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

The wall that came down in Berlin

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FINALLY, the first blog in my Post Break up Travel series is here! Sorry to keep you waiting for so long Boo, but the timing to release it just hasn’t been right, until now. Before I dive all the way in, I hope you have read Intuition: A blessing in disguise and The Aftermath because they are the starters that you need to digest before getting stuck into the mains. DO NOT start this series if you are yet to read them. Catch up, and then meet me back here so I can give you the 411.

When I decided to start my post break up travel series, I did not plan to tell you how I ended up there. I mean it’s not easy airing out your dirty laundry for others to see. However, something did not seem right about starting this series so abruptly with no backstory. So it was only right for me to give you some substance behind it, even if it that required me to show you one of my biggest scars. The first stop of the journey takes us to Berlin, the capital of Germany, full of culture, history and politics.

Enjoy x

At the end of The Aftermath, I let you know that I took Lola up on her offer to see Drake perform on his Boy meets world tour. Since the opportunity to see Drake had presented itself to me a second time around, I felt heavily compelled to pursue this concert. At the time, I was constantly chasing the highs, so this trip just seemed like the perfect hit. Sadly, for me with the highs certainly came the lows and I was going through a crazy cycle. I committed to things that gave me a buzz without a proper thought, then abandoned them when it was time to follow through. I won’t begin to tell you just how much money I wasted on Eventbrite, buying tickets for events, to then never show up.

Everything felt like an effort for me and I had adopted a nonchalant attitude to life in general. I practically looked and felt like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, plus I wasn’t doing myself any favours, because paperwork on my ex-was still coming across my desk. I know, I should have been turning it away, but you know what they say about curiosity killing the cat, lol. Seeing pictures of the ‘happy couple’ with my ex-smiling like a Cheshire cat wearing the clothes that I paid for, was enough to send me over the edge. I have to keep it all the way 100 with you, in the early post break up days, seeing them together made my blood boil. My ex- had given me bun without cheese plus tax and VAT. It was VERY painful for me to see and that added even more fuel to my hurt and confusion.

I can confidently say that I experienced every emotion known to mankind, but at that point, the Anger in me reigned sovereign. I should not have been concerned about what he was keeping up with, but again it was a struggle. I still found it hard to let him go and it only added more salt to my open infected wounds. My ex- appeared to be living his best life, whilst I wasted away in the dumps. By the time it came around for me to head off to Berlin, I didn’t even want to go. However as I was in so much despair, the desperation to get out of London was real.

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Can you believe this was my luggage for Berlin?

Prior to Berlin, I had gone MIA. No whats app DP and minimal activity on the socials. People were trying to see me but I honestly stopped replying to most messages. So when it was time to fly out, I reappeared on the scene as if nothing had ever happened. Human beings are funny. We will go above and beyond to convince others that we ‘are ok’ rather than actually being ok. I spoke about this in The Cost of Living a lie but my reasons were only to disguise the true depths of my turmoil. In the process of trying to convince others, you end up convincing yourself. Sometimes the lies feel more comforting than facing the truth of your situation.

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Stepping on Berlin soil, honestly felt like a breath of fresh air for me. Lola and I stayed at the RIU hotel in Alexanderplatz in Mittie, one of the busiest places filled with shops, restaurants, cinemas and popular attractions within walking distance. We arrived just after 12pm, checked into our hotel and then decided to hit the streets. The concert wasn’t until 9pm, so we had enough time on our hands. Being in Berlin was definitely an instant mood lifter for me. I instantly fell in love with the place and I felt like I was in my own world.

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I loved being in a new place and that feeling of being unknown was soothing. Back home in London I had been feeling very suffocated, not to mention exposed. The breakup lifted the floorboards up off the relationship with my ex, which required me to open up and let in my family and friends. Everyone now had a voice which came with an opinion. It wasn’t like this in Berlin though, there were no loud voices or opinions anymore. For the first time in a long time, I could actually hear myself think and I started to tune back into my own frequency. Lola and I spent a few hours in the town, we shopped, we ate and spoke with the locals. After a while, we headed back to our hotel to prepare to see Drizzy.

Lola is another key player within Jennas World, our friendship started at secondary school but flourished throughout our 20s. My Lola looks fabulous, you would never know that she is actually 3 years older, but she is and she is one of my Big sister figures. I really commend Lola because dealing with a friend with emotions that changed by the click of a finger is not easy. Even flying to another country with me in the emotional state that I was, was a huge risk. I was a rollercoaster of emotions even before the concert but somehow she managed to keep me in good spirits. Lola knows me pretty well and she knew that if she put a camera in front me, I will perform, lol. Please see the evidence below, I even managed to snag some bomb ass selfies too.

Some of you may say heartbreak looks good on me because my pain is undetectable in these snaps, lol. I can assure you, I did not feel as good as I looked. After taking photos for nearly an hour, we headed out to the concert which was located in the Mercedes Benz Arena. It had started raining, we were running late and I felt a meltdown coming on. I started to hyperventilate and think of all the worse things that would cause us to miss this concert, but thank God we made it on time.

We managed to secure standing tickets, I remember when the doors to the Arena opened I became ecstatic. Suddenly, I  looked around and began to see so many people, I instantly felt a buzz, that sent a sensation through my entire body. As if things could not get any better? Popcaan was the opening act, this being a surprise to me, sent me into a frenzy. I know I probably messed up many peoples snapchat videos, but I got my entire life. I was beaming on an instant high and I couldnt stop smiling because it honestly felt so good. I had not felt like this in months, so I just held on to it and lived in that moment. I even made friends with randoms. Drakes performance sealed the night and I left that concert in a much better way than I came in.

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I came to Berlin with one goal and one goal only, to see Drake and go home. I wasn’t interested in doing much sightseeing. We both just wanted to see the Berlin wall and eat dinner at the TV tower, but things did not quite go to plan. Lola and I started to get ready to head out and I don’t know how it happened but we ended up having a heart2heart. We stood side by side in this black tiled bathroom, Lola was doing her makeup and I was doing my hair.

It was like one of those Big sister, little sister moments that you see in the films. We had a deep heart-wrenching conversation that I didn’t even know I needed. There were no tears involved, just home truths that spoke to my soul. There are some words that will be spoken to you within your lifetime that will leave a lasting impression on you. For me, that conversation will certainly be one of them. Something in me was moved by the words of my friend in that moment. After months of repeated conversations with close friends and family members, the wall finally came down. I knew that I had to accept things for what they were and even though it was not going to be easy, I couldnt continue on in my current state.

I believe God works in mysterious ways and I feel as though he set me up and lured me all the way to Berlin just so I could have this conversation with Lola. Think about it, Lola and I could have had this convo over some wings of fire at Satay Bar. It wasn’t a coincidence or by chance that this trip happened. It wasn’t even about seeing Drake. It was about me getting away from the noise back home in London to be able to recognise that it was time to look ahead to my future. I did not plan for that nor did I see such a revelation coming, but life is such a funny thing, we never know what is coming around the corner. I am thankful that somehow the words of my friend when I least expected it was able to pull me up out of the floods.

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God knows who to send into your life, you just have to trust him.

After an eventful day filled with therapy, sisterhood and soul-searching, we finally made it out to the Berlin wall. Most of which has now been removed, but we managed to grab a few snaps of the remains. Check it out below.

Whewww Chile, the controversy!!! LOL

We didn’t end up making it to the TV tower for dinner, instead, we wandered the streets of Berlin until the day turned to night. Together we explored the city, by taking in the views, speaking to locals and moving to the beat of our own drum. By accident, we came across a lovely Thai place and had dinner and cocktails. Sadly I can’t remember the name of that place, so I can’t share the deets. Our dinner sealed the evening and although the day was far from what I expected, I am glad that everything came together in the way that it did. To watch a mini Vlog of my Berlin Trip, check out on my Facebook page it is nothing fancy, I tried a thing, lol.

Berlin was a turning point for me, things appeared as though they were looking up but do you think I was able to keep the same pace by the time I arrived in Santorini?

Find out on the next stop of my post break up travel series.

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Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

The Aftermath…

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I am a 90s baby, so I grew up on Toni Braxton, Monica and of course my Aunty Mary J Blige. I was singing about heartbreak and infidelity before I knew what it meant to really go through it. I could recite lyrics and belch every high note with raw emotion as if the heartbreak was my own. In my mind I was no stranger to it, I had read countless books about cheating couples (shout out to Brenda Hampton & Omar Tyree). I watched Tv shows and films over the years. I even knew all the words of the iconic heartbreak film Waiting to Exhale. It was all fun and games when it was make-belief but nothing could prepare me for the pain I felt when heartbreak became my reality.

Now I know that I dropped a bomb on you in my last blog post Intuition: A blessing in disguise. I was really touched by your response and I now feel braver than ever telling my story. Before I crack open my post break up travel series I need to take you a bit further behind the scenes. From the break up until my trip to Berlin, a lot had taken place in my life. I turned 25. I developed an elaborate and impulsive spending habit and I experienced everything from hair loss to depression. Dealing with a break up on top of trying to navigate my way through life was crippling and I couldn’t manage it. The break up was the straw that broke the Camels back and sadly for me it knocked me right off my feet. There was so much to process. My family were in my ears, my friends were in my ears. Everyone including me was trying to make sense of the madness.

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I was embarrassed, ashamed and I felt dirty. To make matters even worse, the word had started to spread and the people were talking. An old acquaintance of mine was so desperate for an exclusive, she texted my phone with fake concern in hopes to catch the tea. But this wasn’t tea or breaking news via the #shaderoom this was my real life. All eyes were now on me. Every move that I made was being scrutinised, so I wasn’t going to give the spectators, my ex or cousinbae the satisfaction of seeing me crumble. Even though I was half dead behind the scenes, lol. The show had to go on, so I kept up the appearances and made sure my Instagram uploads stayed popping.

The more I acted as though life was grand like a thousand pounds to the outside world, things were taking a turn for the worse. It got so bad that my mum sat me down and gave me some home truths. Mummy was blunt and told me that I am not the first girl in the world to get cheated on and I won’t be the last. I need to walk with my head held high. One day it will all make sense why I had to go through this. I can’t stop or give up, I just have to keep going. My mum tried the nice approach at first but in true Aunty Lorna form, she likes to leave an impact with her words. Mum made sure to remind me that I came from a long line of strong Black Women, who have been through ‘this’ before, so I have to pick myself up. Mum then went on to say and I quote “if you feel like you are going to mash up yourself over this Jancro boy & his dutty family, you have another thing coming”. In translation, this was a warning to get my shit together.

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You see, I heard what my mum said, but her words were not hitting home. Nothing anyone was saying to me at the time was. I felt like a victim and found comfort revelling in the pain of the breakup. I truly lost my strength and was I embarrassed to tell my mum that I was struggling to push through. My confidence was bruised. Ever since I was a child, It has been drilled into me that I have to grow up to be a strong Black woman. Life was going to throw some horrible things my way and no matter what happens, I have to keep it moving. Even if it hurts. Even if it’s painful. Even if I don’t understand it. I was raised and trained to be resilient. If I fall, I must get up and if I cry it shouldn’t be for too long, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t look or feel like the strong Black woman my mum raised me to be and this had a major impact on my confidence. I was unable to demonstrate all that my mum had taught me because I was crumbling.

Over the years I have been able to live up to this reputation as a ‘strong  Black woman’. I  have served as the friend, who many have called on. At one point in time, I even held a PHD in solving man problems for my girls, lol. Sadly, the tables had turned and the strong Jenna that everybody once knew, was now unrecognisable. The stress completely took over, I started isolating myself from others, my hair started to fall out and I wasn’t able to sleep at night. I remember feeling like someone cast an evil spell on me because everything that was happening to me just seemed unreal. I was declining, but I couldn’t do anything about it. The break up was an eye-opener and it made me realise that my ex-wasn’t who he portrayed himself to be. I thought that I knew him, but I didn’t. It made me feel as though everything that we had shared together was a lie. This was the worse part for me because, in my heart, I truly felt like we had shared something real.

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My ex- was the first guy I ever exchanged I love you with. The first guy who knew all of my hopes and dreams. From the age of 17, he watched me blossom into the early stages of womanhood. How could I just forget him? How was I supposed to erase the last 7 years of my life? I felt like I didn’t have anything to show for the relationship. I wasted my years and my time being his lover and the damn secretary too. I couldnt bear the thought of letting go of the relationship and to make matters worse, I was still attached to him(please don’t cuss me). It was so overwhelming for me to the point where I couldn’t even think straight. There was too much noise going in my head and I just needed to tune everything out. The break up was already taking its toll on my mental health and I knew it. As a first-class psychology graduate, who at that time wanted to get into Clinical Psychology Doctoral training. I knew the signs and tried my best to disguise it from my family and friends.

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It wasn’t only until an incident took place at work, that would soon reveal the true impact of the break-up. I collapsed at work and was unresponsive on my office floor for 5 minutes. As I regained consciousness, I noticed my wig was halfway across the office floor. My colleagues were standing around in complete and utter shock. When I realised my wig was gone, I just screamed out in embarrassment, lol.  I know they probably thought I was having a panic attack but unfortunately it was the shame of my wig abandoning my head at such a crucial time. Everyone believed I had suffered a silent heart attack until the tests came back normal. My iron levels were fine and no I didn’t have a stroke. Numerous tests were carried out on me but nothing could explain why I collapsed. The only thing the doctors could conclude was that stress had a major part to play. I spent two nights in the hospital and was advised to take it easy because next time I might not be so lucky.

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It was obvious from that incident I needed to get a grip on things but I just didn’t have the strength to get myself together. So I did what I do best and blocked out the problems by slipping away into isolation. I didn’t want to hear what my family or friends had to say anymore. I didn’t want to think about my ex anymore. I just wanted to soothe my wounds. I needed to make myself feel better and I was desperate to fill the pain with something other than the voices of my family and friends. So I kept spending money and boy did it feel good.

My aim was to get away from London and even further away from everyone’s voices. I was so desperate for a change of scenery. So when my girl Lola hit me up about Drakes Boy meets world tour in Berlin, I was all over it. Something about this concert just made sense to me. If you read JWV’s Top 10 things to do in Miami, you would know that we missed out on seeing him the previous year. I strongly sensed this was a rare moment of fate presenting itself and I needed to pay close attention. Without any additional thought, I booked those Drake tickets and Lola & I made plans to set off to Berlin. Little did I know, that this trip was going to be the starting point for my restoration & healing.

You can read about my trip to Berlin on Monday 23rd July at 7pm.

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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#TravelDiary: 2015 On a high in Dubai

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Call me weird, but I seem to believe that odd years have been the most fruitful for me oppose to even years. Since I entered the world in 1991, your girl has thrived in every odd year since lol. Aunty Lorna (my mum) says that it is down to the seasons of life but I just believe it is down to the year. To have a better understanding of my trip to Dubai, I need to give you insight into where I was in my life during that time.

It was the year 2015 and my mindset was so focused on experiencing a turnaround. After a turbulent end to 2014, I was keen to see things do a swift 360 and they did. I landed my first graduate job as a Research Assistant at Kings College London University. Following a sudden illness, I made some lifestyle changes that resulted in me overcoming some major health challenges. Blessings were flowing and everyone was receiving something. I played in the Notting Hill carnival that year and I was so high on life. Things were finally looking up after being upside down for so long.  So a trip to Dubai at the end of the summer (September 2015) was literally the cherry on top of all the goodness that I was experiencing.

I had been fascinated with Dubai for many years and I always wanted to go. I am not sure why, but Dubai was the place on everybody’s lips. If you had been to Dubai, you were saying a lot. When I uploaded my first batch of Dubai pics, I was sure to drop my location and let everybody know that your girl was in town. However, going to Dubai for me was much more than just showing off on the socials with bigger than life captions.

A year before my trip to Dubai, I was in a place of turmoil. I was drowning in Postgraduate depression, something that is so common but sadly not spoken about enough. In addition to this I recovering from an unexpected illness and questioning whether God was real or fake. Now those are just some of the things that I was going through that I am now willing to open up and talk about. To the outsiders looking in, me flying to Dubai and posting all over the gram, I just looked like an over the top show off.  However, that was far from the case. If you have ever been through a storm in life and you make it out on the other side, alive, you just shine differently.

My trip to Dubai will always remind me of how God miraculously made a way for me. I don’t know how but he did it. My Dubai trip felt like a gift that I received after passing all of those obstacles and challenges. Have you ever had so many doors close in your face, that when the right door finally opens it makes sense why the others didn’t? Yeah, that’s just how I feel about that whole experience.

Dubai was so long ago, so with what I can remember I broke my trip down in different categories, enjoy.

The Hotel

I stayed in the 5-star hotel chain the Sofitelon Jumeirah beach on a half board basis. One thing I didn’t know prior to checking in was the 20 dirham a day tourist tax. I was young in the travel game back then, so things like that didn’t even cross my mind to check before travelling. If you plan to visit Dubai, spend some time doing some travel planning and research, visitdubai.com is a great place to start, so do check it out.

The Sofitel did not disappoint, as you know I am such a sucker for a luxurious, nice, clean hotel with all of the trimmings and it served me just that. The location of my hotel was so ideal and I couldn’t have been happier. It had absolutely everything within walking distance. I would highly recommend staying by Jumeirah Beach as it closely connected to most things.

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The food

I ate a lot of junk food in Dubai, it wasn’t intentional but fast food was very convenient. On my first night, I had KFC and it was nothing to write home about because we all know that Jamaica has the best KFC in the world. People have told me that Trinidad KFC could give Jamaica a run for its money, but I am yet to try it, so Jamaica still stands at number one, lol.

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Panda Express was my go-to for lunch because the food was tasty and cheap lol. Chinese food is always a good idea and I rinsed this place out on a daily basis. However, for me, The Cheesecake Factory was hands down the best food that I had in Dubai on my trip. From the main meals right down to the desserts, The Cheesecake Factory was truly about that life. Please, please please it is not possible to visit Dubai without giving this place a try.

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The Mall

The Dubai mall felt like an adventure playground, with lots to see and even much more to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t do any major shopping. I was more focused on booking activities and making sure that I had money to eat and pay my share for taxi trips. I loved the mall, but I was super conscious about what I wore and how I conducted myself. I was not interested in getting arrested abroad for my family to be making sad appeals on Good morning Britain. I was on my best behaviour because I really didn’t want any problems. I am not sure how much things have changed now, but whenever I go away I make it my duty to adhere to the customs of that particular culture.

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The Transport

Dubai is not an easy place to travel around like London. It is filled with too many highways and one way systems that make short journeys 10 x longer. The taxi system was a bump back then. I disliked using the taxis because most drivers were rude and obnoxious. Especially to us Black women. It was just a complete nightmare. Hopefully, they now have Uber, but I wouldn’t even trust that either. The trains ran a much better service. It was efficient, clean and very easy to use. Although men, women and children were required to go into separate carriages or be at risk of getting a fine. I always recommend for travellers to use the local transport systems, as it allows you to get a real feel of the country that you are visiting.

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The Nightlife 

The Nightlife in Dubai was pretty decent. Most of the clubs were situated in fancy hotels. Everything was plush, boujee and proper, just how I like it. Raving in Dubai never gave me that trashy feeling, everything felt expensive, lol. The clubs were strict, Ladies don’t think you can take your heels off and leave them in one corner, security will put you in check.

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I found that there were more men than women in the clubs, but I kind of expected that. Men of all ages who made sure their money did all the talking, without any introductions. I received a few offers in Dubai, all of which I nicely declined. I didn’t fancy being pumped out for a few labels as it has never really been my thing, lol. The only downside to the Dubai nightlife is that ravers were allowed to smoke in the clubs. It was the worst thing ever, we had to wash our bundles daily just to get rid of the stench. YUCK.

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My best clubbing experience in Dubai was at Cirque Le Soir. A boujee, circus theme nightclub, filled with burlesque dancers, fire eaters, an indoor funfair and multiple DJs. I had never experienced anything like it prior, but I would definitely recommend it if you want an unusual raving experience. The Dubai nightlife was pure fun, I even unexpectedly bumped into my sis @Mybreakingviews. We both went to secondary school together and it is amazing to now see where God is taking us on this Travel & Lifestyle blogging journey. Check out my sis, she has some great content out and even much more to come.

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How did I forget to mention that I had a dance-clash with one of the local dancer girls at one Dancehall/Reggae party? I couldn’t believe she actually challenged me, lol the poor thing didn’t stand a chance. I wiped the floor with her but I felt so bad after so we ended up hugging it out. If you have ever seen the film Dancehall queen you will know exactly what I am talking about. If not, click here lol

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The Activities

I did the Dubai Bus tour and I hated it. I felt like we wasted a day driving around getting fried in the sun. It is a great way to learn about the history of Dubai and do some sightseeing, but it just wasn’t for me.

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One activity I did enjoy was the Desert safari  it was so sick and I am pissed that I lost most of my Dubai footage. The Desert safari package was definitely worth it, I did so many activities in one go. I got a chance to ride a camel again, see belly dancers, try on a burka and hijab and have dinner in the middle of the Desert. This activity comes highly recommended as it was great value for money, which I would like to experience do again.

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I am not sure if I had mentioned this before, but I do not know how to swim. The time that I have been worried about being 26 & never been on a Bae-cation… I need to learn how to swim, lol. I will eventually, but whilst I was in Dubai your girl was clueless about swimming. It didn’t stop me from going on the Jet skis though. Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway and I did just that.

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On my last night in town, I went to visit The Burj Khalifa and it was nothing short of amazing. How can you visit Dubai and not go to see one of the world’s largest skyscrapers? Once I got to the top, I watched a lovely firework display and it truly was a sight to remember. What a good way to end such an amazing trip. I felt so proud that I was able to take myself to Dubai and be able to see such a major landmark. Below is my favourite picture from this trip, I was sitting inside of the Burj Khalifa admiring the view. I uploaded this on Instagram with a caption saying “Hello Burj Khalifa, I am just a little black girl coming from Myatt’s field estate, now as a Young Woman, I am exploring different parts of the world”.

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One thing for sure, I have stayed true to that statement and I won’t stop travelling. I pray that God will spare my life to allow me to go out into the world and see much more of it.

DUBAI is an amazing place and if you haven’t already book a trip and get out there ASAP.  I can’t wait to go back to explore and see all of the new developments since my last visit. Dubai will always be a yes for me and it is one of those places that I will always be up for going back to again and again.

My Next Travel blog post will be about my 2016 trip to Miami and you really don’t want to miss that.

Anyways my Loves, you can find me on all the socials @Jennasworldview

Please keep reading, liking and sharing.

Stay Blessed

Lots of love

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Jenna

xoxo

26 & never been on a Bae-cation…

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For those of you that don’t know, a Bae-cation is a vacation that you take with BAE. The Bae in question must be your significant other. Borrowing a BAE from someone else would be quite problematic. Personally, I would avoid that and I urge you to do the same, but hey that is a new blog – post for another day lol

I thought long and hard about this and yes I’d love for the chance to escape to an Exotic Island or be whisked away on a City break with Bae. I never travelled with my ex so this is a new territory that I am keen to explore. As I am now part of the Travel blogging community, I see so many travel pics of couples daily and it really got me thinking about me and my own experiences.

So I decided to reach out to my Instagram family to find out who has been on a Baecation and where did they goIt is safe to say, that I am not the only person left on the earth who has not been on one, whew. There are both Men and Women out there, young and old who are yet to jet out with their partner. I guess this means that I am not an alien and I can stop stressing myself out right?. Mmmm I’m not yet convinced, this lack of Baecation stuff is going on my prayer list, so watch this space, lol.

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 In my head, a Bae-cation goes something like this . . .

Together both of us will be killing it our holiday outfits, from the colours right down to the footwear. We just naturally complement each other as we travel through a new country, exploring and making new memories. Our beach days will consist of long walks, hand in hand in the sand, whilst the waves of the sea flow as our background music. We will stay up late into the evenings, talking about whatever comes to mind right through to the early hours of the morning. Each day away will give us both the chance to recharge, reconnect and plan ahead.

These scenes from a romantic film that I am describing are probably far from the true reality of Bae-cations. I know it sounds so scripted and glamorous, but hey a girl can dream lol. I am an outsider here so I wouldn’t know where to start.  If I am way off hit your girl up and drop some knowledge on me in the comments, lol.

In my mind, a Baecation seems necessary for all couples. Time away from our natural habitats does everyone good, I expect that a Baecation would probably do the same plus more. Chances are it gives some couples the opportunity to pour into each other with minimal distractions or outside influences. From what I have seen and heard, a Baecation is like a Kinder surprise, you just never know what you might get. It is possible to go on a Baecation and not come back the same way.

How many couples have you heard of that went away and come back engaged, eloped, pregnant or even separated?  You just never know what a Baecation could bring, but I am here for it, and can’t wait for my turn. Travelling is a big part of me. Travelling has shaped my character as a woman.Travelling has broadened my horizons. Travelling holds a big place in my heart and life. I can’t even begin to imagine, what it would feel like to share this with Bae. I know this sounds mushy, but hey I said, what I said lol.

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Even before I announced this blog post, I have had lots of questions floating around in my head about Baecations.

When is the right time in a relationship to go on holiday?

Is there a Bae-cation vetting process?

Would I take wigs on a Bae-cation or nah?

Where would we go ?

What started out as a fun light-hearted blog – post quickly took a negative turn, that left me feeling out of place.

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My mind was doing overtime putting this blog post together. To the point where I almost abandoned it. I felt like I was mentally self –harming trying to understand something that I was yet to experience. As I pondered on the fact that I am 26 and I have never been on a Bae-cation, it was getting me very pressed. The thought of it got me extremely agitated, my mood kept dipping and my nostrils flares were on 100. I had to seriously question myself and ask “Jenna what is all the fuss about with this Baecation stuff”? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks and I ended up going down that road of self-reflection.

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I will be 27 in December and my life is really just getting started. There are a lot of things ahead of me, I have lots to see and even more to explore and experience. Even though, I know this to be true, I sometimes have moments of ‘when is it going to happen?”  and I am sure that I am not alone. From about 15 years old, I have planned out my entire life. According to my plans, I should be a qualified Clinical Psychologist, married, pregnant with the twins, renovating my 5th property, and coordinating business deals back and forth from New York.  I am so far away from this plan, it actually chokes me to know that I haven’t achieved anything I just shared on that list.

 I am not where I THOUGHT I would be by this age. Acknowledging that I am now 26 and haven’t been on a Baecation, reminds me that the plans that I made for my life at 15 have not come to fruition. I do feel some type of way, but I have just been getting on with my life and buried these feelings. We all have things that we bury deep down inside of us. In hopes that we never have to deal with them ever again or that if we ignore it the feelings will go away. The truth is, as I get on with life, my faith and my fears are at WAR but only one of them can win. My faith tells me there is still enough time for all of those beautiful things to take place in my life. Whilst my fears tell me, that my career, travel plans, love life and future will never happen. It is a constant battle, but I am determined that my fears will not win.

On this life journey so far I have broken down and hit many roadblocks as well as diversions. I set out on one route, took a few wrong turns, couple detours and there. I have been lost, was given many directions, ended up ditches, rerouted and then found myself back on the roads, with the breeze blowing through my hair. I made plans for my life and believed I would go down a particular route in order to achieve them but that has been far from the case and that’s fine.

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Sometimes in life, the route in which we take to achieving our plans will be the very thing that destroys us. We have our hearts and minds set on things that have nothing to do with where Gods wants to take us. I am not saying that we must not set goals or plan.  I am saying that if you plan something and it doesn’t work out how you thought it would, don’t be disheartened. Just know that God has SOMETHING better in store for you. When you get caught up in what did not work or what you don’t have, you lose sight of where you are. Even if something has not happened in your life just yet, doesn’t mean that it will never happen.

I am guilty of living my life through an unrealistic checklist created by me, influenced heavily by family expectations, peer pressure, society standards & Culture. I can confidently say that I know I am not the only one.There is no real manual on how to do this life thing because it is very much all trial and error. In a weird way I felt very disappointed that I had not achieved some of those things on my list, because If I did, Bae-cations would have happened already. Those plans that I wrote for my life at 15 have secretly been holding me hostage. My unrealistic timelines have made me feel some type of way about things that I cant control in life.

The truth is this, it doesn’t matter how much we stress or wonder when things will happen in our lives. At the right time, in the right season, with the right people, everything that is yours shall be given unto you. Stressing is a waste time because it won’t get you to your goals any quicker. Do not to focus on what has not shown up just yet in your life, have faith that GODS plans will lead you to everything that you need.

So yes, I am 26 and I have NOT yet been on a Bae-cation, but it will happen, just like all the other things that are destined for my life. What I have and what I do not have, no longer has power over me and that now gives me hella strength.

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Stay Blessed peeps

Please continue to comment, like, share, especially on the socials

You can find and follow me on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook @JennasWorldView

Jenna’s Words of Wisdom

Remember it is always good, to be honest with yourself about your inner thoughts and feelings. Self-reflection is key!

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Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

#TravelDiary:Like 2pac in 93, I get around

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When I launched JWV last month (March 2018), I kicked it off with a blog post about my recent trip to Rome (You can read about it here). I basically took my readers to Rome through a descriptive recap of how it all went down and it was a VIBE, if I do say so myself.

But, as I have said before I haven’t just been to Rome. Your girl has made a couple of trips here and there. Although it might not be as much as the average travel blogger, I have made some movements. I could be wrong but I don’t think there is a minimum amount of countries you are required to visit yearly to qualify as a travel blogger. If you love to travel, do it frequently and have the capacity to put out content, then BOOM you are good to go.

The most countries that I have visited in one year is three (2013 & 2017). Some people have the capacity to travel much more than that and that too is amazing. Whether you travel once a year or more, be grateful. As there are loads of people who would love to do it but just don’t have the time or resources.

So here is part one of my travel diary. I don’t have any pictures of my travel trips as a baby though. Issa long story, but have a read below, enjoy and stay tuned for part two coming soon.

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2002 – Miami

Daddy took his baby girl to Miami…

When my Dad told me he was taking me to Miami, Florida back in 2002. I was gassed. Super excited. Right up until I arrived in Miami, I kept singing “All night, on the beach till the break of dawn. Welcome to Miami, Bienvenidos a Miami”.  Hella cheesy but I was only 10 years old, so give me a break lol.

It was not all fun and games though because the real reason for this trip was my Grans funeral. If you ever had a death in the family you will know that it is usually filled with tears, sadness and “ole leap ah drama”. My Pups did a good job to keep me out of that though. I spent most of my time out shopping, recreating the Destiny’s Child “I’m a survivor” beach scenes at the beach, eating and of course a trip to Disneyland. I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt like one of those celebrity kids,anything I wanted or needed, my Daddy made it happen.

This was my first trip to the USA and if you read my (Is Sisterhood dying out here in these streets?) blog post last month, I shared how much I followed Black American Culture growing up. So you can just imagine how much of a field day I had out there. I was fascinated with everything because everything was literally 10 x larger than the stuff in the UK, especially the junk food.

I loved my time spent in Miami because it allowed me to reconnect with my Dads family on another level. I learned a bit more about my Fathers foundation and the type of family that I was born into.  I listened to him and his siblings share their childhood stories and looked through 100s of old photos. It really helped me piece together elements of my identity and of course understand a bit more about my Jamaican heritage.

2007 – Italy

Learning a thing or two in Florence…

My first school trip abroad and it didnt disappoint, I had so much fun. We didn’t fly though, we made our way to Dover got on the ferry and drove the entire way into Florence. It was everything I imagined a school trip to be plus more. I can remember sitting on the Coach with my Song Ericsson W810 listening to “Seany B ft Gemma Fox – Us against the world” (CHANNEL U classic) and thinking about my first boyfriend, who sadly was in jail at the time (sigh lol).  Anyway, the trip was eventful, educational and fun. I climbed the leaning tower of Piasa all the top to the top. Tossed coins in Trevi fountain, I made a promise to return & I did (click here to read about it). I also visited ‘La Specola Anatomical Collection, the largest and most famous wax anatomical collection anywhere in the world. After this trip, I vowed to myself that when I got a little bit older I would travel around the world as much as I could. It is safe to say that self- fulfilling prophecy is currently manifesting.

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2010 – New York

Big dreams in the concrete jungle…

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If you don’t know by now, I love Black America. I always have and I probably always will. When the opportunity presented itself for me to go to NEW YORKKKKK, I was all over that like Bees on honey. I had started my 2nd Job in ALLSAINTS head office the December of 2009 (shout out to my God sister for the hook up) and when I tell you I put in work for every bit of GBP that I earned to make that trip to New York possible.

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I don’t think no one truly understands just how much my heart bleeds for America, especially New York. I used to dream about living and working out there for yearssssss. It was a dream come true when I finally stepped on NYC soil. As soon as I checked into my hotel, I dropped my bags off and ran out onto Times Square. Those brights lights penetrated right through me and I couldn’t hold back my excitement. To dream about this place as a child and to finally be there many years later, confirmed to me that anything in life is possible. If you really want it!

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New York, has a piece of my heart. In some weird way, I feel like God has something patterned out there for me. I am not sure what that may be, but if the opportunity presents itself I will surely be ready.  I spent most of this trip shopping as sightseeing was kept to a minimal. I even declined to visit Ground Zero because I felt overwhelmed being quite close to the grounds. The shopping in NYC was top notch, I felt like a kid in a candy store and came home with two suitcases packed to capacity. I also got a chance to visit the Maury show, I was a big fan back then, so it was such a vibe to go down there and see everything up close and personal. I even got a chance to visit HARLEM and my oh my, it truly felt like being back home in BRIXTON. The multi-culture of the people and the vibes of the community felt oh so familiar. New York needs to see me again, as I have so much to see and much more to do.

2012 – Dominican Republic

Scared straight in the DR…

This trip to the Dominican Republic came about after a random convo one night on BBM. DR has got to be one of the safest holidays that I have ever been on. Reading those government safety warnings before travelling really made us take extra care. We were so scared on this holiday to the point where we only left the hotel complex, to go to the beach. Looking back now, I feel very dumb. Like a pie slapped in my face kinda dumb, lol. We were under the impression we would get kidnapped by our neighbours in Haiti or even some pirates. Lord forgive us for that high level of ignorance.

We stayed at the Ifa villas Bravo all-inclusive resort, which included spa facilities of course lol. The food wasn’t that great but the beach and spa made up for it. If you ever get a chance to experience a full chocolate body massage, do it. The pictures from this trip are hilarious. My weave was about 26 INCHES (see below) and my travel case was filled with maxi dresses and sandals.

Relaxing, taking pictures for Instagram (it was the new thing back then) and recording videos of ourselves rapping to Rick Ross & Drake was mainly what this trip consisted of. I do regret not exploring as much, but I was a novice in the Travel game back then. Its safe to say that the Dominican Republic needs a do-over, Baecation maybe? lol

2013 – Turkey

Young & not so carefree in Turkey…

I believe my whole trip cost me about £389 for a one week all-inclusive trip to Marmaris. I didn’t really know what to expect but it actually turned out to be better than I could of imagined. I enjoyed a photo shoot on a boat, I got dipped in Marmaris Jesus beach and I went snorkelling for the first time. I even survived Quad biking through the forest and experienced my first EVER Turkish bath.

My mum went into a crazy frenzy when she saw the picture of me blowing out the Shisha smoke, lol. Black Mothers & their theatrics never cease to amaze me, lol. Even when you become a legal adult your parents still don’t know how to let go of you. If my mum knew how many takes it took to get this one picture, she would not have wasted her time cussing me out.

This was my first holiday as a 21-year-old woman. It was during one of the best times in my life. My friendship circle, social life and education were truly buzzing. Life was good, life was really good and this trip was like a cherry on top of all the great things that were happening in my life.

2013 – Jamaica

Likkle miss, Likkle miss ah gwan like she big in Jamaica…

Going to Jamaica as a 21-year-old adult is much different than when you go there as a child with adult supervision. I need you to understand that when it came to leaving Jamaica, I cried like a big baby at the airport. I didn’t want to go home. My spirit was so peaceful and I felt free. I literally had no cares in the world, the only thing that was on my mind was my motives for each day.

Jamaica was everything plus more.  I was on such a high as I had played in the London Nottinghill carnival two weeks before flying out . So you know my head was still on a high from the moment I got on that plane. My Jamaica antics were plain and simple. I went to a dance every night, strolled back to the hotel at 7 am most mornings, I felt shame every single time and did it again the next day, LOL. I stayed at the Sunset Grande which has now been renovated and renamed Moon Palace.

I visited Dolphin Cove, Dunn’s Rivers Falls, Bob Marley’s Mausoleum. I ate KFC, juicy patties, box food and slurped bag juice on a daily basis. I even went to the infamous adult entertainment nightclub SHADES. I was truly horrified,because what I saw in that nightclub traumatized me for life. Google that if you are bad, but do it at your own risk, lool.

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In all honesty though you can never go to Jamaica and hate it, it’s just not possible.

2013 – Morocco 

Weekend antics in Morocco…

This was the first time that I ever took a flight by myself. Things were going well until I had to stop off in Casa Blanca for my connecting flight to Marrakesh. How was I supposed to know that my luggage would be transferred onto the next flight, without me having to go through bag drop again? Please believe I was crying frantically all through that airport. If you read ‘When in Rome, do shows‘ you will know that I am not fluent in any other language apart from English. I didn’t understand a word of Arabic and I am sure the airport staff couldn’t understand my English through snot & tears lol.

To cut a long story short, I managed to get my luggage once on the other side. I spent the weekend in a private 4 bedroom villa, which included individual bathrooms, wifi, an outdoor pool, private chef with a chauffeur.

Nikki Beach, Camel rides and fine dining at the Four Seasons hotel, were just some of the great memories that I made in Morocco. It truly deserves a do-over, but it will probably be somewhere I will go with my Husband for one of our getaways or anniversary trips. I am not married just yet guys, but my Husband will soon find me, so watch this space, lol.

I hope you enjoyed part 1 of my Travel diary, look out for Part 2 coming soon. Also let me know if we have been to any of the same places or if you plan to visit some of the places that I have.

If you are flying out this year and need help with your Travel Wardrobe, check out the first edition of #JWV TravelGlam Lookbook for some style tips & inspiration.

Need help packing your travel case? I got you, check out  #JWV Top 10 Travel essentials to help you get things in order.

As always my boo, thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed this blog post or any others, please re-post on your socials.

Stay blessed Peeps

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxox

When in Rome, do Shows

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I am no stranger to Italy it is an amazing place with lots to see and even much more to explore. I once visited the beautiful city of Florence the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region on a school trip. Even back then I wrote a vivid travel diary about my time in Florence and I was only 14. I randomly stumbled across it a few years ago and let’s just say reading it to myself as an adult was ridiculously awkward. The kind of awkwardness you feel reading your Facebook statuses from 2009, lol.

Looking back my time in Florence was enjoyable as I did so many great things. I climbed the Leaning Tower of paisa all the way to the top and even ventured out on a mini day trip to Rome. Where I got the chance to toss coins into Trevi Fountain and make a wish. I can’t recall what I wished for, but I do remember making a bold promise to return to the city and as the saying goes “so said, so done.”

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The opportunity to retrace my steps was presented to me by my cousin, who wanted to celebrate her upcoming graduation from her Maters (yasss Girl) with a quick trip. Without any reluctance, I accepted the invitation to return to Rome after 12 years and this is how it all went down.

Destination: Rome for 5 days
Travel Partner: The Lovely_Tiff♥
Mission: To sight see,fine dine,make memories & SLAY

British Airways had the pleasure of flying us to Rome from London Heathrow Airport. As we were booked on a midday flight, we had a chance to grab some pre-flight breakfast. BA is a ‘Boujee’ airline that feeds their passengers on both short & long haul flights. As good as this sounds, I never take such risks with plane food. I always eat before I fly just in case the food doesn’t tickle my fancy. Being as this was my first flight of 2018, I felt hella presidential paying £8.95 for my vegan breakfast (I am not a real Vegan, so please don’t judge me lol).

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The flight was 2 hours 30 mins and it was easy like Sunday morning. We kept busy with a Netflix film (The man in 3B) and slept for the duration of the flight. We arrived at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in no time and I must say it is one of the nicest airports that I have been to. The airport was super clean, modern and easy to navigate around. In saying that, the weirdest thing happened to me in the airport on our way out to grab a taxi. For the FIRST time in my life, I was stopped by airport security and it is safe to say that your girl was shooketh.

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The only words that I can say in Italian are Ciao bella so I wasn’t too keen on getting detained before even stepping out the airport. I frantically started showing them my passport and it was obvious that I wasn’t fluent in Italian, so they let me go with no further questions, whew. We slid right up out of there just in case they changed their minds. Luckily we manged to secure a group taxi for 20 euros and made our way to the hotel.

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After a multitude of drop offs we finally arrived and was able to check in to our new home for the next 5 days. The building hotel is a Chic 4 star establishment located in the central part of Rome in Via Montebello. Fully equipped with all the essential travel amenities:

  1. Welcome drinks
  2. Wi-Fi
  3. 24 hour Gym
  4. Spa facilities
  5. Breakfast  package
  6. Pay as you go restaurant access
  7. Easy travel links

I must say that the hotel was intact and filled with well-mannered attentive staffs, who were willing to be our on sight camera crew. There were a few annoying things that we didn’t enjoy, but with the good always comes the bad. For example, the poor lighting in our room had us struggling to beat our faces. The limited supply of toilet tissue and bath towels required us to call reception daily just to request a re-up*Side-eye*. In saying that though, they were minor issues that didn’t overshadow the hotel’s great qualities. I give this hotel is a strong 7 out of 10.

Check us two out below looking all Christmas gift wrapped. 

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Time to hit these Rome streets

On our first full day in the city there was no time to waste, so we grabbed a map and headed out to do some sightseeing. The first stop was the Colosseum as it was the closest to the hotel. The trains in Rome run on a proper system, nothing like the shenanigans that I see back home in London. We decided to head to the local train station Termini and get a train as it was only a few steps away. Termini station is humongous and is filled with great retail and food shops, similar to Grand Central in New York or Kings Cross in London.

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There were some things significantly noticeable and not so easy to ignore at Termini station. It was the large groups of black males trying to sell us things. Men young and old, from the shores of Senegal right through to Nigeria. Many have their own reasons for coming but for the majority, it is the chance of having a better life.

I admired their determination so I couldn’t knock their hustle or turn up my nose when they called out to us. We were approached many times and some even had the courage to strike up witty conversations. Often referring to us as “my sisters” and even though we didn’t buy anything from them, they were so kind enough to gift us with handmade bracelets. Those small acts of kindness were a gentle reminder to me that I must strive to do good by others without expecting anything in return.

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 I always try to blend in with the locals when I travel, but somehow I end up sticking out like a sore thumb. I get noticed and especially by tour guides it is as if they can smell my blood in walking distance. Within seconds of being in view we were approached by tour guides and had all sorts of offers being thrown our way but we didn’t cave in. The bottom line is this, tour guides have one job and one job only and that is to finesse you by any means necessary so stay woke.

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We arrived at the Colosseum, in no less than 15 minutes, the atmosphere was electrifying and the streets were filled with people. From buzzing tourist trying to capture the best pictures or the local street vendors trying to haggle chargers for 25 euros that I secured for only 5 lol.

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 I truly felt the buzz of the people and became overwhelmed with excitement. Only to then realize that the Colosseum was closed to visitors for the day. To think that we got dressed up, told everyone on Snap-chat only to arrive and find out it was closed after 3.30pm. Two very important lessons were learned here, always do research about a place before you go and never speak on things prematurely. At this point all we could do was laugh and of course take a few pictures just in case we didn’t come back before the end of our trip.

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Since the Colosseum was closed, we weren’t going to let the day or our outfits go to waste. So we flagged down an open people carrier, jumped in and got strolled all the way down to Trevi Fountain. Riding through the town had us feeling like the women from The Real housewives of Atlanta when they take a girls trip during the season. I felt like we were filming scenes for our own reality show, we honestly couldn’t stop grinning the entire time. The ride through the town gave us the chance to really admire the great architecture of the city, untouched and authentic in every way, shape and form.

Look at us two below Doing it for the culture.

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Trevi Fountain gave me heavy nostalgic vibes and I couldn’t contain my attitude of gratitude. In the 12 year gap since my first visit so much has taken in place in my life. Despite everything that I have been through, I knew right there and then in that moment, I was exactly where I needed to be.

So for that reason Trevi fountain will always be a special place to me. If you ever get a chance to check it out, go early in the morning to avoid hundreds of people trying to snap a bomb ass Celfie. Just so you know it is free to visit at any time and the surrounding area have some great shops where you can purchase some authentic Italian goods.

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This is what we served up on our second night in the city. Be sure to stay tuned and look out for #JennasWorldView’s Travel glam look book.

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As we were running on limited time we had to keep the ball rolling to ensure we did all of the things, that we set out to do. Setting out early on a Sunday, we purchased a travel ticket (7 euros only) and headed straight to Vatican City. The day was beautiful and as the sun shone you could feel the peace of a Sunday morning, lingering through the streets.

I ran into some of the Gal-dem on the square and had time to pose for a quick pic. Check out my girls serving major looks, I couldn’t keep up lol.

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We had to choose between visitingSistine chapeland hearing the pope speak. It really was a no brainer, so with only 5 minutes left to get in we rushed to queue up. The pope was scheduled to recite the Angelus prayerat 12pm overlooking the beaming crowd of visitors and this moment couldn’t miss us. Once granted access, we sprinted out into the square, eager to get an unobstructed view. When I finally heard the voice of the pope, I lifted my head in total amazement. The uproar of the crowd echoed in my ears and all I could do was saturate myself in the atmosphere to fully take it all in.

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The WOW factor didn’t stop there, as soon as we stepped foot into St Peters Basilica church it was safe to say that our edges got snatched, AGAIN. Being one of the Catholic Church’s holiest temples and an important pilgrimage site, it was nothing short of amazing. I can only commend the creativity of the genius’s behind the masterpieces that stood before our eyes. I was truly blown away and my excitement nearly got me kicked out, because I was going to extreme lengths to take pictures.

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Be sure to follow us on our official Instagram page @JennasWorldView to check out rest of the pics. Follow us, like, comment and share.

Vatican city was better than we expected and it was FREE so what better way to celebrate then to break out into praise and worship, African style.

Look out for the cameo appearance at 41 seconds 🙂

We gave the Colosseum another spin, after Vatican City. This time around though it was a success that only cost us 12 euros for entry without a tour guide. We used the internet and had our own history lesson, thank God for Wikipedia lol. I even snapped a decent panoramic picture using my iPhone 7Plus

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The transition from our day to night looks was everything and more. Take a quick peak at our evening wear from the penultimate evening of our trip.

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We finally used the spa facilities on the day before we went home and yes we payed extra for it *sigh*. My spirit was sensitively receptive to the calm energy in the spa. There was a sense of peace that was so undeniably soothing. It is a really bad habit of mine but I always book hotels with spa facilities. I am such a sucker for luxury and these types of hotels are far from cheap lol. I truly wish that we could have spent more time at the spa but time was of the essence.

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We didn’t plan to shop in Rome we just accidentally ended up shopping, lol. If you ever plan to shop on holiday, you have to ensure that your coins are right. If you’re a sucker for a good bargain like me, you will never let a good deal pass you buy. We grabbed some exclusive pieces and of course some good ole key rings for family and friends. Ask yourself this, if you don’t buy key rings or fridge magnets on holiday did you really go on holiday? lol

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Our trip was drawing to a close when it suddenly hit us that we haven’t even tried any authentic Italian dishes.  In saying that Tiff and I mutually agreed it would be outrageous to come all the way to Rome and not taste a real Italian Lasagne.

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Please believe I asked for garlic bread to accompany our Lasagne and the waitress at Caffe Pasticceria U. Giuliani looked at us as if we were crazy, LOL. I don’t exactly know where the garlic bread combination came from, but the Italians don’t get down like that.

I thoroughly enjoyed it but did feel like it needed a touch of scotch bonnet pepper. I guess you just can’t take the Caribbean out of me lol. I do now have an even higher level of respect for the way other cultures prepare their food. I guess we can learn how to do something, but no one can slay it like the people it originated from.

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Our love for Italian food didn’t stop there because we were on a quest to fine dine. With our heels on, elaborate dresses and no dinner reservation we made our way to the exquisiteHosteria La Stazione.

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We were welcomed into the restaurant with a smile by the owner who offered to give us full access to dine privately. With no negations or prior words exchanged he gifted us with an act of kindness at no extra cost. Inside the décor was chic, moderately lighted, with bottles of vintage wines placed perfectly in the surrounding cabinets. It looked like a romantic scene in a movie, but in the reality there was not one Bae in sight, just the lovely Tiff and I. Our food was definitely 10 out of 10, from the starter’s right back down to the serving of our drinks.

Gelateria La Romana, was an unexpected gem that we randomly came across thanks to the help of  google maps on our first night. It is a fresh ice cream and dessert place that will have regular dessert places back home in London looking like a Novice. I have never encountered such sweet flavors in all my days and by this point our edges were holding on by mere strands.

You other ice cream and dessert places whats good?

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The Last Lap

#Travel Tip: On the last night of your trip, it is your duty to go out with a bang. You must put on your  best and bring forth your SLAY.

Here at #JennasWorldView  we call that closing the show: the Last Lap.

For our last night in Rome we spent our evening at the popular European hotel chain the NH Collection Roma. The dining experience was 100% but our outfits were the most important element of the night.

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The lead up to our final dinner required efficient team work and of course strategic preparation. Everything was done according to precision, right down to the amount of highlight we applied to ensure that our faces stayed popping.

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It was a long gown affair because we aimed to showcase elegance, class & sophistication. Red was our theme colour as it is bold and it spoke on our behalf without needing any introductions. Of course to seal the night we did what we do best and thats take some bomb ass pictures, lol.

Please believe that we hijacked the piano bar at our hotel and conducted a mini photo shoot courtesy of the hotel staff. Not to mention the live performance with the pianist to accompany our live show.

and tonight Ladies & gentleman Jenna & Tiff will close the show. Lights, camera, action!

Our trip to Rome ended on a high, we laughed, we smiled, we explored and we came through with the SLAY. We managed to do so many things in Rome without spending lots of money.

This trip has set the tone for my travel trips that are yet to come in 2018.  I am more than ready to embark on my next travel adventures and of course I look forward to sharing them with you here are @JennasWorldView.

Who knows I might get a chance to return to Rome in the near future. You know what they say, the third time is always a charm.

Thank you ever so much for reading my FIRST ever blog post, I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

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Lots of Love

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Jenna

xoxo