Release Your Greatness, Thank You.

Seven years ago, on October 6, 2008, I came home to discover my mother laying lifeless in her bed. It’s odd that I feel it makes sense that it happened in October. It’s always been a telling month for me and for that, it is holy.

The month of revelation.

And a supreme incentive for reflection…

Even the air is stirring and settling the elements of life, like leaves dancing about the pavement.

My mind is stirring as I watch the leaves rise and fall in the waves of wind. 

I’m here. 

I embrace that I am here because You are here. 

I am here because she is here.

I am here because she was here.

Thank tou for all that you have brought me and protected me from.

I’m just getting to understand you as I understand myself. 

The greatest gift you have given me is the presence of mind and spirit to seek you in the first place.

The gift of knowing.

Always in sync with your mind, even when it wanders. 

I hope to make you proud and content in knowing I came after you.

I hold you in my heart, even when it hurts. 

Thank you for living.

Thank you for fighting to live.

And Love

And loving hard and real easy 

Thank you for passin’ off the little bits of love you had left to my mama’s, mama’s, mama’s, mama and me. 

We release our greatness when we can’t deny the ones who gave us that greatness. 

Advertisements

When ‘No’ is Absolutely Necessary 

I’m tired. 

Damn, it took a lot just to say that.

But I really am tired. 

I’m tired of dimming my shine for those who unapologetically steal light from others. 

I’m tired of respectability politics. 

I’m tired of honoring codes I never subscribed to. 

It’s tired. 

Tired as hell that in order to build, we need validation and continuous deliberation over simple GP.

You wouldn’t like it, so don’t do it. 

I’m tired of tired-ass talking heads. 

Tired-ass mouth pieces. 

Tired-ass agendas. 

Tired-ass ageism

Tired-ass sexism 

Tired-ass nepotism 

Tired-ass hypocrisy 

Tired-ass passive aggression 

Tired-ass projection 

Tired-ass oppression 

Tired-ass micro aggressions

Tired-ass ulterior motives, that ain’t so ulterior.

Tired-ass hump day 

Tired-ass Monday

That exhausted-ass Papal visit. 

I’m just tired. 

And I’m fixing to say no and hell NO

I originally left the post at ‘hell NO‘, but I figured it’d beore helpful to pose some questions after ward, you know, for the sake of resolve and substance. 

Alright

When you feel your patience has run its course, what are some ways you tackle exhausting your will to endure stressors? 

I spend a lot of time alone. It’s my therapy. Time is a luxury that I don’t share much of if it proves draining to do so with someone.

I believe in real-life vampires, truth is stranger and more colored than fiction. 

Garlic and wood on deck...

How many times have you been moved to say no and didn’t assert yourself? 

Were you thinking of your feelings or how your actions might affect/benefit/disappoint others? 

How many times has that been fulfilling? I’ll wait. 

I seek solitude almost unconsciously because I’ve programmed myself to check my gut whenever it makes a strike. And it does, often. 

We live under a climate where holding your gut is strongly suggested, especially in fashion and posture. 

How do I look?

Nah

How do you feel?

It’s okay to be tired. Especially of the bullshit.

It’s okay to let it all hang out, instead of letting it all hang on you. 

Yes, I love meditation. 

Yes, I love going for long walks. 

But there is nothing quite like a shout!

Wake your voice up!

If you feel like cussin’, then shit, get carried away.

Nobody asks your permission when they demand your time and attention. 

Just know, if you feel like shouting, chances are someone else does too, and you may not have to look too far to find her. 

A slow-knowing nod and smile gives life every time. Try it today when you’re out and about.  


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

educadors-art

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.

Where’s Brooklyn At?

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

bkny

“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

Booking Tuesday: GoogleMaps is the shhh….!!!

So there’s a buzz that booking trips is best done on Tuesday, cheaper prices being the leading reason. But what to do about those reviews? You’ve been there. You’re on Priceline, Expedia, or GoogleMaps looking for the perfect hotel, restaurant or local cafe to book and you’re convinced that the Motor Palace on Flushing Avenue is your best bet. And then, there’s those dreaded, sometimes helpful, reviews that are only good for bouncing off a wall. I’ve observed a pattern in hotel and venue reviews as booking and trip-planning have become my new hobbies. To keep it short and sweet: CHECK THE SOURCE For instance, if the review is out of place, seemingly generic or too complimentary, check the reviewer out. Chances are, you’re reading a post from a staff member or a paid reviewer like Katherine Martinez, who appears in two separate reviews giving two, obviously shotty, hotels five stars:

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 12.33.27 PM Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 12.32.55 PM

It’s all about knowing your limits and what you’re willing to compromise. If you’re a last minute trekker like me, you’ve got to roll your eyes and dig a little deeper into those pockets for the hotel with wifi, free parking and clean sheets, minus the sketchy “regulars”. It’s worth the extra $30-$40 per night if your concern is comfort and accessibility to amenities and attractions. I’m currently planning for a trek to Brooklyn in a couple of weeks and I want to get every bit of the city I can out of this visit. So, for my cartography buffs, I invite you to use GoogleMaps to plan your next adventure. In addition to providing comprehensive directions by way of foot, car, bike or transit, GoogleMaps gives users the chance to literally map out their trips. With street view navigation and step-by-step directions, I can take a preview of my voyage and see into the future! Ok, I’m not a paid reviewer for GoogleMaps, but it is all I’m cracking it up to be.

In one short hour, I had the chance to navigate the neighborhood I’ll be visiting by using street-view and checking out nearby restaurants and lounges, and even planning a visit to Anthony Mackie’s NoBar in Crown Heights, which makes me THAT much more excited!

All-in-all it’s your intuition that matters. When there’s no way to tell what kind of stay you will have until you actually stay, it’s important to go with your gut feeling. If you don’t mind bed spreads with cigarette burns, blood-stained carpets, bullet-proofed front desk, bedbugs, or stale breakfast, by all means, ENJOY YOUR STAY! And if you’re looking for a spa, sauna, business center, pool and room service at a low price, PLAN AHEAD. Seeking the middle like me? Go go gadget, go! Use all the apps and advisories you can find to build a last minute, 5 Star trip, at low prices. GoogleMaps is my homie.