Be careful not to get yourself caught up in comparing yourself to others. I know that this is easier said than done because most of us spend our time scrolling through social media. We are bombarded with the lives of others on a daily basis and it has become the new normal. The snapshots we see of other peoples lives can sometimes make us feel some type of way about our own. Everyone has compared themselves to others at some point in their life.
Most of us know that comparing yourself to others is not healthy, but from time to time we do indulge in it. It might start off small at first and you probably won’t notice that you are doing it and then suddenly it becomes a bad habit that you simply just can’t kick. It can lead to you developing negative feelings towards yourself and this can be very harmful.
Comparing yourself to others is a deadly practice that will most likely leave you unmotivated, envious and upset. Abort mission immediately because all these kinds of feelings are just not worth the hassle. Everyone in life is running their own race, at their own pace and on their own time. Try your best not to get caught up in watching others because it will prevent you navigating in your own lane. You can’t possibly live your best life if your eyes are peeled elsewhere.
When you come to understand the importance of time and the seasons of life, you will never compare yourself to another person again. Everyone’s walk on the earth is different. No two roads travelled will ever be the same and the quicker you realise this the better. It is ok to be inspired by others, just do not go as far as comparing yourself to them. The blogging world is amazing, with so many great bloggers out there doing great things that I would love to do. If I started comparing myself to them then you probably would not be reading this blog. I have come to know and accept that my life as well as my journey, is unique to me.
The poison of comparison will ultimately affect your happiness, the way you see yourself and how you live your life. It does you no favours whatsoever, so please I kindly ask of you to stop indulging in this kind of behaviour immediately. It is totally not worth it Boo. Do not compare yourself to people on the internet and don’t you dare compare yourself to anyone you know in real life.
If you are looking at others peoples life and wondering why you do not have what they have or why you are not where they are, you are heading in dangerous territory. Comparison will only damage the way you see yourself, your life and your blessings.
I know that this is not an easy thing to do, so if you find yourself sipping the poison of comparison again try to remember the following gems:
Stay in your lane.
If you are not happy, take those necessary steps to make changes.
Do not beat yourself up because everyone is running their own race.
The internet is a snapshot of highlights and that is all it will ever be
Solo travelling has taken off like never before. Nowadays both men and women are jetting off in pursuit of solo travel adventures oppose to bunching together in a group. It is the new in thing and by the looks of social media, this is a trend that is most definitely here to stay.
I am all here for it, even though I am yet to jet off solo. Yes, if you did not know, I am a solo travel virgin. I know I know I need to get out there and just do it. But there are so many great reasons attached to having a travel buddy that I am yet to jet off on my own. Before you start to tell me all the reasons WHY I should travel solo. Let me tell you about the perks that come with having a Travel buddy.
Two heads are always better than one
It is no secret that by yourself you are a movement. But like the saying goes you are more of a force when there are two of you together. I most definitely agree because when my travel buddy and I put our superpowers together it’s lit. I do not know what I would do if I did not have a travel buddy, because they are literally the brains behind the operations.
When it comes to finding the best place to stay, planning the itinerary and navigating around it definitely helps to have another person on board to help you figure things out. Together you both have different strengths that help you to bounce off each other. I assure you that you can never go wrong with having more brain power when you travel.
Slaying & Sightseeing in Barcelona – August 2018
The bomb ass pictures
In Rome earlier this year I nearly got kicked out of St Peters Basilica at Vatican city, lol. I was doing the absolute most, sprawled out on the antique floors trying to capture those money shots for Tiffany. Looking back now, that was totally inappropriate but hey I did what I had to do to get the best picture.
Now I know most solo travellers use a tripod to capture their pictures, but nothing can compare to the fun you both will have during those mini photo-shoots. Not to mention all of the lovely pictures that you two will get to add to your memory collection. It definitely beats relying on the photography skills of complete strangers who just don’t know your angles.
Ziplining at Diamonte Eco Park – Costa Rica 2017
Jetting off with your travel buddy will most certainly save you some coins boo. It is no secret that when you divide the costs between two people, things work out slightly cheaper. Whether it is for a double room in a hotel or an entire Air BnB apartment, booking with a travel buddy will bring those costs down. In Costa Rica, Aaliyah’s and I saved much more money booking our excursions as a pair. Splitting travel expenses for things like transport and food help a great deal. But don’t shoot the messenger, grab a buddy, book a trip and see for yourself.
Playas De Coco – Costa Rica 2017
Loneliness is impossible
I love my own company, I just also happen to love being in the company of someone else when I travel. I personally find it to be very comforting. I love being able to turn around at any time to strike up a quick conversation, catch some joke or just have a random moment. There also is this sense of safety and security between you and them. It feels good just knowing that you have a familiar face who is close by.
All smiles at Trevi Fountain – Rome 2018
The amounts of memories that I have created with my travel buddies over the years all hold a little special place in my heart. Memories do not live like people do, as they are powerful and most importantly they live on forever. There is nothing like doing something amazing on holiday and having someone there to experience that with. I find it hard to imagine what some of my past travel experiences would have been like if I did not have my travel buddy sharing it with me. There are some memories in life that are supposed to be experienced with others and travelling is definitely one of them.
Snapchatting before seeing Drake – Berlin 2017
Spending a significant amount of time with someone will make, break or strengthen the relationship. In my experience, most of my relationships have flourished for the better. Whilst travelling you really get the chance to learn much more about the other person and discover things about them that you probably never knew. The time you spend together will most definitely change the way you see each other, ultimately creating a deeper bond. Worst case scenario the relationship could be completely ruined but hopefully, it does not comes down to that lol.
Having fun in Kiko – Miami 2016
For me, a Travel buddy is just as good as having a romantic partner and in my experience, they have been better for me than my ex-partners. Don’t believe me? read my post break up travel series. I can definitely say that I have been able to enjoy the perks of travelling in a pair and I plan to do more of thee trips come 2019. Some of my best moments within the last two years have happened with my travel buddies.
With everything in life come the pros and the cons. The pros of a Travel buddy will always outweigh the cons by a long shot. I am not a major fan of large travel groups but I will always be down to jet off on a new adventure with a plus one. All of the travels buddies that I have had over the last few years are unique in their own way and they all bring something different to the table.
Once there is a level of respect, understanding, love and strong communication between the both of you, the travels will most definitely be LIT. Travelling in a pair has been such a positive experience for me and with each new travel adventure, it just gets better and better. I am yet to have a dodgy experience and I pray that I never EVER have to, lol
I sure hope I have done a good job of convincing you to consider getting yourself a travel buddy. If you need some tips on how to choose one let me know and I will post my 10 traits of a good Travel Buddy.
Anyway enough about me, I want to hear from you, my #JWVreaders. Have you travelled with a buddy before? if so was it a good or bad experience? Tell me everything in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter @Jennasworldview
Many readers reached out to me over the course of the series with words of encouragement and disbelief. Some even shared their personal experiences of dealing with a break-up. All I can say is wow, never judge a book by it covers because you will be surprised by how many people have gone through the same things as you. This was the case for Jason and I, so it was only right that he wrapped up my post break up series with a special.
Reading Jenna blogs, I was drawn by her energy and I felt like I was reading a woman’s point of view about my life. So, when she asked me to conclude her “Post break up travel series” I had to get involved.
When I got the email!
Breakups can be very brutal especially in long-term relationships. You don’t socialise for weeks and you always got the tissues out drying those tears. I get it. I truly do! That’s exactly what I did. I was with someone for nearly 6 years and we were engaged for 8 months before she exposed herself to be cheating for half of our relationship with multiple guys. If we weren’t in the gardens of Canary Wharf, I swear to God, I’d have done something I’d have regretted and a family would have been…
You get my drift
Who’d have thought that someone who was a devoted Seven Day Adventist (and who had thoughts about waiting for marriage to sleep with anyone) could do something so spiteful and hurtful, let alone accept my marriage proposal? All those Friday nights of not seeing her because I thought she was at church preparing her songs for the next day. She was using her vocal cords alright, crying out for the Lord?
I even remember going to the sexual health clinic like a week after she told me (I was too scared to go beforehand), she had been cheating and the doctor there was speechless to what I just exposed to him. You’d have thought that it’s something he’d come across on a regular basis. I was nervous to go because she apparently started cheating back while visiting family and friends back home in St Lucia. We all know sexual health isn’t as big back in the Caribbean unlike here. Thankfully, all results came back negative. One moment, you’re planning your life with someone to then be so lost and what to do next because you gave that person all that power even though they didn’t give a shit about you.
I am not a woman but my ‘intuition’ was right about that woman but I couldn’t accept it, I chose not to accept it. Like Alicia Keys said, “Love is blind”. I now believe love is a two-way thing, she didn’t love me, otherwise, she wouldn’t have done what she did.
I understand black men have this reputation of cheating and entertaining multiple women but I can safely say, I am not one of them. Once I am in a committed relationship, that’s it. One woman guy and that! Nevertheless, I find, Dating in 2018 is long
Just like Jenna said in her Berlin blog, I had to give you A bit of backstory before I can tell you how I moved forward. Thankfully, I found travelling was also my remedy to get over the harsh break-up. It helped me clear my mind and speed up the emotional healing process. If you don’t know already, solo leisurely travel is a great and fun idea anyway. But when you’re trying to get away from the norm to think things thoroughly, everything I’d normally feel while I was trying to heal at home just felt 10 times better and had more of a meaning. If you can walk the streets of Frankfurt, Germany alone as a hooded black man, you should be able to feel confident in conquering any tasks, right?
Being away with my phone on Airplane mode, so no-one could contact me was beautiful. I was country hopping (Malta and Austria) and no-one even knew my whereabouts or what I was getting up to. I only flew back to London because my friend was moving across the globe with her now husband and she had a night out to celebrate. I’d still be out there now if I had a choice tbh.
Travelling makes you grow and trust me I’ve grown from my experiences. I understand travelling alone can be scary but there are operators that cater especially to solo travellers. I’ve never used them but it can be handy if you need some help to discover a new country and fantastic adventures. For women travellers, there are of course challenges and dangers, I understand there are scumbag men who might prey on you because you’re alone in another country but just be aware of your surroundings, stay alert and you should be good.
This might sound mad, but I am happy I had to go through the above because it made me who I am today. This confident, fun loving, Darkside Don.
If you would like to keep up with Jason, please, please, please check out his blog. Jason is one of my favourite male bloggers, he writes from a Raw place, with absolutely no filter. On more than one occasion he has left me thinking, well damn! I love that he is relatable and it always great to hear a man perspective on things like relationships, especially sensitive topics like cheating.
It is no secret that women are more vocal when it comes to talking openly about their experience of cheating. Women are so vocal to the point, where I almost forget that it can happen to Men too and it does. I loved how just like me, Jason used Travel as a way to help him get over the madness of his break-up and come out stronger on the other side. Who knew that using Travel for personal therapy could be so powerful and have endless benefits?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this guest post, just as much as we enjoyed collaborating together. Have you used TRAVEL as an escape in the past? if so where did you go and in what ways did it help you and your situation? let me know in the comments below or you can reach out to us on Twitter @Jason_R_T me @Jennasworldview
Please note, this is a collaborative post with Panasonic
Whenever I get compliments about my skin, I always laugh to myself and think if only they knew. It has literally taken time, trial, error and money, just to get my skin where it is today. I have now become a product junkie because of this, but hey such is life. Anyway, now that summer is over and Autumn is here, it is time to switch things up in the skincare department. I decided to share with you some of my Autumn Skincare Essentials for 2018, you can thank me later.
Facial cleansing brush ⌊£129 – £199⌋
During the autumn I use a facial cleaning brush up to 3x a week, as it cleans 20 times better than handwashing. These handheld devices help to penetrate further into the surface of the skin, removing any dirt or oil built up during the day. If you are new to the world of facial brushes, check out skin care UK Panasonic as they offer a great range of facial cleansing systems that use state of the art technology to create the best facial cleansing experience.
Garnier Moisture Bomb Pomegranate Hydrating Face Sheet Mask ⌊£2.99⌋
My T-zone can become very musty and dusty if I am lacking in moisture. This face sheet mask from Garnier helps to revitalise and hydrate the skin in just 15 minutes. The instant boost of the radiance to my skin is the probably what I love most about this mask. I plan to start using this for #FacemaskSundays this autumn season, just to give my face that extra shine and glow.
Sanctuary Spa Classic Body Scrub ⌊£6.50⌋
I like to make sure that my body gets just as much TLC as my face in the Autumn. This gel- scrub from the Sanctuary Spa will polish and exfoliate the skin helping to remove any dead skin from all over. It also helps to enhance the appearance and texture of the skin. It also has a long lasting sweet detectable floriental fragrance that lasts over 12 hours.
Vitamin E Night Cream ⌊£14⌋
I have to admit, I used to think night creams were pointless. But that was until I tried it out for myself. Now as someone who has suffered from Eczema for most of my life, moisture loss in my skin has been my number one problem. This Vitamin E night cream uses all of its goodness to replenish the skin and prevent moisture loss during the night. I actually use this as a day cream from time to time in the autumn, because it is so hydrating and leaves the skin feeling silky and smooth.
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Oil Swivel Stick ⌊£2.95⌋
I do not know about you, but dry chapped lips will not be my portion especially not in this autumn season. This little gem of a lip balm works wonders because it is infused with Coconut oil which adds the extra moisture needed to keep to the lips hydrated. The Palmers Swivel stick keeps the lips smooth, eliminating any potential lip crust. It is impossible for me to get through autumn without this swivel stick, this is a must have for me.
Peppermint Reviving Pumice Foot Scrub ⌊£7⌋
I am not a fan of feet but that does not mean that I do not like to keep my feet in good condition. In between my pedicure visits to the nail shop, I use this soothing Peppermint oil scrub to keep away any hard skin building up on my feet. I love that this scrub has volcanic like rock granules which help to give the feet that extra softness. What I also love about this scrub, it is infused with Peppermint which is a calming agent for the skin.
Miaroma Sweet Almond Oil ⌊£4.95⌋
Cold press essential oils have so many great benefits, I personally prefer almond oil above the lot for my skin. I do not use this on my face, but for my entire body almond oil is like liquid gold. In the colder seasons like autumn, I tend to drop some of this Miaroma almond oil in my moisturizer for my body. I find that this wonders for soothing dry skin, but you would have to use it in moderation because it will ruin your clothing if you overdo it with the oil.
My skin has definitely come a long way over the years. I developed Eczema as an infant and then came along mild Acne in my teens. If that was not enough I have had to combat hyperpigmentation in different areas of my skin. I and many people of colour face this problem and it can be very difficult to manage. For me, that has been the most challenging part of my skin care journey. But, all of this has allowed me to learn so much about my skin and discover what works well for me. I still think there is room for improvement but for the most part, I am happy with my skin.
Anyway, thank you for so much for reading. I am always open to trying new things, so if you have any Autumn Skincare recommendations, do let me know in the comments below.
Please note, this is a collaborative post with Panasonic.
Growing up my beauty and skin complexion was heavily celebrated, especially by my Dad. As far back as I can remember, he was the first person who ever told me that I and my Dark skin was beautiful. On a regular basis, he would proudly proclaim in his raspy Jamaican accent ‘yuh Black and pretty just like yuh Mumma’ or my personal favourite, ‘Mi likkle Black Beauty’.
Whenever he would shower me with praises about my skin, you would always catch me with a face full of smiles. My mum too and as I grew in age, I became heavily accustomed to both their praises. After a while, I started mimicking my parents by showing love and appreciation to my skin all by myself. I guess you could say that their mission to teach me how to love my dark skin was accomplished. My confidence and self-esteem were built off the back of this and at four years old, I became comfortable in the skin that I was in.
Inevitably, I soon came to learn that although my skin complexion was celebrated at home, it was not desirable by some on the outside. Racism is just one horrific example of this and sadly in 2018, darker skin being seen as ugly or less attractive is still a thing. My parents did not sugar coat anything for me though. I was bluntly told to expect this and possibly discrimination because of my dark skin complexion.
As harsh as this was my parents had every right to prepare me for what I might be faced with out there in the world. But I was reminded that no matter what people thought about my dark skin or said, I still had to love myself. Looking back now, I find it very heartbreaking that my parents even had to sit me down to tell me something like that. Sadly, even with the prior warning, this was something that I certainly was not ready for. So it was not surprising that I found myself swimming in a pool of confusion at 13 years old when I got my first ever real taste of colourism.
Colourism is where an individual is discriminated against or treated differently based on their skin colour. Those who take part in colourism usually value lighter skinned people more than those with darker skin.
No matter how many times I heard my parents share their own experiences of colourism nothing really could compare to my own. The incident occurred right after I moved to from Brixton to Streatham. Two boys from my new area did not waste time in letting it be known to everyone exactly what they thought of me. “She is pretty for a dark-skinned ting but dark-skinned tings are just not our thing”. EXCUSE ME? First of all, I did not know that I had even auditioned to be somebody’s dark-skinned ting.
So the unnecessary feedback truly caught me by surprise. It was very cheeky. I did not take it as a compliment and I certainly never took it to heart. But I was slightly embarrassed only because I felt like I had been singled out because of my darker skin. Now they may have said that I was pretty but that was beside the point, I felt very insulted. One of my younger neighbours clearly must have read the embarrassment on my face, because he turned to me and said, “Jenna, they don’t know what they are talking about”. I will never ever forget that because he was right, those boys simply did not have a clue.
My little neighbour knew better and so did I. There was no way I going to let these boys and their words hurt me because their views meant absolutely nothing. I had to decide at that moment and every moment after that, that I was not going to let any negative thing said about my dark skin ever affect me. I may have been only 13 but the words of my parents and my beliefs were so deeply rooted inside of me. It was simply impossible to convince me to accept or believe in the idea that dark skin was ugly.
I managed to brush it off because even back then I knew that beauty had nothing to do with complexion. I was so sure of that and I was not going to let these two boys blindsight me with their foolery. Unfortunately, this was not the last time I was to be told that I was pretty for a dark skin girl but my stance always remained the same.
I quickly came to discover that the notion of darker skin being associated with unattractiveness is actually still very common. A recent 2018 study by Jean Jaures looked into the impact of face skin tone on perceived facial attractiveness, results found that overall participants preferred light-skinned faces over dark-skinned ones. Again, this is not shocking because these type of findings have been relatively consistent for decades.
I know some people do not care too much for research or statistics but it would be ludacris to just dismiss such findings. It clearly tells us something and that is Colourism is alive and well and in 2018 and too me that is very concerning. I can only imagine what type of impact colourism could have on young impressionable people, both the victims and perpetrators.
Another thing that I find very irresponsible is when people try to pass colourism off as personal preference, as opposed to what it really is, colourism. I totally understand that everyone is entitled to like what they like. But for someone to think that darker skin is ugly, for me that goes beyond just preference or what someone prefers. I love dark-skinned men, but that does not mean that I think Lighter-skinned men are less unattractive or ugly.
My Husband could be light-skinned for all I know, but I am yet to meet my husband, so I really do not know what he will look like lol. In my opinion, it is very possible to have a preference that is not built on the poison that is Colourism. Sadly you would think something like colourism should not exist. When in fact if you were to take a closer look you will see that it can be found almost everywhere. The media, the entertainment industry, institutions, the workplace and sadly the list goes on.
One thing that you should know though is that colourism happens between racial communities and sadly within them. On Black Twitter where some use the hashtags #teamdarkskin and #teamlightskin as a sign of unity within their own group, there are others who abuse this and use it as a way to keep division amongst the two alive.
Sadly the issues between both groups were well established before the birth of Black Twitter. Issues stem from as far back as the days of slavery. Where dark skin slaves were kept out working in the fields and lighter skinned slaves were kept in the house. Lighter skinned slaves were treated fairly better than darker skinned slaves. Reportedly this is just one of many factors that contributed to feelings of superiority amongst those of a lighter skin tone. The big issue for me is that both groups were slaves and personally I find nothing positive in that, but each to their own.
Some may argue that this superiority is still around today and it continues to feed colourism within the black community. It is very important to know that colourism is not a one-way street though, it affects both dark-skinned women and men. Even those of a lighter skin tone can fall victims to colourism too. In this day and age, you would think we would be so further away from this.
I feel very blessed that I was able to fall in love with my dark skin from a very young age. By the time I was fully exposed to some of the negative perceptions out there in the world of darker skin, I was unshakeable. I have my parents to thank for that because things could have been very different for me.
There are many dark skin women out there who maybe did not have someone to teach or show them how to love their dark skin. So it is not surprising when faced with negativity about their dark skin, they end up internalising it and it then manifested in other ways. Colourism can be very toxic and damaging to its victims as it can impact everything from self-esteem to mental health.
Famous actresses such as Gabriella Union and Lupita Nyong’o have openly discussed how they both battled with self-esteem issues because of their complexion. Both extremely beautiful women, who believed that their dark skin was ugly because of the constant negativity they were led to believe. Sadly, there are thousands of other dark-skinned girls and women who have been led to believe the same.
One of the most damaging things has occurred as a result of this is skin bleaching. I think for me this is probably the worse one of them all. It has now become a worldwide pandemic that has many physical side effects as well as psychological. People are going to extreme lengths to change the appearance of their skin, despite knowing the dangers.
Bleaching products are so easily accessible all over the world. I could go online or walk into any black hair shop owned in London and start my bleaching skin journey. I seem to believe if people were openly selling crack cocaine in these local hair shops, the UK government would go to extreme lengths to shut that down. I just do not believe enough is being down to crack down on this. If bleaching skin products are getting through the cracks of the system, then someone is not doing their job properly.
Things do not stay the same forever and nowadays thing appears to be heading in a positive new direction. Especially within the entertainment and beauty industry concerning dark skinned women. More and more dark-skinned women can be found on covers of international magazine covers like Vogue. Dark skinned women are now leading major beauty campaigns and landing themselves in lead roles in tv shows and films.
Opportunities like this for dark-skinned women were literally non-existent many years ago. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell have paved the way for models like Leomi Anderson to be to able to do what they do. Representation matters and by young dark skinned girls seeing women who look like them in the media, it is possible that this could have a positive impact on their self-esteem leading to a better self-image.
Dark skin women are now taking centre stage and creating their own narratives instead of being phased by the plague of colourism. It still exists, but more and more dark-skinned women are determined to embrace all of their dark skin chocolate goodness regardless. There is now a strong sense of self-love and pride that oozes from dark-skinned women especially on social media platforms. Everyone appears to be loving their dark skin and they are being unapologetic about it. Again this is amazing stuff as it only helps to uplift those within the dark-skinned community.
Sadly on these same platforms, there are trolls who work just as hard to keep colourism alive with the constant bullshit they put in tweets and memes. I pray that those who use these platforms positively will develop a zero tolerance for colourism and anything that is associated with it. In today’s society, colourism should have no seat at anyone’s table.
It helps no one and this idea that dark skin is ugly or less attractive needs to come to a swift end. It is complete and utter nonsense and this is me being polite. Dark skin like any other skin tone is beautiful. I can only hope that those who think the opposite comes to know the truth.
To you, my reader whatever complexion you are, I urge you to be proud and love the skin that you are in. Try your hardest not to be impacted by the mean or hurtful things that people say. Especially on social media if someone talks craps, educate or block them, do whatever is easier for you. We are all equal in Gods image, no one is superior to anybody despite what people may think or promote.
I do hope that this post was insightful to you in some way. I know that is a little different from my usual context but this baby blogger is out there spreading her wings.
If you have had any experiences of colourism or if you want to let me know your views on this post, let’s chat in the comments or you can hit me up on Instagram or Twitter @Jennasworldview.
PS: I have a special skincare post out on Monday 17th September 2018 and I can’t wait for you to read it. Make sure you are signed up to my email updates. All images above were found on good ole google.
Lots of Love
Slaying in all my dark skin goodness in Barcelona – August 2018.
During the months leading up to my trip to Costa Rica, I stumbled across a powerful message from Pastor TD Jakes. The words “Nothing just happens” jumped out to me, and grabbed my attention.I pondered on it and began to reflect on my own situation. As a result, my perspective on the break-up did a complete 360. The message went on to say “nothing just happens and anything that does happen happens for a reason”. The funny thing is, I heard this message months ago, I was just not in the best place to receive it. Like Drake, I too spent a lot of time being in my feelings and was unable to see the bigger picture.
Time really does heal all, because I no longer saw the break-up as something negative, but necessary. In a weird way, I found closure and comfort in Pastor TDJakes message. It silenced all of those ‘what if’ questions that had taken up residence in my head. I now found myself at a true place of acceptance. Acceptance of what was, what remained and what was to be.
If I had not been so resistant, I would have been able to check out of Heartbreak hotel a lot sooner. But in life, nothing ever happens before the appointed time. By changing the way I looked at the break-up, it allowed me to give birth to a new me. I was no longer the victim that I had allowed myself to become. The best feeling in the world is when you arise from the dust that once consumed you.
Things quickly turned around for me as I went on to enjoy one of the best summers of my life to date. I truly lived my best life making the most of my summer days. I was on a roll and did not want to slow down. My trip to Costa Rica was at the end of the summer and I promised myself that I would recharge once I got out there. But not before I ran two last laps at the London Notting Hill Carnival. It was a great way to kiss goodbye to summer. Especially since my brother and I unexpectedly landed a live TV interview on Sky news during the parade. O M G – I never imagined something like that would happen to us, lol. Check out the interview below.
Catch flights, not feelings
Running on 3 hours sleep the day after carnival, I set off on an 11-hour flight to Costa Rica with my cousin Aaliyah. I was so excited because I had never been to that part of the world before and it was our first ever trip together. Spending two whole weeks in Costa Rica does not come around often, so we were both determined to make the most of it.
After surviving my first 11-hour flight, Aaliyah and I checked into Hotel Riu Palace Costa Rica in Guanacaste. As we arrived, we were welcomed with a champagne/cocktail reception. You know I have a slice of Boujee in me, so this type of welcome was right up my street. I was all smiles because, within a few months, I went from passing out at work due to the stress of the break-up to sipping champagne in Costa Rica. What a way those tables turned and my oh my it sure did feel good. Our hotel had all the trimmings, 24-hour service, spa facilities, Wi-Fi, 4 restaurants, entertainment, two pools and an on-site photographer. We even had access to the sister hotel across the street.
There is no such thing as a coincidence
During our first few days, we wasted no time getting comfortable. We spent most of our mornings by the pool, chilling, snapping and sipping on our favourite cocktails. Aaliyah and I had become very popular at our hotel because of our distinctive British accents. The staff loved us and always went above and beyond to ensure that we were well looked after. Things were only about to get better once we discovered a Black Travel group had checked into our hotel.
We were super hyped to see a group of Black travellers and wasted no time finding out who they were. I love meeting new people on holiday, so I was happy to go mingle with the new guests. Aaliyah and I walked right over to the tallest person in the group, Ricky he was as tall and brown as the bear from Bear in the big blue house. Ricky who was the group’s leader, was cool, calm, loved our British accents and invited us to hang out later to meet the full crew.
Every year for labour day weekend, the crew who are based in America travel to a new country to explore and party. SAY WHAT NOW? this blew my mind because out of all of the places in the world, we all ended up together in Costa Rica. What was even crazier was that Aaliyah and I were supposed to go to Aruba but somehow ended up booking Costa Rica instead. Now if you have followed this post break up travel series you already know, that there is no such thing as a coincidence when it comes to me, lol. With the arrival of our new guests, it was clear that our time in Costa Rica was about to be lit.
Within 24 hours it was as if the hotel had been hijacked. Everywhere you turned, all you could see were our melanin faces. One thing I love about being Black is we always tend to flock together come rain or shine. It was such a beautiful sight to see and felt even better to be a part of. We truly brightened up the place and it caused other hotel guests to want to be down with the clique, lol. I had never experienced something like this before. I loved it, plus everyone in the group treated Aaliyah and I like their little sisters since we were the only two people in their 20s.
Our day parties by the pool were literally some next level shit. Just think of the pool party scenes in the ‘Juicy‘ music video by Notorious BIG. It was such a vibe and every day our laughs got louder. The atmosphere was just filled with good vibes only, nothing more and nothing less. I remember getting messages from people back home on snapchat asking me who these people were lol. Overnight Aaliyah and I had been sworn into this new travel family and they never left us out of any of the fun. We hung out during the days, had dinner in the evenings and partied throughout the night. It seemed like my plan to recharge was taking a detour. But that is the funny thing about life, it always turns out better than the way we plan.
Chase the adventures
Our hotel was literally in the middle of nowhere, so we made plans to do things off the hotel complex. We hopped on a local bus into one of the oldest beach communities in Costa Rica, Playas de coco. When I ran out onto the beach and saw how beautiful the scenery was, I became very emotional. I realised that in order for me to be where I stood, I had to go through all that I did. I had come such a long way and even though I did not understand why the break up happened the way it did. I knew that it served a greater purpose.
This just reiterated the Nothing just happens message that I heard a few months earlier. Sometimes in life things may happen to you and you may never know why. You just have to trust and believe that things all things will work together for your good. I don’t know why but in Costa Rica, everything just seemed to make a lot more sense to me.
Costa Rica is known for its tropical beaches, wonders of nature and Caribbean influenced culture. Aaliyah and I wanted to make sure we got to experience it, so we spent about $300 each for three days of excursions. One of my Jenna’s Travel philosophies that I truly live by is ‘there is no price tag on experience, so spend whatever is necessary‘.
The first excursion we did was the open Catamaran Ocean tour. I love ocean water because it has so much healing benefits and I always feel a sense of peace whenever I am around it. Sailing along the gold coast was refreshing. It is not something you get to do on a regular basis, so I took the time out to really enjoy it. I channelled my energy and took in the natural views of the ocean. It was peaceful, but very short-lived because I was eager to get my body into the water and go snorkelling. You already know that your girl is unable to swim, so I had to be accompanied by an instructor. There is no shame in my game though, I put on my protective gear and went out into the water like a G.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
The next stop on the list for Aaliyah and I was a day tour at the Vandara Hot springs and adventure. This included a 10 lap Zip-line tour, horseback riding, waterslide and the Vandara Hot Springs. Unknown to Aaliyah I secretly planned to skip the ziplining. The truth was, I did not think I was capable of doing it. But I did not want to tell my little cousin that I was feeling inadequate because of self-doubt. The break-up had bruised my confidence and as a result, I had been questioning myself and my capabilities. I somehow convinced myself that the failure of the relationship was a reflection of me. Now I do not know how I came up with that bullshit, but there I was, lol. I had internalised the break-up in such a way, that it made me forget who the fuck I was.
There I stood tweedling my thumbs, feeling petrified and contemplating whether or not to go through with it. Aaliyah took one look at me and said: “Jen, you have come too far to turn back now boo. You have nothing to be afraid of, you can do this”. There were no lies told because she was right, I was capable of doing anything that I put my mind to. The break-up did not define me and I had to stop letting what happened in my past, stop me from moving forward. I had to start undoing the damage and this moment was the perfect opportunity to make a start.
I thought to myself it is what it is at this point, let do this. So I strapped myself up and completed 10 full zip line laps. It gave me an instant adrenaline rush, that boosted my energy as well as my confidence. I was so proud of myself for going through with it. I proved my self-doubt wrong and I felt like a Baddie. People can encourage you, uplift you and tell you that you are capable of doing great things, but if you do not believe it for yourself, it means nothing.
God makes no mistakes
I spent the rest of my time in Costa Rica reflecting. I thought about the girl that I once was and I thought about the woman that I was becoming. I felt inspired more than ever to get my blogging journey off the ground. I told myself that I when I got home, I would create a website for #Jenna’sWorldView. Costa Rica spoke to me in many ways and I really wanted to share more about my travel journeys. I also felt very eager to go out into the world to seek new experiences. Travelling has opened me up in such a way that has changed my perspective on myself, life, love and the world.
I never thought that I would ever end up visiting Costa Rica. I never imagined that I would be single at this age either, but hey life comes at you fast. My post-break-up travel journeys were filled with many highs and of course some lows. I travelled to escape my reality. Yet, with every country that I visited, I had no choice but to face it head-on. Most people say that after a break-up you must take time out to go find yourself. But the truth was, I was never lost, I just needed to be broken in order to uncover the hidden layers within me.
Anything that happens to us in life will never be wasted. Everything and everyone serves a divine purpose that only pushes you further into your destiny. I have no regrets, hate or anger in my heart because I now understand that in order for new things to come together, old things must fall apart.
Thank you to my vocal and silent readers for keeping up with my Post-break-up travel series. When it all started, I had no clue about how it would all play out. Giving you a glimpse into my past challenged me in ways that I never imagined. Although the wounds have healed, the scars still remain. I no longer hide them because I wear every scar with pride and gratitude.
Many times, I questioned whether I made the right decision bringing this series to light. I have now come to know that although it was painful, it needed to be endured, in order to be shared. Use my experience as an example, take from it what you will remember God knows best and life GOES on.
To follow the full journey from the beginning, click below:
If you are like me, then you probably have a long list of countries that you would like to visit. I think about travelling every day and since I started my blogging journey, all I want to do is book flights.
The world is ours for the taking and if we put our mind and coins to it, we can see the world one country at a time. I finally decided to put together my travel bucket list. It changes from time to time, but I managed to round it down to my top ten. I desire to visit all of these countries within the next few years and I believe this will happen, somehow lol. Check out my full list below and please note it is not in any particular order.
1. Take a dip in the thermal pool at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Why? The Blue Lagoon’s geothermal spa is probably the number one reason why many tourists flock to Iceland year in and year out. The temperature is between 37 – 40 degrees and it is said to have some amazing revitalising benefits for your entire body. Not to mention the scenery which helps to create a therapeutic atmosphere and dope backdrop for your pictures. I would definitely like to visit the Blue Lagoon for a solo trip or a group holiday. If you are interested in going, hit me up, serious enquiries only lol.
Why? It is impossible to talk about China and not mention the great wall. In my opion, it is arguably one of the major landmarks in China. I have always been intrigued by it and one point I obsessed with doing a sponsored walk across the wall for Charity. The great wall of China took over 20 years to build and apparently, it takes about 18months to walk across it from start to finish. I probably will not be able to do that but I am still up to give it a go.
Why? SLV is an organisation based in London that runs volunteer and work programs for psychology students and graduates interested in gaining experience in the mental health sector. The project has expanded to Bali and run a variety of services within the community based on improving mental health facilities. To see the impact of mental health in a community outside of my culture would be an amazing experience. What better place to do this than in Bali. I have never volunteered abroad before, so I feel like this would be an amazing opportunity that will contribute to both my personal and professional career development.
4. Sit on the steps of Escadaria Selarón in Brazil
Why? Micheal Jackson featured these steps in his ‘They don’t really care about us’ video and I have been in awe of them since. It is one of my favourite music videos and whenever it used to come on tv, my big brother and I would go crazy, lol. Before I leave this world, my feet must touch the soil in Brazil. These steps do have a deeper meaning, but I have to thank the greatest entertainer of all time for bringing them to my attention through his artistry. The Escadaria Selarón steps were created as a tribute to the Brazillian people, designed by Chilean designer Jorge Selaron. Each tile was hand-painted by the artist himself and there are exactly 215 steps in total.
5. See the worlds largest single drop waterfall at Kaieteur Falls in Guyana
Why? Kaieteur Falls is one of the worlds most powerful waterfalls located in my beautiful country of Guyana (I am half Guyanese and Jamaican btw). Being that this waterfall is in my home country is just one of the main reasons why I want to go and see it. Seriously though it is a beautiful sight and I would love to go see it up close and personal. I know when you think of Guyana, you probably do not have much in mind, but there is so much beauty and richness to be found in my country. Guyana is a diverse nation and in the future, I plan to share knowledge with you about it, as well as my views about current things happening within the country.
6. Walk around the grounds of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana
Why? Cape Coast castle is an old slave castle built on the Gold Coast of Ghana. It was used excessively during the Atlantic slave trade. The history is not pretty or glamorous but it is important for me as a Black woman to visit such places and take in the history for myself. I truly believe that this will be a humbling experience and I look forward to the day I can say that I have done it. Plus I am yet to do any real travelling within Africa, I have been to Morocco but does not count in my eyes. I believe that Ghana would be a great place to start, as it is one place that I have always been interested in, plus I often get mistaken for being Ghanaian anyway, lol.
7. Eat authentic Beignets at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans
Why? To be honest I first discovered Beignets from the Disney film, The Princess and the frog. Shout out to Princess Tiana for putting me on. I have been obsessed ever since I watched the film and I am desperate to taste of this famous pastry. Beignets are known as a New Orleans speciality, normally served for breakfast. The best Beignets can found at the well-known Cafe Du Monde established in 1862. I can not wait to try real Beignets, so I look forward to ticking this off my bucket list.
8. Snap a selfie with an old lady smoking a cigar in Old Havana in Cuba
Why? I have spent hours on google trying to find some information about what the history is behind old women smoking cigars in Cuba. Maybe I am not searching in the right place because I have not been able to source any information. So I think, the best thing for me to do is go there to investigate for myself and of course take a couple of selfies. Cuba has always been one place that has never come off my travel bucket list. The country is rich in history and culture, yet still under communist rules. There is a lot of political unrest in Cuba but despite that, I can not wait to visit and explore the place for myself.
Why? The only place I have played carnival is in the UK, but I know that for me to have a real carnival experience I need to travel to Trinidad and play there. Out of all the countries that I have listed, Trinidad is probably the one I am most desperate to visit. Aside from their annual carnival, the food, the culture and the history alone are reasons to visit this beautiful country. I am not sure when this will happen, I just know that it will and hopefully sooner than I expect.
Why? There are so many other things to do in Paris, but visiting Disneyland is top of my list. I have been to Disneyland Florida but I had to ask myself have I really been to Disneyland if I have never been to the in Paris? It just does not sit right with me, so I need to make plans to change this asap. The fact that I can hop on a train to Paris from London makes me feel even more ridiculous for not having done so already, lol. I would definitely do this as a weekender with my Husband or on a cheeky trip to the city with the girls.
So there you have it, my travel bucket list is forever changing, but these are the countries that I am so keen to visit. Enough about me, what about you, what countries can be found on your Travel bucket list? Let me know in the comments below or let us chat about it on twitter or insta @JennasWorldView.
Also, have you been to any of the countries that I mentioned above, if so tell me how your trip went? I look forward to hearing from you so that you can tell me all about it.
One last thing: If you would like to read my first ever Travel Diary, click here