World Tourism Day 2018

In support of world tourism, September 27th has been marked as World Tourism Day to promote growth of international travel and inclusiveness.  This year UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organization) is focusing on innovation and digital advancements in the tourism industry.

Technology has certainly helped me travel with more ease.  I have been booking flights online for more than ten years and only used a travel agent to help with making more grand arrangements for my wedding guests and celebrations.  Planning a trip is quite an enthralling experience and the tourism industry is constantly changing.  Booking last minute travel and finding deals has become easier.  Navigating through cities using google maps has made getting lost in a city a less risky experience.  Using apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor make planning the agenda super easy.  I often refer to blogs and instagram photos to map out must see places in a city.  I even find the best doughnut shops with Instagram!

Traveling through security has also seen a ton of advancements.  From automated bag check in processes to automation at the security check to boarding passes scanned on mobile devices to TSA Pre-check and now most recently something call CLEAR.  Everything is about speed.

Connecting with people across the globe continues to get easier and safer.  Don’t let language be a barrier.  Google translate and other devices can have helped me connect with people and move around with more comfort than travelers did 20 years ago.  My Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese are very weak and while in Colombia, Brazil, and Japan, I did my best to speak their local language and people always appreciated my efforts.  Thank you Google for the help!

Traveling to many cities internationally will you give you a real perspective of what problems exist and the gaps from country to country.  We are witnessing countries create smarter cities and others that are still dealing with simple issues like lack of safe drinking water.  The Smart Cities Council has a vision to use technology to improve livability, workability, and sustainability across the globe. I look forward to more positive environmental impact that digitalization will have on all countries across the globe.

“Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda”, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
Photo credit: Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels

Traveling Tips from a Hygiene Freak

Ever since I was a little girl, I always showed in my behavior when I saw something icky. If someone picks their nose I stare at them because I want them to know they are spreading their nasty germs. If you sneeze without covering your mouth, I will let you know that you have to use your elbow to cover your mouth. I hate to see people clipping their nails in public spaces. If I see something grimy, I don’t want to go near it. I remember many years ago I went to a famous restaurant in Harlem with a friend and right after ordering I went to the restroom. I was washing my hands and I saw a massive cockroach nearly the size of my pinky finger. I headed straight to my table and told my friend that we had to leave and we did. I’m sure the food there was amazing, but I couldn’t stay after seeing what I saw.

I’m a germ phobic. I carry hand sanitizer everywhere I go and I am always picky about which table to sit down at when I visit a coffee shop. I travel a lot and I often question myself as to how I am able to do it. The airports and planes are probably the filthiest confined spaces around. With millions of people on the go, how do I manage to be in this environment so often? Here are the things that I have with me when I travel and I think you should too.

Things to carry on your person:

Hand sanitizer – I use this all day long between washings throughout the day.

Wipes – use these to wipe down the tv screen, the remote, the arm rests and tray table

Lysol to go spray – this is good to freshen up the air in your room. I also use this to spray the telephone, tv and remote control in the room.

Pillow Cases – I stayed at an airbnb once, and preferred to put my own pillowcases over the pillows because I wasn’t sure if someone else’s head rested there before I showed up.

Socks – wear a pair for your flight that you won’t put back into your shoes. I can’t tell you how many people I see go to the toilet without their shoes on. It’s F-in disgusting. Imagine all the pee drops they have stepped on. You don’t want that to happen to you right?

Disposable foot covers – I always grab a bunch at DFW airport. I haven’t seen them anywhere else. They are great for when you have to take your shoes off.

Don’t use the pouch behind the seat in front of you. If anyone has used a sick bag, they usually put it in there and who knows what residue has been left behind.

Tissue – I don’t understand why people pick their faces and noses and have no tissue on them. This was an awesome invention and it’s cheap! Please buy yourself some tissue paper to pick your damn nose and then throw it in the garbage like a nice human being. I had the urge to pass a tissue to the dude across from me that dug in his nose several time from Melbourne to Auckland.

We are sharing these public spaces and it would be so much better for everyone if we all behaved with respectful manners. Everyone likes to have things clean. Please do your part by cleaning yourself at home and not in public spaces or be as hygienic as you can for your care and everyone else’s.

Please and a BIG thank you.

Oh and most importantly…no matter what the situation is while I’m traveling, I remain thankful for all of the experiences that help shape who I am.  Thank you, God for travel and allowing me to grow amongst everything that you created.





How to Pack Light For Any Trip

For the past two years I have traveled with one carry on and one personal handbag.  So many people have asked me how I do it.  For this post I want to share how you can pack light, get through security quickly and travel safe.

Most of my trips are short and sweet and I don’t need to pack a ton of things.  So take this into consideration, if you are going somewhere for 3 or more weeks, this may not be right for you.

Here is what I have in my suitcase as I adventure through Australia for 2 weeks:

4 mini tanks (undershirts)

10 undies and 3 bras

8 pairs of socks

3 t-shirts

1 blouse

2 pants

2 skirts

1 pair of shorts

1 cardigan

1 dress

2 belts

1 hat

1 swimsuit

toiletries (all less than 100 ml)

1 mini first aid kit

1 pair of sneakers

1 pair of flip flops

1 scarf

I wore an ankle boot on the day of travel and carried a jacket suitable for the expected temperature.  It’s summer in Australia and with 30 degrees Celsius temperatures everyday, it was easier to pack light.  My personal handbag is an over the shoulder canvas bag that fits my computer, books, and another mini knapsack.

I always pack everything I might possibly need for health and beauty. From toothpaste to lotions to tweezers, bandaids, and scissors.  Going through security at the airport, I have noticed that all airports have their requirements for what they allow and don’t allow to pass through.  All airports have a zero tolerance for bottled water.  I packed scissors in my bag many months ago and it was confiscated at the airport in Bogota, Colombia.  I had to replace that scissors and have since traveled many times after that incident with my new scissors and was faced with no challenges.  Today I was departing Cairns, Australia en route to Melbourne and my bag was put aside to check the scissors that showed on their x-ray machine.  Good news. They allowed me to keep the scissors because they are round edged.  So note to you…do not carry pointy scissors, even if they are tiny and just for shaping your brows or clipping unwanted nose hairs.

I find that most of the time, the amount of stuff I pack I don’t even use half of the items anyway.  If something gets really smelly, it’s easy to hand wash and hang it up in your bathroom.

What tips do you have for traveling light?





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