Cancuna Matata: No Worries Given

 

The best travel advice I ever got was to “stop waiting on friends or that bae and go solo…” 

And so I did and will continue to do so. 

I only hope you start to experience the greatness of solo travel. 

My latest solocation: Cancun, Mexico. 

Though I traveled by myself it wasn’t long before I was surrounded by a tribe of powerful, passionate black and brown women at the annual Baddies and Bosses Take (Cancun)  retreat. 

This retreat is where women from all over the country link up and put collaboration over competition.  A time to celebrate, slay, socialize, and uplift one another. It is the ultimate weekend getaway for a woman about her business.

Here are a few highlights: 

1. SOLOcation

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Cancun is known for its party scene and turn up vibes. But it is a great spot for unwinding, exploring, and eating the best Mexican cuisine. After a 20 minute ride from the Cancun airport, I settled into my home for the next three days. Now Jade Riveria is a 4-star all inclusive resort that sits right off the beach. All ladies on the retreat stayed in the preferred suite with a beach view, a private balcony with a jacuzzi, and access to the adult only pool.

2.  The Mix(HER) +Din(HER)

After my roomie and I settled in our room, we ventured down to the resort’s The Mix Bar to meet the other ladies! Ahhhhhh….as you can tell this is very Instagram worthy… This beach view bar is everything a blogger/influencer can dream. Instead of the bar being accented by usual bar stools, it has fun swings around it. We socialized, ordered drinks, and watched the sunset over  the ocean. Dinner soon followed at a very swanky restaurant. I didn’t get great pictures due to low lighting, but BEAUTIFUL!

3. Down to Earth 

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Have you ever done yoga on the beach? Well it is hard AF! But yet so peaceful as we inhaled the ocean air, and exhaled the toxicity. Sent from Devyn led this power yoga session and it truly was Devyn Sent! In a wellness space that is predominantly white, it is refreshing to see women of color, especially black women, breaking barriers and making it more inclusive. I have a special place in my heart for Devyn as we are from the same hometown, Texarkana…Texas side of course. Her older sister and I were high school classmates. I am proud of what she has accomplished and what she will continue to do in the wellness space.

4. Let Me Drive the Boat Party (Somebody Sons not pictured)

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It has been declared a Hot Girl Summer thanks to Meg Thee Stallion’s epic flows and her signature Houston flair over hard hitting beats. Her mixtapes were the soundtrack to our party as we took to the blue and green Mexican waters in our private boat! Many thanks to Corinna AKA Glamurosa and her lifestyle brand for the Fineapple visor swag!

5. Poolside Vibes

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How can you not sit by or in the pool to cool off from the Caribbean sun? Do I need to explain more…?

6. Farewell Dinner

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It is always hard to say goodbye, but this was such a beautiful send off. We were asked to wear nude or white to symbolize a new beginning and clean slate. In the middle of our farewell dinner, founders Sade and Sydney surprised me with a birthday cake and the Stevie Wonder version of the Happy Birthday song. Thug tears! We ended the night back at The Mix Bar to set our intentions for the remainder of the year and encourage each other on our journeys ahead.

FG

When Life Gives Us Mountains…

“He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.” {-Psalms 95:4}

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A couple weeks after my 32nd birthday I sat numb in my doctor’s office. Her lips moved slowly and precisely, but I didn’t hear a word…just the typing of the transcriber in the room.

The next couple of hours were a blur. I just remember I called my Mom 21 times. She didn’t answer. I refused to do anything else until I heard my Mom’s voice.

So I sat in my car and waited….and waited…my phone buzzed. Work email. And waited. Eventually my Mom called. She had been out grocery shopping and left her phone at the house.

I couldn’t even get it out…I just blubbered like a baby. If there is one thing about Virginia Faye Baker Green…she’s a prayer warrior!

-“Who is bigger Faith? This mountain or God?,” she asked. “Huh?,” I replied. -“You heard me. Who’s bigger? That’s what you ask every time you feel fear, despair, or even this health scare. You already know.” I could feel her smile through the phone.

Fast forward⏭

After many tests, scans, and results, I have experienced a range of emotions, highs and lows, the mountains and valleys. And I know you are experiencing it too and if you aren’t, someone close to you is.

There is a mountain ahead and it’s scary, intimidating, above our scope of understanding and the uncertainty on the other side of it. But guess who’s bigger? I think you know the answer. ✨

 

What ‘They’ Won’t Tell You About Travel…

Wise words from the late great Anthony Bourdain on truly what travel is and isn’t. I can tell you one thing…travel isn’t what you see on your social media channels. It is easy to look at your favorite blogger, influencer, and celebrity and have travel envy as they “jet set” to exclusive getaways and post pictures effortlessly. Social media has given a false reality of many aspects of our lives especially with travel. If you are doing it just for the ‘gram…you are in for a rude awakening of the true meaning of travel. 

Rarely do you see the delayed/canceled flights, travel illnesses (Google Montezuma’s Revenge…that alone will make you give major side eye), lost baggage, language barriers, or the real dangers you can experience while traveling. Bourdain’s words resonate because it captures the essence of travel. 

As someone who frequently travels, l get a lot of questions…the main one…how?  I want to be very transparent about my journey on how I do it and how many of your faves do it too. Forgive me if I ramble on this post, but I am coming from the heart…LET’S GO! 

You Gotta Make Travel A Priority  

Have you ever heard the phrase “you make time for what you want to make time for”…? Insert an eye roll here because I hear my personal trainer now after I have slacked from a week’s worth of workouts. But it is true, you make time for what you really want…we text, call, spend on what we want. The excuse of “too busy” or “I don’t have the money” are LIES we tell ourselves and each other. Don’t believe them or even you if this is what you are telling yourself or others. If you truly want to travel, you must prioritize it as a part of your life. Until brands start to sponsor your trips, you will need to be aware of what is in your account and budget accordingly. Which leads me to my next point…

You Gotta Cut Your Expenses

When I got my first big girl job I was excited…Webbie’s I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T rang out from heaven’s ghetto and here I was doing the thang. Webbie and Boosie backed me up with their liberating verse “She got her own house, she got her own car, two jobs, work hard, you a bad broad.” Yes! That was my girls and me, shouting at the top of our lungs “”If you ain’t on, SIT DOWN!” 

I had the nice studio apartment on the 3rd floor, my own car, bought a nice living room and bedroom set, and cable with the premium channels. ALL BILLS PAID ON TIME! I finally made it…right? Uhhh no…I had it all and was miserable, the loneliest period of my life. It also didn’t help that I was in a toxic relationship that no one knew I was in until the end. The main reason I was miserable is because I listened to what people thought would make me happy. I didn’t heed to the inner girl who rather take a trip to Paris than buy new Louboutin’s. I had to shift my mindset on what normal was to me. I loved experiences over things and thank God for social media for confirming there were others there like me.  So with a lot of prayer and gumption, I broke up with the guy and broke up with my lease (side note: I do not recommend breaking a lease, I was fortunate and left without penalty due to a loophole..now a toxic relationship…BREAK IT OFF BOO!).  

You Gotta Sacrifice

I started to create a life that excited me and also afforded me to travel again. Jesus be out here answering prayers precisely. I wish I still had the paper I wrote down my prayer. But I asked Him for low rent (but safe housing), a God fearing tribe, and an opportunity to go back to school to get my Master’s. I mean…HE DID THAT. When I tell you I put down the actual amount for rent and in a few weeks my amazing friend blessed me with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I moved into her house paying the exact rent I wrote down on paper. I have not had my own space in almost five years because I have been saving, traveling, and finishing grad school. Traveling is so important to me I have sacrificed having my own home and space.

When traveling is a priority, life is about many sacrifices. I have had the same car for 11 years (paid it off five years ago), I don’t have cable, I use someone else’s Netflix and other streaming services. I buy cheap clothes and shoes for the most part. I just wear them over and over again. If you check out my Instagram, you will notice. (Heeeey boyfriend denim shirt..it’s my fave) I live with low overhead and direct my disposable income to travel and doing things that make me happy.

I recently moved in with my best friend to cut even more cost to prepare for the future. Maybe buy a house soon…👀Though traveling is a major priority, saving is still my top. I have about three retirement plans (401K, Roth IRA, and whole life insurance), I have a travel/slush fund, and of course my regular savings. We can discuss finances in another post. 

In the end, you will need to shift your mindset about what a “normal” life looks like, nothing anyone says will move you to live the life that you desire. I created this blog as a platform to inspire travel and not for you to want to duplicate my life, but rather to dream bigger and create the travel journey YOU want to live.

Not Your Mama’s Hotel! Moxy Hotel @ Phoenix

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Yes, instead of throwing an ironing board into every room, there is a designated ironing room with a major distraction.

 

 

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(Take a peek at the slideshow of my weekend at Moxy)

After 18 months on hiatus, it’s back to what I love…travel! A canceled business meeting/concert made room for the perfect weekend to getaway and WRITE! I needed creative inspiration and the perfect backdrop. I am a Marriott rewards member (THIS IS NOT SPONSORED…I PAID FOR MY TRIP LOL) and found a great rate at Moxy for the couple nights I was in Phoenix. I am so glad I did because this will be my new spot to get away when I need to get my creative juices flowing. There are two things I love…affordable and luxury. If you are like me, then this spot is for you to stay! Moxy Hotel is Marriott’s brilliant answer to Airbnb to attract us Millennials and Gen Z.

Moxy is fun, bold, and stylish  and most importantly offers affordable luxury for the cost conscious.  The atmosphere is so inviting you almost can’t resist capturing every moment, hence my Instagram stories. Where else can you check-in at the bar, receive a complimentary drink, and sing karaoke all in the same night?