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TRAVEL: Doing it SOLO!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New York, US to San Juan, PR
"Why the hell would anyone want to travel alone?!"

But anyone who has shopped alone will tell you, there's a freedom that comes with doing things solo dolo.

Recently I took a spontaneous trip to Puerto Rico, and had I had it my way, Mama Dukes and several of my closest friends and family members would have been on board with me, but a last minute plan means you risk your offer getting declined - and that's EXACTLY what happened.

So, I either had the option of losing the chance to fly ROUNDTRIP to San Juan for $110 or go to a place I've NEVER been and make something out of nothing, ALONE. So I said "F*CK IT!" and booked the flight!

After my trip I can honestly say that traveling alone is underrated :}

Why? Because you do what you want, when you want & how you want! Best deal, if you ask me ~ :}

Best lone travel tips? 

Stay at a hostel. Yes, a hostel! 
Despite the terrifying horror movie series that gave hostels their bad reputation, they are actually great places for lone travelers to meet OTHER lone travelers. Everyone at the hostel I was staying at (Island Time Hostel) had traveled there alone. It reminded me of college or better yet my study abroad experience in Japan!
Hostels are great for your budget and usually have staff that is knowledgeable about the area's local activities, best transportation options and cheap food hot spots!

Don't bring your valuables! 
This mostly applies if you're staying at a hostel. Personally you have less to feel responsible over which equals less worry. Some hostels offer some form of a safe box, but I find it easier to eliminate the problem altogether (leave the Louis and Kors at home ;})

Bring cash. 
Even though I'm talking about this from an international travel experience standpoint, this could apply to domestic travel as well. Bank fees are a pain, especially if you're traveling on a budget so avoid that ish all together and carry a good amount of paper mula, dispersed or well hidden among your belongings.

Create a one page information print out.
Despite this being the almighty digital age, there are times when it fails us. It never hurts to create a simple one page word document of all the information you'll need on your trip including addresses, flight confirmations and even phone numbers of loved ones (remember when people actually remembered those?)

I hope this has inspired all of you considering the venture to toss the hesitation aside and go for it!

FOOD: Beware! Thug[ette] At Work In The Kitchen!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last month I stumbled upon which has got to be my new favorite website of the season! Not only are the recipes vegetarian/vegan (which helps to up the number of dishes I can now make for all my herbivore friends - yay!!), but they involve the highest level of profanity and sass that I have ever seen on a legit cooking website (I love it!!).

I first saw a post on Tumblr months ago talking about the health benefits of tomatoes, laughed and moved on.

But when I discovered there was a website I spent almost an hour drooling and laughing hysterically. I made sure to ping every one of my friends about it! Thug Kitchen is even coming out with a cook book this Fall!! (HINT HINT HINT HINT my lovely friends :} christmas present? ;3)

Tonight I'm taking my first crack at one of the recipes! Smokey Bean & Spinach Sliders

If all goes well, I'm planning on having these at the next big family BBQ! 

MUSIC: African Salsa

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Why would I never think this was an actual sub-genre of the bigger umbrella "Salsa"? It only makes sense that West African music, the biggest influence on current day Latin American music, would have taken the product of its influence and tried it on for size. (DUH!)

I recently rediscovered the Salsa joint "Yaye Boy" - which for the record I thought was in Spanish (and believed I just couldn't understand ). This is one of those tracks that you put on at a Salsa party and watch everyone get up to dance for. The single came out in 1993 by the band Africando which originally was comprised of New York based musicians and Senegalese vocalists until they expanded and became Africando All Stars a few years later. (thank you Wikipedia)

Wow, I can't even begin to describe my excitement! African Salsa, eh? :} I think I'm going to have a lot of fun discovering some new tracks to add to my playlist!

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