Quarter Century In Martinique

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Y’all. On October 25th 2017, I danced my way to work after saying yes to myself. A few days before,  I was contemplating on a cheap round trip ticket to Martinique, an island I’ve been wanting to visit.

I can’t lie. It was a fight. A fight between the thought of pursuing my dream of travel vs making an irresponsible decision. After all, I’m still trying to move out of a dungeon and into my first apt.

I checked my bank account to find that I had more than enough money to support this trip. So another excuse came, my job. “They need me. It’s gonna be busy and I won’t be able to take off”, I said. A nonchalant conversation with my boss quickly debunked that statement.

I tried to find anything and everything to stop me from making this decision but nothing was in my way. So, I closed my eyes and clicked my way to explore a beautiful island.

 MartPHOTO-7

I just came back from that trip and it was nothing short of amazing. As the girl who was born during a snowstorm in the Bronx, I was now celebrating my 25th birthday floating on the clearest waters I’ve ever been in. It was all I ever wanted. And this time, it wasn’t a dream.

Looking at the clouds and floating in the L’Anse Mitan, a rush of gratitude came over. 24 has been a hard and rewarding year. I understood every trial and tribulation I faced was necessary for me to be in this moment. I learned so much about myself and how internal work can transform external conditions. I learned that sometimes you have to let things, habits, and people go in order to welcome the life I’ve been asking for.

"Happy Holidays"

“Happy Holidays”

I don’t know about you, but I also used my birthday as a time to figure out what I want to accomplish in the next year. I decided that this time I would no make ridiculously specific goals to rule my 25th year. So no more, lose this amount of weight or make this amount of money. I wanted goals that I can’t really measure by numbers but by new lessons, growth, excitement and peace.

So here there are:

  • Say yes to myself more often: Going to Martinique didn’t just give me a time to de-stress but it helped me become aligned with the universe. I felt that tingle again. The tingle where I feel like I’m supposed to be here at this exact moment. My senses were heightened and I was engulfed in the present. The voyager is embedded in my spirit and I was finally tapping into it. I want to feel the tingle more often and that requires me to sometimes throw “logic” out the window and follow my god given intuition.
  • Nurture my relationships: When it comes to goals, relationships tend to be my last priority. Yes, I’m very awkward around people. I cut off people at the slightest offense. And yes, I tend to ghost people. I need to work on my relationship skills in order to have deeper and stronger bonds whether familial, platonic, professional, or romantic (boo 2018?). I promise to work on communication, consistency, and presence in order to build and nurture new and current relationships in my life. The first relationship I’m tackling is the one with my 16 year old niece. I’ve dedicated Sunday nights to listening to her and it’s been very rewarding so far.
  • Source: Twitter.com/jchavae

    Source: Twitter.com/jchavae

    Author and yogi, J Chavae said it so eloquently. No more check to check, no more finessing, and no more stretching to survive. Any habits, behaviors, and thoughts that aren’t aligned with my growth and elevation should be dismissed. And this mindset will be followed by actions that helps me produce abundance and happiness in my life. So that means, sticking to my budget, build an emergency fund, and invest in my future (bitcoin maybe?). It also means, making sure the hard shit like meal prepping, cleaning, working out, bill auto pay, meditation/prayer are routine in my life. I don’t have to get ready if I stay ready. And I don’t have to survive if I have habits that can handle continuous abundance. Ya heard?

Those are my goals for my 25th year on earth. And while I focus on the finding the tools that will get me to the next level, here are the tools that got me to Martinique in the first place.

Travel tools that helped me plan this trip!

  • Skyscanner: I peruse skyscanner on a weekly basis. What I love about this site is there is an everywhere and best time option. So if you want to travel in June but don’t know where, it will give you potential destinations and order them by lowest price. I did that for Martinique. It was the second cheapest international option and I was hooked.
  • Airfordable: I found out about airfordable years ago and told everyone I knew but this trip was the first time I used it. Airfordable is a service where you can pay for your ticket in installments. You take a screenshot of the ticket you want, add more information, and then a payment plan is created. The installments are automatically taken out of your account every two weeks. When I had enough money to pay the rest of my ticket, customer service was quick and kind to take out the rest of the funds to pay for the ticket. Let me help you save more โ€” click here to save $25 on your first booking. 
  • One Girl, One World’s Guide to Martinique: When I googled Martinique, there wasn’t much information about the island. But luckily, I found this dope guide created by Francesca Murray of One Girl, One World. It is the most in-depth travel guide on Martinique I found. Martinique is mostly an European vacation destination so many articles I found were in french and rarely gave much details. This guide told me about the history, the tourist sites, local gems, and the culture. It is for the traveler who want to explore Martinique, unlike a tourist. I took the bus like a local, ate at local eateries, and more with this as a reference. And for $15 it paid for itself and more. Check it out here. 
  • Google Translate: My 9 years of french classes failed me. But nonetheless, I had Google translate to fill in the “umms” and “ahhhs” when communicating in Martinique. What I really loved about the app was that you can download a language so you can use it offline.  This was amazing when I accidentally took the wrong bus back to my Airbnb and ended up in a different part of the Lamentin neighborhood.

I encourage folks to visit Martinique. I encourage folks to travel period. And don’t let the language barrier, the different culture, overall fear prohibit you to explore the world.

I am so grateful fear didn’t stop me this time. I came, I saw,  I conquered this task on my bucket list and I’m looking forward to conquer another. Next year, there will be more travel in the horizon so be on the lookout for more travel posts.

Til then, peace.

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