Featured, Travel

My 2017 Travel Lineup: Curacao, Kenya, Dubai and More!

March 21, 2017

Ya’ll. I’ve been in America for 6 months straight. Like, how did this happen? I’m outchea acting like Trump’s wall is real, and I can’t even get out this bitch, when in fact nothing about this presidency is real life, and my passport actually still works.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I’ve been reliving some of my favorite memories with photos from India, Brazil, South and Africa. But now it’s time to make some new ones! Below is a shortlist of where I’m headed in 2017. If you’ve been to any of these places, I’d love to hear your suggestions on what to do, and most importantly, where I should eat. (Because, priorities).

::March 2017::

Come through sunshine! Ya’ll have no idea how amped I am to get 50 Shades of Amistad on this beach. This is a solo trip where I will spend my days meditating, swimming, exploring and clearing my mind before my busiest event planning season back home. I’ll be staying at Scuba Lodge, and dabbling in scuba diving for the first time! Follow my Instagram Stories to see how awkward I look in all that gear, and find out if I’ll be adding diving to my list of adventure sports abroad!

::April 2017::

I don’t really need another reason besides gumbo to visit NOLA, but this trip is extra special. I’ll be doing some filming in small towns outside of New Orleans, and visiting the plantation where my father grew up. This year I’m really trying to learn more about my heritage, and will be working with Ancestry.com to figure it all out! I got my kit a few weeks ago and can’t wait to get my results. Stay tuned to find out more about my family’s history, and see if I’m able to visit a country that shows up on the list!

::May 2017::

In college when I studied abroad in Costa Rica, people often assumed I was Panamanian because I was Black. If that’s any indication of how many of your cousins ‘nem are gonna be in these Panamanian streets, then I’m here for it! This is a fun group trip with the OHPsalms crew who I’ve island-hopped with a few times before, and we’ll be staying at a brand new resort called the Dreams Delight Playa Bonita (which makes my inner bougie girl very happy!). Stay tuned to see what adventures me and my girls get into in Panama!

::July 2017::

*puts down chicken wing*

So yeah, my crew of 20+ is back at it again this year! I know, traveling with 20 women sounds insane, but these trips have created some of the absolute best memories of my life. This is my first time at Cropover (Barbados carnival), and I’ve heard it’s the next best thing to Trinidad.  As Trinidad becomes more expensive, I predict other carnivals will gain even more popularity on “off years” for frequent masqueraders, so I suspect this won’t be my last time at Cropover. If you’ve never taken a girls trip to carnival, (or a girls trip at all), check out my post on how to make it happen, then DO IT!

::October 2017

Ya’ll. I know I should be all excited about this skyline and being a part of the #DubaiBlackout2017 and stunting on these hoes on a sand dune, but all I can think about is this guy:

He’s everywhere! Or at least dudes who look like this. (Wait, is that racist? Father forgive me.) But on the real, the men in Abu Dhabi were open mouthed fine AF. Like don’t look directly into their eyes fine. I wanted to throw my panties at one I saw outside the airport but I was afraid of getting arrested and having to tell my Mom why I’m in some middle eastern jail begging for an attorney and some fried chicken through an Arabic translator. At any rate, I’ve been dying to get back to the U.A.E. since my epic layover in Abu Dhabi, and am pretty geeked about this trip! Follow the ‘gram for my #sanddunestuntin photos.

::September 2017::

I’m headed back to the Motherland! It’s been 5 years since my last trip to Tanzania, and I’ve been dying to get back ever since. This time I’m traveling with wellness coach Cassandra Nuamah as a part of her Africa Retreat series, and our itinerary is insane! Everything from a safari trip and a visit to the Masai tribe, to textile making and beaching in Zanzibar, this 10-day adventure will definitely be one of my highlights of 2017. If you’re interested in visiting Africa, visit her website and sign up for one of her trips!

::November 2017::

While many travelers rave about the beauty of Cape Town, I fell in love with Johannesburg in a matter of a few hours. The Maboneng neighborhood where I stayed felt like home in ways I’ve never experienced in any other city abroad, and I often consider living there during Winter in New York.

On this trip, also with Coach Cass, not only I get to go back to Jozi, and see Cape Town again, but we’re also visiting Durban for the first time! Plus so many other activities I didn’t do like traditional dancing with the Zulu Tribe, a safari excursion, and community service in local villages. Oh, and we’re working out every day, which will help me stay on track for my first trip of 2018!!! Hint: feathers, paint and powder! #wejamminstill


A few years ago I curled up on my couch and watched Julia Roberts pack up her shit, chuck deuces to her hubby and skip the country to figure out life in foreign lands. She spent the next few months eating her waistline away in Italy (#goals), finding peace in Bali, and meeting the love of her life. After it was over, I turned off the TV and went back to my same old job doing my same old hamster wheel routine the next day. Since then I’ve lost that job, and still haven’t met hubby, so what better time to run off to Indonesia and just breathe in silence for no reason? With the plans I have for my life in the next few years, I need to take advantage of this carefree solo time while I still have it. I don’t know the “how” or “when” behind this trip just yet, but I’m listing in here and putting it out there to see what happens. Can’t wait to share my experience with all of you!



What’s on your list for 2017? Any bucket list experiences? Have you made a list yet? If not, write it down tonight and share your list! And relax – it doesn’t have to be a blog post, or even a Facebook post. Text a friend, or group of friends letting them where you want to go and why. Speak that dream into existence. You’ll be surprised how much faster you find yourself right there where you’ve always wanted to be. Good luck!

Featured, Videos

Video: Trinidad Carnival 2016 Throwback

February 21, 2017

Before I block everyone headed to Trinidad Carnival this year, I took one last trip down memory lane with my crew in 2016. This video is for the newbies who are still unsure if that rent money you’re spending on this trip is worth it. Believe me when I tell you  – it totally is! Take a look and share with that one friend that’s still not sure if they’re down for grinding on strangers wearing 3 feathers and 2 rhinestones. She’ll be fine!

For more tips on how to plan a Girl’s Getaway, click here. See you at Cropover!

Featured, Reviews, Travel, Travel Tips

9 Places To Eat While Traveling Abroad

January 5, 2017

Happy New Year guys! I’d start off by saying 2016 was a great year, but instead I’ll keep it real. After a year where we lost Prince, gained Trump, and ended with the passing of Mariah Carey’s career, we’ve all been forced to turn to our happy place to find peace. My happy place is elbows deep in a trough of oxtail. Curry goat is my spirit animal, and nothing cures a bad day more than an ignorant-sized bucket of chicken and biscuits.

Indulging in a delicious meal brings me so much joy! So to spread the love, I’ve decided kick off 2017 by sharing this list of some of my favorite dishes that will have your belly singing hallelujah on your next trip.

Paella at Paladar Chef Ivan Justo Havana Cuba

1. HAVANA, CUBA: Paladar Ivan Chef Justo

The paella at Ivan Chef Justo was by far the best I’ve ever had. Which is surprising, considering much of the food I ate in Havana wasn’t impressive at all. With the exception of one or two places, most meals were decent, but certainly nothing to write home about. But this paella? Bay Bay. Our group literally scraped this huge pan down to the bottom, shamelessly fighting for the last few grains of rice. Home training be damned.

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Featured, Interviews, Travel, Travel Tips

How to Experience Cuba Part 3: Book With a Travel Agent

December 20, 2016

While it’s become much easier to get to Havana these days, that wasn’t the case when I went in September 2015. And even if it was easy, I simply did not (and rarely have) the time to plan out all of the logistics a trip, let alone one with confusing travel requirements, limited access to U.S. Dollars, and spotty internet service.

For those of you with limited time to deal with the planning and paperwork, or aren’t about that “travel with 50 strangers” life,  I suggest working with a travel agent to handle everything for you! I booked with Gai Spann, owner of Spanning The Globe Tours, who planned every single detail of my trip, and tailored the experience so that I could see more of the Afro-Cuban side of the culture. I caught up with Gai to chat about the benefits of planning your Cuba trip with a travel professional.

Gai, since our Cuba trip was 3 days after CURLFEST, I was literally sleepwalking my way to the airport. I didn’t even know if I had a visa. But in true Olivia Pope fashion, I got to check-in and everything was handled! How long have you been planning trips for people?

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Featured, Travel, Travel Tips

How To Experience Cuba Part 2: Join a Group

December 12, 2016

So ya’ll know group trips are my favorite way to travel. My post about How to Plan a Girls Getaway is my most popular post of all time, so that must mean a lot of you like jet-setting with your girls too! When my crew isn’t heading to a place I want to visit, I usually look for groups trips with cool folks already going, throw it out there to a few ride-or-die travel homies, and #bookdatish immediately.

With a little help from Madame Google, I found an upscale travel group called Up in the Air Life  that visited Cuba in 2016, and plans to return next year. Over the holiday break I caught up with founder Claire Soares to see what it’s like traveling to Cuba with her company.

Claire. Girl. There are currently 14,790 people in the Up in the Air Life Facebook group. The sheer numbers can turn off introverts who can’t deal with all of those people. How do you take the 20 questions, 99 problems, and everything that goes down in the DM to create a smaller, cohesive experience for so many people?

Our trips that we curate typically host only 15-20 people. Only our “once in a lifetime” trips like Egypt and our Annual Meetup are larger trips with over 50 people. Our trips are unique in that the curators have gone to the specific destination, and 90% of the itinerary has been tested out and tweaked to meet our standards. We work with locals on the ground to ensure we have the latest and greatest across the board, and tweak as necessary to give customers the best bang for their buck.

What does “upscale travel” look like in Cuba? If I roll with ya’ll are we gonna be sipping Moët at daily cocktail parties on a yacht off the coast of Havana? Eating strawberries covered in edible gold, imported from a remote village in Heaven? Or did I take it too far there?

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Featured, Interviews, Travel, Travel Tips

How to Experience Cuba Part 1: Plan Your Own Getaway

December 12, 2016

In case you haven’t heard, Cuba left the gate open, and now errrrrybody and their momma, and their homegirl’s 98 line sisters, and cousin Rae Rae ‘nem are all trying to get in. Now that it’s so much easier to visit, attractive deals are popping up all over the place. The airlines are totally on board, and some of these round-trip fares are so low I honestly thought it was a setup, and they’re actually flying us all back to Africa. #becauseTrump

But alas, the fares are real, and my DMs have been on fire with questions from everyone who has booked! So I spoke with some folks who’ve been recently to show how to experience Havana in 3 different ways: 1) Plan your own trip 2) Join a group or 3) Use a travel agent.

Since most of you are planning your own, I spoke with a friend who’s been twice and planned everything himself! Richard Cantave is a humanitarian, champion of Haiti, and amazing human with a huge heart for helping people. He’s visited 50 countries and counting, and whether it’s a mission trip or a getaway with friends, he’s been fortunate to see more of the world than many see in a lifetime!

Richard, between your full time job and all of your humanitarian work, you are always on a plane! What made you add Cuba on top of all these other trips?

Cuba has always been one of those places I’ve dreamed about. I’ve always wanted to “step back into time,” and see the beautiful old cars parading down the Malecon. Most importantly, being Haitian, it was almost a duty to pay our Cuban brothers a visit at home since Cuba has long been an important ally of Haiti, sending hundreds of doctors to Haiti to help throughout all the hardships we have endured. I owed it to the Cuban people as a token of appreciation. There was no other country I wanted to visit more than Cuba, and now that I did, I can’t stay away for too long as I’m getting ready for my 3rd trip there.

So you knew this question was coming (sorry). What’s up with the 12 travel categories? Do they hem you up like Debo at customs with some crazy pop quiz on your “Educational Activities”?

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