Beautiful Skies in Houston, Texas *Bey-Bay*
NOLA, Do you love me?
I have to be really honest, and just get this out of the way. Houston is not what I imagined. I’ve heard so many songs shouting out Houston, and it just didn’t live up to that. The place is really spread out, so it’s hard to figure out where are the hot spots besides touristy places. As far as the social scene goes, it doesn’t live up to the hype--at least not for this trip. But, I still got what I needed from my stay.
What I Learned After Visiting “Home” Again
I had the “Girls Trip” I always wanted.
I fell in love with New Orleans on the first day of my first trip there in 2016. It’s the only place other than Bermuda and Mexico that I plan to visit EVERY year. It is indeed my favorite place on Earth, and it cannot be topped. If Black American culture was a place, it would be New Orleans.
My last visit home ended in a full circle moment.
There is a running joke in my town of Barnwell, South Carolina, that was on a meme I saw once: “you know y’all are really dating when you take them to Walmart.” Y’all because it’s South Cak. And, Walmart because it’s the most interesting place in my town. Well, at least I thought until my last trip there this past August.
Healing in Bermuda
Two weeks before I was supposed to start the Journalism master's program at Syracuse University, something traumatic happened to me. I had to defer for a year. I didn't think it would happen. I walked across the stage as my family watched this past weekend.
I Turned 30 in Mexico City, Mexico
The people are so kind and beautiful. And, not just "tourist kind." They are kind to each other. They have great public transportation (ferry and bus) including taxis. The island is known for it's pink sand beaches and blue skies. You can actually enjoy a private beach to yourself because there are so many small ones along the shore.
South Carolina, My Home Sweet Home
I am a birthday person. I call my birthday: "my new year." I get excited about other people's birthdays, too. So, if you were ever important in my life (even slightly) I still remember your birthday. I plan my birthday months in advance. Making it to 30 is a milestone, so I wanted to do something major. I was planning a family dinner, but then decided almost last minute that I wanted to travel to a place I've never been alone. A writer I follow on Instagram was sharing her experience in Mexico City.
Halloween 2017: Paying Homage to Frida Kahlo
I haven't been home in over a year. And, by "over a year" I mean a year times two for which I am ashamed. In the words of my niece, "how you can travel all over the world but not come home?" *insert confused face emoji here*
Aruba, One Happy Island :)
I "rediscovered" something about myself: I love Halloween. Halloween was a favorite as a child. The dressing up and going out into the community with the other kids just to say "trick or treat" and be rewarded with candy. My favorite memory includes almost losing all of my favorite lollipops and candy corn running from a madman dressed like the serial killer in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York (2017)
Aruba is known as "one happy island." And, that it is. The water surrounding the island is beautiful. The island is well taken care of and the people seem genuinely happy. There is no homelessness. It never rains. It sprinkled for less than 2 minutes once during my visit.
My 29th NEW YEAR in Havana, Cuba
This is not my first time visiting the museum and I still had a wonderful experience. You will be able to see where she lived and helped people until she died, the actual bed she slept in, her bible, pictures and so much more.
My First Time in Maya Riviera, Mexico
I kicked off the last year in my 20s in Cuba. It seems like Cuba is frozen in time because of the beautiful and old cars. It is a beautiful place.
I Got My Gumbo in New Orleans, Louisiana
Mexico is a beautiful country. It was my first time out of the country, and I instantly knew that it will be an annual trip every November. November was a perfect time because the weather is not as humid as the other months and it's not as "crowded".
Sisters Empowering Sisters Panel at Syracuse University (2015)
New Orleans has been on my wish list for years. So, when my sister next work assignment was there, I booked my tickets to invade her space the following week. The first night we were killing some time by the rooftop pool when we heard a band playing. We ran down to the street and a local high school band all the way down near Bourbon Street. That's what I love about New Orleans.
Harriet Tubman's Home in Auburn, NY (2016)
Black girls and women empowerment has always been was have driven me personally and professionally. This year, I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of young Black girls at Syracuse University during the Sisters Empowering Sisters Conference.
H A R R I E T T U B M A N is my hero.
Last April, I finally visited T H E H A R R I E T H O M E in Auburn, NY.
The tour guide told us stories about Tubman's life from start until her death. (Some facts I didn't know. I don't want to spill here because I strongly suggest you go for yourself.) After that, we went into the nursing home, which she had built for the elderly. We saw photographs of her and her family members, the actual bed she slept in, her bible and everyday household things she used. Her house, which is at the front of the property is still being renovating.