According to the majority of tourists you really cannot get lost as there is only one single main road around the coast of the island. However, the heart of the island is covered by dense rainforest and a mountainous landscape.

Getting Around

The way you choose to get there depends on your country but the fact is that it’s a simple issue to deal with. Just when you arrive make sure you have already booked a Koh Samui villa before your arrival. It makes your trip much productive and saves both money and time. It’s quite easy navigating around Koh Samui.Compact and cozy driving around the whole island will take 1-3 hours depending on your means of transport. According to the majority of tourists you really cannot get lost as there is only one single main road around the coast of the island. However, the heart of the island is covered by dense rainforest and a mountainous landscape.

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Dating a Frequent Flyer

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Dating a Frequent Flyer

When part of your monthly routine is jet-setting around the globe, there is often a sacrifice in the realm of socializing, more specifically, dating. Nomadness member Victoria shares her experience trying to balance these two aspects of life. Take a look below at your story.

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Traveling the world can appear fabulous to many. Pictures of exploration and thrill seeking seem appealing.  Many question your free spirit or even idolize you for doing what seems to be the impossible. You seem untouchable or even unapproachable because of your passion and lust for life beyond the norm. As exciting as making your travel dreams come true, you start to wonder if it backfires in other aspects. I can only speak for myself, but from experience, people have praised me for my wanderlust spirit and doing wild excursions in foreign lands, however, that same praise can become the very reason your personal relationships don’t prosper. Which then left me with the question of is it me or them? Being a female traveler the same thing that attracts men to you seem to be the very thing that separates you. Many guys have been intrigued and want to join you on your quest until they feel like they can’t keep up with your urge to be gone. But are they wrong for feeling this way? No, I definitely don’t think so. However, are you wrong for wanting to be on a plane every 6 weeks? No, I don’t think so. So what’s the happy medium for the two? Do you only date someone that shares the same free spirit you possess? Does that limit your options for finding a partner? Is it a turn off to date someone who can’t sit still? Is it a turn off that they don’t want to travel ? Trust me all of these thoughts have swirled through my brain multiple times.

A few years ago, met a new guy and we had great conversation over the phone which lead to a specific comment to this day I can’t forget. At the time I hadn’t earned my first passport stamp and my heart longed to be thousands of miles away. Expressing this dream he quickly shot it down. “Girl, you do too much, just chill out and stay in America.” Those words echoed in my brain for the longest time. It literally made question myself like am I doing too much ?

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Does this sound familiar? Visit Victoria at VictoriasXcape.com to find out how she addresses this issue of travel vs dating.

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Travelling around South East Asia: Top Tips

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Travelling around South East Asia: Top Tips

*This is an affiliate post by Liza Wallace*

Southeast Asia is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. It’s hardly surprising when you consider the beautiful beaches, tropical climate and once-in-a-lifetime experiences on offer. Indeed, traveling to new places opens your eyes to new opportunities and adventures you just wouldn’t have at home.

At the same time, it also can expose you to new risks and. As with any locale, Southeast Asia does have its local pitfalls that travelers can get themselves into. To ensure your trip goes smoothly, we’ve got some top tips. Check them out:

1.      Be aware of the local hustles

Travelers are often so caught up in the beauty of the land that we fall for the tricks opportunistic locals. Some may try and take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the region. Before you travel, it’s worth reading up on common scams that trick travelers in Southeast Asia. Examples include Tuk Tuk tours in Bangkok, where you’ll end up feeling pressured into paying for knock-off goods, and friendly locals who’ll invite you to do something and leave you with the hefty bill. Knowledge is power and common sense goes a long way to ensuring a good time.  

2.      Don’t fear street food

When your food is cooked on the side of a street, it’s understandable to be a bit wary. But in Southeast Asia, you’ll have some of your best meals this way. As an insider tip, choose the stalls with the biggest queues of locals and where the food is cooked fresh in front of your eyes. That way, you don’t need to worry about any health scares.

3.      Avoid animal attractions

Getting a photograph with a tiger, or riding an elephant – we’ve all seen the photographs of travelers enjoying themselves. A sad reality is that not all of these animals are getting the best treatment.  Here are some excellent alternatives to animal street shows. At these various attractions you know the animals are receiving great care, so consider things such as elephant sanctuaries for your wildlife experiences.

4.      Be smart with your money

You’ll probably have to change up money at some point during your trip. As stated before, going in with the knowledge of currency exchange rates beforehand keeps you from getting short changed during exchanges.

5.      Get insured

Accidents can and do happen. When you’re traveling in Asia, it’s likely you’ll take part in some slightly risky activities. If something did go wrong, it could cost you a lot of money if you needed to be treated in hospitals. Estimates are around $5,500 for hospital treatment in Vietnam for injuries resulting from motorbike crash, and $2,000 rabies vaccination and treatment for a monkey bite in Bali. Give yourself one less thing to worry about by getting some travel insurance.

6.     Prepare for the strange feeling when you get home

Believe it or not, there are some downsides to traveling in the region. Once you’ve experienced the amazing way of life as you travel from one buzzing city to a peaceful beach, life at home doesn’t seem the same. You’ll long for some authentic street food, the fresh sea freeze or even the company of staying in a hostel dorm.

Have you traveled to Southeast Asia before? Feel free to share your experiences with us.

 

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Five Mindset Shifts You Must Make To Visit Every Country In The World

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Five Mindset Shifts You Must Make To Visit Every Country In The World

The core of Nomadness existence is the idea of beating down stereotypes and negative preconceived notions about what travel looks like for various people. It may be an idea based around race, gender, financial status, whatever. Tribe member Michaela Hall shares with us her tackling of the views meant to hold travelers back. Take a peep and enjoy. 

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A ginormous number of people don’t travel.

It’s not that they can’t travel.

They’re held back by their own personal beliefs. The way they think about the world and themselves keeps them from chasing their dreams.

Thankfully, their negative beliefs aren’t true.

The shift from a restrictive mindset to an empowering mindset is possible if you’re ready to upgrade your travel life. The result is a renewed sense of power and a ton of passport stamps.

Here are five limiting beliefs that keep you from traveling and how to get rid of them.

You Don’t Believe It’s Possible

I would passionately argue that the passport is the best thing since sliced bread. And while we know how useful sliced bread is (what is childhood without PB&J), it wasn’t always obvious.

In fact, when sliced bread was first introduced, no one cared. They couldn’t see the benefit.

It took the right person, saying the right things to demonstrate the endless possibilities offered by bread slices. People need to experience the greatness of this innovation before embracing it with open arms. The results have been delicious!

Some people understand the benefits of traveling without the hard sell.

They’ve developed a case of wanderlust that pushes them across the world, with pauses just long enough to inspire us on social media. Their jaw-dropping photos and unbelievable tales have taken travel to the next level.

Other people need convincing. Many don’t know what’s out there and aren’t motivated to find out. Some don’t believe they could ever be the person taking a safari selfie in Kenya.

The key to getting everything you want is knowing without a doubt it can happen.

Conquering your bucket list is possible. So is visiting every country in the world. You must reprogram your mindset to believe you can do it.

How To Be Invincible:

The first twenty minutes of your day is paramount.

First, you woke up which means you’re able to keep moving towards your dreams.

Second, your brain is most receptive to anything you see or hear. Don’t start the day listening to news full of murder and mayhem. Listen to motivational videos of people who have achieved greatness.

Quote positive affirmations that reinforce your desires and repeat them often. Until they become a reality.

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This is just the start of Michaela breaking down opposing travel views. Visit her full post here for more! [Click Here]

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Wanderlust- Everyone that wanders can’t be in your travel squad!

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Wanderlust- Everyone that wanders can’t be in your travel squad!

Travel is an amazing aspect of life and it's even better when you can share that with those closest to you. Unfortunately, everyone you know may not be the ideal travel companion. Tiffany Heard breaks it down with 10 travel types you may encounter and some advice to prepare for interaction with them. Can you relate?

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I love to travel with my girlfriends but every friend you have can’t be your traveling buddy. Let me know if you can identify any of your friends in this travel squad.

1. Ms. I’ll pay you back when I get my check next week.
This friend is always ready to book a trip. The problem is, she has to wait for her unemployment or tax return check before she can pay for her flight. When you reach your destination, she only orders an appetizer and water hoping you will share your food. She will find something that she doesn’t like about the restaurant. This is done in order to avoid paying a tip. Before the trip is complete, she will run out of money and ask to borrow $50, knowing that she can’t repay you until 2 weeks later.

Advice: Inform her in advance that she may starve or be forced to stay in the room if she does not spend her money wisely. You do not have extra funds to loan her.

2. Ms. I love Bae so Much.

You are planning an all-girls trip and she wants to bring her boyfriend. You tell her,” No, we are not bringing sand to the beach”. While on vacation she calls and Facetime’s her boyfriend ever couple hours. At the day party, she refuses to engage with any other males and appears bothered that anyone would dare try to talk to her. She wants to go back to the room early to call him before he goes to bed.

Advice: Leave her at home and tell her to plan a trip with bae next time.

3. Ms. I’m on my way but doesn’t arrive for another 45 minutes.
This is the friend who you call several times to make sure they are on their way. They often arrive an hour before the plane is scheduled for departure. When it is time to leave the hotel room, they take the longest shower, has to apply a full face of makeup and takes their time leaving the room, having everyone waiting for them to arrive to go to the next destination. When it’s time to go out at night, everyone has to wait for her because she has to pick out the perfect outfit, iron and do her hair.
Advice: Remind her that the crew will leave her if she is not ready at the designated time.

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You see the first 3, there are 7 more travel types in Tiffany's Travel Squad break down. Visit the full post for the entire list! [Click Here]

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Bali – Doing The Most On Borrowed Time!

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Bali – Doing The Most On Borrowed Time!

Elisia Brown takes us along on her trip to Bali. Pressed for time she makes the most of the experience. Take a peek at how her journey begins...

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Is there a single word in the English language which describes missing a place you’ve never been to? Portuguese has Saudade, a kind of melancholic yearning for an absent thing that may never return, but that’s not quite the same as this. I felt it for Havana, Marrakech, Shanghai and Bangkok. The feeling is palpable: nostalgia and a sense of urgency. Spiritual? Maybe.

My own Saudade resulted in me booking a plane ticket to Bali a couple of weeks later. You don’t wait for these things to pass; you act on it.

Ubud

Sunday 29th

After 6 hours from London to Qatar, then a further 8 hours to Bali, my friend and I landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport 5:40pm local time. Wayan (owner of our B&B) kindly greeted us with a sign and was gracious not to recoil at my 14 hour body odour. First time I’ve ever felt economy class was a bad decision [my mate trotted off to her surprise upgrade…]

Dinner that evening consisted of a Balinese speciality: crispy duck (pescetarian diet temporarily out the window) and toiletary shopping. Nothing sexy and exciting. Tired and ready to go to our place in Ubud. Traveller’s delirium couldn’t mask my deep sense of gratitude for being there, though. I was in Bali and I was determined to make the most of my short time here.

Monday 30th

Morning

Our first full day in Ubud. Continental breakfast eaten on a balcony overlooking the plush green fields facing the back of the property and a chance to see our new digs in the daylight…

Breathtaking. The property sits in a village called Mas: three properties in a compound, a gallery and a mini shrine.

We  were dropped off to the centre of Ubud for shopping shortly after. We had no real idea of the value of market items, but we later discovered most things like necklaces and tops could be haggled to RP15,000–RP30,000 without offending the shop owner.

Boutiques, temples and the heavy aroma of incense. Strolling lead to peckishness (naturally), which lead us to Clear Cafe; a beautiful art décor restaurant with traditional floor seating, an impressive water feature on the ground floor, bamboo flooring and a fireman pole (as you do). Clear Cafe attracts a lot of expats/yogis and expat yogis with its extensive organic/raw food options and traditional/international cuisine. I opted for tuna satay with sambal (spicy mixed pepper sauce and veg), boiled rice and peanut sauce priced at RP60,000. Decent portion size. Absolutely delicious.

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Curioushow the remainder of her vacation went? Hop over to Elisia's site for the full Bali Post!. [Click Here]

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Sometimes Taking a Detour Is Worth It

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Sometimes Taking a Detour Is Worth It

When it's time to decide on a travel destination we often turn to a few resources. We check attraction sites, view guides and get word of mouth from those with experience in those locations. Wouldn't it be great to get that level of insight combined with the mobility to keep your day moving? That's where Detour enters the picture. This app lays out a pretty cool service for the info seeking travelers. Instead of your basic city overviews for tourists, Detour breaks down the city into its respective neighborhoods and districts told from the perspective of select travelers.

From hidden bars to the best place to view the sunset, you'll get real first person intel about the city. Going to New York City? You can dive into audio testimonies about Soho, Times Square, The Bronx and much, much more.   

**Try The Free Detour App Here**

**Try The Free Detour App Here**

Detour really humanizes the concept of tour guides in a way that's long overdue. With a solid wave of new cities constantly being added to the app, I'm looking forward to the new content. Even if you're not planning to visit a place right now the info alone is valuable. Honestly, I hope that some of the Tribe will one day add to the voices Detour is sharing with the world.

Take a moment and get the new Detour app. Won't cost you anything to try it out. I think you'll be as impressed as I as. [CLICK HERE]

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L’Ancienne Maison James Baldwin - Sud de France [The old home of James Baldwin - in the South of France]

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L’Ancienne Maison James Baldwin - Sud de France [The old home of James Baldwin - in the South of France]

During her travels Nomadness member Pearl Ramsey had the pleasure of visiting the France home of the Great James Baldwin. From poetry to social activism, there are few individuals whose names ring with the respect and accomplishment of Baldwin. Pearl has opened up her images from her time in France to share a glimpse into the life of the great James Baldwin. Take a peak below then you can see all the images via Pearl's personal site.

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...With immense gratitude and overdue veneration I, present the photos taken (with my Samsung Galaxy S4 in 2013- an expedition self-intiated) from the half-demolished house of this great American Author, Poet, Playwright, Social Critic, Essayist, Literary and Civil rights icon, MONSIEUR JAMES BALDWIN in Saint Paul de Vence, France. He, a mirror scribing the supreme delusions of a White prioritized Western culture on carbon resisted skin. Carbon inflicted dreams -- deferred. Yet and still... Carbon ineluctably carve out history like the diamonds they always were. 

20130915_115152[1].jpg

 

His words, for me, are priceless treasures. Not forgotten and least not for long. Because Father (yes, Father) Baldwin hadn't planned to disappear into omission or a his or her story written about him. He authored his biography and wrote theirs. It was a picturesque America without coloring, additives and preservatives. He told it just as he lived. And he did. Live present and more humane than any Constitutional claims America could make of human. He wrote his way to liberty. It was just not for all. 

It was surreal the choked desolation and the intricately chosen isolation he called home in his final years. Agog to explore this morass of memories still fertile in the air. I wore it like a blanket. He was as his words -- still here. I could duly pay my respects.

 

To begin, I lived in Nice now and could feel straightaway the deep affinity the French had for Black Americans, our music, struggles, leaders, and activism, actually this was a common thread in my experience throughout the world. Though skin tone and sexuality are still a benchmark for social graces and human exchanges thanks to colonial branding and religious oppression, but there is much to be said about the warmth of a smile and heart that speaks to our more gentler nature should it exist. I'm fortunate that I rarely encounter such overt violations to my person but, I'm always aware of a difference that makes all the difference. In most cases I can appreciate it.

Though skin tone and sexuality are still a benchmark for social graces and human exchanges thanks to colonial branding and religious oppression, but there is much to be said about the warmth of a smile and heart that speaks to our more gentler nature should it exist. I'm fortunate that I rarely encounter such overt violations to my person but, I'm always aware of a difference that makes all the difference. In most cases I can appreciate it.

***We don't want to give away too much so please click here to see Pearl's experience at the Baldwin home in it's entirety.*** 

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Tribe Meets Black History In South London's Black Cultural Archive

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Tribe Meets Black History In South London's Black Cultural Archive

Black culture stretches all across the world. Often times you'd be surprised just where you find it. Nomadness member Colleen Williams shares her recent travels to the UK's first national Black Heritage Center. Take a glimpse of her experience below.

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The Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton, South London was established in 1981 by educationalist and historian Len Garrison to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to culture, society and heritage of the UK’s black history.

I visited the Black Cultural Archives on a Saturday afternoon as part of a staycation in my adopted city of London, UK. Located near to Ritzy Cinema in Brixton the Black Cultural Archives is the UK’s first national black heritage centre.

Spread across two floors including the archives, visitors can explore a range of exhibits. These include documents from the Empire Windrush of 1948, one of the first large groups of post-war West Indian immigrants to the United Kingdom, carrying 492 passengers from Jamaica to London.

Whilst the venue is small, the exhibits are well presented to document the Black Cultural Archives mission to record, preserve and celebrate history. I spent three hours browsing the exhibits, reading every single document that I could find.

****Read Colleen's full post here****  

 

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The Breakdown - Trump Immigrant Ban & The Future of Travel

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The Breakdown - Trump Immigrant Ban & The Future of Travel

Less then 30 days into the Era of Trump and Obama's successor has wasted no time to begin destroying the credibility of the United States. Via Executive order Donald Trump held fast to one of his must divisive promises and banned countless folks from entering the nation. As the judicial branch of government fights to beat back Trumps order. Nomadness' own BarrisTourista bka Tyra shares some detailed legal analysis of what Trump's Ban means now and going forward.

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I am BarrisTourista. The “barris” portion is for barrister, or lawyer. But I am by no means an expert in immigration law. So I called upon one of my attorney colleagues, Lindsay Toczylowski, the Executive Director of Immigration Defenders Law Center (http://www.immdef.org/). She was on the front lines this past weekend, spearheading the efforts at LAX to get detainees— including children—released from custody even after a federal judge ordered that they could not be held. Her weekend was long and her devoted passion to ensure the rights of immigrants has long been documented even before this weekend. So we asked her to weigh in on the recent legal issues that have arisen and what they mean for travelers.

Immigrant Defenders Law Center is a next-generation social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against systemic injustices in the legal system. We envision a future where no immigrant will be forced to face immigration court alone. Our programs are a last step towards the long-term goal of providing universal representation to all immigrants facing deportation. We provide deportation defense representation to approximately 700 adults and children annually. Since the executive order was signed last week, our attorneys have been on the ground at LAX trying to help affected travelers and families.

What is the situation with the Executive Order regarding immigrants that was just signed?

Trump signed the “Muslim Ban” Executive Order on Friday, January 27. The order prohibits immigrant and nonimmigrant entries to the United States of individuals from the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days. Further, the order states that the U.S. will not be receiving any refugees from any country for the next 120 days.

Since the 27th, travelers, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and others have been trying to understand its implications as it was signed without clear directives to affected federal government agencies. Because there was no warning, many travelers were stuck after learning of the order after travel had already commenced. There has been mass confusion at airports across the world. There has also been confusion regarding whether this applies to legal permanent residents returning from trips abroad, and the messages coming from DHS, the White House, and others have been contradictory.

How will this order affect travelers internationally?

If you are a national from one of the 7 affected countries, advocates are recommending you do not leave the U.S., as it is likely you will not be able to return while this ban is in effect. This is also true for anyone currently living in the U.S. as a refugee, regardless of their country of origin. Further, it is clear from the language of the order that the number of countries designated as “detrimental to the interest of the United States” may increase, and there are leaked “draft” executive orders circulating the internet that indicate this may be imminent. Therefore, for those in the United States who are nationals of any Muslim-majority country, international travel is risky at this time as it is unknown when Trump may sign another executive order and expand the list of affected countries.

What are the repercussions of this order that some people may not be contemplating but could arise in the future?

This ban sends an official message of exclusion of Muslims from entering the country and Trump is masking that bigoted message behind “national security concerns.” Also, by banning refugee entrants at a time when there is a refugee crisis in Syria, the U.S. is turning our backs on those who need it most at the time when the situation is most critical. This will not make us safer, and sadly will likely make us more vulnerable in the future.

The ACLU has gotten an emergency stay of Trump’s order? What does that mean for immediate travelers and those traveling in the near future?

There is a lot of litigation happening simultaneously and stays and TROs have been granted in various jurisdictions. Here is a good clearinghouse that is cataloging all of the suits: https://www.clearinghouse.net/featuredCase.php?id=40

One major issue is that even in light of the stays issued, it is unclear that DHS, and particularly Customs and Border Protection (CBP), are abiding by the Judge’s orders. There has been a complete stonewalling of communication from the agencies to attorneys working in the airports, and because of that we have no way to monitor compliance. The potentiality of agencies ignoring or only selectively following federal judge’s decisions and stays raises real concerns about the rule of law in the U.S. during this administration. What we saw this weekend in terms of confusion within the government agencies, and at times defiance of the Judge’s orders, is truly frightening and unprecedented.

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It's getting real out there so it's vital to arm yourself with knowledge. Hop over to Tyra's site for the full post on this latest travel development.

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Travel To The Center of Yourself - Spiritual Growth through Travel

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Travel To The Center of Yourself - Spiritual Growth through Travel

Travel effects us all in different ways. Throughout the Tribe you'll encounter different views on what travels means, the role it has in people's lives and numerous ways travels has drastically changed lives. Nomadness Tribe member Zya shares an incredibly personal travel tales with. Below you can read her journey through Southeast Asia.

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Spiritual growth is a bumpy journey to your truest self sans religion. It’s a freedom that has nothing to do with materialism and everything to do with refreshing and engaging your soul from the outside in. — Psychic Zya.

This, in all honesty, is how I personally define spiritual growth.

In my opinion this growth, this expansion, is especially accelerated by traveling to places that are vastly different from your native culture hence the explosion of development I experienced while backpacking in Southeast Asia for over four months.

Because let’s be real: when you’re from the U.S. or the West in general, going to a resort in Miami versus traveling through a rapidly developing part of the world are two completely different types of travel.

One luxuriates in what a Westerner knows and is comforted by; the other destroys every notion of a Western ideal, thus catapulting you into a state of trusting your intuition more often while paradoxically letting your guard down as you stare and stumble in awe and wonder at the scenes, sights, smells, and tastes you encounter.

Much like a child.

This is the childlike state of being that sets the stage for spiritual growth. – Psychic Zya

While I can’t guarantee results for everyone, I will say that the following are just three of the beautiful and dynamic ways that the enchanting countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia grabbed ahold of my heart chakra and gently opened it up, petal by petal.

Southeast Asia Forced Me To Ditch Western Culture:

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Sopping heat, foreign languages, motorbikes hosting families of four, delicious (though sometimes bizarre) dishes, and a daily game of charades to make myself understood certainly made me ditch any notions of “Western” anything. This constant cultural dance kept me on my travel A-game while forcing me to really get to know myself on a whole ‘nother level, trusting, honing, and relying on my intuition like never before. I loved every minute of it, even when I didn’t think I did.

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It only gets deeper as Zya takes us on her Asian adventure and personal journey. Check her full story out here!!

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FROM DEPRESSION TO LIVING MY DREAMS

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FROM DEPRESSION TO LIVING MY DREAMS

Nomadness is never lacking for inspirational life stories. Mable Taplin shares her personal tale of Depression and how she reestablished herself in this powerful blog. Take a look at some of her experience below.

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The last couple of days have been surreal! I have been moving this year! When I sat still long enough to reflect that I traveled to 30 countries on 6 continents in 354 days, I was overwhelmed with gratitude!!

I wanted to share how I funded my Round the world trip. Learn how I saved $30,000. 30 countries on 6 continents in 354 days! This trip literally gave me life!

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year!  In fact, I am one of those people that would put up a Christmas tree in September if I knew that my family and friends would not harass me.  I love everything about Christmas, the decorations, singing Christmas carols, giving gifts, Santa Claus, watching old Christmas movies…. I mean everything. I’m getting distracted just thinking about it.

However, the Christmas season of 2014 was quite different.  I did not have my usual over zealous excitement about Christmas.  Yes, I put up a tree, but I neither hosted nor attended one party. I bought very few gifts and I was sleeping more than usual.  I struggled getting out of bed everyday for several weeks.

I lay awake many nights pondering what was wrong with me. I could not understand why I could not get into the Christmas spirit.  I could no longer ignore that I was not happy with my life.  I did not like the long hours I worked at my 6-figure corporate job. I felt socially stagnant and the Chicago winters were killing me.  I was over going to the same social events seeing the same people.  And I really didn’t look forward to the obtuse commentary from my family at family gatherings about my single status.   I was stressing about everything.  I felt like I desperately needed a change.

So, I began to revisit the dream that I had in my twenties of living outside of the United States.  I asked myself many questions:  How am I going to move?  How much will it cost?  Where will I go? What will I pack?  What will I do with my stuff?  What am I going to do when I get there?

Well, I answered all of these questions and more.  As of this blog post, I have traveled to 29 countries this year!  This has been the most exciting and fulfilling time of my life.  I AM LIVING MY DREAMS!  Many people have asked me how I did it so I’m finally slowing down enough to share. 

 

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You can visit Mable's site here to see her full post which is jam packed with details about what she did and how she efficiently made it happen.

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Palawan Honeymoon!!!

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Palawan Honeymoon!!!

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There are many reason to see the world. You can be seeking personal discovery, new business ventures, any number of things but there is definitely an extra special the love linked celebration that is a Honeymoon. Eve Kim shares her Honeymoon experience on the beautiful island of Palawan. If this is your first time hearing of this gem. Check out Eve's feedback and add this Philippine isle to your travel list.

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The first thing we did was book our couples massage for the next day. After getting settled in our private villa, we walked around the island, had an early dinner and went to bed early.

The next morning, we enjoyed our awesome, outdoor aromatherapy massages side by side and felt refreshed, rejuvenated and ready for our second day on the island.

For the next few days, we went snorkeling and kayaking, rode bikes, and played table tennis. We rented a private boat and went island hopping to Cowrie and Starfish Islands. The private boat was just $40 for the day. 

If we had more time, we would have definitely gone to the El Nido Islands (4-6 hours away from Puerto Princesa). We would have also spent time at Sabang Beach and the underground river near the Puerto Princesa airport. I would suggest that people take a one week – two week vacation to really enjoy the different activities in these areas.

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Click here to see Eve's full Honeymoon recap with a more detail into how much Palawan would cost you to take in all this wonderful island has to offer.   

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6 WAYS TO BEAT YOUR PANIC ATTACKS WHILE FLYING

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6 WAYS TO BEAT YOUR PANIC ATTACKS WHILE FLYING

With the arrival of the new year many of us have our list of major acts we're wishing to accomplish. Travel is a big one for a lot of people but quite a few of us suffer from fear and anxiety towards the actual act of travel, specifically flying. Deana Bobbi wants to see folk confront and beat their issues with flying. She's got quite a list of methods for the job so take a look below for some solid advice. 

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There is no worse feeling then wanting to do something really bad, but being horribly afraid that you won't ever be able to do it.

That's exactly how I felt about traveling abroad...

While cost was a factor, my biggest fear was that I would not be able to last though the plane ride to my destination without having a panic attack and completely losing my shit thousands of feet in the air with no escape.

But at the same time, I didn't want to let that fear hold me back.

The downside of my anxiety is that one of my biggest triggers is not having control of my situation. Which no matter how much you plan and prepare for, I have come to learn is pretty much a given when it comes to taking a 6 hour plane ride and traveling to a foreign country.

So what how do you do it? 

How do you keep from losing your shit in front of hundreds of strangers on a plane, over an ocean with literally nowhere to go?

In my case on the flight to Paris, you don't. That's right I actually did wind up having a panic attack half way through the flight from Iceland to Paris...and it was bad, like really bad. 

But that leads me into tip number 1 on concurring Panic attacks while flying.

1) Acceptance & Mentally Preparing Before Your Flight
As much as I would have loved to live in this ideal world where I make it through a 8 hours flight without even a glimmer of a panic attack. I know myself better than that, I was literally putting myself in a situation that was oozing with triggers. 

I had to accept even when just booking my flight that "hey...there is going to be the large possibility of me having a panic attack" and I had to get very comfortable with that uncomfortable reality.

While this may not actually seem like a helpful tip, there is a lot to be said about facing the reality of your situation and people always say acceptance is half the battle. If I come to terms with the possibility, I can better prepare for it. 

Making sure I have my gum (my way of coping with attacks), ensuring that I destress in the days leading up to the flight, conducting positive self talk about my vacation and the flight and normalizing my panic attacks.

2) Having A Support System
If you're not traveling alone, make sure that the person you're traveling with knows about your panic attacks and anxiety because there is nothing worse than you losing your shit and then person next to you losing their shit too because you start to sweat and shake uncontrollably.

Your also going to want to ensure (if you can) that you really trust that person and that they are a good personal support system because sometimes when all else fails and your deep into a panic attack. Having someone there to coach you through it can really be the most important factor in bringing you back down trust me...I know.

About halfway through the second flight to Paris (around 4 am), I felt it happening. It started off simple, I felt like I was having a hard time breathing. The air suddenly felt thick and I wasn't able to get enough air into my lungs without a struggle, I tried to adjust the AC flow but it didn't help. Then my hands started to sweat, my stomach started to turn and the next thing I knew I was having tremors that I couldn't control.

I was having a full blown panic attack worse one worse that I had had in over a year. I was in the window seat, trapped and scared my boyfriend was next to me just waking up from a nap and I had to tell him. I was embarrassed, could barely talk without my voice shaking from the tremors that were lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds at a time. 

I couldn't control it.

He put his hand on mine and told me I was going to be fine, he started talking to me helping me focus on breathing and not trying to fight the tremors. He...was amazing, in my most vulnerable moments he helped me not feel afraid, he helped me feel normal and not scared.

3) Distractions
A huge factor at getting past my panic attack on the flight was distractions. There comes a point during panic attacks I've now learned that even your personal distractions (my gum) no longer work. You're honestly just too far gone for you to be your answer.

This was another way my boyfriend was a huge help in the 15 minutes (seems like a lifetime) or so that my panic attack was at it's worst. 

He distracted me, once he realized holding my hand and breathing wasn't working he swooped in with plan B. 

Rock Paper Scissors.

I know it sounds silly...but that was the point. He knew he had to get my mind off of what was currently going on...but how? He challenged me to a Rock Paper Scissors battle. At first I didn't really give in, didn't try to play because I was so focused on my attack. But once I realized he was starting to win...I got competitive, I wanted to win, I wanted to try. 

It became more about guessing what he was going to throw out and about 5 minuets into the battle, I had won and the panic attack was gone.

The key was not putting energy into the panic attack. 


4) Don't sleep before your flight
Listen...major key...cloth talk lol

STAY THE FUCK UP all night (or day) before your flight if you have to so you can sleep through every ounce of your flight. 

On the flight to Paris I made the huge mistake of being very well rested before my flight,  so when I actually got on the plane I was lit up like a Christmas tree on December 24th. Completely awake and all the way on, nothing made me sleepy. 

Not the plane ride, not reading, nothing.

I was completely aware and my brain was on a thousand, which I think helped spark my attack. On the way back from Paris however I stayed up packing and didn't go to sleep until about 2 hours before I needed to be up and on the way to the airport.

Outcome: I was knocked on the entire flight back. The only time I actually woke up was to change planes when we landed in Iceland. 

It was absolutely perfect.


5) Emergency Medicine
Long flights may be the only time I feel as though having anxiety medicine is appropriate for me and even then its only for emergencies.

I had my Dr prescribe me a small dose of pills about a week before I left. It was nice to know that I could have them in my back pocket just in case things became to much to handle but the idea of going on a new medicine and reading the side effects of what I was prescribed had me dreading taking them.

My personal hold up about medicating my anxiety has always been the side effects, this was no different. Had things gotten really out of control I would have used them but I was completely committed to going at it non medicated.

6) Don't get Drunk
Have you ever had a panic attack drunk?

I mean I haven't but I can only imagine it to be hell.

I know people often use alcohol help soothe our nerves and relax but one too many sips and a relaxed  mind can turn into a belligerent mess so quickly. Not to mention the possibility of turbulence...air sickness nope. 

I shall pass and I suggest you do too. 

Plus what if you actually need to take your emergency medicine we talked about? Alcohol and medicine...on a plane? This picture we're painting just keeps getting worse lol.

Lets just save the drinks as a celebratory thing for once we land k?

BONUS
When the plane takes off, try having something in your hands to hold on to and rub. If that is not possible try stretching as soon as the plane beings to go into the air this will help your body tense and then relax which will ultimately give you a sense of relaxation and aid in relieving you of your anxiety.

If you're new to trying coping methods that don't involve medicine for your panic attacks. PLEASE read my previous blog were I outline 7 daily practices you can use to ease anxiety and combat your panic attacks when they arise. You can find that blog post HERE.


Hopefully these tips will help those of you planning or dreaming of an amazing vacation and the only thing holding you up is the fear of that long long flight. People with anxiety at the end of the day are just regular people and as long as we have the right tools at our disposal we can make it though anything.

Without a doubt, there will be surprises, mishaps and things will not always but up to you and on your time but there is no reason that you should feel as though you can't live a fulfilling and fun life because of anxiety. 

Its just a small piece of who you are, not the deciding factor on what you can do.

Until Next Time,
XO Deanna

 

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Evita's Tops for 2016: Annual End of Year Reflection

It's another year, and I guess I can officially say, after doing my third, that this is officially an annual thing we got going on here. I work so much, do so much, and rarely take a moment to reflect. But, I make it an absolute point to stop and look back, at least this once, at the end of every year, and breathe it all in, while purging it all out before the New Year. In no particular order.

THEME: Every year presents to me a new overarching theme. Not one that is looked for, but one (usually difficult) that is revealed to me over the 12 months. 2016's theme was rejection. Every year, especially as an entrepreneur, comes with nos. Lots of them. The trick is to stay at it, and as enthusiastic about it through the nos as you do to the yeses. This year I felt rejection in ways I'd never had before in my life, and it was the hard lesson of my year. 

PEOPLE:

1. Airis 2. Tiffany Aliche  3. Adrian  4. Caesar  5. Brittney  6. Sarafina  7. Dad  8. Enovia  9. Danielle Young  10. Vaughn  11. Glenda 12. Ashley S. 

BOOKS:

1. Big Magic By: Elizabeth Gilbert  2. The Celestine Prophecy (again) By: James Redfield  3. MADE IN... coming  4. Finding One By: Vaughn Dabney

5. What I Know For Sure By: Oprah Winfrey 

MOVIES:

1. The Big Short

2. Joy

3. Southside With You

4. 13th 

5. Birth of a Nation

6. Before The Flood 

SONGS:

1. Under Control - The Internet

2. Days Like This - Shaun Escoffery (Spinna and Ticklah Club Mix)

3. Friends Are Wasted - Snakeships Ft. Tinashe and Chance The Rapper

4. 6 8 - Gabriel Garzon- Montano

5. Consideration - Rihanna & SZA

6. All Night Long - Beyonce

PLACES:

1. Silicon Valley - San Francisco, CA    2. Newark, New Jersey    3. Megyer, Hungary 

4. Santorini, Greece    5. Bocas Del Toro, Panama

CONVERSATIONS:

1. Jason telling me Max was born

2. Tiffany Aliche, 1st phone conversation after I'd moved to Newark

3. Airis, nearly daily. Laughing so hard I could pee. 

4. Caesar, laundry room at 2am. When keeping it directly real, just had to happen. 

5. Vaughn...many while I was in Los Angeles. Most poignant was you helping me realize, and confirming that I'm writing my memoir for my Mom.

6. Elizabeth Gilbert giving me memoir writing advice in front of over 1000 people at Orpheum Theater in LA. 

7. Red..or Green Carpet, at The Root 100. #BlackgirlMagic moment I had with Danielle Young.

 

8. My first date with Max. But even more intoxicating, the conversation after dancing all night at The Plaza Hotel for the Harlem School of the Arts Masquerade Gala. You are unlike any human being I've ever come across. 

9. Chip Connelly hugging me, giving me a kiss on the cheek, and hitting me with the 'I know who you are' after introducing myself to him at Airbnb Open in LA. Mind. Blown. 

 

10. A dear friend's revelation that she was in a domestic abusive relationship no one knew about. I don't know if I've ever cried that hard at someone else's pain. 

11. Peter Kovac and I talking entrepreneurship in Hungary. 

12. Getting the message from Siobhan to look up a newspaper article about Poughkeepsie, and finding out a percentage of people you knew in middle school and high school were going to prison. 

13. Being in bed with Age, and us identifying and talking about our best friends. 

14. The first run in, post break up, with Age at one of our favorite parties. One of the most emotionally conflicted conversations of my life. 

15. Sarafina and I during Thanksgiving, reflecting on family. 

16. Kellee and I at #NMDN Conference. Both, in tears, knowing we are walking in our purpose. I love everyone in this photo by the way.

 

17. PIX11 Anchor Sukanya telling me how proud she is of me and all I'm doing with Nomadness, after we went live for our....I think 4th Live television travel segment. 

18. Ardonna in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. 

19. My speech at the last dinner in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Being ready. 

20 & 21. Danny Simmons and I at Art For Life. 

"Danny, I need a favor." - Me

"Who?" - Danny

"Soledad O'Brian" - Me

"Ok find her table. I'll do the introduction when I get back from the bathroom." - Danny

Words actually CANNOT express how much Danny means to me. Like, seriously. 

Fast forward one week later.

Phone rings. Look at phone to see who it is. 'Soledad O'Brian'. Boom. 

 

22. Erin in Rio, New Year Eve night, in front of the Chinese food spot. She got me. She got my 'why', and in that moment I felt like I had a sister. 

23. All the conversations I had with myself at Collision Conference in New Orleans, listening to the speakers talk about the crucial nature of the right team. 

24. Caesar, the conversation that proved to me that no matter how close we were, there were still fundamental parts of me that you missed/or didn't believe existed. Masculinity & femininity. Public & Private. My gut tells me in the last four months, your views might have changed. I told you this conversation really pissed me off before, but I thank you so much for it. You made me define femininity, for myself, with a level of precision I hadn't prior. You are of such value in my life. Thank you. 

25. Skift Podcast with Shannon Washington of Parlour Magazine, and Sarah Enelow at Skift. Dopeness. 

26. Airbnb HQ Crew, over drinks, in Silicon Valley. Valerie and Jeff, man. Thank you. Just, thank you. 

27. Kelis & Vaughn at her food truck. Quick chat on tech and travel. Realizing she's much of what you imagined she'd be since you've followed her in Middle School.  

28. Emotional conversation with my agent about writing my memoir. Swallowing all the pride, and rejection of sort. Starting again of my own accord. 

29. Talking about motherhood and relationships with Kimberley. 

30. Calling Kali to talk about the realities of our friendship.  

31. Building with Danielle James at Neuhaus. 

32. Ashley S. and I while painting my office... her in her underwear. Hilarious. And vibing off our Ginger Grits.   

33. My Step Father on Christmas Day

34. Meeting Jasmine and hearing her story about her son H's rare form of cancer and me just thinking sometimes life isn't fair. Also us sneaking off the meditation retreat for snacks. 

35. Asking Rebecca if she sees herself as beautifully as other do...and the reaction to that. 

36. Brittney...about the role happiness plays in our work. 

37. Dec. 31. 2016. Glenda's house. Literally, ushering in 2017 with pure emotional rawness. Not just mine, but the freedom in sharing of others. There were maybe twelve of us in her apartment, and we are all dynamic. Answering the two questions posed, "What is your truth? How does your work reflect your truth?"  I cried the good cry. The cry that's been coming up in therapy. The cry of feelings of loss and rejection...and sisterhood. I think I finally realized how loved I am, in a room with my best friend and strangers who became brothers and sisters last night. I don't recognize the love that IS shown often enough. When I feel love has been taken from me, it cuts at the bone. Words kind of don't suffice for last night's sharing, and openings, as we bring in 2017. I am so grateful. So so grateful. 

SAYINGS/WORDS:

1. Listen....    2. Bruh   3. Right.   4. Resonate    5. Energy

LESSONS:

1. Self-care and accepting love are not restricted to just the big actions (going to therapy, retreats, etc...) but in the everyday micro actions. The calling a friend and saying, 'I'm sad. I need you today.' And letting people show up for you. 

2. In wanting people to treat you as human, be human. Don't go from feeling to process in the same sentence. It doesn't allow entry for help. State the feeling, take a beat. 

3. I need to start identifying and filling up on love, even if it isn't the type of love that I'm desiring or that I feel I'm deserving of from a specific place/person....because I am loved. 

4. I want my compliment in a relationship, not my copy.

5. I signed up for all that comes up with entrepreneurship and relentless dedication to my dream...my team did not necessarily. Take heed that your process, and time frame, may shift your team. And that is absolutely fine. It's beautiful, actually. 

6. The Universe is delivering the exact type of new energy and blood into my business that I've asked for. Transitions are tough, but necessary and beautiful. I'm excited. 

7. I'm aware of the work and reaping that are here for 2017. It both invigorates, and scares the shit out of me. 

8. I've become a faster dater. No letting men linger in my life unnecessarily. 

9. I'm a lot for people. Regardless of gender. I require emotional intelligence and evolution on a level most people haven't touched yet on their own, let alone in a relationship. This is one of the problems that I believe in attracting my life partner. However, I don't ask for anything unreasonable, and it lets me know that the man who gets it, is truly THE ONE for me. As I have also been built FOR HIM. (thanks Chris)

10. When single, I need to have sex once every three months or else it clouds my judgment and I get very touchy and impatient. It actually clears my head, and I relax. So, if you are called upon for that specific purpose, please be consistent in just that. Nothing more. Just that. 

11. I'm really really really ready to move onto events for Nomadness. 

12. On their own, people are seeing and orating the urban travel sector with 360 degree glasses. They see us, why we are different, and great. That feels good. Reaching a place where I don't have to explain. Doing my job. Thank you. 

13. I don't believe in 5 year plans. I actually don't believe in any plans past 2 years. It's too elusive after that time for me, and creates an easy space for people to become complacent. I can make actionable items today, for something 2 years from now, and it still feel connected. My sweet spot is 4-12 months out. I need to feel connected to the goal, and too much time away kills that connection for me. 

14. Moving into my new loft changed way more than where I lived. It changed my mindset. It changed my network. It changed my friendships. It changed my hustle. It changed Zorro. It changed me. The last 4 months condensed has actually been the biggest life transition I've had personally in years. It's been jarring and beautiful. 

15. Two best friends should avoid going through a break up at the same time, by all costs. It's very difficult, especially for an empath, to be a great supportive friend to someone in a breakup, while they themselves are in a space of fragility while going through their own. 

16. I talk to your soul, or nothing. This is how I prefer to communicate. 

17. My love language in intimate relationships switches from Quality Time, to Acts of Service in friendships. Crazy once I realized how intensely they can switch. I believe this is also an insight into how some can misunderstand how I show love. 

18. I've matured a lot in business. Mainly because I know our uniqueness and my ideas are gifts given to me to manifest, in my style. I cannot be touched. I'm the secret sauce. 

19. Dreams absolutely come true. Even far fetched ones. Even last minute ones. Thank you #SXSL!

20. I'm an alchemist. 

21. Taken from Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Big Magic'...talk to your ideas. Literally talk to them, like a person. They float around, landing on humans to bring them to life. If you aren't in the place to do so, recommend someone else for it to land on. But talk directly to them. 

22. When I'm in a relationship, and vocalize a non-negotiable...and you ignore it, I have to leave the relationship. This year I got the closest to cheating on someone that I've ever been in my life. I don't want to feel that again. 

23. Rejection comes in many forms. It's all painful. 

24. America's people and systems are even more lost than I realized. 

25. It is ok to excel, even past those you know. You are deserving of nice things when you've busted your ass for years...every single day... to get them. You are worthy of letting go of the label 'starving artist' and it doesn't mean you are selling out. Life is too dope to be struggling all the time. 

26. Your network will and SHOULD change as you rise. Gaining new folks doesn't equate to discarding old folks. However, you will notice that where you spend more of your time, who you talk to, who you build with, and who you naturally gravitate towards will absolutely change. 

27. You want a brand to come after you, give them a reason. Getting Zipcar Ambassadorship over Snapchat and Twitter was one of the quickest and dopest manifestations of 2016 to me. 

28. This year was the most adulting I've done in a year in my life thus far....like, fuck!

29. Raised my credit score 130 points in 8 months. Tiffany 'The Budgetnista' Aliche is the truth.

30. Moving was therapy for me. Painting and creating my own space from scratch was even more therapy for me. I fucking LOVE where I live. I'm finally in not just a loft, but a neighborhood that is indicative of my growth as Evita. 

31. Paypal business loans are the business. 

32. This year I got more into crystal healing. I'm still a newbie, but I will say the yoni egg has been the biggest learning curve, and has opened my emotions up in the rawest form I've had in awhile. Don't 'play' with crystals. If you don't respect them, don't touch them. 

33. Soak Alkaline braiding hair in apple cidar vinegar overnight before getting your hair braided. 

34. People show up for what is important to them, not you. 

35. I am a culture creator. 

36. Language is integral in communication, particularly of emotions. If you are seemingly being misunderstood, take a beat and ask the person 'what are you hearing?'

 

 

MOMENTS:

1. Meeting Adrian's family for the first time on Mother's Day, and immediately falling more in love with him, and them. 

2. Ringing in 2016 on Copacabana beach in Rio. 

3. Nomadness' day at Melisha School in Zanzibar volunteering. 

4. Being on the cover of Griot's Republic. 

5. Starting the year on Oxygen Channel. 

6. Getting contacted by Facebook HQ to be a feature during Women's History Month, for their Facebook Stories with 7 women for 'The Atlas of Beauty'. One of only seven women IN THE WORLD to be featured, interviewed, and shot by renowned photographer Mihaela Noroc. Her project is amazing. Check it out here

7. Getting my Ancestry DNA results to find out someone lied to my mother. LMAO!In all seriousness, it was enlightening. I hit to some capacity everywhere except Central and South America. Tops were Benin/Togo and Ireland. 

8. Culture Coop Dinner to reveal the new Humanly book on Generation Y. Sitting with Facebook, Buzzfeed, Zagat, and Google. 

10. Shooting the dopest video that the greater world will probably never see, for a project with GoPro. The CEO knows me and Nomadness, and it's forged the great beginning to a relationship. 

11. Enovia. Girl, our conversations are everything. However, the first time we got on the phone with the NYC Airbnb team, and I listened to us flow like water and close the business deal....yes. Just yes. 

12. All the PIX11 features and becoming thaZeir travel expert (something that was on last year's goals) in 2017. Love that team. Veronica, Suki I love you both!

13. Prince Passing. 

14. Mohammad Ali passing. 

15. Not just receiving the Brother Durning Rising Star Award, but also having it created for you because the other awards didn't qualify, by my Alma Mater, Iona College. 

16. Getting gifted my 1st ticket to a Beyonce concert ever by Jasmine, and getting MY ENTIRE LIFE in that floor seat. Lawd! She's the best overall performer of my generation, in my opinion. 

17. Attending Black Girls Rock with my girls and my sister. 

18. Getting interviewed and shot for a Japanese Magazine

19. Speaking on a panel for Black Girls Rock's Summer Camp!

 

20. Jessie Williams' speech at the BET Awards

21.  Opening up my new home for 'A Traveler's Holiday' bridging friends and Tribe members who didn't want to celebrate alone for the holidays.

22. Being honored on one of six lists that I actually care about. 2016's #87 of The Root 100 most influential African-Americans of the year. Let's go!

23. Art For Life everything....again. Love you Danny!

24. Attending the Rush Arts Luncheon with Kali

25. My entire housewarming. The people who flew in, drove in, shared, cried, networked, and shared amazing stories of how we came into one another's lives. 

26. My 32nd birthday Bowl Off......that may be the move for 33. But, same teams. Same teams. Mom surprising me there was dope. 

27. Repping for Bernie Sanders hard

28. Being alone in the voting both, and pressing the button for Jill Stein

29. Explaining and reexplaining to social media how a vote for Jill Stein in a guaranteed blue state made no overall difference because of the electoral college. Yet, how it would help a 3rd party get to the needed 5% of the vote to at least be given a chance to join the debate and get funding. Subsequently realizing that people, in some cases very influential people, simply didn't understand how the process worked. That scared me. 

30. Getting super drunk in the middle of the day at Alexis' welcome back brunch in the meatpacking district, and making out on the sidewalk with Genesis. 

31. TED Office visit to build with the genius mind that is Reggie Black, and surprising the brilliant mind that is Liz Jackson.

32. My breakup. 

33. Nomadness videos going legit viral this year. 

34. All the Facebook Lives at Essence Magazine and The Root

35. Two breakdowns I had with Brittney and Vanessa at the Tribe BBQ about showing up to another event single, that I would have put money on that my boyfriend would have been at with me. I think my breakup earlier that month hit the hardest at these events. 

36. Moving, and dealing with a breakup through the therapy of creativity in creating my space from scratch. 

 

37. Legit dropping online classes. I am so proud of NMDNBlackBox and FaceYourBrand.com

38. Getting off this kick that I had to be in a relationship to go to Santorini, Greece and finally just going by myself. It's a dream trip I had since college. The best move I could have made. 

39. Shooting for TruTV! Coming in January

40. Shooting for Hyatt/Skift

41. Homemade Dinner our nights in Megyer, Hungary

42. Dad surprising Sarafina and I walking into #NMDN ALTERnative Travel Conference like a boss. One of the dopest moments ever!!!

43. Final trip speech in Bocas Del Toro, Panama ....back where we had our first trip over five years ago...to an amazing trip group for Nomadness. 

44. Issa Rae looking as amazing as ever at her Urbanworld premiere of Insecure, and shouting Nomadness out during the Q&A. I cannot begin to explain how proud I am of this woman and her work. Thank you so much!

45. Asking a family member to come to therapy with me in the New Year. 

46. Taking mental health in my community so seriously that I'm willing to turn myself into the billboard for it. It's time to break the stigma, and the taboo conversations. First shirt coming soon. Here's a peek:

 

47. I don't believe too tough in the idea of 'once in a lifetime' things. I have too many dreams come true and too many manifestations happen to know that many things people regard as once in a lifetime, are only because they put that barrier up in their own mind. However, if I had to shave my year down...and even my life down, I believe thus far this is the only qualifying factor of potentially once in my lifetime. It seemed like such a far fetched dream to make it to the White House under the Obama Administration. Last year or second term. It's a wrap. Then, three months before it was to be all over, the call out for South By South Lawn applications came out. Worldwide call for innovators, leaders, thought provokers, change agents to come INTO the White House to be not just among one another in energy, but the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Listen....This photo says it all, even though I have a million. 

Universe can I thank you enough!!! I'm in the muthafucking White House!!!!!! #reallifevie

Universe can I thank you enough!!! I'm in the muthafucking White House!!!!!! #reallifevie

Over 20000 applied. 2000 were accepted. Brittney worked her social media magic as my 'campaign manager', Tribe flooded the applications, and I set my intentions then tried to forget about it. Listen.....

When you get an email from the White House.......shit. When you get a 'Please RSVP' email from the White House...........SHIT! That entire day was what 'once in a lifetime' SHOULD feel like. Dopest part being I was able to share it with other friends and entrepreneurs I respect the hell out of who also were invited to come. Listen.....words can't explain. 

By biggest takeaway from attending South by South Lawn is this, EVERYTHING is tangible. Touching the White House (and Trump being elected, if I'm being all the way real) let me know I could be the President of the United States. Feel me. Hear me, on this. I've touched these walls. I've walked and twerked on this grass. I've cried here. I've spoken to everyday people doing otherworldly shit on this lawn. I AM ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. It's tangible. I've decided to not post the normal 'Goals for 2017' section to this blog this year, because they are becoming ever more precious and personal to me. I'm keeping my goals close. But one I will share, is that I have it on my life list to be appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador. I've wanted it for years, and I know my greater work with Nomadness is leading me there. My let's go, biggest lesson learned, year in a nutshell, image of 2016 is:

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Cape Town, South Africa w/ Mike Bigz

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Cape Town, South Africa w/ Mike Bigz

South Africa has welcomed many within the Nomadness Tribe who return home with glowing impressions and life long memories of the people and the land. World traveler Mike Bigz, recently returned from his latest stay in Cape Town and his a lot to share. Here's a look into how he spent his 1st couple days in town.

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I've been meaning to publish this since getting back from my trip so apologies for the delay.

Cape Town was amazing! Since I'd been before I had a pretty good idea to some of the things I wanted to tick off and BOY did I tick them off!

DAY 1:  LANDING IN CAPE TOWN!!

I'd already pre-booked a ride from the Airport but since Uber is popping in Cape Town, I'd suggest just arriving at the Airport and scheduling an Uber when you land (The Airport has free Wi-Fi so you're good) I'd also suggest picking up a local sim card in the Airport. I used Vodacom which was cheap and like 100 Rands for 1GB of data, super easy!

DAY 2: GREEN POINT

My initial plan was to climb Table Mountain on day 2 but that quickly changed, decided that it was too much too soon and we wanted to explore the local area. The first 7 or so days I was staying in Green Point, a cool little area which the weekends there's a little music and dancing thing going on along the promenade during the day, since it was a nice day we ended up hanging out in the local area for most of the afternoon before grabbing some food at Primi Piatti! (MAN! the food was good)

If you like Salsa then I'd suggest finding out when they have this on. I swear if I could salsa I'd have jumped in and KILLED IT! But alas, I can't salsa.. Well, I can pretend but not really really... 

Recommendation: On your first or second day I'd suggest to buy a RED BUS ticket (You know those City sightseeing bus pass things). You can grab a 1 day or 2 day pass, it'll help you get your bearings of the city and plan the next few days in Cape. It's WORTH it! Wish I'd have done it sooner in my trip.

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Two days in and it's already looking like a great time. Hop after to Mikes full blog post to get the whole experience plus his itinerary break down so you can follow up on anything parts of his trip you want to try out.

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Travel Smarter - Cost Of Living: Medellin vs New York

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Travel Smarter - Cost Of Living: Medellin vs New York

There's definitely a science to travel. It's something that's required but if you want to get the best out of your experiences a little advance planning can make a lot of difference. A luxury weekend in a city like New York can be a wonderful time but it will cost you. This makes us wonder where you could travel to get similar luxury at a more affordable cost. One such destination is Medellin Colombia. Nomadness' own Jubril dives right into that very topic with a direct NYC vs Medellin comparative blog that is everything you could ask for to fully plan for a great Colombian experience. 

Take a look below at his break down of living options in Medellin for a good idea of how your U.S money can work for internationally.

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Accommodations:

My 6 month leased penthouse apartment in the exclusive neighborhood of San Lucas, Medellin is 5,000 square feet, has 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a maids bedroom and bathroom, open floor plan, sauna, a massive rooftop, and it’s all furnished.

You know how much I pay for all of that? $3,400USD per month. Then on top of that my power and internet bill is about $400 per month. So that’s about a total of $3,800 a month.

 

If you were in New York, you would be looking at $30,000 a month just for the rent alone!

And I haven’t even gotten to the best part… A full-time maid who works Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, who cooks and cleans, and looks after all of us so well. I pay her about $300 a month which is much more than the minimum wage here for service workers.

In New York, for a maid that cooks and cleans 6 days a week, you’ll look at paying around $3,000 per month… Not $300.

You can easily find a modern, luxury apartment in Medellin for the weekend by using Airbnb (check out this post for more info on Airbnb) and it would cost you from $60 a night in the best neighborhood.

For something similar in New York, you can expect to pay upwards of $400 per night.

If you would rather stay in a hotel for the weekend, Medellin has quite a few to choose from and you’ll be looking at spending $40- $100 for mid range, and then $100-$200 for luxury.

You can easily get a luxury hotel for under $100 using Hotwire. Hotels don’t like to advertise their prices that low, so Hotwire hides their identity until your booking is complete. (Check out our post on Hotwire here).

You can use E-Bates with Hotwire as well to make your booking even cheaper. With Hotwire and E-Bates, you can see your accommodation prices cut in half.

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See Jubril's full post for his thorough fiscal run down of activities, transportation, dining and more in Medellin. You won't believe just how much your dollar can get you. 

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HUFFINGTON POST SPOTLIGHTS THE NOMADNESS #DUBAIBLACKOUT 2016

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HUFFINGTON POST SPOTLIGHTS THE NOMADNESS #DUBAIBLACKOUT 2016

When Nomadness does something it is always done big. And if it was done before then it'll be done bigger. When another quality glitch fare hit the Internets earlier this year to the UAE, Nomadness swooped in to again cop hundreds of flights. In the spirit of last years #UAETakeOver the Tribe booked first and asked questions later. Our Cheerleader supreme Kenna Williams would take the lead to organize a massive trip to Dubai for Halloween 2016. Fresh off that experience Huffington Post gives you an inside at what went down in the Middle East.

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Ms. Williams’s first visit to Dubai was in 2014 on her way back from South Africa. She was there with a small group of friends but decided to go back again. For the past three years, Ms. Williams has been coordinating this trip. In 2014, Kenna was in Dubai with approximately 30 friends. In 2015 she returned with 80 of her friends and this year she had a beautiful sea of over 250 black queens and kings exploring Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

What made this event such a success was there were all age ranges attending from 20s-80s, individuals in all professions including educators, engineers, doctors, nurses plus student and various types of entrepreneurs, there were several people receiving their passport stamp for the first time and some conquered their fear of flying one of the ten longest flights in the world!

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Hop over to Huff Post for the full feature including a video interview with Pusha Kee, Kenna Williams herself. ~Click Here~ 

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