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Backpacking Across South America: M0ner0

The type of place you bring the woman you want to impress. #noryauyos #vilca #huancaya #lima #peru

Backpacking Across South America: MOnerO

July 13th, 2017

One of the greatest things about social media is that you get to e-meet people that you probably would’ve never met in “real” life. There are a lot of authentic people out there leading fascinating and interesting lives. For me, one of those people happen to be Kent or @M0ner0 (with zeros, not “o”) on Instagram. If you’re not following him please go and do so right this moment. Kenny is always on the go – he’s never just “home, chilling”. He has gone to the deepest corners of the world (far, far off the beaten path and miles away from tourists) to capture some of the most stunning, surreal, beautiful, mystical – I could go on – views I have ever seen.

What makes his photos so intriguing is that he often hikes (sometimes 7 hours or more), sometimes risking his life on these dangerous paths to capture these incredible moments.

I’ve been following him for a few years now and I’ve always told him that he needs to write a book one day. This man is FULL of stories (as I’m sure you can imagine) which is why I decided to reach out to him for an interview right quick.

Planet Earth… everyday #earthday #earthlife #pachamama #noryauyos #vilca #huancaya #lima #peru

You seem to be a very mysterious man – Where were you born and raised?

I was born In Passaic, New Jersey from immigrant parents. My parents split up when I was a toddler. Mother moved us to Worcester, MA, where I was raised.

I’ve been following you on Instagram for quite some time. You once mentioned being incarcerated and having found a deeper appreciation for freedom and life. If you don’t mind sharing, what led to your incarceration and how much time did you have to do?

I was incarcerated for almost two years for drug trafficking. It was my first (and hopefully last) time I’ve ever been in any serious trouble.

You’re the true definition of a modern-day nomad. What made you decide to go on the road and explore the world on your terms?

Frankly, I became tired of the short vacations that yielded nothing but “good” times. I wanted adventure and deep experiences. A fellow I met in Berlin, Germany convinced me of the backpacking route and so I took the plunge.

I MUST ask this: Being that you spend a lot of time in the wilderness among the mountaintops, how do you maintain cell phone service?

Almost all of my posts are later grams. Either a day or even a week after the event. I have a Peruvian cell chip. It’s really cheap to buy internet data here.

Also, it seems that you do a lot of bartering with the people you meet along your journey but how do you get by without a solid job (income)?

I’ve had the privilege of guiding people around places for cash. Occasionally I’ll do some odd jobs for a few sols (Peruvian currency). Couchsurfing and Woofing are great ways to stretch your savings.

*Couchsurfing is a website where a fellow traveler can find a place to crash at, for free. Woofing is also website where you can find employment in exchange for food/lodging.

Are you ever afraid? What keeps you going?

I have shed any fear I had years ago. I’ve been robbed a few times. I almost got shot for mistaken identity once. I find that things happen, especially on long term journeys. It is inevitable. It is how you approach it and how you deal with any issues that arise. Staying positive is key.

The love of adventure keeps me going. The love for photography and my passion to share with others the beauty found on planet Earth keeps me going.

When they say that you shouldn’t, cuz they wouldn’t #huaytapallana #huancayo #junin #peru

Many, many thanks to Kenny (@M0ner0) for sharing! If you’re looking to see the unseen part of a country’s culture you’ve got the right guy.

Would you ever consider backpacking?

 

 

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COUCHSURFING, SOUTH AMERICA, BACKPACKING, PERU, WWOOFING, SOLO TRAVEL, CENTRAL AMERICA

Philly In Less Than 24Hrs.


It was on a Friday afternoon, I was sitting at work, fake busy and just counting down the hours until it was time to go, when out of nowhere, I just decided that I wanted to book a flight and go somewhere the next day, and I didn’t care where. For me, as long as it was out of Dallas, TX, as long as the weather was right, as long as the price was right, and as long as they had public transportation, my name was going to be on that plane ticket.

Now remind you, I was fairly new to the travel world at this time, so for me to just up and decide to leave without research, it was a big deal, but I just wanted to be gone, and in less than 24 hours, I found myself on a plane to Philadelphia, PA and nobody knew about it, not even my mama.

You see, before this, I was always under the assumption that flights booked closer to the departure date, especially this close, would be expensive, so when I first started to look at flights, I didn’t take it serious, but just in case, I was still ready for whatever, and to my surprise, boom, Philadelphia “one-hundred-and-fifty-dollars,” and with perfect flight times too. Man look, feeling that the price might have been a mistake, I bought that flight faster than OJ left out that courtroom in 95.

Now, what made it so real was, not only was I was going by myself, “as usual,” but I really didn’t know anything about Philly: a street, a building, a person, what their downtown looked like, or what I was going to do there. All I knew was, over the summer while on Snap Chat, Philly came across while they were doing the city takeovers and it showed the “Liberty Bell,” two, that they had cheese-steaks, three, that “Love Park” used to be on all the skateboard videos I watched when I was younger, but that didn’t hit me until I saw it in person, and four, that Meek Mill was from there, which was ironic, because “DC4” had just dropped that night, and I the song “Blue Notes” on repeat almost the entire flight.

But that next Saturday morning, you couldn’t steal my joy, I was really on my way like never before, and nobody had a clue about my move, hell, I was still trying to believe it, and almost a whole day went by before I told anybody where I was. Dangerous, yea I know, because anything could have happened, and nobody would have blah blah blah, but the bliss of it all was in full effect for your boy, and to add to it, I was living out a simple goal I had made for myself since I had started traveling, which was too one day, wake up, buy a plane ticket that left the same day, and just go, and I had sort of did that with this one, so I was happy.

People think I’m crazy, but at the same time think it’s cool that I’m as spontaneous as I am when it comes to travel, and I’ve actually made it my style of travel since this one, so now I never plan. I just don’t believe in being scary, whether it’s in life and or travel. I just refuse to live always worried, always trying to plan, always trying to follow this schedule and that schedule, or include this person or that person, I can’t live like that. I’d rather risk me flying clear across the country, and it being a bad time, than including someone along with me, and they ruin a good time, for me.

SN: Philly surprised the hell out me too. I didn’t realize how much history it had there, from the:

Foundation where G. Washington housed 9 of his slaves: Hercules, Austin, Paris, Joe, Mole, Oney Judge, Christopher Sheels, Richmond, and Giles.IMG_20161111_083127

 

Independence Hall

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Liberty Bell IMG_20161111_091524

 

Historic Parks (Tomb Of Unknown Soldier)IMG_20161109_200830

All Wars Memorial To Colored Soldiers IMG_20161107_151933

 

…and I even rode a bike across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, to Camden, New Jersey. PicsArt_04-17-06.20.48

Ashton Keith
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global


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Gap Year

Gap Year 1-1 Are you Chicken??

We all have different opportunities presented to us at numerous times in our lives but you know what, sometimes we are just too chicken to take advantage of them.  Yeah I said it. You, me, us, we just get so comfortable in our daily routine, in the safety of the known, that we just want to maintain it. Even if what we are maintaining sucks or if we think there is something better out there for us. Better to be unhappy in what we know versus the potential of being even unhappier in the unknown.

Well, let me tell you a little bit of my routine and what is known. I am a consultant and as glamorous as it may sound, what that really means is long hours, constant traveling, early mornings, being away from loved ones, constantly playing the “game”, and walking on water for your clients. (that was a Jesus reference btw)

In the last 1.5 years before I gave the deuces to my job, I would wake up a 5 a.m. every Monday morning after hitting snooze button one too many times and then rush to the Atlanta airport to be herded through the security line with so many other walking dead consultants.  I would take a weekly 5 hour flight to sunny San Diego, which had beautiful weather btw, but then work 10-12 hours day, so never really getting to enjoy it.

Then, I would grab some food after work, say I was going to gym but rarely did, call my girlfriend and talk to her for 1-2 hours while I sat it my hotel room and then hit repeat until Thursday.  On Thursday there was a glimmer of light that the weekend was near but sometimes it would be decimated if I had to take a red-eye back.  If you ever wanted to see an angry black man then come see me when I get off that 5 hour red-eye at 6:30 am.

 

Do I look happy to you??

I was just mad at the world. Even after taking a nap when I got home, my internal clock was just completely disrupted so I was cranky all weekend.  This was my routine and this was what I was holding on to. Sounds terrible doesn’t it?

Gap Year1-2: So, a little about me

So for all intents of purposes, consulting can really weigh on you especially when you’re traveling coast to coast every week.  However, to be fair, there are some pretty darn good perks. I would be remiss with pointing these out and would only telling one side of story. So first, you make good money. My company (which will remain nameless..for now) was kind of skimp on pay compared to other consulting companies but they still paid well comparatively to other industries and they also had great stock options.  I get 5 weeks’ vacation, was promoted a number of times, and flown on private jets for client work, so let’s just say my career progress was going well.  In addition, I racked up a ton of frequent traveler point so Delta and SPG hotels rolled out the red carpet for me.
In most cases I was upgraded to first class for my coast to coast trips and I would get suite upgrades in my hotel at random.  I also used those points to take “almost” free trips to places like Hawaii, Costa Rica, Brazil etc (in prior years).

Oh yeah, and I also got extra cash from my traveling per diem whenever I was on the road. Oh yeah (again), instead of coming back to Atlanta, I had the option to go to any city in the world that was a comparable price on the company’s dime. Whew!! Now, I bet you are like what the heck is he complaining about?

To be clear, I am not trying to brag but just trying to paint a picture of the good and bad of what was major part of my life at this point.  If you haven’t, check out the bad in Gap Year 1-1

Gap Year 1-3: Oh I think I like you..

So rather or not you thought my life sucked, or you thought it was awesome, or it was somewhere in between, something was at least off for me.  I think part of it was that I was about to turn 30 years old and I felt like I was losing myself in corporate America after being in it for almost 7 years.

I was doing well in my career but ultimately I wasn’t happy and really where I wanted to be.  But on the flip side, I really liked the people I was working with.  My co-worker and clients actually became my legit friends.

Although we worked hard, and we did work hard, we played hard and we were really like a family.  I don’t know how many times they helped me plan a surprise or select a gift for Najah (that would be my girlfriend). Or when it was just after 6 p.m. and things started quieting down, it would turn into a Karaoke session.  When my birthday came around they got me a special cake (I required a lot out of the team so when I didn’t get what I expecting they would call me princess…lol)

When you reach a milestone and you decide to pop champagne in the parking lot or you have a van full of consultants that are taking calls on the way up to a vineyard to get lit

 

or you make an unsanctioned trip to Tijuana, you know you have something special.  I went through roladex of pics and even found a pic of me wearing my “princess” crown.

Some of my fondest memories have been with working with people on this project.  Tear, tear.  So if you can’t tell I was hella confused.  However, I still had a choice to make.  Continue with my routine or take on a reckless but potentially very uplifting opportunity of a gap-year.

Gap Year 1-4: The Opportunity (WTH is a Gap Year???)

So my buddy @travelandtruth and I got the travel bug when were college roommates at Georgia Tech. We took a cruise to the Bahamas for Spring Break in 2012 and then the floodgates opened. We were addicted to travel and went on trip after trip after trip.

I mean from going to Cuba illegally before Obama made his historic trip, to playing Mas in Trinidad Carnival and no knowing a single soul there (highly inadvisable lol),

or making our way to the ruins of Machu Picchu,

we have seen a lot of countries together. After going on so many trips and talking to so many non-Americans we always heard this reoccurring theme of a gap year. Our first response was “Ummmm, What’s a gap year?”.
A gap year is break the many Europeans and Australians take to travel the world after graduating from secondary school and before they take job. It is an amazing opportunity where it gives individuals the ability to become global citizens and reflect on what they really want out of life.

 

Some people do the gap year and decide that they want to stay in that country and work as a professional or as a surf instructor. Some people do a gap year and go to just about every country in South America or Asia. The idea is that they learn about the world before they put their heads down in an office or any job for the next 30+ years, something I think Americans can really learn from.

So after hearing all of this insightful information since 2009, are question to ourselves was , why not us?!!!

Gap Year 1-5: Planning For A Reckless Experience at 30

So from the moment we learned what a gap year was in 2009, we started planning and saving for our own. I mean honestly we didn’t know if we ever would do it but we knew we wanted to. It also wasn’t a specific plan just something we kept in the back of our minds.  Well, it was in the back of our minds until January 2015.  You see, this trip would cost a significant amount of money (and still did) but since both my buddy and I were consultants we always planned on using Delta’s Around the World Ticket to help keep costs down.For 180,000 miles we could get to just about every continent in the world with only paying taxes (a few hundred bucks).  Well, on that fateful date in January, Delta forced our hand and really made us put up or shut up.


As I was just perusing the internet one Saturday afternoon I just got the urge to start looking for flight deals. I went on Delta’s site to check what trips I could get with points.  I remember I started to daydream about the possibilities of a gap year and then something caught my eye….Delta’s around the world ticket program is expiring!!!  Wait, it’s expiring?!!! Wait, it’s expiring in literally 2 days!!! <mouth drop>. Are you #@^&$ kidding me.

 

My heart fell out of my chest.  Using Delta’s RTW ticket was the only “affordable” (and I use that term loosely) option for us do the gap year.  So no RTW ticket means no Gap Year!!  I immediately called my boy and we had a long phone call and kind of just went back and forth with each other and were like are really doing this?  We aren’t in our mid-20’s anymore we are grown men that are about to be 30.  Are we going to quit our jobs?

 

I mean no job means no income, we have both have serious girlfriends now, we both have mortgages, this trip is cost a grip, wait so……..are we really doing this????

Gap Year 1-6: The Decision

Man oh man ish got real that day lol.  I always told Najah that a gap year was a possibility in the future but even I didn’t believe it to some degree. I mean, does it really make sense for a 30 year old man to recklessly leave his job to pursue some farfetched passion or dream?  Ugh!! What to do?!!

The very same day we figured out that we had 48 hours to make a decision,  I had an emergency meeting with my buddy.  It was game time. We were nervous, we were scared, and we were mad at Delta for springing this on us and discontinuing the program with points.

 

We spent hours going over the pros and cons of going on the trip. We would constantly pace back and forth in my living room and ask each other question after question.  What about our girlfriends? How do we tell our girlfriends?

What about our jobs? Do we like our jobs? How does this ticket even work? Can we afford this?   If we do it, we are saying “Yes” to an amazing opportunity but also “Yes” to a very uncertain future with our girlfriends, jobs, income, and life!!

If we say “No” we are saying we want to be comfortable and play it safe. We are saying we want to go back to jobs that we don’t really care for but, hey, at least it doesn’t disrupt the routine.  Everyone is happy except us.  Both options kind of suck lol.  What would you choose if you were in our shoes?

Gap Year 1-7: Selfish or Self-Worth To Leave Your Girlfriend Behind

After significant deliberation, and I do mean significant, our eventual decision to do the gap year was ultimately a “Yes”.  Now, I can’t speak for him as to his rationale for still choosing to do the gap year, but from my perspective, it was doing something for the betterment of me. Now some people, specific people, (yeah I am jabbing) thought this choice was very selfish. And you know what they may be right. It is selfish to go after your dreams.  I have dated a beautiful, committed girlfriend for 3 years and now I am about to bounce for at least 6 months.She definitely wasn’t happy about it and she didn’t want me to go. But I can’t lie, in my mind I would have loved for her to say if this is important to you then it also is important to me and just support me through it. However, that obviously didn’t happen lol and I can’t blame her. I mean our relationship was literally on the chopping block so I can definitely understand the concern.

So this is a legit question.  Was this decision selfish or more about self-worth or is there even a difference? (add a comment and let me know).   I really want to know what people think.

Gap Year 1-8: Why I Chose…

Yes, I decided to choose me and do the Gap Year. I am interested to see people’s comments and response but let me now share a bit more of my rationale. Saying “Yes” to the gap year was me deciding to not self-sacrifice for the sake of someone else’s happiness (mostly my girlfriend) for a unique and life changing experience.  This sounds harsh as hell but hear me out (I love you baby!!).Deciding to not do this would have been a detriment to myself and more than likely to us.   Saying “Yes” to the gap year, for me,  was an inward and outward proclamation to myself that I was not a slave to my job or slave to what American society says I should be (umm do you know what America thinks of me..I am a black man by the way).I mean can you imagine if I thought the opposite? So if I said hey baby I will stay back for us but I am going to feel like a slave to my job and also feel like I need to live up to what American society says I am.  Umm, bro, that’s not healthy.  And honestly, that’s how I started to feel being in corporate American for so long.  I just saw a not so good future on the horizon and I had to do what I thought was best to stop that.  I needed a rest clock.

Another reason I chose to do the gap year is that I am hoping this can inspire others. A black Bajan-American male from the ghettos of Boston who sometimes ate bread and butter for dinner (btw bread and butter is off the chain) because there was no alternative and had to keep the oven open to keep the house warm some nights is going to travel to all 7 continents on a gap year.  Umm, you said what sir?  So in other words I am saying if I can do it, you can do it.

Gap Year 1-9: Black Self Worth And Travel

Doing something like this gap year (although it is really not a year) is hard enough no matter what your background is but there is also another reason why I wanted to make the trip.  Self-Worth. How does America see me? Yes me, a black man.  Well, as you can imagine, it ain’t pretty (this trip was happening in 2015).  I am likely going to end up in jail or dead, right?  Oh my, you graduated from Georgia Tech, did you play a sport? I am also extremely prone to violence, you didn’t get the memo?The rhetoric that America is spewing when I was getting ready to take this trip in particular with police brutality was on different level, the worst that I have seen in my lifetime.   Even despite what I was able to accomplish at my firm (I mean I flew on a private jet for client work for goodness sake), all the tragic events with Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown etc and seeing it over and over again eventually lead me for the first time in my life to wish I was born a different color. I really just wished I wasn’t black.  I remember I would just tear up sometimes (as manly as I could) and wonder why they just hate us.  Eventually I came back to my senses and realized my black is beautiful but this ish is real.  So doing this gap-year was giving me a break from such a contentious environment, doing my small part in hopefully changing the story-line of what black men are able to accomplish, and motivating people that look like me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  I just put my mind on something for 6 years and prepped for it. You can too!

Lawrence – We Work To Travel
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global
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BARBADOS WAS SO GOOD TO ME!

First I want to say HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY BARBADOS!! Barbados was a TIME! I’m almost speechless about my experience. First of all, you know I’m greedy so let’s talk about the food first. I was having so much fun that I didn’t even get to REALLY experience the food outside of the resort. That’s just one of the many reasons why I have to go back! I did get a chance to try Chefette at the airport which was pretty good. I always love fast food way better outside the states. I have been to so many resorts in different Caribbean islands and the food at Divi Southwinds Beach Resort was by far the best food I have ever had on a resort! Sooooo, so, so good! From breakfast to lunch and dinner, everything was good and ALL INCLUSIVE. I love that word!

The rooms were pretty average with a living room and balcony. On this trip, I was never in the room so it was perfect. The St. Lawrence Gap is a known hotspot in Barbados and is right in the backyard of the hotel. You can literally walk there. The funniest thing ever is that my other half actually ran into Majah Hype (My Brooklyn people know) the first night we got there. I enjoyed my stay at the resort, the staff had great vibes and were accommodating and friendly.

If you’ve been keeping up then you know that I was actually there for a wedding. I want to cry just thinking about it because it was truly BEYOND beautiful. Big shoutouts to Nandi and Kenyatta on their union! #RoadtoRegis was a hit and the first destination wedding I attended this year and ever.

Being able to travel with my other half and some of my amazing friends from college made it all that much better. It was so good catching up while enjoying some fun in the sun. I am so happy when I get to have beach days and on this trip, I got to have plenty. Not only was there beach access on the resort but some friends and I still made our way to Sandy beach for food and excursions. I had too much fun and the GREAT news is I WILL BE BACK!

Click the link below if you are interested in going to Barbados with me next year or if you want to just join a fabulous traveling group! You won’t regret it!

https://urbaneventsglobal.myshopify.com/?aff=162

(click on my pic to follow my page)

Soleil – Her Love Journey
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global

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URBAN EXCURSION WEEKEND: ST. THOMAS


I found out about Urban Excursion Weekend from some friends I visited when I was in Tampa. They travel all the time and knew that I did too. Everyone thought it would be a dope idea if we all go together and THAT it was! Urban Excursion Weekend is an annual adult destination trip held every Labor Day weekend in September and of course, destinations vary. Baecations and girls trips are nice but when you travel with a whole bunch of different like-minded people including your own friends it’s a crazy dope experience.

About St. Thomas:  The Urban Excursion Experience

St. Thomas was very nice. Friendly people and good vibes. We stayed at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriot Beach Resort. I don’t know what I can say was the best thing about this resort but I really want to say it was the views. The room I got was pretty much a basic clean room with a balcony. The first room option they gave us wasn’t great and close to the construction but the staff was friendly and accommodated us right away. The food there was pretty good, breakfast was my favorite. There’s a beach on the property and about 3 pools including the infinity pool, which is amazing. There is also a fitness center to get your work out on but Urban Excursion usually features someone to do workouts in the morning on the beach. I sadly missed them but took advantage of the fitness center on the resort. My only con for the resort is that if you’re scary just like me, be ready to face those iguanas on the route down to the beach.

The group got to visit Coral World Ocean Park and I guess it was ok walking around seeing different wildlife. I got to watch a Sea Lion encounter and honestly, it just made me feel bad for the sea lion. Everyone was doing excursions and having the time of their lives as they should and I was in there running from iguanas. I was so relieved when it was time to have some fun on Coki Beach. I loveeeee the beach! There were iguanas there too but it just didn’t bother me as much. The DJ came and set up and we basically had our own beach party. Just thinking about it now makes my heart smile. Urban Excursion Weekend had some amazing events but sadly I was just a little too turnt to make it to them all. Overall, I truly had an amazing time and if I didn’t travel so much I would go on all the Urban Events Global trips.

Oh and for the fellas reading this, I just want you to know that one of my now favorite Nupes Kevin Knight is the one who started this movement. I say that to say, the trip was like 30 females to one guy. What else can you expect? LOL, I’m just teasing but you fellas might want to make this trip is all I’m saying. Networking, beautiful people and great vibes on a beach sound better than a concert to me on any day. I will definitely be in attendance once again this September and you should join me. If you want to know where we are headed to next, get all the information at www.urbaneventsglobal.com.

You can also follow  @UrbanEventsGlobal on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. To get more information on Urban Excursion Weekend and all the other trips go on the website. There is no time like now!

P.S. It’s All INCLUSIVE

 

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                                                                 “99 Problems but my Squad ain’t One”

(click on my pic to visit my site!)

Soleil – Her Love Journey
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global


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10 DAYS IN CUBA

I was fresh off the plan from Puerto Rico and a week later I was off to Cuba. My mom called me one day and just basically told me I was going to Cuba. I was resistant at first because I wanted to focus on some other things but eventually, I gave in. Cuba has always been on my bucket list and my mom stressed to me how important this opportunity was since it’s a possibility that they might close access to it again. To go to Cuba, you need your passport and a Visa. My mom and I were able to get our Visas right at the airport, which was convenient.

Whenever I travel to the Caribbean I mostly pack bathing suits because I know I will be spending most of my time on the beach or in the pool. Let’s just say I was a little unprepared because this adventure was definitely different from what I was used to. My mom is a teacher and what she didn’t tell me was that this trip was an educational tour focused on Haitian culture. Everyone who went on this trip is prestigious scholars born in Haiti and their kids. I was one of 3 of the younger ladies that had the opportunity to come on the trip. We were so happy to have each other’s company and really made the best of the experience.

As soon as we landed, we were on the move. The first day was exciting, it’s always a surreal feeling for me whenever I land in another country. Cuba is beautiful and I was just happy to be there. The vibe in Havana is so vibrant and the old cars make you feel like you went back in time. I stayed at the Habana Riviera and it was pretty much mediocre which didn’t matter because the group was hardly ever there. I don’t think I have ever been to so many Tourist Attractions in any country like this since I was a little girl.

Cuba is colorful and interesting in so many aspects. The educational tour was focused on Haiti and how much of the culture is deeply rooted in Cuba. I am Haitian, so at times the experience was actually very emotional for me. Creole is the second most popular language in Cuba. Being in Cuba and being able to encounter so many people from my culture made me realize so much. I just kept thinking, any one of these people could have been my family members and I. Traveling truly humbles me in that sense because I don’t think people truly understand how privileged we are in America.  I learned about the many Haitian festivals that are held in Cuba and how Haitian heroes like Toussaint Louverture and Alexandre Sabes Petion made an impact on Cuban history.

One of the highlights of my trip was going to Cabaret Parisien in Havana. The food was one of the best and the performances were wonderful. There were so many stops and so much to do that at times my friend and I separated from the group for a breather. When we did separate from the group, we went out to a popular spot called Casa de la Musica. It was really cool, you could tell it was a hot spot for drinks and dancing. There was a live band and literally A LOT of dancing. The guy at the door mistook my friend and me for being Cuban. I’m pretty much used to that. A lot of countries that I’ve traveled to (The DR, Brazil and now Cuba), as long as I keep my mouth shut, they think I’m a native. So at first, they charged us the local price but once they got a hold of our ID’s, they made us return to the entrance and pay the tourist price. I am always easing mistaken for a native, whether it’s because of my weave, complexion or assets. Whatever it is, this natural beauty has always been and always will be Haitian and proud.

I am literally a beach bum. I can proudly say that I travel just to lay on the beach, so my beach days were the best days. The first beach we went to, we only got to spend an hour so I had to ditch the group to create my own beach day.

The group was always on the move and one of the days that I stayed back, I missed out on the trip to Vinales. That was a bad day to ditch because that is where they hand roll cigars and you get authentic organic Cuban food. I heard it was beautiful. On the bright side, did get a chance to visit Trinidad for two days. Overall, my trip was amazing and I would definitely go back. When you’re in Havana, don’t forget to stop at Floridita for your free margarita!

(click my pic to visit my site!)

Soleil – Her Love Journey
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global

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Cheap flight strategies please!

HOW TO BOOK AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT FOR $400 OR LESS

““The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page. ””

— SAINT AUGUSTINE

Secrets don’t last long in this town, and I’m about to reveal the biggest one of all.

I’m always asked how I’m able to travel so often. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t have a trust fund, I haven’t won the lottery (yet) and I don’t have a sugar daddy funding my leisure expenses. What I do have is an airline hookup. In fact, I have several. My “connections” allowed me to purchase a round-trip ticket to Iceland for $350, sent my friend to South Africa for $300, got my colleague to Brazil for $140, and helped me snag a 2 for 1 flight deal to Australia and Indonesia for $780. This is a steal considering flights to Sydney or Bali typically start at $1600 a piece.

Question: what’s my secret?

Answer: flight deals.

You’ll find an influx of articles on Google about the best days and times to purchase cheap airfare. Most travel experts will recommend buying flights on a Tuesday after 3p.m. While that’ not a complete lie, I want you to take that information and dump it in the trash. You can find airfare deals any day of the week; you just need to know where to look.

Before heading to Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline or Kayak, search these sites first:

Quick Tips:

  • Be flexible with your dates (if possible). I saved over $500 on my trip to Europe last year, because I departed a month later than I had originally planned.
  • Don’t be afraid to depart from other cities. If you see a deal from another state/city, it may be cheaper to book a flight from there.
  • Don’t procrastinate! Some deals only last a few hours, so I recommend purchasing your tickets as soon as possible.

The secret is officially out! Grab your debit card, because it’s time to book a trip.

AJ
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global

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10 Signs You’ve Found the Right Travel Buddy

 

10. They have the best DJ skills.

Whether you’re on a road trip or listening to tunes before going out, the playlist sets the tone – literally.

9. They have good hygiene.

This should be the most obvious sign of them all. Maintaining good hygiene is important whether you’re on vacation or just in the comfort of your own home. And having a good fashion sense is a plus! You never want to be the one who gets turned around at the entrance of an establishment because your travel buddy isn’t dressed appropriately.

8. Their laughter is contagious.

You’d rather spend your time laughing until your stomach hurts rather than being bored out of your mind or forcing conversation. Someone who is fun, likes to crack jokes and who doesn’t take themselves too seriously is what you need to make any trip a blast.

7. They don’t judge.

Unless your life is in danger, it should be a judgment-free zone at all times. This allows you to let loose and truly enjoy your time without the fear of being judged.

Gavel in court room

6.  They don’t blab.

What happens in …….., stays in ………! You can fill in the blanks, right? Some things are just better left unsaid and the right travel buddy understands this.

5. They’re easy to get along with.

You genuinely enjoy each other’s company and get along very well. Of course, there may be the occasional disagreements but you work through them.

4. They share the same Love or (Hate) for photo ops.

Whether you’re pulling out the selfie stick every 5 minutes or capturing the scenery at different angles, photos are important – depending on whom you ask. When your travel buddy shares the same view, it’s a match made in heaven.

3. They respect you.

Singing “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me,” in my Aretha Franklin voice. Respect for each other and your belongings is KEY. Enough said.

2. They enjoy the same kind of activities. Check the Bucket list!

It works out a lot better when you have similar interests with your travel buddy. Don’t get me wrong – you don’t have to like all of the same things, but you do need to have things in common like the places you’d like to visit and the kind of activities you’d like to do. What is the point in having a travel buddy if you’re doing everything separately? Determine what you both like and plan things around that. It also helps for you both to create a bucket list of places and activities then figure out what you can realistically do together.

1. They’re on a similar budget.

The ideal travel buddy needs to be able to afford the trip – meals, activities, transportation, sleeping accommodations, etc. If it’s an all-expense-paid trip without any obligations from you then disregard – And just take me as your travel buddy… Haha! But seriously, work out the financial details beforehand with the appropriate budget in place and also ensure that you have extra coins in case something comes up.

When these 10 things exist, you’ve found a keeper!

I’d love to hear from you! Please comment, follow, share, like AND subscribe to get helpful tips and exclusive offers.

Tiffany Owens
Guest Contributor / Blogger
Urban Events Global

 

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