2014 Reflections and New Year’s Resolutions

image(Lyon, France)

It’s officially the 35th day of the year. So, it is perfect timing to reflect on the past year as I have officially settled into the new year. 2011 was the year that changed my life but 2014 was the year that brought meaning and more excitement to my life. If someone told me that my 2014 would be what it became, I would have not believed it.

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Italian Riviera


Oh, how I wish I was able to visit Cinque Terre in the summer time! The Italian Riviera (as all parts of Italy) is a vacation hot spot year round BUT I could kill to be in Cinque Terre right now. Cinque Terre (five villages) are coastal villages in the Liguria region of Italy, facing the Mediterranean. These villages are contained by a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cinque Terre National park.
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Irish Black Tea in Lake Como


I’ve to admit, Lake Como is as beautiful as they say BUT, it is even better in person! I visited Lake Como late winter and I found it to be a great winter getaway destination (apparently George Clooney resides here too). You’re right next to the Italian alps and thirty minutes from the Swiss alps. If you are interest in winter sports, you can make Lake Como your base. Or, you can be like me and watch the winter days roll by at this chilled, mellow vibe destination.

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Lost in Milan

Processed with VSCOcam

If I could have opt out of going to Milan, I would have. However, my flight into Europe was in Milan’s Malpensa Airport. Before arriving, I read there isn’t much to do in Milano as it is business oriented but none of those reads told me about how easy it is to get lost. Thinking about it, one of my clients mentioned it as she reminisced how lost she was on her first day in Milan during the 90’s when she relocated to pursuit her career in modeling– I should have taken this as a hint.

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Europe Itinerary


After I started reading and following travelers share their journeys on Travel Noire, I was thirsty (for lack of a better word) to start seeing these places myself. I have taken many trips but none were truly solo traveling. At first, I wanted to take my first solo trip to Niagara Falls at the ending of 2013 because it is a place I wanted to experience myself and in all honesty, flights were and still are quite cheap from Chicago. However, that all changed when I scored my $260 round-trip ticket to Europe for late February to early/mid March. The thought of going to Europe, all by myself, not knowing a soul, was beyond scary but I was up for any challenges, from planning to the language barrier, to understanding how life function on the other side of the planet. Speaking of planning, I will be sharing my planning process of my upcoming 2014- 2015 Europe and southeast Asia backpacking trip shortly. In the meantime, here’s my itinerary for my Europe trip: Continue reading

How I Scored a $260 Round Trip Flight to Europe

 santorini View from my hotel suite in Santorini, Greece

I am an avid social apps user especially when it comes to Instagram. Last autumn, I started following an Instagram page called @Travelnoire. Travel Noire (link to their webpage) is an online platform that showcases and encourage people in the African diaspora to step out their comfort zone and explore their backyards and the world around them. I can’t recall how I found out about this online community but I’m guessing one of the people I follow liked one of their pictures and me being noisy wanted to see what picture it was. Thank God for my nosiness.  Continue reading