Tag Archives: freedom

Trinidad – Late Post

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get the chance to post as much as I would have liked to in the last year, and I am hoping to get better this year. Last year I was fortunate enough to travel out of the country twice, and one of those places being Trinidad. If you have read my other blogs then you know that Trinidad is a place I travel to on a yearly basis due to my whole family still living there. So of course I had to go again in 2018 to see my family and decompress from my first year within the MBA program. I actually went twice last year, and these are those pics from my fun!

 

 

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South Africa Part 10: The Return Back Home

The last thing that was a big treat for us was that  my boyfriend and I got a free upgrade to business class during our layover in Dubai.

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Us in business class. Can you see how excited we were to be there!

The amount of excitement that we were filled with was that of a child being able to eat ice cream and cake for dinner!  Don’t get me wrong coach on Emirates Airways is really great but Business Class takes your flying experience to a whole other level.

For instance, business class is located on the top floor of the plane (Yes, this plane has two levels). As soon as we got to our seats we saw how big of a difference it was flying business class. The biggest thing were seats that could be laid out horizontally with a push of a button so that one could sleep on the flight the same way that you sleep in your bed. This was so BOMB!

The second major difference was the food. Though the food in coach was delicious, the food in business class was much better. The food seemed fresher as though it was cooked by a chef on the plane (although I know it had not) and as soon as we sat down we were given a choice of champagne, and mimosas before take off. Oh and did I mention that they had premium alcohol in business class.

In business class they feed you, LITERALLY, all through out the flight. I thought we were pretty well feed in coach, but in business class they come around with many different things such as: warm croissants, pastries, and warm nuts.  There is also a lounge area in the back of the plane and a fully stocked bar! My boyfriend and I took this as a chance to try some expensive alcohol that we probably will never buy with our own money! In the lounge they had even more snacks for us to munch on during the flight  including cheese, small cakes, and crackers. And yes we did get fed three meals while in business class, so all the extra snacks were just an added bonus! Flight attendants also  laid out linen table clothes for each person before we ate. We also had actual glasses and silverware in business class that made you feel a little bit more at home.

Because our seats converted to beds I slept way more on this leg of the trip than I did when I went to South Africa. I am not sure when I will ever get an opportunity to fly in business class again (considering for one leg on Emirates it can cost you upwards to 5k for a business class ticket), but I sure did enjoy my 13 hour flight from Dubai back to the United States!

South Africa Part 9: Our last day in Cape Town

Our last day in Cape Town we spent the day at Green Market Square. The day before we had asked one of our servers  where was a good place for us to purchase South African souvenirs at a cheaper price. He said Green Market Square was the place to go. Since we only had a few more hours left in Cape Town until we departed, we ate a small breakfast and made our way to Green Market Square. We called an Uber and he dropped us off right by the square

Once we walked up, there were several different vendors and most of them were selling the same things. Initially I thought that each vendor had hand crafted, painted or sewn each item, but as I walked around I realized that they all had the same exact items. But this was not that big of a deal to me because the items were very nice nonetheless.

What is good about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What is bad about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What do I mean? Well first off it is always a good thing when you can talk down a price but some times this can lead to vendors haggling you, giving you their life story about how much they are struggling or even you feeling guilty that you asked for a cheap price on an item (this was my case, I felt really bad asking for lower prices). It was a bit overwhelming when we were walking around the different booths trying to decide what to get. I wanted to get everything, but of course I could not. It was also overwhelming because as soon as I would go up to look at an item more closely I was then bombarded with the vendor asking me a ton of questions or saying things to me to try and make me buy it. I mean I get it. This is how people make their living and as a person from a third world myself I respect the hustle, but sometimes I just want to browse and decide on my own.

Nonetheless we ended up getting some real good items to bring back to America. Some of the vendors actually take credit cards, but most only take cash. We ran out of cash at one point in time so we had to go to a local ATM to get some more. Since Green Market Square is in a busy part of Cape Town finding an ATM was not hard at all.

 We purchased kente clothe bags, necklaces, cups, dashikis, key chains, and so much more. Here are just some of the items that we purchased. Unfortunately I did not think to take any pictures of Green Market Square myself (still trying to get use to documenting everything) but I went ahead and googled some images of the square so that you could get the idea of what it was like.

South Africa Part 8: Discovering Cape Town

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After our tour of Robben Island we decided to go  to lunch and walk around Cape Town a bit. Unfortunately I did not take as many pictures as I should have during this leg of our day. We stayed down by the water front and took in the atmosphere of this tourist town. We walked around and grabbed lunch at a restaurant right by the water front. The wait staff was very polite and was very attentive. As I said in other posts, service in South Africa is top notch and the people who work in service seem to be extremely grateful to be serving customers.

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People walking around the water front of Cape Town

After we ate we proceeded to walk around and take in the atmosphere. We went to the mall and saw how similar the mall in Cape Town felt to the malls in America.  We also got a chance to take a picture with one of the signs that says “Table Mountain”, with the back drop obviously being Table Mountain. These signs are actually sprawled out around Cape Town for tourists to take pics with.

The first thing that I would say that I didn’t not expect while in Cape Town was the obvious European influence in its architecture (obviously if you know the history of South Africa this isn’t that surprising). Even though I haven’t been to Europe yet, I could imagine, that this is how some places there would look. Although there are a lot of Black people in Cape Town, I would say I was also surprised at the diversity. There were Indians, Chinese, and White people. It felt a little bit like Trinidad to me.

South Africa Part 7: Robben Island

We had one more day in South Africa and we were going to use that last day discovering Cape Town and visiting Robben Island.

We purchased tickets to Robben Island prior so that we knew for sure we would have a place on the tour. They offer about 3 tours a day. Each tour takes about three hours. An hour each way to and from the island and an hour touring the island. We took a small boat to Robben Island.

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On the boat from Cape Town to Robben Island

The first part of the tour was the bus tour around the island. We had a guide who gave us the history of Robben Island and its many uses. Unlike what most think, Robben Island was not only for prisoners, it had many other uses including a place for leapers to live. The views from this island are amazing and breathtaking.

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Robben Island main entrance

The final stop of the tour was the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years imprisoned. The tour started in a holding area where prisoners would first be brought to be booked and processed. While we all found a place to sit, a man came to the front and began telling us some of brutal history of the prison, and he revealed that he himself was also a prisoner for many years with Nelson Mandela. The tour continued as he walked us around the prison grounds telling us about the different sections of the prison, and some of the things that prisoners were forced to do. The tour finally concluded with us passing by the cell that was designated to Nelson Mandela.

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Entrance of the prison that held Nelson Mandela for 18 years

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Holding cell of prisoners

 

Grounds of the prison

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Mandela Prison Cell
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Our tour guide was a prisoner here during the same time as Nelson Mandela

Being on this tour was a great way to end our trip to South Africa. Walking the same steps of one of my heroes was a transient feeling that I will never forget. Walking the grounds and thinking of being imprisoned behind those walls for years was a sad feeling that reminded me how much people had sacrificed all over the world for black rights.

Dropping Baggage…so I could Travel

As 2016 comes to an end, I can honestly say that I have had one of the best years of my life. Was it less difficult than other years? No, But it was a tremendous year of growth, self discovery, and action. With all of these things came my desire to travel more, to be more open minded and more self assured. In the last year alone I have travelled to Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Raleigh and Trinidad and Tobago. I will also be traveling back to Dallas in the next few weeks and to South Africa in December. This is the most I have traveled in a span of one year.

Prior to this year I was totting around a lot of baggage and it made it impossible for me to do the things I wanted to do such as TRAVEL. From 2013 to 2015,  I was in a difficult relationship that added a massive amount of stress to my life and spiraled me into a deep depression that I did not even realize I was in. The person that I was with during those two years would use his words to break down my spirit, morale and confidence. I can’t even tell you the amount of times that he told me the that I was worthless, a horrible person and that no one but him liked me. All of these things that he said fell in to the category of him “Keeping it real”.

I was afraid to leave because I was living in a city where I knew no one except for him, his friends and his family (none of whom I liked or liked me). Some way, some how I was able to finally leave, find my own place to stay and then a month later move back home with a new job.

Part of the reason why I made it such a point to Travel More this year was because when I was in that relationship I wasn’t allowed to do anything that I wanted to do, go where I wanted to go, or discover the things I wanted to discover. As soon as I moved back home it literally felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders and although I had to start all over again, it felt absolutely amazing to not have that person as baggage in my life weighing me down.

The sites, the sounds, and the people that I have met this year while traveling has been amazing and so worth it. And don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing my ex or holding on to the past. What I am doing is sharing my story to encourage other young women who may be going through the same things I was going through.

I encourage anyone of you who is dealing with baggage to drop it and start living the life God has ordained for you.