Category Archives: Travels

I want to do a solo-trip abroad

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I want to do a solo-trip abroad

Last August, I went on my first semi solo trip abroad.  My trip consisted of two parts: Part 1, I went to Cancun, partied on my own and did touristy stuffs, Part 2, my boyfriend joined me in Mexico and together we took the bus to Tulum.  It was a great trip; I had a mix of both.  On the first part, I was able to make my own schedule and do activities that I enjoyed.  On the second part, I had company and it was fun creating memories with someone else.  I enjoyed myself a lot. I made new friends.  I went to few parties with my hosts at Airbnb and danced to new songs.  I saw Chichen Itza and visited a few cenotes.  I biked Tulum with my boyfriend, and we visited historical sites.  We discovered new drinks and dishes and realized how much Mexican food in our area is toned down.

This time I want to go to a new place but alone.  I want to use this trip to learn about myself and also allow myself to loosen up a bit.  I am a very self-conscious person.  I always worry about what friends (and strangers) will think of my behavior.  This has always prevented me from being spontaneous and act a little wild.  I want to be able to enjoy activities without caring about what my people think of me.  In my culture, you need to be constantly surrounded by friends and family.  It is almost like a confirmation that you are a good person; if you were not such a good person, they would not want to spend time with you… I want to face my fear of being alone.  I have lived most of my life in two places.  I want to prove to myself that I can get around in other places, even if it is just to find food.   Although, I was always attracted to different things (whether be visual arts, music or fashion), I always denied myself the pleasure of pursuing such activities because I was raised to conform to national culture.  Everybody likes Adidas therefore, I should also buy and wear Adidas shoes, for example.   Additionally, in my home country everybody thinks similarly.  Whether your name is Stephanie or Carolyn, we all share the same worldview.  In this time of my life, I want to be confronted with different logic and different perspectives, I want to grow from that challenge.  I want to experience new things and hear new music.  I want to meet people who think differently.  Last but not least, I want to discover new dishes.  I love to eat.  I will not call myself a foodie, but I enjoy trying different dishes or different recipes.  I want to find a new favorite cuisine. Traveling solo will allow me to relax and discover the real (or the new) me.

For three months now I have been researching travel deals and I found a few, but I was never able to finalize the purchase.  I made up many excuses: I can find better deals at a later date, these dates are not good for my work schedule, I do not talk to my family so who will be my emergency contact etc.…  Now, no more excuses.  I have the fire to do it now.  I need to travel and discover new horizons.  And I should do it fast before the new U.S. president signs new travel bans.

Traveling in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago

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Traveling is a passion of mine. This past month, I have been to 3 different states in mini road trips. I went to New Orleans for the Jazz Fest, I took my boyfriend to Philadelphia, PA to celebrate his birthday, and last weekend I was in Chicago, IL for a job interview.

I already have a post about NOLA( New Orleans, LA), so I will not tell again how much I love that city.

Philly was ok, I liked it.  We got there too late for the museums, (they all close at 5pm) but we did enjoy the hospitality of the people there. People were so willing to help, and they even went out of their way to make change for us for the bus fare. They directed us to place to get decent food (didn’t get the cheese steak though). We went only to walk around town, went to the barcade, and on Sunday went to visit the Liberty Bell and took a class at the Parkour gym. It was nice. I will go back to visit again and to get my cheese steak.

Chicago was nice. I loved it. I went there for a job interview. The people at the office are ok, I am willing to put up with them just to live in Chicago hahaha. The people of Chicago are relax and laid back, not as talkative as Phily, but nice enough. I flew to the interview, then my best friend and boyfriend drove from NY to Chicago and we stayed for the weekend there. We visited the millennium park and took picture next to the could gate. We went to Lincoln Park Zoo  (it was free!!) and at night we meet with a friend for Pizza at Due and fireworks at the Navy Piers. I love that city, I need to get the job so I can move there.

All these trips, we drove to our destination. It is tiring but if given the chance I would redo it in a heartbeat. However, I cannot deny that flying would have been a better option and way less tiring!!

I am happy to have travel companion, it is nice to experience a new place with friends who can make it funnier and more interesting.

I hope to start traveling abroad soon!!!

My friends please let me know about your travels =)

 

I Finally made it to New Orleans

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I finally made it to New Orleans (or N’awlins as pronounced by the locals). YAY!!! I have been dreaming about that city for years now. I could never tell what was attracting me to this city, and still nowadays after visiting it I cannot pin point the reason of this attraction. This city is eclectic and random.

Coming from NY, where people are cold, angry with an attitude, it was a positive change to see people relaxed and welcoming, passers-by stopping to say hello and have small conversations with us, opened doors welcoming people into the stores and restaurants. Everything was charming in that city.

The food was exquisite. I tried everything that I could in the short trip my friends and I planned. I had jambalaya, alligator, oysters, shrimps and grits and so on. The only dishes I did not have a chance to taste were raw oysters and crawfish. I am saving that for my next trip.  Surprisingly, the waiters at the restaurant over there were very confused by my asking to have a cup of tea with cream. It must be a northern habit. A waiter even insisted that it was too hot outside for me to have hot tea and that I should probably have a coke if I was craving caffeine so much.

The people were friendly and chatty. The first question they most inevitably asked was “where are you guys from?” Difficult question to answer because we were from the Caribbean but living in NY and MD. So we just answered “not from here (with laughs)”. Then, when they heard that we live in NY, they go on about how exciting their trip to the Big Apple was.  The people of NOLA are nice. It changes from the standoffish and i-mind-my-own-business attitude the New Yorkers have.

Since it was a small-cation (small vacation), we were only able to go do three main things. We went to the French quarter, we went on a swamp tour, and we made it to the Jazz Fest (the main reason of this trip). The French quarter is attractive. It is a different city in daylight than at night.  During the day, it is fuzzing with waiters trying to lure people into their restaurants, music, dance and parades. At night, it is a different scenery, it is ghost tours, bars, half-naked people in door steps etc… so different from NY. We even went to a voodoo shop. It did not look authentic at all, I only got a mug for my boyfriend. He wanted a gris-gris but I would not trust that anything there had any true powers.  The swamp tour was funny. The gentleman who conducted it was agreeable, he even told us place to get local food after the tour. The Jazz festival was incredible. It was everything the reviews told me: lively, hot, and lots of food!

The trip was on a budget, therefore, the idea of making it a road trip. At first we looked up the prices of airplane’s ticket and considered many alternatives like landing in a near city then driving to NOLA from there, but the more affordable alternative was driving from NY. YES, I said driving from NY to LA. The day we had planned to leave was a raining day, so we had to postpone the time for departure.  I was the one who rented the car, so woke up at 1 am, left my house at 3 and drove to my friend’s house in Brooklyn. A 2hrs drive took me 4hrs because the main roads were flooded, but that did not keep us from doing the trip.  My other friend was living in MD, so we drove there. We left MD-Baltimore around 2pm and we arrived at NOLA at 8am the next da . Long trip, many stops, many songs, many gps re-calculations, lots of laughs. The coming back trip was tiring and exhausting. We left on Saturday night 2 am when people were still partying on the streets and I got home at 5 am on Monday. Very long trip, next time I will find a seasonal job and buy an airplane ticket. I am not sure being on budget is worth being that tired. It took me 4 days to recover from that trip.

I went with one of my closest friend G and another high school friend. What I like most about the trip was that it was drama free. It is hard to travel with people and not have anyone pick a fight. We were all easy going people, we had a few places we wanted to visit and we all wanted for each and every one to enjoy their small vacation. I loved that small-cation. Of course Nawlins is not for everyone, but if you want to discover another cuisine, experience another reality than the one you live in, or just want to go see swamps, NOLA might be the place for you.

Now my question to you is, do you have a place in your heart like NOLA? If yes tell me about it

Or what place do you suggest me to go visit next. I have gone along the east coast quite a bit (MA, NY, PA, NJ, CT, FL, NC, SC, LA) so where do you suggest me to go next

“The world is a…

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”
Saint Augustine

I love traveling. I sometimes just open travel books to go to another place, another culture. I love that idea of leaving behind the ordinary of my life to embrace a new way of life.

On the other hand, I am afraid of traveling. I am afraid of not knowing where to go, of offending people , of not liking the new place, or to find hostile, closed-minded and/or racist people.

I tried not to let my fears control my life