How a break up lead me to my first solo trip

Hey loves! So I took my first solo trip earlier this year to Japan, and although it originally wasn’t a solo trip I’m glad it ended that way.

So let me back up, I know a few of you are wondering how this Eat Pray Love experience happened, so let me tell you. My boyfriend at the time and I were looking to go on our second trip together, we went on a romantic Mexico trip but this time we both wanted to do something more adventurous and far from New York as possible. We landed on Japan which was something on both of our bucket lists so it was a huge win when we were able to find round trip tickets for under $500. Yes I said under $500!

A month before the trip my boyfriend and I broke up. Not to get into too much detail but I wasn’t extremely happy and made some bad decisions which lead to the break up. Life happens no big deal in my mind but the upsetting part was that he no longer wanted to spend 12 days with me in Asia. In hindsight I can now see why he would feel uncomfortable about traveling alone with an ex, not all people can push aside their hurt feelings as I could at the time. So I then cancelled my flight because I was too scared to travel alone. My biggest hesitations were traveling alone to Asia and not knowing Japanese. If you been to a number of Asian countries like China you know that they don’t necessarily cater to western languages like they do in Europe and South America. Also sitting on a 13 hour flight with no one to talk to was nerve racking.

The turning point happened two weeks before the trip, I met with one of my favorite travel influencers Jakiya who manages @TravelingFro and a number of other creatives that have gone after their passions. A lot of people in the inspiring group were years into their journey and left me with the advice to never let anyone or anything stop you from accomplishing your goals and going after what you love. They also encouraged me to repurchase that ticket and gave some great recommendations.

So I booked that ticket, which was no where as cheap as the original, and had the best awakening experience.

Japan has taught me so many things about myself and only sharpened the drive that I had within to pursue my goals. Here’s some of the main things I’ve learned.

1.) Never let another person’s decision cancel your plans or stop you from attaining a certain goal.

2.) Take a leap of faith and go after those things that scare you because you’ve simply never experienced it. If you never gone on a solo trip mainly because you were afraid, put away that fear and go. You’ll be happy you did.

3.) Never stay in a unhappy relationship even if that person is good to you. It’s not fair to both parties.

4.) You get 100% control over your experience on a solo trip. Everything is on your time, and you also get to meet some cool like minded people on the way.

5.) Solo trips are a great way to self reflect on your life and gives you the opportunity to navigate through your journey with a clear mind.

For those of you who are reading this and have never gone on a solo trip, stop the fear and GO. For those that have gone through a a breakup or a devastating experience go on that solo trip to learn more about yourself you never know what you can find out.

Thanks Loves!

Advertisements

Top Six Things Americans Should Know About Japan Before They Travel.

  1. The people and cultureWhen I tell you as soon as I touched down in Tokyo I was in for an extreme culture shock. Outside of being a black girl with braids walking around in braids and standing out, I immediately felt like I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Kansas being NYC.
    • The people are so polite and respectful. A characteristic you may rarely get on a nice summer day after months of snow in NY. They believe in this concept called omotenashi, which is essentially selfless hospitality. And let me tell you they practice this belief well. I remember getting off of the subway and walking 20 minutes in the wrong direction of my hostel. There was a older man who did not understand a word I was saying and vice verse and he ended up walking me 20 minutes to the doorsteps of my hotel. So AMAZING. I could never get that back in the states.

  1. TrashMy biggest question I found myself continually asking was how could Japan be so clean but there aren’t many trash cans around. After asking a million people I finally got an answer and turns out you are expected to take your trash home with you. Yup, that’s right even if you are buying food or ice cream off of the street or even a water bottle you must dispose of the trash your self and preferably at home.
    • I wondered how did this not cause an adverse effect and because there were limited public trash can people would just liter. I guess this goes back to the culture and respect that is engraved in them. Maybe New York can try this method sometime. Although I don’t think it would work for very long.
  2. FashionOne of the first things I noticed when I landed in Tokyo was the fashion. Majority of the people I’ve seen were so trendy, and stylish. As a girl who works in the retail world and a believer of looking good I was shocked to see how many people had the same mindset. People wore designer out there like they were at H&M prices, they aren’t btw. Definitely a fashion capital.
  3. Cherry BlossomsVisiting the Sakuras in Japan is definitely one of the biggest reasons many people go to visit in the spring. Note that the cherry blossoms last for about 14 days usually end of March early April. Some years the weather gets warmer a  earlier so the past couple of years the blossoms bloomed in March. Thank you global warming! If that’s the case and you missed them in Tokyo by a week you can always head north. The cherry blossoms travel north because of the trend in weather by region.

  1. Capsule HostelsIf you are a hostel person Japan will definitely please you. Capsule hotels and hostels are all over the place. These are essentially little boxes where you sleep stacked up bunk bed style some even have tvs in there. Depending on where you stay there may be a floor designated for your luggage and changing and you only bring yourself to the floor where your capsule bed is. It’s definitely an experience!

  1. ToiletsI know I know why are toilets on the list you may ask. Well because they definitely stood out. Japan has the cleanest bathrooms I’ve ever seen. I’m talking from hotel bathrooms to public bathrooms near tourist attractions SO CLEAN. Literally all toilets were bidets. Japan was obviously my first experience with one and for those two weeks I was so accustomed I was sad we don’t have them everywhere in the U.S.

If you are planning your trip to Japan soon here are some things i wish I knew prior to going. Hope you all enjoy and book that ticket soon.

Hate Planning Trips?!?

Are you one of those people who hates planning trips or just don’t know where to begin? Then I have a solution for you!! (Scroll Down)

If you meet the following requirements the I have the perfect trip for you.

  1. Do you have a passport?
  2. Are you someone who likes an itinerary planned for them.
  3. Are you someone who likes to party and get lit with other young professionals
  4. Do you like brunch especially one held on a beach with unlimited champagne, and lets not forget champagne showers?
  5. Always wanted to go to St. Lucia, Turks & Caicos, Greece, Mexico, or Bali?

Haywire Weekend might be the trip for you! Visit Haywireweekend.com or reach out to me if you have any question.

Milah’s Tip:

I’ve been on about 4 trips with this group and each one topped the last. We stayed in Luxurious villas in exclusive locations and I met amazing people that are now like family. Booking my trip to Bali soon so hopefully I’ll see you there.

My First All-Inclusive Vacation!!!

Hey loves so I know what you’re thinking for someone who travels so much how can I just now be experiencing an all-inclusive for the first time. I know I’m late in the game to this lifestyle of total relaxation, but I think im all caught up and here are some of the Pros and Cons of the experience.

In the case you were wondering I stayed at the Dreams Riviera Resort in Puertos Morelos… essentially Cancun.

PROS:

All you can eat and drink!! For a woman who loves her food and alcohol this felt like heaven. The restaurants were really good they had Hibachi, Italian, Mexican. I knew I loved the place when I walked in and was immediately handed champagne ( and a few more as I was standing in line checking in). Travelling in the past there was always the decision to pick up bottles duty-free or count on luck that we would find a liquor store. One thing for sure we always found a bar. It was definitely nice not to have to worry about those things for a change.

Beach Front!! If you love relaxing by the beach this resort was perfect. I didn’t have to travel but a few steps from my hotel.

Spa!! Love love love the spa there. Spa was not apart of the all-inclusive so all packages were of extra charge.We received VIP credits when we went so we were able to get a discount on our services. We also got a complimentary Hydrotherapy treatment. When I tell you I’ve never experience anything so relaxing in my life! So what was the Hydrotherapy experience you ask well first you sit in a hot sauna for 5 min then take a quick cold shower then spend another 5 minutes in a steam room followed by a dip into a freezing pool. From there they took me to a long pool to multiple water pressure experiences. One for your feet, neck and back and then you finish it off in a Jacuzzi. From  the I received a 50 minute aromatherapy message which I loved.

Staff!!They were amazing, they don’t hound you for tips which I assume they are trained to not to do. They were literally around for everything  I needed with a smile on their face and the occasional corny joke.

CONS:

Resort:So we ended up staying at a family resort which was ok but a lot of the activities were geared towards children. Being that I’m a young adult that tries very hard to avoid younger kids it was at times annoying to share the hot tub with a 10yr old. While we were there we were constantly told that we should have went to the all adult resort where women can be topless. Bottom line I know to do more research on the type of experience I want to have and plan my stay that way.

Taxi:catching a taxi was so expensive it was $52 one way from the airport and at night if you wanted to go to playa de Carmen for Cancun it would cost $40 one way. Ughhh we wished we rented a car.

Night Life: On the resort the night life was not geared towards those who are in their mid 20s we wanted to escape almost every night. We did end up going to Playa de Carmen but the hotel up sold us on this club that we ended up hating so we left to go explore.

Overall I don’t think resorts are something I would do often. I like being close to the culture of the country and experiencing a life that isn’t catered to Americans or Europeans. Having free food and drink handed to at any hour is great but doesn’t make the great thing about traveling in my view. I think next time I will only go for weddings and when i’m older with kids. I had a great trip full of relaxations and another stamp in the book for Mexico.

Milah’s Tip: Determine the type of travel you want to be before you book. If you do want to relax with all the luxuries of an all-inclusive I recommend Dreams. 

Curacao Paradise

Hey Loves,

So today’s post is about my quick trip to Curacao. I wanted to share this with everyone especially Americans because not that many people have heard of this little Dutch island.

First and foremost it’s pronounced “Ku-rah-sou” not not “Ku-ra-Kao”. I learned that the hard way on day two of the trip when the young and very cute hotel concierge laughed at my friends and I for saying it wrong.

So you might be wondering more about this Island you never heard and I’m happy to share with you the little bit but I learned from the trip. It’s apart of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and sits in between the caribbean island Bonair and Aruba. It’s known for their beautiful beaches and they are beautiful.

Lodging

The part of the island we decided to stay in was Willemsted which is the capital. We stayed at this really cute waterfront hotel called Papagayo beach hotel. The rooms where huge and fairly priced. They also offered villas and apartment styled rooms for larger groups or those who decided to stay longer than a couple of weeks. It was very close to a couple restaurants and one of the main party bars on the island. The best part that it was literally a 3 minute walk to the beach. I love easy access.

People

The native people of Curacao are very beautiful and friendly. I mean the men were gorgeous. Everyone that we encountered was very positive and very generous with time and advice. It is a tourist driven country so the natives are use to dealing with people from out of town could be part of it. But for the main part my friends and I felt pretty safe walking around at night as a group.

Night Life

Because it was such a small city everyone pretty much goes to the same places every night. They have a weekly calendar of events and parties and essentially everyone is there from the locals to the tourist. There weren’t many places that were locals only, which we so desperately tried to find. We went to place that had Reggae, EDM and Hip Hop so there was music for almost everyone.

Local travel

It’s probably best to rent a car while you are there. Taxi’s were so expensive, it was a good thing we were in a group and were able to split the cost but transportation added up very quickly. We took their local bus a couple of times which saved us some money it was a little under $2 for a ride and was completely safe. Even at 11pm when we were trying to go out. Actually during that time its mainly young adults from Europe drinking beer heading to the same party on the island. So if you were going to party you were in good company.

My Opinion

Overall if you are looking for a beach getaway to a place where flights are very cheap Curacao is worth checking out. It’s a place that Americans don’t often flock to and the people and beaches are beautiful. If your interested I say definitely add this stamp in your passport for a quick weekend getaway!

Excuses Excuses Excuses: Reasons why people tell me they can’t travel

Hey there! So I always get comments like “how are you able travel so much” and “I wish I could travel like you but I just can’t”. I usually follow-up and say that I make traveling a priority in my life. I would go crazy if I don’t leave the country from time to time and if you want to go just go . At this point I hear some sort of excuse as to why that can’t do it. This quick snippet is on how I’m calling their BS. If traveling internationally is truly a goal of yours I promise you it’s attainable. Here are some of the excuses I get often and if you know you’ve said any of these things then this is for you!

Continue reading “Excuses Excuses Excuses: Reasons why people tell me they can’t travel”

Travel Consulting

Hey Loves! Trying to plan that dream trip but don’t know where to start or what to do? Inquire about my travel consulting services. I’ll work with you one on one to create a tailored experience of a lifetime. This will relieve you of the stress of planning and all you’re needed to do is signoff.

If you have any questions feel free to email PassportandSangria@gmail.com today!!