Posts tagged “black girl magic

#MystikyMaquillage was featured in a Vlog highlighting the Soirée in the Cities (Girl’s Night Out) Event ❤️❤️ Check it out!

 

THANK YOU again this is amazing 💕💕💕  I really appreciate this so much IG: @living_for_the_city I love the feature ❤️❤️❤️❤️ #mystikymaquillage by IG: @mystik.y

 

If you happened to miss the recent @SoireeintheCitiesGirlsNightOut event then you certainly missed a fabulous time. No worries…click the link in the bio to see why you need to be at the next one! 🛍 https://youtu.be/JjuXRfqMtFY #livingforthecity #springinthecity

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Black & Owning It: A networking event for small business owners & entrepreneurs in Philadelphia (3.16.18) #youngloudproud

This past weekend I had an opportunity to attend & be a vendor at the “Black & Owning It” event in Philly (my hometown) and it was amazing!!

Allyse Pierce, a friend from elementary school, told me that she was putting together an event where young Black entrepreneurs would get together and showcase their talents.

A lot of vendors from the Tri-State area got together at the Majestic Ballroom (800 W Olney ave) and collectively  put on an awesome event. There was plenty of networking,  great music & food, spoken word, motivational speaking & encouragement…just an all around amazing event!

Check out a few highlights below:

Mystiky Maquillage beauty products & “An Ode to the “Good Girl””

 

 

 

After I was extended this invitation (a few months ago) I was a little nervous/insecure and questioned if I really had anything special to offer.

I considered backing out of the event (thinking that maybe I wouldn’t be too successful) but I am so glad I put my fears aside and went for it!

Sometimes WE are solely responsible for OUR OWN downfalls, missed opportunities and lack of success. I just read a quote from Kimora Lee Simmons: “if you’re shy, get the hell over it, you’re slamming the door in your own face” and this is 100% true!

I’m speaking from experience when I implore you to do everything you’re terrified to do!

If your dreams scare you, you’re on the right track! And like Colin Kaepernick says in the Nike ad says: “don’t ask if your dreams are crazy, ask if they’re crazy enough”!!

Thank you so much for the opportunity!!

I was encouraged and I am so motivated to keep pushing forward.

Follow Mystiky Maquillage on IG @mystikymaquillage

 

DIY Lipstick & Lipgloss tutorial from #MystikyMaquillage by Maya Danielle: & How creating my own beauty products and becoming an entrepreneur is more fun than it is work

If you’re going to be Young, Loud, and Proud you’ve got to look good doing it… right?

That’s what I was thinking the moment I decided to officially open an Etsy shop and launch my uniquely, homemade beauty products.

I want to create products that are going to make girls & women smile and enhance their best facial features: lips!

I’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur and I finally found my niche.

If you’re like me you may find it hard to find a color that you think is suitable for everyday wear or maybe you’re just gaining the confidence to wear bright colors well #PBL has a ton of nude colors to choose from, tinted colors with purple, red & pink undertones!

Think your lips are too small for a particular color or just too BIG? I’m here to tell you there’s no such thing as the wrong color and with Pretty Big Lips each shade is uniquely crafted with you in mind!

Here’s a few shades I’ve created so far:

For updates/a sneak peek into the process of creating my beauty products you can always check out my Instagram page, story & story highlights (@mystik.y / highlights: “YLPlippie”)

I love my lips (I want you to fall in love with yours too)!!

It’s an amazing feeling when you’re able to embrace things about yourself especially if they were once insecurities.

I was teased all throughout my childhood for my “soup coolers” & “Jay-Z lips” now, women are paying BIG bucks to have their lips look like mine. Ha!

Although it took a while for some people to see the beauty in my African features I always knew how poppin my lips were I was just a bit insecure to wear any color on them; I would think about how dramatic each color appeared and be insecure but those days are over!

I love my pretty big lips so why not make an honest living with them!? —> this isn’t supposed to be an inappropriate joke.

(Also not a joke! Email me if you wouldn’t mind if I pop up with #PRETTYBIGLIPS & “An Ode to the “Good Girl”” near you: proudloudyoung@gmail.com)

Two years ago, I started making my own lipstick and gloss as a craft and fun hobby but the more I practice the more I see the potential in creating a great entrepreneurial opportunity.

Enjoy a short DIY video to show a little of the process:

Some of my favorite items to use to create my lipstick are:

Coconut oil

Beeswax

Castor oil

Vitamin E oil

Mica pigment

Lavender essential oil

I order all of my (cosmetic grade mica/pigment from Etsy!):

I also make a brown sugar lip scrub using:

Brown sugar

Coconut oil

Honey

Vitamin E

Please check out my Etsy shop and support Mystiky Maquillage:

Mystiky Maquillage’s shop on Etsy https://etsy.me/2Dqf2dh

“Watch your mouth” & enjoy a unique variety of all natural moisturizing lip color. Each handmade with natural, hypoallergenic, cosmetic grade ingredients and at an affordable price. Be young, loud and proud with Mystiky Maquillage 💋”

Some of my favorite colors are:

Good Girl

What’s good

Nothing to lose

Trial & Error

And these names were inspired by my book of poems “An Ode to the “Good Girl”” available for purchase here.

I also have a bundle deal where you are able to get 3-4 or 5-6 samples + a poem book (ranging between $15-20$) click here.

My #goals are to continue to spread truth, love, hope, and inspiration to young people and to do it in style. I’m just a young girl from Philadelphia with a vision. I created my brand young loud and proud a little over a year ago and a couple of extensions of YLP include my blog, upcoming podcast Speak Up, and now introducing Mystiky Maquillage 👄

Queen of Spies

A poem inspired by: “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” & “Harriet the Spy”

RIP to the queen of spies (the one who told the truest lies)


Most beautiful when she didn’t have her cigarette, Maya, was the kindest person I ever met!

The Queen who spied was the same when the sun rose and when the sun set; not a liar at all if I had to make a bet


Don’t know for sure if everything I heard is fact or just a story


I wish I were lie detector… Where the hell is Maury?

I’ll tell you what happened to the Notorious Q.O.S (Queen of Spies) and try my best to explain this mess


I’ll tell you all about the day she died, it might make you cry or her demise might go over your head, it might just pass you by…


…if you let it.


Some say, on the third day, when God said “Let there be light” Maya was there, looking over God’s shoulder


From the vast seas, to grassy plains, to huge mountain boulders

She was there, and writing too, saw colors that filled the sky before the creator decided on blue

There she was writing all about God’s creations, witnessed the formation of every nation, before everyone became anyone this someone came and this someone knew


Maya was there to see the world sparkle, she got the first look, describing all of the world’s glory in her little book; how didn’t she run out of pages trying to describe how lit everything looked?

I wish she could tell me about the sun, and how she sat and watched the huge burning star grow; I want to hear all about the huge celebration she helped the angels throw


Alas, the world’s oldest notebook(s), which is how it all started; so many pages filled with words, sweet, yet tarted


They say Maya-ette, with her cigarette, wrote a story and made Jesus weep; wrote into the souls of men and with the flick of her pen she could change reality…

She knew why the caged bird sang, why children were really afraid of clowns, visited the black utopia, witnessed the Queen of England crack a smile, heard she greeted the Pope at the Vatican with a “My Nigga,” and laughed as he frowned…


Dubbed a “liar,” she wanted to hide the book deep inside her


Protecting her secrets all while keeping a level head

She could have shared her knowledge but decided to consume it all instead


I believe she recorded the truth, some say it was all lies, but now we’ll never know who really shot Malcolm, Martin, Kennedy, who ran down the Princess…or if Tupac is dead or alive


All because Maya decided to fill up her tummy; she ate all her secrets like they were yummy


Page by page she tore up the notebook and ate it away

I hate to spread rumors and gossip but this was a crazy day


I’ll never forget how the neighborhood just stood by and watched as Maya faded away…


Maya-ette, with her cigarette, the only living being knowing the world’s biggest secret


To the end of the earth she traveled and then she went way beneath it…


What she wrote throughout her journey she never told a soul and finally the secrecy had taken its toll

I think she went crazy, you see, so much of the world’s mystery, all bottled up she could no longer contain them


I’ll tell you about the day that came, the rainy day full of shame, the day she decided to die than to rise to fame


A sad day when she devoured all her power, like a cake made with real sugar and real flour


Delicious, private, secret words, curry, jerked, and filled with lemon curds


But no matter how people spin it, it was her own private notebook (no matter what was assumed to be in it)

First, just let me say, RIP to the queen of spies!


Here’s how she met her demise:

The Queen of spies, now permanently living in the skies, kept a notebook to write what she felt inside and who and what she encountered when she traveled through time

She recorded the first bigfoot sighting, was the only person to touch lightning, was friends with the last living giants, she knew why the men and women who went to war would come back and be sworn to silence, she was present for the signing of the Magna Carter, she traveled throughout the galaxy, some say she visited the “farther”

Words cold as ice, her spying came with a price, pages burning like fire, she would go down in history and the world’s most honest liar

I don’t really know how she felt inside, if she wrote the truth or if it was only lies, whether she was only 23 or really 2099 all I remember is how died.

Now, I’m sad to say, there’s no one to attest if there’s really a hell or if heaven is a lifetime away, who was behind 911 or if global warming is only a hoax, and why babies are the only ones who can see ghosts…

No one really talked to the girl who ate the “lies” all we know is how well she spied, so let me tell you how she died:

Her neighbors who thought she was a living lie, got together and made a shoe fly pie, made of real shoes and real flies (hardly any real pie) and presented the terrible dessert to the Queen of spies, all while trying to steal away her “book of lies”

In one gulp she finished the pie, she licked her lips and said goodbye, you would think that was all it took, but she held onto that notebook, and left her gifters shook

Holding tight onto her notebook, day by day, if the tales of monsters and demons inside it were real, I couldn’t say, all I know is that she was a creature of habit

People-watching and writing was all she ever did, and she was a pro at keeping it all hid

Never shared how the interviews went with all the children torn from their families at the border, never mentioned the mental conditions of the lifers in prison growing older, people living their lives in their cages, so much heartbreak must’ve filled her pages

You know, she never took the credit when she convinced congressmen to raise minimum wages

Some say she saw the inside of the first bible’s pages, was there when it was written, visited the earth’s core, and touched the bottom of the deepest ocean’s floor

I heard she met the president’s president (the secret societies society), made friends aliens even married twin dwarves, read the minds of all great historians, visited the moon and finds time to comfort all of the mothers’ who’s babies are “gone too soon,”

You could tell there was something that pulled and tugged and pulled and tugged, and pulled and tugged at her

Although few really tried to, no one could ever figure out what was the matter

Always looking like she fell to the bottom of a pit, she kept a facial expression that looked like she seen some shit

The more the chatter, the more people wonder what was the matter, the more she grew nervous about what people would find

She was ridiculed, called names, but if she really knew what was being said I don’t think she’d mind…

After all, you can’t really offend someone who saw how the world would end…or the one who figured out how to make reality bend

Maya was more concerned about her writing, her truth, her stories, the one thing she had that no one could take away

Here’s how she tried to hide the spying, here’s what led to her dying, here’s why people thought her stories were only her lying, here’s to what happened that day:

 I think she knew that day would come, the day when her own people would revolt against her, not the government that controlled their lives, but a little lady deemed an enemy of the state, a state of mind, a witch of a spy who had devoured a poison pie

I heard it was all a fantasy world she created while she spied, mixed with stories of monsters and demons and spirits that dwelled inside…

They say she wrote stories to heal the pain

The pain that came each time it rained

It rained because she was so sad inside

Was what she wrote the truth or lies?

I know it was the truth, she dedicated her life to traveling and crossed many tides

RIP to the queen of Spies

So, finally, here’s exactly how she died:

She was poisoned by the shoe fly pie (the one her neighbors made filled with real shoes and real flies and hardly any pie)

Then she decided to continue eating her notebook like it was cake

I saw her swallowed down her lucky pen the one used to write about heaven and the world’s end


Then a spare, without a care, she swallowed what some say was the pen she used to record a formula to create air

It isn’t fair how quickly she ate her contact lenses and glasses, no one would ever be able to look through what she saw not even if they bought the same lashes

She swallowed down the lenses to her camera, contacts too! Oh and her glasses and her eye lashes, pens and her notebook, you would think that was all it took even after eating the shoe fly pie (the one made with real shoes and real flies) but she continued on until her last breath until she died

RIP to the QOS (Queen of Spies)!


Next, she ate her favorite pets and washed them down with her cigarette, keep reading this, I’m not done yet; I can still hear Brownie barking in her stomach, a puppy, a guppy, a snake and it’s charmer

she swallowed her lighter, and her belly grew warmer…you could see the flicker of the flame burning and shining bright from deep inside her

Then, all of a sudden, there was a huge fire, the pages she ate reacted to the lighter, that was ignited by the cigarette, I’m not done yet, the pets got sick off of the uneaten shoe fly pies that stuck to her insides, as the cigarette burned and her pets’ stomach turned Maya turned blue

The flicker of the flame grew larger the one that burned and shined bright from deep inside her…


Out from her mouth was the loudest belch with a bunch of smoke so to contain the flames she swallowed some tea (more pages from her notebook), the secrets of a brewing WWIII, the future, and more unwritten history

She swallowed a first aid kit, some antibiotics, some anti flea and tick tablets her pets; a heroic meal for her sidekicks

She ate up an umbrella for that dreary hazy day god forbid if any moisture got in her way

Call her crazy, or just remember her like that girl lazy Jane, the one would wanted a drink of water but would wait for the days it rained


Maya thought she needed a raincoat, to go with her umbrella so she swallowed that in just one gulp, she swallowed the coat to protect the “GOAT” (a spare notebook) which should’ve been all it took but she kept on eating; all while her neighbors trembled and shook…


Pages from her notebook, pens, a spare, a formula for creating air, a rain coat, an umbrella to protect the GOAT, delicious tea, secrets of a brewing WWIII, consumed and you would think this was all it took but she continued on devouring anything anyone could use to read between the lines of history books

She continued to eat everything she thought would protect her, she consumed all the things she could quickly gather and the flames from the fire grew bigger and brighter…


Throughout the grape vine, they say, she swallowed boots, that were laced, with a drug that would make her pace, that would help her digest so she could continue her race

Pressed for time she swallowed mace (just in case), what a taste, she felt herself slipping away you could tell it was written on her face

Oh dear, down went some pretty underwear, momma always said to keep a spare pair

She swallowed her savings; dollar bills and piggy bank cents, bargaining chips for the afterlife and some common incense


Where she was going next, was a world full of more nightmares than dreams…giving meaning to the phrase nothing is what it seems


They say she consumed her entire room (and in it was a special broom, she would occasionally take flight at night but no one ever caught that site), a listening piece (the one she used to spy on her niece) and she ate it all down to the wire, to secure all the juiciness and details deep inside her.

Next up a recorder that hooked up to the listening piece, her favorite laptop that stored all the chatter, that tumbled and tumbled you’d asked what’s the matter?

By this time everyone had gathered around, to see the Queen who her spied on her hometown…


They watched, then laughed as she went and swallowed her own Fingerprints, we know because she was the only one who wore henna on her fingertips


By this time everyone had pulled up, all the cars from the neighborhood, some with the darkest of window tints


Watching as Maya-ette kept going, I’m sad to drag on, but she swallowed a DNA kit/she thought that idea was lit, Promised that was it, but she was still in a pit, of nervousness, so let me continue on…


She thought her passport would keep her out of court so she went and swallowed that and her fake ID, so no one could prove her true identity


So she then ate her real license, I know you’re in suspense, so let me attempt to make this make sense


She swallowed her passport and everything else I guess to keep from going to court

Maya-ette the spy decided that wasn’t enough, she wasn’t too stuffed she huffed and the smoke puffed, after she devoured her Flash drive to really save the data you would think she was finally done.

Everyone had finally won, she sat down weighing a ton, big as a house in the middle of her street not making a peep

Quiet as a mouse she closed her eyes for a really long sleep away one by one did all the neighbors creep

It was a sad sight looking at the many pounds sitting on the ground frowns stayed upside down

Hardly anyone was looking but I saw her get very tense and with the last bit of her strength, Shoved down her throat her newest iPhone, no more social media, she was finally all alone, but not on her own on her own

She swallowed her bike she used to ride to her car

She swallowed her car but down her throat it didnt get too far


It got stuck but she kept trying and eventually it slid down with the help of some muck


Then she swallowed a gun to protect her Bike, the one she promised to return to Mike


She swallowed a Gun and that made her dizzy/ she spun, she quickly changed her name to Lizzy, still protecting her secrets til the very moment she was done


All in the effort to protect her “lies” this is how she met her demise.


Here I am, her protégé, reporting on how she died that day.


Short story made long, meaning for it to be a long story short.


I went to her grave and dug up everything and began to sort, through all the things she swallowed, through every piece of precious junk


RIP Maya-ette, I’ll miss you and your cigarette, you are gone but your mission lives on.


I’d like to reintroduce myself.

Hi, I’m the new Queen of spies.

 

 

Cheers! Find out some of the highlights of my experience traveling to London, England (solo)

I traveled to London, England and had the best experience ever traveling solo.

At first, I was nervous to take this trip but I’m so glad I took the chance!

The following are some of the highlights from my solo adventure.

First up (one of my favorites):

The Shard London:

The shard is the UK’s tallest structure (skyscraper) and it’s the fifth tallest building in all of Europe.

(Here’s a view from the London Tower Bridge)

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It’s dubbed “the shard London” because, just like it’s name, this beautiful structure is shaped like a shard of glass.

It’s 95 stories tall and the view from the top is breathtaking.

Construction started in 2009 and doors opened in 2012 (so the Shard is fairly new). It’s home to offices, restaurants, and apartments.

The view from the Shard:

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this was one of my favorite experiences because you could see all of London at once and take in all of its beauty!

The Tower Of London:

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Home of the Crown Jewels!!

The most BEAUTIFUL diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, pearls, gold, royal crowns, scepters, jeweled out swords and just a bunch of royal history (from generations of the royal families) reside here.

All in one place are the most breathtaking jewels I’ve ever seen in my life.

I was not allowed to take any pictures inside but take my word for it!!

There were guards everywhere protecting the vault Crown Jewels.

The Tower of London was many things over time…

It was a defense tower:

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It was a menagerie (zoo) for when the royal family would receive live gifts (animals) from all over the world.

One of my favorite stories was about the pet polar bear that King Charles received and how he would take it to the river Thames so it could fish:

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The Tower was also a place of execution; within its walls was the “bloody tower” where prisoners who were sentenced to death would spend their last hours.

London Tower Bridge:

This historic landmark was built between 1886-1894 and is used to cross the Thames River.

The tower bridge gets confused as the popular “London Bridge” all of the time but this Bridge HAS NEVER FALLEN.

In fact it is built with some of the strongest materials in the world.

This Bridge was built because of the necessity of having to cross it everyday for work and other purposes (over 170,000 people cross this bridge everyday).

The steam/ engine rooms were pretty cool to visit.

Once operated by coal and a 100 person team, now a single person is able to operate this Bridge with a few clicks on a operating board.

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The view of Big Ben:

Lastly, one of my favorite moments was taking a Thames River Cruise ❣️ and the view of Big Ben!

London is so beautiful at night because everything is illuminated; this cruise was the best way to see all of the lights:

Look at the London Eye!!

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I purchased a three day London pass which turned out to be my best investment because I was able to skip long lines (or queues as the British say), avoid pricey entry fees, and receive other types of discounts at over 100 attractions.

<Please invest in this pass if you’re planning on doing any sightseeing in London it’s so worth it!>

For more details on my trip make sure you’re following the series “Four countries in one week: how I survived my solo adventure” (or simply click here)

Click here to find out about my experience at Buckingham Palace and the protest I encountered.

Four countries in one week Part. II “No, your basic Spanish won’t help in Portugal”

Welcome to Part. II of “How I survived my impulsive solo adventure(“No, your basic Spanish won’t help in Portugal”) 

This series will detail my personal experiences while traveling solo in the hopes of encouraging my fellow solo travelers! I also want to explain the side effects of making impulsive decisions (when you rush into a trip without planning it right).

So, cheers to more careless mistakes I’ve made that snowballed into the best experience of my life!

Comfort zones are overrated

I really want to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone(s) and experience something or someplace new even if it’s just once…a year.

Even if the adventure doesn’t go exactly how you planned, the trip is still worth a shot; you don’t know what’s out there in the world until you get off your butt and see it for yourself!

Not everything (travel wise) will be perfect but, hey, it’s all about your perspective and you should be determined to take the good with the bad in any “fail” or “bust” as I’ve learned to do!

I’ve met so many people who are satisfied with where they are in life and who feel at ease dwelling in the same city blocks of their hometown.

I’ve always wondered about the people who are OK existing in a world where they’ve only traveled around >10% of it.

As if traveling somewhere new isn’t attainable or is so much of a farfetched idea (maybe this is just out of fear); I’m here to share that this big ole world is yours and it’s time to get out and explore it!

You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn about yourself when you’re in a brand new place.

American Privilege: Imagine That

Imagine: standing in long customs’ lines, being questioned about your history, whereabouts, and intentions in a country you are trying to enter then receiving the ultimate prize: entry across the border!

Imagine saying “I’m just traveling for fun!” and getting the response “oh, I see you’re on holiday.”

This was only the beginning of my experiences last week and I melted inside at every accent I encountered, every smile, and every frown!

If you’re American, like me, all of this may be a new experience for you, with your American privilege and all…you really don’t get how foreign you are until someone is pissed at you or impatient because you don’t know the language or if you take time to examine each coin before paying for your food.

Lisboa 🇵🇹

Originally my trip to Lisbon was only supposed to be a fourteen hour layover but since I was no longer going to Africa I figured why waste the $50 ticket? Maybe I could still go to Portugal and experience a really cool day trip.

I was determined to see the best of Lisboa (in turn, this was also a bust but a beautiful learning experience nonetheless).

After spending two hours in the customs line and spending the next two getting drenched by the rain and trying to make it to Castelo de Muros just to get there and find everything shut down I was so disappointed and declared it another BUST!

I waited for a bus that never came, I walked up a steep hill-ed street to another bus stop just to find out I needed the bus going in the opposite direction, and it was just a bad experience.

Picture this: you’re wandering around in a country where YOU are the foreigner.

It may seem scary at first but the more you explore the more you see yourself in other people; humanity becomes more than just a word, it becomes a realization.

There are people on the of side of this world living their lives, and they’re so much like you but so different at the same time.

Language Arts

To all of the people (who love to make impulsive decisions as I do), I would first like to say learning everything possible about the places you want travel PRIOR to booking the flights is key. One thing I regret is not taking the time to learn Portuguese.

*Take time to learn the language (No your basic Spanish won’t help in Portugal) and trying to sound out places with your American accent will be frustrating.

“Este Rios” is NOT pronounced how it looks…I found that out the hard way.

PLEASE, I can’t stress enough, even if it’s just the basics, take the time to learn the official language of the places you’re traveling and don’t rely so much on a translator because most times they won’t work as they should…

This was a huge inconvenience for me in Portugal and one of the reasons it was my least favorite stop along my travels. I couldn’t understand anyone and they couldn’t understand me so it made traveling via their public transit system.

I fried my brain trying to decipher these maps but I pride myself in finally figuring them out…my mission was to get to Sinatra to see the Castle of the Moors, I needed to take the 427 bus from my location, get off at “Este Rios” catch a train to Sinatra and I’d be set.

By the time I got there everything was shutdown so I had to turn right back around and head back to my hostel.

The moon was absolutely beautiful at night and I came across this massive church that I admired for a bit.

Hostel Stay (Corujinha Hostel in Portugal)

To be honest the best part of this trip was the view of the moon and my hostel stay.

Being cheap once again, I decided that instead of spending a ton of hotels I would stay in hostels.

Why pay money for hotels that I would hardly spend any time? Also, Air BNB got a bit pricey and all required prepayments!

I did so much research on hostels and read hundreds of reviews (thank you Trip Advisor, Booking.com & Reddit).

I went to college so the idea of sharing a room with a stranger didn’t scare me at all.

I stayed at the Corujinha Hostel in Portugal and I give them ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ five stars. It was extremely clean, had an awesome common room full of musical instruments and TVs! Very homely compared to so of the other hostels I encountered (I’ll do a separate blog post rating the others so stay tuned).

I’ll see you next time!

I will most likely give myself five years to learn Portuguese and go back five years after that but I WILL go back not let this experience be the only memories I make in Lisbon.

For more on my impulsive solo adventures, and to see what other countries I actually ended up in after this second FAIL, continue on in this series!

I PROMISE IT ISN’T ALL BAD PLANNING & FAILS! IT ONLY GETS BETTER FROM HERE!!!!!!!!

Click here to visit Part III of “Four countries in one week: How I survived my impulsive solo adventures”

Four countries in one week: How I survived my impulsive solo adventure Part. I (“Ghana was a FAIL- why do vaccines and travel visas cost so much?”)

“I’m going to Africa and I ain’t going back and forth with yall!”

My impulsive, solo, trip started with just an idea: Investing in myself will be my top priority and I would kick this idea off my by committing to international travel.

It was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate myself like I never had before so I thought “what better way to celebrate (my 27th trip around the sun) than to plan a trip to Accra, Ghana 🇬🇭

I decided I would travel to West Africa which was a no brainer because I have roots there; my father was born and raised in Ghana and I wanted to explore his old stomping grounds, possibly meet some of my family, and overall get a feel for where I come from.

What would be so terrifying about traveling to Ghana solo?

It is completely beautiful and I don’t care what the narrative may look like through mainstream America’s lenses…

I wanted to find out all about Africa’s beauty for myself (and solo if need be!).

I figured if I waited around for other family/ friends I could possibly lose my nerve…there’s no time like the present…right?

No time to answer that! I just began booking!

SHE did it & so can I!!

While being so inspired by the many female travel bloggers/IG influencers making their mark all over the world (like “@thecatchmeifyoucan”) I convinced myself I could do the same thing.

This is so true HOWEVER, planning, researching, networking, and just being honest with myself would have been key and it took a few mistakes for me to realize this.

I dedicated the past couple of years to facing my fears and accomplishing so much; I was about to cross out another “need to do” up off of my list (or so I thought)…

RESEARCH is key

I began “researching” and I started accumulating some of the “must haves” every solo female traveler should have.

I had gained all of the materials but none of the actual knowledge it would take to carry out a successful trip to Africa.

The materials included (but weren’t limited to): an awesome carry on suitcase (with a built in TSA approved lock, a great sized traveling backpack, rain proof slip on sneaker protectors, Anker power bank, travel adapter, new digital camera and mount, selfie stick, travel SIM cards, and a variety of apps downloaded on my phone to help with everything else (what’s app, hopper, WiFi map, cash app, money exchange, google translate, hotel tonight, etc.).

Before I knew it I was in the hopper app finalizing the flight arrangements because I set set, right?

WRONG!

Yes, I would have the physical things I needed for traveling, but the most important question was “could I actually meet the requirements to enter into the country?”

Caught up in excitement, I was overlooking key elements, like securing my safety all in the name of trying to live my best life.

I didn’t consider all of the vaccines until I contacted Penn’s travel medicine and looked into the type of travel visa I needed.

I told the angel and demon on my shoulders “I’ll be fine” and “I ain’t going back n forth with Y’all” (in my best Lil Duval impression).

Without doing the ACTUAL RESEARCH needed to actually be prepared for Africa I booked an expensive flight…

If you’re catching on to how irresponsible this trip was about to be you’re keeping up.

My biggest mistake was not doing enough research first! If I had, I would’ve realized in addition to paying almost $400 for the flight, I needed a visa to travel to Ghana (~$280), and needed to get pumped full of vaccines (averaging over $300).

At this rate, I needed to spend at least a month out there in Accra & Kumasi (and not just a week of vacation time I saved up.

For someone who was balling on a budget, I sure started off by wasting a TON of money I already didn’t have…and needed to dish out more if I wanted to step foot on the continent.

I was honest with myself and admitted I just couldn’t afford this trip (not at this point in time).

I would’ve spent all of my money just trying to get there and one week wouldn’t be enough time at all to enjoy it all!

I was going to keep this trip a secret but as discouraged as I was becoming I decided to talk to my mom about it.

I was so reluctant about that because I knew she would freak out at the idea of me going anywhere solo let alone the place where she had the worst experience of her life.

My parents honeymooned in Ghana with back in 1990 and my mom was so homesick and out of her element so I just knew she would be totally biased against me going.

Anyway, I decided to share my dilemma with her I started off with “mom, I booked a crazy trip” and smiled reluctantly.

She asked where and when I told her she said she was sad and didn’t want me to go but I already knew that.

She said it’s not like it’s Cali it’s Africa lol okkk I realized that I started explaining the money situation because I value her opinion.

Finally, I decided I wouldn’t go all the way but stop in some places where I didn’t need any vaccines or visas, just my passport which I had and was eager to get it stamped.

GHANA WAS A FAIL (for now…but with better planning I’m definitely taking a crack at it again)!!Hopefully I’ll go when I turn 30!!

We all make mistakes and sometimes they cost us big time. I’m thankful I listened to my gut and my mom (and went back and forth lol) because I could’ve spent all of my money just to get to Africa and I probably would’ve had a terrible time (being short on money which isn’t a good look!).

For more on my impulsive solo adventures, and to see what four countries I actually ended up in after this FAIL, continue on in this series!

Click here to visit Part II of “Four countries in one week: How I survived my impulsive solo adventures”

A trip down Graffiti Alley in Toronto Canada

After a very long Megabus ride from Philly (almost 11 hours including two 20 minute layovers) I finally made it to Canada!

Today marks day #1 of my solo adventure and I had a great time exploring downtown Toronto.

You may be asking why the heck I opted for such a long bus trip and the truth is I was just being cheap lol the bus ticket was only $30.

When you purchase Megabus tickets in advance you can travel almost anywhere at a discounted price (compared to flying).

Anyway, ITS COLD! The high today was only 29 degrees and it was pretty windy (not too far off from Philadelphia temperatures right now so I was prepared).

I’m just thankful it wasn’t snowing today and there was barely any evidence of last week’s snowfall so it’s all good.

Although the temperatures are pretty cold I felt nothing but positive vibes from the warm welcome of Toronto today.

I dedicated my morning to exploring on foot and it was pretty simple figuring out my way around downtown.

Although my phone didn’t work a lick and there weren’t any available WiFi networks to connect to, I found the places I had been researching prior, just fine.

The streets were pretty familiar thanks Google maps (especially street view)!

Streets like Augusta & Queen (near Graffiti Alley), Bay Street, University Ave, and some other major landmarks (like Union Station) were so easy to find.

I’m only passing through Toronto and for the short time I had to spend here I needed to visit Graffiti Alley!

I think street art is so beautiful. There is an entire section in Toronto dedicated to this type of art and it’s dubbed “Graffiti Alley.”

Think of the artist and how FREE they are in the moments of creating these pieces.

I enjoyed the art as well as the extremely friendly people I met why exploring.

One thing I’ve learned already from traveling solo is that there really are some kind hearted people out here (the kindness started with my Megabus driver letting me on the bus early to get me out of the cold so shout out to him and the entire South Philly!!!)…

I didn’t get much time to do the traditional touristy things (I managed to get some great pictures of the UN tower though; I couldn’t miss that lol) but nonetheless my day was unforgettable.

Stay tuned for the rest of my solo adventures this week! I’m traveling to London, Portugal, & Paris. Follow me on IG for more @mystik.y & @youngloudproud

More blog posts coming soon!

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