Travel | Paris


I recently went on a trip to Paris, France and brought my mom and grandmother along for the ride. This was my first European trip and their first trip outside of the United States at all so the three us had great expectations and high hopes for this vacation!

Despite our enthusiasm, we ran into a lot of difficulties. I left my boots in The States, the weather was cold, wet and rainy for the duration of the trip. The long flight and a case of dehydration gave my Nana severe muscle cramps in her legs, which limited her mobility and slowed us down quite a bit. The 6-hour time change proved to be harder for our bodies to fight through than we imagined so we weren’t able to start our days bright and early to beat the lines. Our travels coincided with Armistice Day so working hours were limited for several attractions and public transportation. I could go on an on, but I won’t.

On our first full day of Parisian life, I was feeling very deflated. It did not seem like my dream trip was going to turn out as I’d planned. I was tired, frustrated, and disappointed. After only being able to see one exhibit in the Lourve before closing I was near tears. As we were walking out of the museum, downtrodden, my Nana turned to my mom and I and said, “As long as I get to see the Eiffel Tower I’ll be happy!”

She always has a way of putting things into perspective. Up until that point I was so focused on what the trip should have been instead of what I could make it. I wanted the movie plot, the perfect photos, and the fresh baguettes and perfectly bloomed peonies. Nana just wanted to see a beautiful building in the company of people she loved. We made sure she saw the Eiffel Tower that night and the next day. We followed up the Tower with dinner and a newfound determination to make the best of this trip. When we returned to our AirBnB that night my mom and I got to work researching ways to make Paris more accessible to us given my Nana’s injury. Voilà, we found it! Private driving tour from Cedric’s Paris! The next afternoon, our guide, Romain, picked us up in his 80s 2CV and drove us around the city detailing the rich history behind every narrow street, building, and monument. This was our movie moment, the perfect experience. It was still cold and rainy and roads were still closed due to the holiday but we made the best of it and enjoyed every second. We got creative and shifted our mindset. We set an expectation to stay positive and have a grand time; that we did.

At the end of the trip, I was so proud of Nana and so glad she came. If it weren’t for her we wouldn’t have ridden in this old black and yellow convertible. Understand this: my Nana hates flying, doesn’t like sitting still for very long, and is not very tolerant of the cold. But she pushed past fear, pushed through her pain, and packed a big coat and a warm heart.

We should all be a little bit more like Nana.

Mexican Misadventures


I’ve always loved traveling. The idea of going somewhere new, or just fondly remembered, excites me. Finding friends in strangers, learning about different cultures, and eating new foods. In my mind, I’ve always pictured travel as this beautiful, flawless thing. Let me tell you, friends, travel is not always perfect and beautiful. This, I have learned.

Recently, I traveled to Cancun, Mexico for a dear friend’s bachelorette party and it was…hot mess. Not the 5 shots of tequila, dancing on a bar, and funny pictures kind of hot mess. The Joanne the Scammer, “IT’S CANCELLED” kind of hot mess. The We’re the Millers, “NO RAGRATS” tattoo kind of hot mess. I’ll spare you the gory details and leave you with this incomplete list of our Mexican misfortunes:

  • Missed flights (4 out of the 5 bridesmaids missed their flight, which meant I was flying to Mexico solo-dolo)
  • Cheez-it’s for dinner (I love you SouthWest Airlines but would it kill ya to provide better in-flight food?)
  • Tropical Storm (24/7 rain the whole weekend = no beach time)
  • Ripped off
  • Ripped off
  • Ripped off (3 times y’all, THREE TIMES. Even as a Spanish speaker I apparently have tourist written across my forehead)
  • Kitchen explosion (have you ever had to pick glass shards out of your afro?)
  • Canceled zip lining reservations (ok, is this a joke? Where’s Ashton?)
  • Police Detention (At this point we’re living in a bad remake of The Hangover)
  • Food poisoning (it wasn’t me but the world is cruel, man)

As you can see, this wasn’t the picture perfect vacay I was envisioning,

BUT! There were some bright spots during the trip. For one, we mastered the art of laughing to keep from crying. In some situations you just don’t have any option but to laugh at yourself and keep it pushin’. This was definitely one of those times. Each time my friends and I were faced with another mishap we collected our composure and decided on an alternate route/activity/plan. I’ve never been more determined or worked harder to have a good time.

We shut a tequila tasting restaurant DOWN laughing and having a good time. We skipped arm and arm signing songs from The Cheetah Girls. We danced our booties off. We took silly photos. We encouraged each other. We reveled in our Magical Black Girl-ness.

Keep Pushing. Don’t let circumstances stop you. Keep Pushing.