All posts by cherronrambles

Recovering teenage mother, ridiculously honest, loyal to those who "get me". I am petty. I am funny, stupid, ignorant, smart, beautyFull, and I hold grudges like a mug.... Another side of me is classy, professional, a master at networking, and someone you definitely want on your team. I have like five sides to me. However I wake up is usually the side you get 😂😂 However, I am amazing. Those who truly know me, know me in all my ways. They understand me because I am an honest person and would do anything for anybody when I am able. I choose to laugh instead of crying. That is my personality. I am all cried out so.....

The Voice Behind the Mask

       

She speaks, but no one listens

She acts, but no one feels

She lives, because death isn’t an option

When the voices in her head repeat themselves over and over, she panics, then retreats 

She tries to speak but, no one listens

She’s living behind this mask because, unmasking herself would also unmask others but…

She has to speak

The silence is deafening. It’s painful. It’s heavy.

She wants to speak but, no one will listen………….

Peace!

___________________________________________________________________

* This isn’t just my story. It’s yours, and yours and yours. Allow me to tell it for all of us.

Please comment and share at your desire, so that my words can reflect on others and we can all find our voices.

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Tips to Travel on a Budget

People often reach out to me for travel ideas or questions about how I find the deals I do when I travel. Though I’ve written numerous times about travel deals, I can’t help to wonder if it’s catching on. I wanted to share once again some creative ways I manage to travel and also introduce ideas I haven’t mentioned previously. Besides using your credit card points, hopefully you can use some of these ideas to plan or finalize your dream trip.

So, you want to travel overseas. What you need before planning a trip outside of the United States: 

  1. Your passport. You should always have a passport. If you’re always ready to go somewhere, you don’t have to get ready. Ya heard me?!                                                     You can apply for a new passport or renew your current passport by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport.html and beginning the process. If you are planning a trip at least two months away, you can receive your passport for $115 (adult). If you need your passport expedited, follow the simple instructions and get started applying immediately.

How to Save Money When Planning a Vacation: 

  1. Go during the Off-season. Most Americans travel during Summer months, as if that’s the only time islands are open. Imagine going to a warm place in the dead of Winter in America. THAT is when it’s off-season in other places. THAT is when it’s cheaper because the only other people traveling during our Winter months are Europeans on holiday. Since the US is peak vacation for them, while they are here, we should be able to experience places like Mexico and the Caribbean at rates much cheaper than US Summer months.
  2. Have flexible dates. Sites like Kayak.com allow you to search with no date in mind. Many times I use this tool to search, find the cheapest fares, then say “yep, that’s where I’m going.”
  3. Ditch the travel agent. You read that correctly. Why pay a middle man to plan a trip they’ve never been on? Technology makes it real easy to search online for travel destinations and deals. Consider using Pinterest for ideas and travel sites like kayak, GoogleFlights, and travelPirates for flight deals to multiple destinations.
  4. Consider staying in an Airbnb with daily housekeeping and chef services vs an All-Inclusive. Use my code and create your Airbnb account (we’ll both get a discount). Then, start saving potential homes and plan your vacations around those.                    Code: https://www.airbnb.com/c/cherronl?currency=USD
  5. Go somewhere others aren’t going. If everyone on your timeline is going to the same place, chances are, far more people are going to those same places, including Myrtle Beach. Pick less traveled beaches, less traveled countries, and less visited resorts. It’s a huge world out there. Go discover it for yourself.

How to Save Money While On Vacation: 

  1. Stay away from places that are too “touristy”. Eat and shop Locally! When traveling outside the United States, you’ll have a greater experience when you engage with the locals and immerse yourself with them. Venture outside of your resort, hotel area, or places that cater to tourists. Trusted locals can show you where they eat and shop so you can usually pay what they pay vs what tourists are normally charged.
  2. If staying at an Airbnb, save on grocery shopping by packing non-perishable items, including bacon! Whaaaatttt?! Yes, if you have a chef or access to a kitchen, you can check a suitcase of snacks, certain meats, pancake mix/syrup, and other items you may want while there. If you are going with a group, consider organizing for certain people to bring certain things in their checked luggage.
  3. If traveling out of the country, purchase liquor in Duty Free before you exit the airport into the county. You can drink as much as you purchase without spending so much while out partying. (You’ll also be able to control the safety of your drink). You can also use the alcohol you purchase for your in house bartender (if staying at an Airbnb).
  4.  If taking a road trip, pack your snacks and fill your cooler with things you’ll need while away, including your liquor and a flask for carrying your drinks and sneaking a pour. (what, you’ve never done that?)
  5. Visit Airbnb for excursions offered in their “experiences” section. You’d be surprised finding things to do with locals for half the cost of paying larger companies. As with anything, do your research and read reviews before committing.

Have questions or need some help planning your own trip? Leave me a message and I’ll try to help you the best way I can. Happy travels!

Peace!

Summer Travel Goals…. I See Y’all!

This is y’alls Summer!

Somewhere over the last year, you all saw somebody else’s pictures, talked about your vacation dreams, got your passports, saved up some money and said, “that’s it! I’m going to see this world”. And see it you’re doing.

As I scroll daily throughout Facebook and various forms of social media, I see people that I’ve never seen before traveling to places I know they never thought of going to in previous years. People are getting passport stamps to places even I’ve never thought of going. You make me smile with every picture you post, every road trip you take, every cloud you fly through.

Whenever I see someone traveling, I always think they’re going to return a much better person. That makes us all better. If not for others, for themselves. Because, when we go away and experience other people and cultures, we also get a chance to reflect on ourselves. There’s a quote I like to refer back to whenever I think of travel. It goes: “Travel Opens Your Heart, Broadens Your Mind and Fills Your Life With Stories to Tell.” That, in itself, tells a story of what travel should do to you, change you.

I see y’all going to Africa (any country), Mexico, the Caribbean, and driving across the country to lands unknown. I see you learning about others, all while discovering self.

This Summer, I’m living through all of you. If you haven’t noticed, I do most of my travel during off seasons. As I’ve told you before, I’m a budget traveler and my budget does not allow me to travel during these months of high travel season. (but I still get it in, okkk!) Either y’all jokers haven’t read anything I’ve written about budget traveling or I need to figure out how to increase my budget and get on your level.

But, I’m glad you’ve figured it out. I’m glad you are seeing the world and exposing your children and parents to places you’ve always deserved to see. I’m glad you have taken the time to go away and have time for yourself or with your loved one. Self care is very necessary and can often be found in travel. Wherever you’ve traveled lately, wherever you’re going, know that I see you and I’m proud of you. To Travel is to Live. Keep living!

For those of you who are still thinking of ways to travel or are just unsure whether you can do it or not, keep following for my next blog where I list ways you can travel on a budget and how to save when on vacation.

Happy Travels!

5 Things I Couldn’t Post or Comment About Because Facebook had me Censored Last Week

Maybe you recognized or maybe you didn’t realize that I was missing from Facebook (again) last week after I talked about some bigot’s “maw maw and paw paw”. No, seriously, here’s the comment that put me in Facebook Jail:

31CC9A04-F3F8-4245-A60D-F789F44C15F0I know, ridiculous. It’s shameful which of us get censored when racists, misogynists and bigots are allowed to spew actual harmful rhetoric daily with no consequences.

Anywho, I wanted to comment so badly on so many posts but could only scroll through them while I watched people go unchallenged. Here are five things that got my attention last week:

1. Beyoncé’s eye rolling, bothered video at the NBA Playoffs. You know, I think her frustration was misdirected. She didn’t care that that whylady was talking to Jay-Z. She seemed bothered that that whylady was invading all her space. Whypipo, sometimes y’all tend to get too close to us. In the check out line, at networking functions, when talking to us. Back up. Give us some space. And please, don’t touch our damn hair. That lady touched Beyoncé on top of invading her space. The Bey-hive were ridiculous but that lady irked the hell out of me and I wasn’t even there.

2. Cuba. That damn orange PoS is doing anything he can to overturn anything President Obama accomplished. He doesn’t care that what he’s doing is straining relationships all over this world.

Listen. You can still go to Cuba. You should have never planned to take a cruise there anyway. It’s just not the same. You can’t cruise to Cuba and truly experience Cuba. Trust me, I’ve been twice. Also, going with a travel group just seems touristy and chaotic. Go solo or with your closest friends. It has always been easier to just fly there and stay at an Airbnb. Planning a trip to Cuba is still possible and affordable. But do it now before the orange asshat removes all categories for travel.

https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-to-plan-a-support-for-the-cuban-people-trip?mbid=social_facebook&utm_brand=cnt&utm_campaign=trueAnthem%3A+Trending+Content&utm_content=5cfab45bba8a6c00014cc4e3&utm_medium=social&utm_social-type=owned&utm_source=facebook

3. The Dominican Republic. If you’ve been following me, I’ve posted for years how the DR doesn’t deserve our dollars. It has nothing to do with missing or murdered Americans but more to do with Haiti and the treatment of their people, even though they share an island. I firmly believe you should go wherever you want, including the DR, but, if your eagerness to travel to the DR is because of affordability and desire to visit a Caribbean destination, there are plenty of places I can help you plan a trip to.

Between Hate, Hope, and Help: Haitians in the Dominican Republic

4. Your fears. Sometimes people have a tendency to place their fears on other people. You may mean well but they aren’t helpful to the person you’re supposedly trying to help. When it comes to traveling, moving to a new city, taking an Uber, quitting your job, exploring a new career, etc, sometimes it’s best if you just wish someone well instead of providing all the negative stories that have you stuck in your comfort. For every negative story about a foreign country, there are a million wonderful ones. For every failed relationship, there are a million happy marriages. Let people live!

5. “When They See Us”. I’ve seen this story. Black and brown people have lived this story for generations. While I firmly believe it should be required watching, black and brown people should not subject themselves to anymore trauma than we already are living. We see our children and fathers being wrongly convicted or incarcerated for far longer than white counterparts convicted of the same crimes. Our families grieve innocent loved ones murdered by law enforcement who are never convicted. We raise money to bury our children killed by the streets because the system failed them from birth. We live this pain daily. Whypipo, this series is for you. For you to understand how the system railroads our community and how power and privilege dictates the narrative on how our stories are told. This series is for you to have strong discussions with your family and friends. This wasn’t for us. It’s for you to get angry with us and fight for us.

So yeah, I wanted to comment on so many of your posts but, the reality is, I couldn’t. All I could do was shake my head or pump my fist in the air when one of you got it.. Like, “go girl! I see you!”

I cant promise I won’t get blocked again because I like using my voice on this platform. I don’t think any of the times I’ve been blocked were justified but, that’s part of the system. Those who tend to speak out for good are often silenced.

There’s a quote that people often send me when I stir things up: “Well-behaved women seldom make history”. I don’t plan to ever behave 😉

Peace!

 

 

Community Property: HBCU Homecoming Edition

First of all, there is nothing in the world like the HBCU experience. If you haven’t experienced it first-hand, do you really exist?

The HBCU experience consists of long lines in financial aid, trying to make it to the cafe before it closes, counting down the minutes before you bounce when your Instructor is late, waiting for checks to clear on days of away games so you and your teammates will have meal money. It includes lifelong friendships, deep understanding of black pride, black beauty, black excellence, empowerment and Homecomings that are made for Beyoncé documentaries.

Speaking of Beyoncé, her Netflix documentary “Homecoming”, an ode to HBCUs, that debuted this week was absolutely mind-blowing.

The elephant in the room, that was overlooked in all the hype about HBCUs is the possibility that hookups occur at homecoming with people you otherwise had long forgotten about. Homecoming is a chance to flirt a little with an old crush, reignite flames with college beaus, and shoot your shot with others you had absolutely zero chance with 20 years ago.

Homecomings have destroyed some marriages, made some babies, created amazing love stories, and yes, they have caused some fights of grown ass men and women, fighting over some box shaped classmate who thought they were just having fun during Homecoming weekend.

Then, there’s always that one guy on campus that comes back every Homecoming to see how many women he can score and manipulate along the way. The one that has already noticed your weaknesses on social media, has cyber flirted leading up to Homecoming and waits for the right opportunity to make his move. He makes sure his social media image is one that shows him as an amazing catch. He shows you what he wants you to see and doesn’t want you asking too many questions.

You find out that this weak man has plotted on countless classmates over the years while sharing the same sad story over and over about how he’s raising his kids or how he left his wife or, how he makes a lot of money and just wants to be happy. He tells you (and everyone else) the stories of how his service after college led him to the life he has now and he paints himself as the ideal man, worthy of representing at the University’s Male Summit. By now, you realize that you aren’t the only one he’s been exploiting.

But wait, this isn’t exclusive to the trifling men who take advantage of women during Homecoming. Women, we need to have more self respect and understanding of our own worth to not allow ourselves to be played. We have the power to control the situation and decide if we want to toy with his head during Homecoming, have our own fun, or find ourselves being fooled as if we were 18year old freshmen all over again.

Homecoming has changed many lives, for good and bad. When it comes to relationships and hookups, adults have to make adult decisions and decide what toxicity you want to let into your life. Homecoming should be celebrated for the beautiful blackness that it is.  There’s nothing beautiful about drama, mental stress, or headaches that come from a broken man/woman preying on other broken beings.

We may never outgrow HBCU Homecoming shenanigans but we can control our peace once Homecoming is over. Leave the Community Property at graduation. It was never intended to show up post college life.

Peace!

FYI, This isn’t my experience (😉), as I’ve never hooked up with anyone at Homecoming (I don’t usually attend) but the realities exist. Somewhere, there’s a predator, preying on multiple 40 year old women, who has zero intention of ever being serious or respectful. Leave them where they are. You deserve better.

However, knowing me, if anything (or anyone) in this piece sounds familiar, send me a message and perhaps I can help you connect the dots. ✌🏽

 

 

One (1) Week In Nairobi, Kenya and Tanzania- Solo!

* FYI: my hair did it’s own thing this trip. Just ignore it 😩😂

Now that I am back home, I’m finally decompressed and ready to put my itinerary in print and share with others who want to travel to Africa and may not have months or even weeks to do so. After finding a $500 round trip flight to Nairobi, I immediately purchased it and began planning my vacation. I only had a week and thoroughly got the most out of it. If you’ve been following my blog, much of this isn’t new to you. If you just joined in, this is how I recently I spent a week in Nairobi, Kenya and Tanzania….. Solo!

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Monday: My flight left on a Sunday night for a 3 hour layover in Switzerland. After landing in Nairobi, an hour later than expected, at 8:30pm on Monday, I was immediately picked up by my pre-arranged driver, Gitau, and driven to my Airbnb by Gitau’s brother Peter. My Airbnb was down a long, dark, dirt road that I somehow managed to laugh off and trust Peter to get me there safely. He did and when I arrived, I was greeted by the house manager, Evelyne, and promptly took a bath and prepared for the early day ahead.

Tuesday: I was picked up by my driver at 5am for a Game Drive through Nairobi National Park. It was important to be at the park as early as 6:00 when the doors open to beat the lines and comfortably enter. I had previously paid the fees for my guide so I only had to pay the entry fee into the park. Payment was only accepted by credit card so be sure to have that payment method available. Evelyne had packed me a lunch, coffee and water so, when I got hungry, I had food available to eat and share with my guide. After enjoying a day at the park, I went back to my Airbnb for the rest of the day to rest and enjoy the views. Amazingly, my Airbnb overlooked the park so I was able to witness several of the animals from my own backyard.

 

 

 

Wednesday: I woke up to breakfast prepared by Evelyne: eggs, ham (I think), toast and coffee. I was picked up for previously arranged trips to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Center. The elephant orphanage was pretty interesting to hear the multiple stories of how the elephants ended up at the orphanage. It was also lovely to see the many children gathered on field trips. I met another cool solo traveler from Houston but unfortunately failed to get her information to stay in touch. After the orphanage, I went to the Giraffe Center where I was able to pet the giraffes and take wonderful pictures, including a few of me kissing one. Note: the giraffes we petted are the SAME giraffes people pay $700 to stay at Giraffe Manor to pet and take pictures with. I ended my day ordering delivery and feeding the resident bushbaby before heading to bed for an early morning flight to Tanzania.

Thursday: I had an early morning flight to Tanzania (Zanzibar airport) and was able to check into an amazing bungalow in Paje that I found on Expedia. Panorama Oceanview was also listed on Airbnb but, because I had points, I decided to use Expedia and save more money. After getting settled, I immediately changed into my bathing suit and took a stroll on the beach. I found a shop called “Mama Africa” and went in to check out their services. I ended up getting a massage for $20US and some much needed sleep. After my massage, I went back to Panorama and took some pics worthy of Instagram before getting ready for my dinner reservations at the famous The Rock Restaurant. Reservations are required at this place and transportation can be arranged on their website. Everything about The Rock was to my satisfaction and I ended the night on a small boat, being taken to my awaiting ride back to my bungalow.

 

Friday: I was picked up for a tour of Stone Town. Stone Town is full of culture, religion, and history. I spent my day meditating in slave chambers, amazed at fish auctions, and at peace during lunchtime Call to Prayer. After walking the entire city, I shopped at markets and just enjoyed the energy of the people. If you plan to visit Stone Town, be sure to wear or carry something to cover your shoulders (women) as well as wear comfortable shoes. Tanzania is a Muslim country and it is respectful to cover your shoulders when walking through the markets. The narrow, stone roads are also rough on the legs if you’re doing a lot of walking. After returning to my bungalow, I walked the beach again and ended up back at Mama Africa for another massage. I ended my evening and my time in Zanzibar with dinner and drinks at Hotel on The Rock, a cool bar in between Panorama and Mama Africa.

 

Saturday: I had an early flight back to Nairobi where Gitau was waiting to take me to my new Airbnb. This was the coolest Airbnb I’ve ever stayed in, a treehouse! After settling in, I went to lay by the pool, then have lunch at the onsite restaurant. The restaurant was a pretty popular spot so the energy was just what I needed. I had an Airbnb experience planned but the host unfortunately canceled on me. Instead, I decided to call an Uber and head to the Massai Market to do some shopping for family and friends. My day ended with a relaxing bath in the most unique bathtub I’ve ever seen, before falling asleep in the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.

 

Sunday: For my last day on the Continent, I planned a day of self care. I woke up and went for a walk through the neighborhood so I could take in the fresh air and wave to strangers. I called an Uber to take me to Entim Wellness Sanctuary (https://www.entimsidai.com/)  where I had a day planned of yoga, massage and peace. Unfortunately, yoga was canceled for the day so I received a glass of wine and walked the grounds in search of calm. I found it. I took a few more IG pics and headed in for my massage where I snored uncontrollably and got some really good sleep. After my massage, I decided to have a stretch session so my therapist grabbed some mats and prepared the grounds outside for stretching and rehydration. This was truly a peaceful day. I eventually had dinner and drinks back at the restaurant of my Airbnb, took a bath, and reflected on my amazing vacation.

 

Kenya and Tanzania brought me peace and joy. It brought me calm in the midst of chaos and frustration. While my life has been amazing for some time now, being on this journey, alone, meant the world to my inner peace. While traveling solo may not be for everyone, it’s surely a way to discover “self”. I certainly did that.

Peace!

If you want an alternative to a hotel on your travels, use this link and get $40 off on your first stay: https://www.airbnb.com/c/cherronl?currency=USD

If you need a ride almost anywhere in the world, use this link and start earning free rides: https://www.uber.com/invite/caarx1b3ue

If you’d like the links to either of my Airbnb stays, or my drivers, let me know and I’ll forward them to you.

 

 

 

 

Choosing To Be Saved vs Being a Savior

In many of my travels, I’m sure you have seen me (or my travel friends) taking school supplies, books, or toys.

Well, if you’ve been following my journey to Africa (Nairobi and Tanzania), you may notice that I haven’t done any of that.

You see, this journey was more for me than for anyone else. This journey wasn’t about showing poverty and America’s idea of uncivilized people. America shows us enough of that.

My journey was about healing and educating myself and also showing you that there’s more to Africa than what we have seen on tv.

What I have seen are children running to buses, many carrying heavy books with no backpacks. I’ve seen mothers waiting outside of mansions, hoping to have work for the day. I’ve seen men carrying flashlights, walking to their jobs at 5am.

I’ve seen children playing while sharing bananas, families praying, entrepreneurs hustling, and work ethic that is unmatched back home.

On my visit, I’ve seen pride. Pride of a people that have had so much taken from them. Whether due to colonization or corruption, there’s a certain amount of resiliency that has empowered me to be better and work harder. I owe it to the ancestors to do so.

On my visit to Africa (Nairobi and Tanzania for all those “AFRikA is A CoNTINent” people), I see people that may  be struggling but, I know back home, we are as well. Therefore, we have no right to look down on a place we have taken so much from and still have our own issues of poverty, corruption, disease and violence.

So, while I didn’t travel to Africa to be any kind of savior, I guarantee, she saved me. Nairobi and Tanzania are only a portion of Africa. But, they are Africa… and she is beautiful! She is peaceful. She is genuine. She is love….

Hakuna Matata! Peace!