All Articles Tagged "traveling"
From Clubbin’ To Clarity: How Investing In Experiences Instead of Material Things Broadened My Perspective
I spent a good chunk of my undergrad years trying to keep up appearances with my girlfriends. We would take our tiny work study checks and hit the malls for a higher pair of heels, a sexier club outfit, one more lip color to add to our collections. We would go all out for college parties and save our bus fare and head to the city to go clubbing like we had money to burn.
I thought THAT was having fun. And don’t misunderstand, I did enjoy it. But after a few months – those bottle poppin’ nights out started to run together. Monotony now had a tangible definition. The same old thing with the same old people at the same old time in the same old places. I had nothing new to look forward to.
I was keeping myself confined to one kind of experience. My world was enclosed to materialism as its highlight. There was no room for anything bigger than that. I couldn’t see beyond what I believed to be a good time. With every little bit of money I got, I was financing myself into a materialistic rut. With every new bag and every new pair of shoes I kept thinking, “There has GOT to be more than this.”
In October of 2008 I rode a plane for the first time to a student affairs conference in Dallas, Texas. The moment we ascended completely above the clouds was the moment I knew things would never be the same for me. I had tasted flight! I had finally gotten out of the East Coast at 22 years old. I had met others from all over the world. This was the ‘more to life’ that I had been craving and I wanted more of it. I started looking for any and every opportunity to travel, to meet new people, to experience new places and things.
My money wasn’t going toward shoes and lipsticks anymore. I was working to finance my involvement in charity events, trips all over the country, Broadway shows, live music festivals – anything, everything that would give me another perspective, a deeper appreciation, an unforgettable memory.
When we limit our experiences to the same old thing we deny ourselves the joy and wonder of the unknown. I have spent what most would consider an obscene amount of money on the arts, travel, charity work, etc. investing in experiences that will last me a lifetime. There was only so much of a new experience I could have at a party or taking pictures with my girls in our new ‘fits at the club. But helping to build a home for a mother of four? Experiencing The Phantom of The Opera live? Traveling the peaceful mountains and countryside of Pennsylvania by myself? Completing an obstacle course in the air? Running a 5K for cancer research? Singing with a slammin’ jazz band at one of the hottest spots in DC?
Life changed the day I decided to look beyond THINGS and invest in experiences. There is a whole world outside of “Red Bottoms,” iPhones, and Cliquot. How much more of a well-rounded, self-aware and cultured community might we become if we search for opportunities to experience something new? I don’t think we’ll have as many regrets. We won’t look back and wonder “What if?” as much. We’ll have worlds beyond games and iPads to share with our children. Every experience counts. And while shoes and bags are great, long-lasting memories and lessons learned are so much better. You won’t regret it. I know I don’t.
La Truly writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe: www.about.me/latruly
Someone queue up Will Smith’s “Summertime” and pass along a fruity drink with a small umbrella. Ladies and gentlemen – summer is just about here, which means the time has come to start planning for a much needed vacation!
Everyone needs to pack up and get away at some point during the summer months. You need a break from the hard work you put around the office, or to simply seize the opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with your children once school goes on hiatus. Whatever the case, just know you are worth it and deserve a summer trip, whether you plan to stay in the United States or travel abroad.
Keep in mind, a vacation requires money. You don’t want to come home to financial stress. So be sure your bank account can handle the cost of travel, accommodations, and all of the sights and sounds of the destination. ICYMI: We offered some tips for traveling like a baller. Check it out here.
There are some getaways that take a little more time to plan. Here are the summer vacations you should start planning ASAP.
Last year around this time, I was spending a quiet Saturday exploring the wonders of the internet. This day, my meandering led to Groupon. I clicked on the site’s “Getaways” section and that’s when I saw it. A picture of the Sphinx advertised an 8 day tour through Egypt. Instantly, my heart started pounding. Historically, that type of physiology reaction is a clear sign from the Divine that I need to take action. So I knew at that moment, one way or another, I was going on this trip.
When I ran the idea by a close friend, he reminded me that I didn’t have any money and therefore, wouldn’t be able to go. That was the last, little push I needed. If I went for no other reason than to prove him wrong, I was going. When I told people I was going to Egypt, everyone assumed I was going with my sister or several of my friends but I was going alone. I had to go it alone because no one had the money/desire to go when I wanted to leave. While I would have loved the share the experience with someone else, I couldn’t forgo the experience by waiting.
After some borrowing and negotiating with the travel agency who posted the deal, everything was set. I was going to Egypt. I was set to leave in November, around Thanksgiving.
But then ish went left. About three months before my trip, the political protests increased and in the eyes of many around the world Egypt became synonymous with smoky streets, screaming protestors and aggressive military personnel. My family was concerned. Everyone who had heard about my trip called and asked me to postpone it. I wasn’t happy about it but eventually I obliged. My new trip would be in April.
When the time came I had my anxieties. As yet another black girl who can’t swim, I felt a little uneasy flying over the Atlantic Ocean for hours on end. But as soon as I got on the plane, a sense of peace came over me and I knew that I would be safe and protected throughout my journey.
The trip exceeded my expectations.
Looking at temples and statues that were still standing nearly 4,000 years after construction was awe inspiring. Sailing down the Nile, a river that watered and nourished the original man, the first civilization, was breathtaking and at times a bit emotional. Staring at the pyramids trying to figure how the ancient Egyptians moved and stacked blocks weighing several tons was baffling. Seeing the opulence and grandeur of all the treasure from King Tut’s tomb was amazing. Kanye was really onto something when he told us it’s in black folks’ soul to rock that gold.
But more than the exploration of history traveling to Egypt, as leaving the country often does, even gave me an opportunity to do some reflecting about myself. I remember the first time I went to Africa, Ghana to be exact, I was surprised to learn that the people there didn’t regard me as black. In Egypt it was the complete opposite. People were sure that I was Nubian, or Sudanese or even Latina. I realized, that while in America brown skinned people might be “minorities;” but in the global context, brown skin is the norm. And while I smiled or chuckled at their inaccurate guesses, I realized that I could have been any of those things. It was there in Egypt that I recognized my “brown girl privilege”: the ability to travel and blend in with a variety of people.
When you’re traveling, there are a dozen excuses not to stay on track with your diet and fitness plan: you don’t want to get lost jogging in a new place, you don’t want to miss out on trying the local cuisine, there’s no gym etc. But don’t use those excuses! Barricade yourself against the fattening but oh-so-fun experience that is vacation with these easy preparations.
There’s a fine line between being the pleasant surprise of a charming, witty, attractive seatmate, and the person who is just talking too much. But you just sat next to someone you’re envisioning yourself on Indie-movie type dates with once that bird hits the runway and you don’t know how to walk that line. Let us give you a few tips.
I did not learn to enjoy my own company until I relocated to start my career. Moving from my home state to one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the world with little to no friends or acquaintances or family, loneliness began to set in. After almost a year stuck in the same bubble of insecurity and isolation, I begin to search for ways to adapt to my new lifestyle. Learning to accept the fact that I have more time to myself than I was used to back in my hometown, I began to enjoy everyday things solo, like going out to try a new restaurant or coming home to an empty apartment. Just because I was alone, didn’t necessarily mean I had to feel lonely.
There’s a certain type of self-assurance when it comes to doing (and enjoying) things alone. It comes along with time, self-confidence and being aware of what you need as a person, and primarily, as a woman. Some of us need alone time to escape the stresses of the day. Others might need their alone time to do something selfish every once in a while. Whatever the case may be, being alone should not automatically mean feeling lonely; it is the perfect time to put your guard down and enjoy the most important person in your life: yourself.
Thanksgiving is this week, ya’ll! WHOOP WHOOP! And while many people (like myself) are very excited to go home for a few days to parlay and relax with family and old friends, many (like me again) are not looking forward to what it takes to get our behinds back home. Whether that means six hours or more in a car, more on a bus, or just a few hours (yet grueling ones) on an airplane, everyone and their mothers will be out on the road, or sitting on a plane trying to get to who-knows-where. With that, here are a few of the people you should look out for when looking for a place to sit or trying to hitch a ride to get home for the holidays. Don’t even give them eye contact. Trust me.
(LATimes.com) — Starting late this month, airlines that leave passengers stranded on a tarmac in a delayed plane for three hours or more can face a hefty fine under new rules adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
If carriers don’t let passengers out of the plane before the three-hour mark, the agency can fine them up to $27,500 per customer.
At least three domestic airlines have announced plans to avoid the penalties. But that won’t necessarily cut down on delays.