Happy Black Woman Goes to Paris!

Bonjour de Paris!

Yep, that’s me cheesin’ for a selfie during my walk around the city today.

I had a wonderful time speaking and connecting with amazing women at Dr. Venus Opal Reese’ Black Women Millionaires live event in Atlanta and now it’s time to enjoy summer in France!

Earlier this year, when I created my travel vision board, I didn’t have ANY flights booked yet.

What I DID have was an aggressive 2015 strategic growth plan for Happy Black Woman as a company with a ton of action steps to implement!  ,

But what I wanted to do this year, along with all the work I’m doing to grow my business, was to also make sure I carve out dedicated time for travel and self-care.

So two months ago, I sat down with my travel bucket list, opened up my Google calendar and began planning out my trips for the year. Paris is my first stop with more adventures to come this summer and fall!

I’ll be sharing more on the blog about my experiences here in Paris, but so far, here’s what I can tell you:

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How to Spend a Week in Cancun

2014-11-26 10.33.49Back in November, I treated myself to the good life for a week in Mexico!

The first resort I stayed at was Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort. This was an all-inclusive resort, meaning all your meals, cocktails and many amenities are included in the cost of your room – even 24-hour room service!

Sandos Cancun was definitely the kind of place you go to chill ALL the way out for a week-long vacation. In fact, one of my favorite afternoons was spent on the beach just eating, drinking tamarind margaritas and falling asleep to the waves.

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What’s Your Definition of Luxury?

10409579_1088581754501123_3685362340089381007_n“You look great! Can I take your picture?”

I look puzzled until the bubbly, stylish woman in front of me explains that she’s a Japanese fashion blogger and she wants to capture my dress and shoes.

“Sure,” I say. Clearly I’m not Japanese but hey, why not?

“By the way, who are you wearing?”

I have to think for a moment.

Who AM I wearing? This is definitely not something I think about every day.

After a few minutes, I remember where I bought my outfit. Turns out, the dress is Valerie Joseph and my coral sandals came from Nine West.

This was my experience Friday evening with my girl Shana Love at the annual Passport to Luxury fundraising event at the famous Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu.

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“I Wish I Could Do That…”

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Whenever I tell people that I live a location-independent lifestyle, I usually get this wistful response:

“I wish I could do that…”

This phrase comes up a lot in our Happy Black Woman community and I have to tell you…

This ONE phrase could be holding you back from a lifetime of happiness, success and freedom.

When you say “I wish I could do that,” you are reinforcing the limiting belief that you CAN’T.

And this limiting belief could also be affecting other areas of your life.

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The Moment I Knew I Was Willing to Do Whatever it Takes

IMG_1289Back in 2012, I went on my dream trip to Europe.

Over the course of an entire month, I visited Greece, Italy and Spain – the top 3 countries on my “travel bucket list.”

I indulged in the incredible food, culture and sights of each country.

I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa…

I walked through the Acropolis in Athens…

I relaxed on black sand beaches in Santorini…

I learned how to make pasta in Florence…

I toured wine country in the hills of Tuscany…

I hiked the Cinque Terre and lived to tell about it…

I partied and ate tapas in Barcelona…

It was one of the best experiences of my life.

And I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the freedom, flexibility and financial reward of being self-employed.

To be honest, after that trip to Europe…

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How to Choose a Great Airbnb: My Honolulu Apartment Tour (VIDEO)

Even though I live a location-independent lifestyle, one of the ways I like to feel like I’m “at home” is by renting an apartment every once in a while instead of staying in a hotel.

The service I use the most for this is Airbnb.

It’s basically an Expedia meets Yelp concept that allows people to rent out their homes to travelers with a website where you can search for places to stay based on location, price, etc. It also provides a rating and review system for hosts so that any sketchy places with rude hosts get weeded out.

I’ve stayed in Airbnbs all over the world from Charlottesville, Virginia to Rome, Italy to Baltimore, Maryland to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and now Honolulu, Hawaii!

It’s great having an entire network of hosts who provide a wide variety of short and long-term furnished housing in most cities around the world. You can choose to rent the whole apartment or house, or simply rent a room. (I’ve done both and I prefer having the whole place to myself!)

What I also appreciate about Airbnb is that the price of your apartment or room rental will typically be much less than you would pay for a hotel, especially in large metropolitan areas that have a high cost of living.

I made a quick apartment tour video of the Airbnb I’m renting while I’m here in Honolulu, Hawaii if you’re curious about what they are like and how you can incorporate this option into your travels!

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Why I Always Come Back To Hawaii

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I’ve been back in Hawaii for five days now and I’ve been easing into my usual island routine of food, friends, work and the beach!

Yesterday morning, I met up with my girl Shana Love for breakfast at my favorite coffee shop in Honolulu: Kimobean Coffee. Even after being away from Hawaii for the past four months, the barista recognized me (and my afro) when I walked in.

He asked about my travels and without a word from me, started to put in my order for a small soy hot chocolate and a breakfast sandwich on a bagel with no cheese.

I love being location-independent, no doubt about it.

But I also like having a homebase, somewhere I can go where people know my name.

Even if it’s just the barista at the local coffee shop.

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I Don’t Live Anywhere: 6 Frequently Asked Questions About My Location-Independent Lifestyle…Answered!

I’ve been living a location-independent, minimalist, nomadic lifestyle for a while now and the hardest question for me to answer is:

“Where do you live?”

Because the truth is, I don’t live anywhere!

I don’t have a permanent home address.

Everything I own fits into a suitcase.

And because my entire business is run online, I get to travel wherever and whenever I want as long as I have money and a laptop.

To some, this is crazy.

To me, this is FREEDOM.

Here are some of the questions I get asked the most when I tell people, “I don’t live anywhere.”‘

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3 Lessons I Learned From Hiring An Image Consultant

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Me and my image consultant Liana at her Beverly Hills studio

 

I’m in San Diego right now for another few days of learning, networking and FUN with my business mentor and my fellow mastermind members.

I’m enjoying my last week in California before I head back to Hawaii to soak up the sunshine and not have to wear a jacket anymore.

Last night, me and my girl Kristen had a wonderful dinner at Fleming’s Steakhouse in La Jolla and let me tell you…their lobster bisque is off the chain!

Anyway, today I wanted to share a part of my personal development journey for this year.

I’ve been stretching myself in line with my 2015 theme of “fun, love and adventure.”

I’ve been asking myself how I can show up more fully in my life and in my work – for myself and for my tribe of amazing women?

One of my big investments I wanted to make in myself this year was in the area of self-love – to give myself the gift of looking better and feeling better in my body.

Now that I’m in my 30s, my body is beginning to change and I know my personal style is overdue for a change as well.

Not to mention all the events and travel I have to do for my business, which is requiring me to step it up a bit in the clothing department!

So last month, I hired an image consultant.

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VIDEO: 3 Life Lessons I Learned While Skydiving in Mexico

“I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” – Lucille Ball

hqdefaultMy grandmother always taught me that the way you end the old year is how you will begin the new one.

Since I had decided that 2015 was going to be the year of “fun, love and adventure,” I wanted to do something to honor that theme for my 32nd birthday on December 31, 2014 – the very last day of the year.

And that’s how I ended up jumping out of a plane in Playa del Carmen, Mexico!

I gave myself the gift of SKYDIVING, which was pretty much one of the scariest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done.

Check out the video of my jump below! I booked my tandem jump with Skydive Playa and they took good care of me throughout the process.

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