BookiT Thursday AirBnB: Connecting the World’s Citizens One Trip at a Time

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Thanks to a good friend of mine, I had the opportunity to secure decent lodging for my upcoming stay in Brooklyn this weekend.

How, you ask?

Airbnb! Save the hassle of hidden fees, paid reviewers, and pricey parking. It’s the ideal hub for those travelers looking for an authentic experience of their destination of interest. Not only is it safe and all hosts thoroughly vetted, you have the advantage of a personal concierge less than a room away. Prefer a less present host? There are private rooms and entire homes available for lease, no matter how short the stay! So if you’re looking for a home away from home, Airbnb is the place you want to go. I booked my room last night after perusing through hundreds of hosts in Brooklyn. Decisions, decisions.

What’s more is the interactive booking and messaging allows you to contact the potential host before you book to introduce yourself, iron out particulars of your stay and get a feel for what kind of host you’ll be lodging with.

My advice, with online services, especially interactive ones, is that it’s best to take advantage of all the apps and widgets, no matter how trivial or glitchy they may appear. It’s no mistake that you can see all of the reviews, good and bad, for a host. Take time to check their profile too. When I chose my host, I wanted to know two things: 1. Were they open to sharing what they knew about the city? 2. What were their interests?

As a travel writer, my expectations are flexible. I’ve studied several countries and cities and come to the conclusion that you won’t  know until you get there. And I’m more than fine with that.

What I do appreciate is that Airbnb allows the expansion of community, one trip at a time. And as a pledged global citizen with my heart in the “hoods” of USA, I’m dedicated to being a part of spreading that love and support for my fellow citizen. Support the mortgage holders, renters, boarders. Help someone pay their rent or their taxes. We can raise ourselves up a level by lifting each other up. We have the power to thrive as long as we don’t forget each other. So the next time you book that trip to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, LA or Detroit, remember, you can stay away and lend a helping hand to someone like you.

I’m excited to give my hard earned cash to someone who could use it and see where it went. I’m not knocking hotels, but ultimately, I prefer locking arms than dropping a dime in a bucket.

Homesick Mama

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Like any other ambitious woman, I have responsibilities outside of my endeavors that take precedence to my passions. I’ve dreamed of being a mother since I was eleven years old. I’d sit and play Lauryn Hill’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You  and rock my doll and sing along, imagining the love I hadn’t experienced yet. Wanting it so badly that I’d began to believe it would be impossible to have that because I wanted it so much. As I’m typing this, I’m feeling victorious for the first time in a long time. That my greatest achievement grows larger and exceeds all the hopes and aspirations I’ve ever had, is an understatement. Watching my trio has broadened my understanding of existence and redefined what the world should look or feel like. Nurturing and protecting them has made me determined to make our world. That’s what inspired me to start Kamtrek. Making the world, one trek at a time. Ideally, I’d like to take them on all of my treks, but right now that’s not an option. And when I can’t take them, boy, does it hurt. There’s that exciting feeling of exploring my curiosities and then there’s the dreaded guilt that comes with leaving your pack of cubs in the lair. Either way, there’s no getting around it. They’re going to have to burgeon without me from time-to-time. It’s a part of life, I tell myself. Sensible, responsible, thought process, right? Yeah, until the guilt creeps back in under my skin. Then my imagination starts churning and I’m ready to cancel or shorten my itinerary.

Finally, thankfully, my discernment kicks in and I’m standing, feet planted on a see-saw with my heart in one hand and a train ticket in the other.

And then I remember my mother, her ambitious spirit, unapologetic brilliance and what it afforded us. Where I would be had she given up, settled in setbacks or became overcome with guilt, I don’t know. I remember why I can’t help but climb higher, it’s all I know. And it’s what my babies know and love about me. We’re told as women that we can’t have it all, but I don’t think that’s true. I know it’s not true. I have been given the gift of life four times over; my own, my firstborn’s, my second and third children’s. That’s four lifetimes in one, with the power to change and explore every day. The pangs of separation don’t go away with each trek, they just keep my eyes wide open so I can make it back home in one piece. With a heavy heart and light feet, I make it my business to make the most of each trek as I’ve paid a heavy fee, time away from my babies!

How do I tell them they can do anything that their hearts’ desire if I don’t follow my own heart? Why I was given the passion to explore is beyond me and I don’t pretend to have the divine wisdom to make sense out of it. Instead I use it as a guide to navigate and learn this big, bountiful world full of gems, dimensions and wonders and how they all play a part in understanding this life I’ve been granted. With that, I hope to gift my children with a sense of humanity that surpasses ideas and theories, that is revealing, true and wholesome. To have that sense of understanding, they have to see the whole picture, well, as much as possible.

When I get the sinking feeling of separation anxiety, I think of the lioness, somewhere in the Sahara, leaving her cubs in a lair to explore the land around them. She’s searching for food, and, more than likely, signs of predators/danger. My need for exploration isn’t that immediately consequential, but sense I’m raising children in this world, I’d prefer to know the grounds I’m walking. Paving a path of world exploration that leads to self-discovery so that they’ll know the way no matter the climate, is what I’m doing.

Homesick Mama

Like any other ambitious woman, I have responsibilities outside of my endeavors that take precedence to my passions. I’ve dreamed of being a mother since I was eleven years old. I’d sit and play Lauryn Hill’s Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You  and rock my doll and sing along, imagining the love I hadn’t experienced yet. Wanting it so badly that I’d began to believe it would be impossible to have that because I wanted it so much. As I’m typing this, I’m feeling victorious for the first time in a long time. That my greatest achievement grows larger and exceeds all the hopes and aspirations I’ve ever had, is an understatement. Watching my trio has broadened my understanding of existence and redefined what the world should look or feel like. Nurturing and protecting them has made me determined to make our world. That’s what inspired me to start Kamtrek. Making the world, one trek at a time. Ideally, I’d like to take them on all of my treks, but right now that’s not an option. And when I can’t take them, boy, does it hurt. There’s that exciting feeling of exploring my curiosities and then there’s the dreaded guilt that comes with leaving your pack of cubs in the lair. Either way, there’s no getting around it. They’re going to have to burgeon without me from time-to-time. It’s a part of life, I tell myself. Sensible, responsible, thought process, right? Yeah, until the guilt creeps back in under my skin. Then my imagination starts churning and I’m ready to cancel or shorten my itinerary.

Finally, thankfully, my discernment kicks in and I’m standing, feet planted on a see-saw with my heart in one hand and a train ticket in the other.

And then I remember my mother, her ambitious spirit, unapologetic brilliance and what it afforded us. Where I would be had she given up, settled in setbacks or became overcome with guilt, I don’t know. I remember why I can’t help but climb higher, it’s all I know. And it’s what my babies know and love about me. We’re told as women that we can’t have it all, but I don’t think that’s true. I know it’s not true. I have been given the gift of life four times over; my own, my firstborn’s, my second and third children’s. That’s four lifetimes in one, with the power to change and explore every day. The pangs of separation don’t go away with each trek, they just keep my eyes wide open so I can make it back home in one piece. With a heavy heart and light feet, I make it my business to make the most of each trek as I’ve paid a heavy fee, time away from my babies!

How do I tell them they can do anything that their hearts’ desire if I don’t follow my own heart? Why I was given the passion to explore is beyond me and I don’t pretend to have the divine wisdom to make sense out of it. Instead I use it as a guide to navigate and learn this big, bountiful world full of gems, dimensions and wonders and how they all play a part in understanding this life I’ve been granted. With that, I hope to gift my children with a sense of humanity that surpasses ideas and theories, that is revealing, true and wholesome. To have that sense of understanding, they have to see the whole picture, well, as much as possible.

When I get the sinking feeling of separation anxiety, I think of the lioness, somewhere in the Sahara, leaving her cubs in a lair to explore the land around them. She’s searching for food, and, more than likely, signs of predators/danger. My need for exploration isn’t that immediately consequential, but sense I’m raising children in this world, I’d prefer to know the grounds I’m walking. Paving a path of world exploration that leads to self-discovery so that they’ll know the way no matter the climate, is what I’m doing.

Where’s Brooklyn At?

I’m so excited to start my weekend as it will be the first featured WeekendTrek on the site!!!

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“Tried to move but I lost my way

Stopped to watch my emotions sway

Knew the toll but I would not pay

Cause you never know where the cards may lay”

-Erykah Badu, Didn’t Cha Know

I don’t know. And I love that. We plan and the world spins. Enough said.

So as the Universe rolls the dice and tosses them to the ethers, I wait.

“How did I get here? Why am I here?”

As opposed to-

Anywhere else

There is no elsewhere

You’re only here

Always here

There

Then

After

Don’t matter

When you’re here

So here is Brooklyn.

This weekend.

I’m stoked.

You can tell.

And you’re excited too, because I’m taking you with me.

It’s going to be a long weekend, so rest up and don’t forget to charge your phone!

We’re going to AfroPunk, Brooklyn Bowl, NoBar and and and and

With artists like D’Angelo, Meshelle Ndegeocello, SZA, Valerie June, LOLAWOLF and Sharon and the Dap Kings,

AfroPunk Fest is bound to be a blast!

And to get a little taste of New Orleans before we set our sights on Louisiana in October, we’re going to check out NoBar for some Creole cuisine and Brooklyn Bowl for a late night bounce bash!

Of course, I’ll be doing the touristy thing. Nah, you want that, you’re going to have to check out Lonely Planet..

All-in-all, I plan to go with the flow, which isn’t going with the flow…

Stay tuned to catch live highlights from this upcoming trek and

a chance to join me on my trek to

Puerto Rico in January!

Always Almost There…

It won’t be long

Til I get there

My heart’s desire

Been a long road,

But I ain’t tired

I fell in love with the journey

Headed home,

Feeling leery

Don’t know what waits for me

Fire burning in my chest

Just can’t rest

Til I take the first steps

Of my next Trek

KamTrek: Rebirth

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I know I’m late, but back in December I went to Free Port, Nassau and a few other islands in the Bahamas. It was there that the notion of exploring the world was reborn. As I stood with my feet buried in the sand, staring at the clouds and hearing nothing but the ocean, I felt the presence of my dreams surrounding me. I surrendered to the passion that burned my core and vowed then to make my life’s work about exploring and sharing the beauties of the world. My new-found desire to pursue this passion came after years of coping with a tragic experience I am still battling to overcome. Or at least, accept. That’s for another post. Like many others who endure tragic events and fight to make a life beyond them, I tried pushing the pain of it away and well, I was unsuccessful. I didn’t realize that until I got to the ocean. Part of me felt defeated, blindly prideful, stupid, gullible, crazy, and RELIEVED. I reveled in the irony of being surrounded by the beauty, undisturbed elegance and grace of nature, while facing the not-so-beautiful truth about myself I had come to accept. Pain hadn’t made me worse off, not accepting and dealing with it was what led me to the state of mind I had come to bear.

Watching the tides come in and wash the sand from my feet, I understood the infinite power in gradual progress. Once buried in sand, unrecognizable, my feet emerged eventually clear of any grain after four waves of water washed over them. I walked away from the shore with a new understanding and appreciation for the Earth. I would learn myself through Her. With all of my imperfections and feelings of defeat, the Earth would be my teacher, my companion, my guide and the window to the soul of life.

That is the day Kamtrek was born.