What To Do If Your Partner Doesn’t Want To Travel.

Hey Loves,

So before I get into this piece I want to preface the conversation with that I am no longer in a relationship nor do I consider myself a relationship expert. I have been in multiple situations where I can speak from my experience.

Do you have dreams of traveling the world but the person closest to you is holding you back from accomplishing those dreams? I often get a lot of comments from people expressing their frustration because their boyfriend doesn’t have the same goal to leave the country. Below are some of my tips to deal with such issues.

LEAVE HIM/HER AT HOME

If you are dying to go on this much-needed vacation but your special person is on the fence or really doesn’t want to go, then JUST LEAVE. Don’t be afraid to go on your first solo trip. Solo trips are great for traveling the way you like it without having to do something you don’t want to do. If you don’t want to do the solo trip thing go ask your friends and family or take a group trip with a travel company. Overall if someone doesn’t want to go with you leave them behind and keep pushing with your plans.

PLAN THE TRIP ALL BY YOURSELF WITHOUT RELYING ON THEM

Most times the reason people don’t want to go on trips is that the planning phase can be overwhelming. If you don’t mind go ahead and plan the trip so that all you lover has to do is pay. I dated someone that wanted no parts of planning our trip together and was very fickle about even going but when I told him that everything was taken care of I just needed his money, he had a change of heart.

MAKE A DEAL

I’m sure there were plenty of things you have done for your partner because you love them. So, in that case, see if they can meet you half way. Make a deal for them to travel with you and later you can do something they love.

PICK THEIR DREAM DESTINATION – HOW CAN THEY SAY NO

People are more motivated if they have full interest. Personally, I’m more motivated to go to a country on my bucket list than a place I’ve been before. Find out what they are interested in whether that’s a sports team, favorite food, or a language they study. Small interests can turn into big trips.

Milah’s Tip: Don’t let anyone event your partner hold you back from traveling the world. If you would love to go with them find ways to compromise that still gets you booked airline tickets. 

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Skiplagged A nightmare or life saver

Hey Loves! So this post is all about my experience with Skiplagged. For those of you who never heard or this or think that I’m about to go into a whole advice column on how I skipped my jet lag I’ll explain in more detail.

So Skiplagged is a company where they use  “hidden-city” flights to find you the best deals. A hidden city flight is a flight where you get off at the layover instead of the destination. For example if you are flying from NY to Iceland you could end up paying $200. Skiplagged will show you a cheaper flight to Dublin but has layover in Iceland therefore you would end up paying $160 vs $200 and will most likely end up with a nonstop. From there you would hop off on the layover and never catch the connecting flight.

So now that you have more background here’s my experience. So I booked my trip to Japan really late and didn’t want to pay over $1,000. MY co worker recommended I check out skiplagged, which he used on his trip to Europe.

Search: The website’s interface was very intuitive. All I needed to do was enter my destination, Tokyo, and I received a number of flight options.  I spot checked my other favorite site Skyscanner and indeed the hidden flight option was cheaper.

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Booking: So you cannot book directly on the site but what Skiplagged will do is give you the link and the exact search terms and filters to find the appropriate site. The downside is that you are taken to a different website and would have to re-enter all of the information. The upside is that they give clear instructions on how to do that. Also if you book right after you found the flight on Skiplagged there will be no price discrepancies. What I loved was that before they link you to the external site they have an informational pop up that list important information and require that you acknowledge that you read. Because you aren’t getting off at the true final destination they want to make sure that you are aware that you can’t check a bag, and other situations you may encounter.

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Day of the flight experience: So I show up to the airport ready to go thinking I was fully prepared with my 11 days worth of clothes in a carry on. Let me tell you that was not easy for a girl like me that likes to have multiple outfit changes in a day. I get to the counter to receive my ticket and I was asked to first show a return flight because you can’t buy a one way to Vietnam and then show my Visa.

I was definitely freaking out at that point, I bought my ticket so last minute and in a rush that I didn’t read all the requirements. It was a good thing I just so happened to choose this instance to show up to the airport really early.  Side note, I’m that flyer that likes to show up to the gate right when they are boarding. I hate waiting in airports!! So I bought a ticket right then and there from Vietnam to NY. It added an additional $400 in expenses for my trip but fortunately I was able to get 75% of it refunded since I cancelled on the same day.

The biggest issue was the visa situation. For those of you who don’t know, like me until that very day, Vietnam has a strict visa policy if you are an American Citizen. Fortunately the manager was super helpful, he let me use his personal laptop and showed me were I could apply for the Visa. Once I applied he was able to let me go through security to be seated at the gate.

Here’s the part were I thought my trip to Japan was cancelled. As they called to board families with small children the manager came up to me to say that there was certain documentation that I needed to board and that I couldn’t get on. Essentially he needed proof that my visa application went through, which there was absolutely 0% chance of that happening an hour after applying. I started to panic just a little because I couldn’t just tell them I was never planning on catching the second flight in Tokyo but also I needed to go on this trip. The shining light at the tunnel was thanks to the way Vietnam Immigration Department phrased my pending status of the application in the email. The phrase that saved me was “If the E-visa is granted”, to some reading this you may say that it’s obvious that the visa was not confirmed, but in a situation where several people are panicking including myself the only words people paid attention to was “E-visa is granted”. I was literally the last one to get on the plane and probably held up the boarding process by a few mins. Good thing was that I was able to go on my trip!

My Opinion: The website is great for finding cheaper flights especially if you are booking close into the date of your trip. It would be great if you are able to book through their website but they do a great job walking you through how to book externally. Whatever you do please be sure to do the research on the “fake destination” city to make sure that you are compliant with their laws. You won’t want to end up in a situation like I did. Also reading is fundamental and their site does a great job telling you what you need to know. Overall I found the site useful and I use it in my routine when trying to find the cheapest flights.

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!

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.