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Travel

Here’s Why You Should Live Abroad for at Least 3 Months

3 months!

That’s all it takes to adapt to a new town, whether it’s in your own country or outside. Three months is enough time for you to get acclimated into a new society. Of course, we are all different in a special kind of way, so three months isn’t a solid fact that is synonymous to everyone. Each of our adjustment periods vary from individual to individual. 

With that being said, giving yourself at least 3 months to adjust to a new city or quaint town contributes immensely to the overall growth of our personal character. Whether you’re planning to work in Ghana for 6 months or at a social hostel in Argentina, here are 5 reasons why you should live abroad for at least 3 months. 

1. 3 Months is enough time to get settled

Picture this: You accept a job offer in Ghana for 6 months. You’ll be working as a Communications Associate at a well-known non-profit organization based in Accra. Salary’s great, benefits are solid, plus you got secure medical insurance through your job. Sweet, right? 

6 months isn’t a long time in your head but trust, once you land, them 6 months gonna feel like 5 years away. For the first three months, life is just giving you lemons. Yet imagine your contract is only 3 months long and you didn’t even get to make the lemonade with the lemons from life. That’s only half the experience. Don’t rip yourself off! Take the chance and find a job with a longer contract.

2. The personal growth is real 

2 years ago, I decided to stop mid-college career to live and study abroad in Belgium for 10 months. Did I know what I was getting into? Absolutely not. But, I did grow into a well-rounded, open woman. Personal growth is the best gift you can give to yourself. Some of our greatest lessons are learned at the moments we least expect it. Traveling brings out the best in us and challenges us to look deep within ourselves to be the best person of ourselves.

3. Learning a new language/culture becomes useful 

Whoever told you learning a new language is useless can’t dream beyond their own scope of reality. When you live abroad, those French classes you took in high school become useful and work to your advantage. Even though it may be a bit difficult to adjust, your brain is getting the exercise it needs while conjugating verbs. Useful, right?

4. Getting a job becomes a piece of cake 

Your future job will praise you for living abroad and will most likely consider you over the other candidates. Just when you thought getting a job could get any easier: it did! Your resume will be pure gold.

5. You will appreciate ‘home’

We all get tired of ‘home’ but what if I tell you that you’d probably begin to appreciate it more once you leave? Home is where the heart is and once you live abroad, ‘home’ becomes more significant. You begin to miss the little things from ‘home’ such as the corner store around the block or even the little coffee shop you used to hang out in. These little things begin to stand out to you, making you appreciate where you come from. 

Living abroad has its perks and its downsides. Although living abroad may seem very intimidating, don’t you think you’re missing out on the many joys life has to offer? That’s what living abroad is all about. 

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Travel

10 Places Every Brown Girl Needs To Add To Her 2020 Bucket List

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a wild case of the travel bug or as one might call it, wanderlust. This is a serious matter, especially if you’re a seasoned traveler. Seasoned or not, it just sucks being stuck at home. Whether you have to stay put for work, family, or save some beans for your next getaway, don’t look at the travel bug as a mere tease. Embrace it and create travel plans for yourself. It will give you a new motivation to incorporate travel into you hectic life. So if you’re diagnosed with a tumultuous case of the travel bug, consider creating a bucket list of the things you’d like to do on your next trip. Oh wait, duh, PourToi got you covered with the ultimate bucket list for our Brown Travel Girls:

1. Party in a rooftop bar in Accra, Ghana 

Ghana in itself is the spot to be if you’re curious about your ancestral roots and pure blackness. Since you’ll be there, why not order a pine wine while you’re at it?

2. Eat authentic Haitian/Caribbean food in Montreal 

As a Northeast gal who grew up in a Caribbean household, I’m tellin’ you the truth. Hop on a bus, plane, or train and check out the Afro-Caribbean influence in Montreal, the capital of French-speaking Quebec.

3. See the Shifen Waterfall create a rainbow in Taiwan 

Sometimes you gotta be creative with your bucket lists. The little things matter in travel too. 

4. Ride an e-tuk-tuk in Jozi, South Africa 

Why not discover an exuberant South African city on an e-tuk? It’s friendly to the environment and not the mention, absolute fun and accessible. 

5. Take a tour in Petit Canal 

People are sleeping on Guadeloupe, period. Petit Canal, or Ti Kannal, is a historic site known for its slave memorials. Let’s soak some history with that sun, shall we?

6. Go surfing in the Sayulita, Mexico 

Not many people get to say they went surfing in the hippy village of Sayulita, Mexico. Who knows, maybe you might see a paddlesurfing championship while you’re out there. 

7. Visit the blue city in Casablanca, Morocco

Feeling blue? Not the melancholy blue, but the ebullient blue that glistens when the sun hits it. Casablanca will have you hooked on azure blue. 

8. Drink exquisite wine from Bordeaux, France 

Visit a classic winery in Bordeaux and you will fall in love with wine again. There’s nothing like a cool glass of fresh rosé on a Sunday day in southern France. 

9. Book a room at a floating hostel in Cartegena, Columbia 

First, hostels are very cheap. Second, it’s in the middle of the sea. And it’s eco-friendly. Nuff said, where’s my ticket? 

10. See the Northern Lights in Lapland for New Years

A girl can dream but the sky’s the limit…literally. For New Years, book a round trip to Lapland to experience the Northern Lights for real and share a new year’s kiss under the sky’s colorful treasure. 

The travel bug may seem innocent at first but after lack of treatment, it can become untamable. Embark on these national treasures and cure your travel bug…NOW! 

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Travel

10 Swimwear Brands To Wear On Your Next Vacation

Summer is officially here and it’s time for vacations to the beautiful islands, pool parties and beach dates with the girls. I know, you’re probably thinking how can I attend all theses festivities with the same old bathing suit. Well no need to worry, we found some really cute bathing suits that’s worth buying.

Let’s start with the most affordable one, lovely wholesale. Lovely wholesale offer swim attire for a good price. They have one piece, two piece cover ups, casual swim wear, sexy swim wear, and the list go on.

Here’s another cute swim suit from shyfull.com Just like lovely wholesale, shyfull offer a wide selection of swimsuits at affordable prices.

How cute is this one piece? It’s available now on bellizimos.com and if you spend $58 or more you get %15 off using code : Happy15 with Free shipping. Yes! that’s right, free shipping and no this is not a promo we just want you to take advantage of summer sales before the season end.

If you’re into bright neon colors eleven26 is for you!

Photo Credit: @eleven26

We spotted MARY J BLIGE wearing one just like this! If you can spot your favorite celebs wearing mintswimusa then you know what that means, they’re official!

photo credit: @mintswimusa

If you’re looking for something sexy and sparkly swimwearbeastyz is the place to look. 

photo credit: @swimwearbeastyz

This white two piece bathing suit is perfect for any woman who wants to tuck in her belly and still look stylish on the beach.

Looking for cute and sexy plus size bathing suits wasn’t always easy for my curvy women to find but now your options are endless. Style blogger, Gabifresh have her own plus size swimwear collection @swimsuitsforall and as you can see she’s not giving you plain old bathing suits.

photo credit: @gabifresh

If you’re into African prints check out ashanti swimwear . 

photo credit: @ashantiswimwear

Not only is this two piece bathing suit cute but it’s also giving “Wakanda Forever ” vibes . If you’re looking for this type of vibe they have more styles like this one on their page. 

photo credit: @andreaiyamah

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Travel

8 Ways To Combat Travel Anxiety

Passport? Check. Cute vacay outfit? Check. Travel anxiety? In check. From hectic airports, luggage troubles, and annoying delays travel anxiety can affect even the most zen person. While stress is a normal part of traveling, it doesn’t have to hamper your mood. Here are a few ways you can become a calmer and less anxious traveler.

Accept Stress

Having a 100 percent stress-free travel experience isn’t possible. There are countless things that could go wrong. Sadly, there will be something inconvenient that happens. Anxiety oftentimes comes in when we want to control every aspect of our trip. The only thing you can do is focus on the things you can control and brace yourself for the inconveniences.

Identify What Causes the Most Stress

Recognize what gives you the most anxiety about traveling and take steps to find a solution for it. If you’re worried about your luggage getting lost, purchase a GPS luggage locator. Having nightmares about missing your flight? Set your alarm extra early to make sure you have ample time to get to the airport and go through dreaded security. Whatever your fear is, focus on logical ways you can avoid them.

Breathe

When you’re anxious, you tend to hold your breath without even realizing it. Doing this increases your body’s stress repsonse. Instead, take a few moments to check in with yourself and breathe.

Be Prepared

There’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than reaching in your bag and realizing you forgot your passport. *cue massive panic attack* However, you can eliminate this by making sure you have all of your essentials, passport included.

Educate Yourself If You’re Going Out of the Country

If you’re going out of the country, it’s wise to learn about local customs and logistics. Here are a couple of things to research:

  • If you need a visa
  • How to exchange currency at the best rate
  • If the tap water is safe to drink
  • What electrical outlets are used there    

Visualize

The power of visualization is real. Instead of ruminating about the worst case scenario happening, visualize yourself enjoying your trip. What fun activities do you plan on doing? What are you looking forward to most? Whatever it is, visualize it. This not only eases anxiety but it puts you in a better mood.

Challenge Anxiety

Are your thoughts surrounding traveling factual or overblown figments of your imagination? Examine your fears and challenge them with facts. If you’re reluctant to travel because of the overwhelming fear of being in a plane crash, think about statistics and the odds of that happening. Don’t let your baseless anxieties prevent you from enjoying your trip.

Distract Yourself

When you’re anxious, it’s easy to focus on how terrible you feel—this only makes your anxiety worse. Instead, distract yourself from the sensations you feel. This could be in the form of watching your favorite movie or listening to a podcast. It’s important to divert your attention and remind yourself that the negative feelings you have will pass. 

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Travel

5 Ways to Stick to Your Travel Plans This Summer

If you’re anything like me, you often have grand ideas of travel plans that don’t always plan out how you have envisioned them. It’s so easy for me to devote hours of my time looking at faraway exotic travel destinations and get all excited about visiting and wind up never going. As of this past year I told myself no more psyching myself out for trips I am never going to take. Instead, I actively take the necessary steps to insure that I get the trip of my dreams. Last year, after much dreaming, I was finally able to take my husband on a surprise trip to an amazing resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and from there, the traveling bug has officially bit me. If you’re like me and need a little extra help following through with travel plans, these tips should help.

1. Don’t overdo it

Do not overexert yourself trying to plan 5 trips in a one year time span. If you know it’s difficult to get the time and or money that you need to live it up how you plan to on vacation, stick to one big trip and possibly a smaller trip or two like a family reunion, or road trip. Sure it’s fun being able to get away but if it’s hard enough for you to commit to one trip, then don’t fool yourself into thinking you will be able to successfully pull off several trips that you aren’t prepared for. Space out your trips so you are sure you have the time and money to do them.

2. Save securely

I’ll admit I am not always the best at saving. If I can easily access the money, I can easily end up spending it. If you know keeping your vacation fund in your room or in a bank account with a debit card attached is going to cause you to spend it, you have to find another way. Some banks or credit unions have saving options where you are not allowed to touch the money until a certain date, this is a great option for those who have little self control when it comes to saving. I like to keep my money in paypal or cashapp when I know I’m saving for a vacation. I am for some reason, less likely to spend it there. Whatever you need to do, whatever works for you, do it, so that you can save what you need to so money will not be an issue on your trip.

3. Pay as you go

Some vacation sites like bookit.com allow you to pay as you go for certain vacation packages. This way you can book your vacation a year in advance and set up days where the funds are automatically drafted from your account. With this option, you are able to book a vacation that you may have not been able to pay for in full all at once and you are also able to get the trip paid for well in advance so you can save more money and have more funds at your disposal for your actual vacation.

4. Enlist a travel agent

While travel agents are phasing out in the digital do-it-yourself era that we live in, there are still travel agents out there. If none of these options have been working for you, enlisting a travel agent is a great way to stay on task. Travel agents book the vacations for you and you pay them typically monthly, or bi-weekly for your trip. Travel agents also are able to give you an inside look at the area you will be staying in and events and activities to do while you are there. If there is ever an emergency where you need to cancel, typically they are pretty good at getting you a refund.

5. Research

Research is key when traveling, especially outside of the country. While you may find an amazing flight to some tropical island for dirt cheap, there may be a reason why it is so cheap. It could be very likely that you are traveling there during rain or flood season and absolutely no one wants that. Research the best times to go, the best places to stay and if there are any parades or cultural events going on at the time. Make sure you are in the know with all things involving your trip. If you are planning it yourself do as much research as possible because you don’t want a small oversight to completely ruin or stop your trip from happening. Research, research, research.

What is your go-to tip of insuring your vacation happens?

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Travel

Traveling on a budget? Five helpful tips to help you save

I love traveling but one thing I love even more than traveling is saving money on my trip! Seriously, nothing feels better than paying less for more and that’s what I aim to do on every trip I go on. If you’re a travelista but struggling to live your best life on a budget, here are some helpful hints to help you save money on your next vacay.

  1. Buy flights on a Tuesday

I don’t know the how, when, or why to this but it works. I read a while back on a travel site that flights are usually cheaper when you buy on Tuesdays. I have absolutely no clue why but I can tell you anytime I’ve waited and purchased a flight on a Tuesday it was always less expensive than on other days of the week that I was searching. It doesn’t matter the day that you are actually traveling on buy the tickets on a Tuesday and most likely you will come out saving a few extra bucks.

2. Be your own agent

Travel agents are almost obsolete these days and while I hate to put someone out of a job, you can probably just do it yourself sis! I use bookit.com to book all inclusive vacations. On bookit.com they have tons of resorts where you can put down a small deposit and make monthly payments until your trip is paid for. Searching the site is super easy and you can always do a google search on the resort to learn more than the site offers. In addition to booking your room you can also create a whole itinerary and book excursions as well for your trip.

3. Buy Flights at least 50 days in advance

While I don’t know the in’s and outs of why it is, I can imagine that flights get booked and airlines also raise prices because they know people get desperate as it get closer to the date of their trip. While I have found some inexpensive flights for short trips a few weeks in advance, for international flights I have always noticed that flights only get more expensive as time goes up. So instead of waiting until the last minute, get your flights taken care of first. The 50 day mark tends to be the sweet spot for buying flights so try if you can to purchase around 50 days in advance. Also, the hopper app is great for keeping track of flight prices. It lets you know when flights are projected to go up or down.  

4. Don’t commit to one airline

Committing to one airline is great if you are racking up points or miles but if you aren’t and you are on a tight budget, it’s best to just see what works best for your pockets. Kiwi.com is great for searching for flights. You simply put in your dates of travel and destination and from there kiwi lets you know the prices for several different airlines. However, if you really want to save, don’t purchase your flight from Kiwi as their quoted price is about $10 extra from the actual airlines prices. Once you find out which airline has the best price go directly to their site and purchase your tickets for a lower price.

5. Try out Groupon for getaways

I use to work for Groupon in customer service for their local and goods deals and while the company was not without its hiccups, the getaways department that handled hotel and resort deals was where everyone wanted to be. Groupon is great for saving money on vacations. Typically when hotels and resorts are unable to meet their quotas they team up with groupon so they are still making a fraction of income for those unbooked rooms by offering deals for much cheaper. Sometimes Groupon also has all inclusive trips for a third of what you would normally pay. The thing with Groupon though is that those deals don’t last. You have to have your money ready to purchase and be sure that your dates of travel match up with the dates Groupon has available and that there are no blackout dates. While there are some restrictions you want to be sure to look out for, you can definitely find great trips for vacations all around the world with Groupon.

I have had a lot of success in saving on my traveling with all of these tips in fact I literally just used kiwi to find a flight today. If you’re a savvy shopper and travelista on a budget I’m sure you will put these tips to use.

What’s Your Go-to Saving Tip for Traveling?

Love & Light

Ashley