Solo Adventures in Barcelona

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It is no secret that I am yet to travel by myself, so you could only imagine the shock that I felt in Barcelona when Tiffany got food poisoning. I had no other choice but to go out and face the streets on my own. If I never got that extra push from Tiff I probably would have settled for chilling up on the rooftop bar upstairs in our hotel, but she insisted that I challenge myself. For my first ever solo adventure I chose to go and see the Barcelona Cathedral, it was close by and the journey seemed pretty simple.

All I had to do was get the train from outside my hotel and take it a few stops into Catalunya station. How hard could this task really be? I had been using the train system for the last couple days, so I was pretty sure I would be OK on my own. I said goodbye to my cousin and set off on my first ever solo adventure abroad. As I walked through the train station, all I could think about was my route to the Cathedral. I repeatedly kept going over it in my head just to make sure it stuck.

I emerged onto the platform with confidence and was welcomed with the usual smiles and stares. I was nervous but I kept telling myself that I could do this. If I gave off scared energy then I am pretty sure others would easily pick it up, so I just had to keep my cool. As I boarded the train with other eager passengers , I noticed a random guy smile at me. It caught me off guard but I politely smiled back and quickly put my head down. As I waited for my stop I could feel his eyes. Now you know I was thinking what in the world have I got myself into now?

I just remember thinking about all of the things I had read up online about not drawing attention to yourself when you are alone abroad. It was certainly going to be a hard task for me one because as a dark skinned woman on a train in Barcelona there is no way I would get overlooked. For the rest of that train journey I kept my eyes to myself.

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I came off the train at the right stop, thank God but I could not work out which was the best exit to take to the Cathedral. Frazzled with a confused look on my face I heard a voice from behind me say “are you lost”? to which I eagerly replied, “kinda, I am trying to work out which exit to the cathedral”. To my surprise It just so happened to be the guy who I exchanged a random smile with me lol.

Immediately he told me that he could tell that I was not from Barcelona, went he stopped me on the platform. I did not know if this was a compliment or was he targeting me to be his next kidnap victim. I gave him an awkward smile and quickly changed the subject back to the directions.

I soon came to realise this guy was cool so together we walked and talked as we made our way out of Catalunya station. Turns out he is not a local either, he was born in Germany and currently lives in Barcelona for his studies. I told him that I am a blogger from London with only a few hours left in the city.

I made sure to let him know that I was not in Barcelona alone. To which he offered to to take me out for a drink later on but I reminded him that I was on borrowed time so instead he walked me all the way to the cathedral

Michael had bright blue eyes that glistened in the sun with off blonde hair to match. Cute, but not my cup of tea, he said he would love to check out my blog, so we exchanged socials-and then said our goodbyes. Once he accepted me on Instagram it did not take me long to figure out that he liked hot chocolate and no I am not talking about the drink, lol

Outside of Barcelona Cathedral was busy and of course, the queue was long. I decided that I was not going to get fried in the sun waiting to gain entry. I sat under a tree in the shade read up about the history online. The back story behind the cathedral is rather intriguing. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia was established in the 15th century.

Apparently, it is dedicated to Eulia a young Virgin who refused to dismiss Jesus as the son of God. Baby-girl got done dirty and it has been said that her body lies entombed in the Cathedrals crypt. Kinda creepy right? but there you have it. I must say the Cathedral freaked me out a little from the outside, so I am kind of glad that I did not go inside.

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As I sat back on the wall, a local guitarist played a soothing tune in my ears. I had a moment to sit back and really take in my surroundings. I looked at the faces of the people walking by in the square. I caught glimpses of conversations as they passed me by.

I no longer felt nervous but at ease. I do not know this feeling of comfortably suddenly came from but you would have never believed it was my first time going out on my own. This bubble soon burst when I asked a stranger to take some pictures of me. All of which came out terrible, as I reviewed my lop sided pictures it reminded me why I love having a travel buddy.

God was definitely looking out for me because J met a second person. A young lady named Jian from South Korea who just so happened to be doing some solo travelling herself . Jian morphed into my creative director and gave me a quick photoshoot of a lifetime outside the cathedral, lol. I loved her enthusiasm she was so friendly and bubbly, I can vividly remember the warmth of her smile even today.

Jian added me on whats app and told me anytime I was ready to come to South Korea give her a shout.WOW, can you believe a whole me was out in Barcelona making international connections? It did not stop there though, I even met a guy Mr Mews who is an Author of self help books from South London. It gets even more random because he just so happened to live up the road from me. You can check out his gratitude journal by clicking here.

I moved on from the Cathedral and found myself going deeper into Gothic Quarter. The placed is full of rich history and amazing architecture that dates back over 2000 years. It was great to see some of those medieval buildings still standing in 2018.

I stumbled across a dope art gallery  ‘Villa del Arte Galleries’ check out the pics below. If you didn’t know I am a lover of art, so fir me to come across this gallery really made my day, I was truly in my element.

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I somehow even managed to find myself in another Gelato shop and you already know that I had to have a taste. It was definitely much better than the place I visited with Tiff earlier in my trip but it could never beat what I tasted in Rome. If you are heading to Barcelona soon, do check it Gelarto Rosa.img_6748-1

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With every new street that I turned down, I found myself discovering something different and learning something new. Gothic Quarter just felt like one big mystery, I was drawn in by the authenticity of every building. I also popped into the Historical Archive of the City of Barcelona, the centenary archivist and cultural institution dating back to the 13th century.

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I had spent nearly three hours exploring the Gothic Quarters by myself. I engaged in random conversations, I browsed the shelves of unusual shops, I exchanged smiles with strangers but most importantly I was doing it on my own. The fear that I felt about going out by myself had become a thing of the past.

This one time made me feel like I had done this a thousand times before. For a short moment, I convinced myself I was alone in Barcelona on this solo adventure. It was not until Tiffany called to check up on me that I remembered that I was not alone. It felt surreal having this little piece of independence in another country. I knew that I certainly wanted to experience this again. For the entire day I kept roaming through the streets and turned down as many alleys as my heart desired.

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It really baffled me how reluctant I was to go out by myself in Barcelona without Tiffany. I eventually accepted the challenge, but I had to dig a little deeper to understand why I felt that way. To my surprise, the answer was to be found in an idd place.

My upbringing was very much responsible and had a major role to play. I realised that ever since I was a little kid I have always been very independent, but someone was always close by watching out for me from afar. When I first learned how to ride a bike my dad would hold firmly onto the saddle as I worked the peddles.

One day my dad finally let go but he trailed so close behind me that I was convinced he was still holding on. But he was not, he just stood close enough just in case I needed him. This has been the case for most of my life, my independence comes with a cushion of comfort.

I know that if I hit a rock in a hard place, someone will surely be there for. God has sent me help in the form of family, trusted friends and sometimes even strangers. But this solo adventure was dependent on me and me alone. I had to rely on myself to get around and find the way because there was no one standing close by ‘just in case.

It might sound Ludacris but in those few hours I spent alone exploring the streets of Barcelona, I tapped into a new level of independence that I did not know I had. This caught me off guard but that is one thing I do love about life it is far from predictable.

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I am so proud of myself and I loved that I got to experience that in such a fruitful city. Barcelona 2018 was absolutely amazing with so many unexpected twists and turns to make the trip even more memorable. I was pushed right out of my comfort zone but like a true champ, I arose to the occasion and did the damn thing. I do hope to visit Barcelona again in the near future and get a chance to experience the nightlife and the rest of what this great city has to offer.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this mini spin-off of Free flow in Barcelona.24c23826-ac8c-4cfa-807d-800c060a1cc3-1

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

Free flow in Barcelona

img_8741Travel Partner: @TheLovely_Tiff

Departed: Sunday 29th July 2018 @ 7.15pm

Airport: Heathrow (my favourite airport) terminal 3

Airline: British Airways with access to the first class lounge

Hotel: Catalonia Barcelona Plaza booked through booking.com

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The perks of having a Travel Buddy

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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.

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  1. 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.

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Slaying & Sightseeing in Barcelona – August 2018

  1. 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.

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Ziplining at Diamonte Eco Park – Costa Rica 2017

  1. Cost-effective

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.

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Playas De Coco – Costa Rica 2017

  1. 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.

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All smiles at Trevi Fountain – Rome 2018

  1. Creating memories

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.

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Snapchatting before seeing Drake – Berlin 2017

  1. Stronger friendship

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.

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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

 

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

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Hair provided by Hermain hair

 

Post break up Travel (DSD special)

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The response to my Post break up Travel series was phenomenal. I am still baffled, that I was able to take you through the journey from finding out Intuition: A blessing in disguise to ultimately Connecting the dots in Costa Rica.

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.

Enjoy

x

 

 

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.

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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…

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Cheaters are scumbags. No debate

You can read my full blog on Cheating

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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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Check out my blogs @ jason-rt.com

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
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Stay Blessed
Lots of Love
Jenna
xoxo

Connecting the dots in Costa Rica

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. img_5913

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

1. Intuition: A blessing in disguise!

2. The Aftermath

3. The wall that came down in Berlin

4. Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

JWV: Travel bucket list

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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.

Enjoy x

1. Take a dip in the thermal pool at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

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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.

2. Climb the great wall of China

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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.

3. Volunteer with SLV Global in Bali

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

9. Participate in the annual carnival in Trinidad 

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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.

10. Vist the Disneyland Resort in Paris

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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.

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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

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Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

 

 

Dancing to the sound of a new beat in Santorini

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I live for a good picture backdrop baby!!

At the end of The wall that came down in Berlinthings looked promising for me as I made the decision to break down the wall of disappointment and start the process of moving on after the breakup. It was an unexpected heart to heart with one of my good girlfriends Lola that gave me the push in the right direction and I thank God it did.

There was a 3-month gap between my trips to Berlin & Santorini and in that space of time, things got better. I would not say they were great but things did get better. With each new day that came, the memories of the relationship did not hurt as much. I spent less time replaying the trauma in my mind and more time trying to catch back my rhythm. I had no other choice but to purge my ex out of my system. The crazy thing is, I did not realise just how deeply woven he was into the fine details of my life until the time came for me to eliminate him. From my Netflix password to the passcode on my phone, everything had to be changed.

I finally reached the ‘it is what it is’ stage and when a woman hits that point, there is no going back. Think of Angela Bassett in ‘Waiting to Exhale‘. Now I did not burn any clothes or cars, but I did sale the remainder of his things in my possession on eBay and disposed of the rest. I slowly morphed into a  new me. I kept my hair and nail appointments on the books like clockwork. I stayed busy, revived my social life and slowly got myself back into the groove of things. I even started to wear red lipstick, something I vowed to never ever do, lol. Putting your life back together after it has been scattered is never easy and I made sure to have fun with it. My glow was not back in the full effect just yet, but baby it was on the way.

I have to keep it real with you, when I told Aunty Lorna that I was going to Santorini for a party holiday, I am pretty sure she was convinced that I had lost my mind. A whole Jenna going on a party holiday? The same Jenna who can only manage two Pina Coladas? It sounded like a major risk on my part and it was definitely out of character for me as I have never been on a party holiday before.

I heard about Supa Dupa Fly x Santorini through Astra, who just happens to be another one of my big sister figures. Astra came into my life when I was 15, as the girlfriend of my older brother. Astra is the girlfriend your brother brings home, the whole family fall in love with her and even after their relationship ends, she still remains a part of the family.  Yeah, that’s my Astra, so when she told me about her plans to attend Santorini for this festival, my intuition sent me signals that I just could not ignore.

Supa Dupa Fly host the number one throwback RnB and Hip Hop nights in London. Throwing the hottest parties all through the year. Three years ago the team took their magic to Santorini and the rest is history. Astra, me, Kerry, Frankie & Liz attended SDF in their second year of residency on the island.

All the girls were aware of my breakup so everyone was determined to make sure that I had the best time. We departed from London on an evening flight, then stopped in Athens to hop on our connecting flight to Santorini. For the record, I despise layovers, but we had no other choice because our original direct flight got cancelled, lol

As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was welcomed into Santorini by a beautiful sunset and I just felt a calm sense of peace. I gave myself a little pep talk like  “Jenna you are in Santorini boo, you deserve this. Forget about the last few months baby girl it is time to turn up”.I was determined to enjoy this trip and make the most of it.

My first thoughts on Santorini were that it was authentic and untouched in most aspects of appearance. I did not fall in love with it at first sight and I ignorantly asked Astra where were all of those blue and white buildings I had seen on Instagram? I did not do much research on the place so you could imagine the shock I felt when I kept seeing Donkeys on every street. But, I thought to myself it is what it is if I have to ride on Donkeys for the next few days, then so be it. I was thousands of miles away from my comfort zone and I had no choice but to bite the bullet.

This was the first thing I saw when I jumped off the plane!

From the airport, we went straight to our serviced apartment, which I must say was absolutely gorgeous. It was better than I expected and I am a hotel junkie who is very hard to please. We stayed in a local area, with a tight-knit community that was ideally close to everything we needed. Once the rooms were sorted, we secured our Quad bikes, sourced some food and patterned things up for our first night in town.

We attended the Welcome party on the first night and it was such a vibe. No one’s face was screwed up, everyone was bubbling and smiling. The drinks were flowing, the video cameras were rolling. People were snapping and the crowd was losing their mind to whatever song the Dj was spinning. I was surprised to see such a mixed crowd of people, but no-one I recognised, so that was an added bonus.

One thing about me I love my music and although I am not a party girl, I am a dancehall Queen who is always in and out of retirement. It did not take long for the girls and I to find one corner and start getting down. Supa Dupa fly are known for 90s RnB and hip-hop music, so when I heard Vybez Kartel ‘Fever‘ ring out inside the place, it was game over lol. Astra took one look at me and said “Jenna your time now” anyone who knows me should know what happened next. Dancehall queen Jenna came right up out of retirement.

I had to catch a 5min breather from all of that dancing, so I went outside and started to cool off with my signature fan. As I stood outside, the scent of sweet cologne smacked me right in the face and awakened my senses. It did not take me long to find out who was behind the scent. The stars in Santorini must have been aligned that night because what I saw snatched the little piece of edges I had left.

The mystery man that stood a few steps away from me was about 6ft 4, dipped in Chocolate and glistened with all kinds of sauce. I scanned him from head to toe in under 8 seconds flat and then happened to notice a festival wristband on his left arm…BINGO lol. 8 seconds turned into 30 and just as I was about to take my gaze off him, our eyes made four. Whewww Chile…..

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We both smiled, I looked away and then he swayed off into the crowd. JENNA why did you not say hello???? I asked myself in frustration. Then I thought, even if I did say hello, what the heck was I going to say? I did not get a chance to answer that question because before I knew it he reappeared and I went for the plunge and said ‘Hiiii’.

I am so glad I did because he turned out to be really lovely, much older than me and he certainly was not from London. Mystery Chocolate was from the states and he lived and worked in one of my favourite cities. The more he told me about himself, the more I became impressed, especially when he mentioned that loved to travel. Now I won’t spill all the tea due to these new GDPR changes lol, but we did exchange our details and jokingly said that we would try to do brunch before our time on the island was up lol

Now I know you are thinking OMG and you probably did not see that one coming, but neither did I.  However Astra on the other hand, saw the whole thing and came rushing over to me once he slipped away back into the crowd. “Tell me everything JEN” Astra insisted but, honestly there was not much to tell. I saw a guy, our eyes made four, we chatted and exchanged details. It was no big deal, but  I was so proud of myself for being a bold baddie and saying hi.

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These party holidays are hardcore stuff you know. I partied all night and got back to our apartment in the early hours of the morning. I missed breakfast and woke up just in time for brunch, left with only a few hours to enjoy the day before I to get ready to party through the night and do it all again. Lucky for me, I managed to get a beach day in and boy it was truly worth it. I visited Perissa Black sand Beach, which is famous for the red and black volcanic pebbles that lay across the shores. I had never been to a beach of this kind before, I only ever head about it in songs.

I decided to take a walk across the shores of the Perissa beach, play my favourite gospel song at the time and pray (see video below). Water is purifying and I always feel the presence of peace whenever I am around it. Between you and I, I released old layers of myself and life in that prayer that day. It was not planned, but I guess it just had to happen. After my prayer walk across the beach, I sensed that something greater was coming my way because whenever you release, you always gain.

It was halfway through my trip when I met two sisters from London Chanel and Chloe. Now I remember spotting them on our flights, but we did not end up speaking until we found ourselves dancing the night away side by side in a cave on the island. Chloe and I clicked instantly and she revealed to me that she and Chanel spotted me at the club on the first night getting my Life to Vybez Kartel, LOL.

We exchanged details promised to link up before we left. On that same night, I met so many people. It did not feel like an I was in a rave, but more like a large scale networking event. I established so many divine connections in that one night, I will never ever forget my raving experience in Santorini. I strongly sensed that I was right where I was supposed to be, just like in Berlin. So I vowed to keep my eyes and ears open because I was sure there was something that I was supposed to receive on this island.

The rave in a Cave!

Party holidays are like a yo-yo, you party day and night and the cycle continues until it is time to fly home. I did get a chance to meet up with Chanel, Chloe and Mystery Chocolate again. It was these two link-ups in Santorini that made me start to look at the breakup in a whole new light.

After an evening of raving, everyone was scattered across the strip trying to buy food. Now I do not know how this happened, but I got lost and could not find the girls. One minute they were there and the next they were gone. So I made my way into a Chinese shop and low and behold I came across Chanel and Chloe.

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I immediately sat down and ordered food to their table. You know how Women can be we start a conversation about food and then end up talking about Men and that is exactly what happened. Before I knew it, Chanel and I were exchanging war stories about our past relationship. If you have learned one thing about me by now, you know that I am not afraid to tell my story.

The conversation that I had with the sisters that night blew my mind. The girls and I spoke for nearly two hours and I truly felt empowered by these two sisters who were complete strangers to me only a few days ago. Chanel was older than me and Chloe and before I left to go back to my hotel, Chanel looked me dead in my face and said ‘Your ex-did you a favour. The betrayal is actually a blessing and I know that you can’t see it now, but when you do you will never be the same again”. Those words sent a chill down my spine and she was right I did not understand it but I knew that the time would come when I would. I went to back to the apartment, sat on the balcony and let the cool breeze of the night soothe my soul.

As for Mystery Chocolate, we kept running into each other at the parties, both still in limbo about when we were going to pencil in this brunch. It eventually became a running joke every time we saw each other. Eventually, we did get a chance to catch up to enjoy a lovely stroll in perfect sight of the Caldera View.

Our link-up was so refreshing, he was an educated Black man who knew his stuff. I told him a bit more about myself and how I had gone through a really hard time after my break up. We talked about the ups and downs of relationships, the music business, the welfare system in the states, Obama and the rap lyrics of Notorious BIG  lol.

Before we departed ways he told me to take a good look at the remains of the Caldera. So there I stood snapping away on my phone and he begins to tell me about the history of Santorini. MC begins to tell me how the existing Island of  Santorini is the remains of a bigger Island that was destroyed by an explosive volcanic eruption in 1646 BC.

The Volcano left nothing but this big blackened rock that I was awkwardly staring at.  As I gazed on, taking in the view, he turned to me and said: “the result of the eruption created five separate islands including Santorini and from an explosion, beautiful things are able to be created”. I stood in awe as I  let those words penetrate through my entire system. WOW, I thought to myself I just received another piece of the puzzle.

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Santorini will always have a piece of my heart, nothing more or less. I went there with the intention to party hard and have fun. However, I received more than I expected, as I danced through each day and night. The people that I met and the conversations that I had helped to guide me through to the next level. Things were finally coming together for me and I was ecstatic.

On the plane back home I thanked Astra for letting me hop on the girls trip. Astra laughed and said ‘anytime Jen, you know I  got you. You did good girl, I could not believe you were able to hang in there”. I laughed because I could not believe it myself. Astra went on to say this and I quote. ‘you’re doing well Jen, you took that fall and you got back up, everything happens for a reason and remember Jen, karma is a B*&^H, so we keep our noses clean. 

I gave Astra the biggest smile and rested my head back on my seat. I was more than ready to get back home to London and start living my new life to the fullest. Summer 17 was soon approaching and I was not going to let the skeletons of my past hold me back anymore.

Love you Astra!

The last stop in my post break up travel journeys will be Costa Rica. I might as well go ahead and tell you that the hurt and heartbroken Jenna that you have read about during this series did not make it to Costa Rica. Sit tight because the Jenna that I am about to introduce you to will have you screaming YASSSSSS from the top of your lungs, lol

One last thing: Make sure you sign up to my subscription list so that you never ever miss the drop when I post new blog content. Also, if you missed the memo Jennas World Views Glow up that was planned for Monday 6th August 2018 was put on hold until further notice. There were some difficulties behind the scenes and although I still wanted to reveal my logo (which is amazing btw) I decided NOT to.

In addition to that, the Post break up series must come to an end before I transition into my new look. In order for me to sow fruitful seeds into #JWV I can no longer mix the old with the new.  As soon as things are back on track, you will be the first to know.

Thank you for your patience, time, love and support.

Stay Blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo