Things to Know When Traveling

I only began traveling about three years ago. Traveling was something I had always wanted to do, but repeatedly let others hold me back. When I first made the decision to join my friends on a seven day cruise, I was scared. Unprepared was an understatement, I didn’t even have a passport. I had to use my birth certificate (not the best thing to do, but always an option). I wish I had a list of things to know when traveling then.

It was on that trip that I fell in love with traveling. This is when I decided that I was going to attempt to visit at least one country a year. So far I have met my goal. My next trip was to Paris and London, and that is where travel became very daunting for me. I had my first intercontinental flight, and to make things more interesting I flew there alone and met my friend there. I wanted to share what I have learned with others who want to begin traveling.

So these are things to know when traveling.

Make sure your passport is up to date. Although you can take a cruise with a birth certificate, I recommend having your passport when ever leaving the country. If you need to fly to or from a port, you will need a passport. When going through security and customs, take your passport out of its holder and have it open to the page with your information. Pack photo copies of your passport, just in case it gets lost or stolen.


Hotels can be expensive and touristy. You won’t always be able to enjoy the beauty of the locals staying in a hotel. Try an apartment, Airbnb, or other local rentals. Staying in a residential area will give you a totally different experience then staying in a touristy area. I stayed at a small apartment in a residential area when I visited Paris, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Pay the extra for travel insurance. Travel insurance is coverage for the unexpected, emphasis on unexpected. There are definitely ways to save money when traveling, cutting out travel insurance is not one of them. Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, canceled trips, lost luggage and more.

Research your destination. You will want to know at least the basics as far as their customs, a few common phrases, tipping practices, etc. Try the Dulingo app for learning the language it is free and easy. Look at a map of the area you are staying and what it is you want to see while there. Look into local means of transportation. Make sure you know if you need a voltage converter and bring one with you.

Call your phone company and find the best international plan for you. Keep your phone on airplane mode when you are not using it. Try Facebook video messaging to avoid extra service charges and share where you are with those at home.

When I went to Canada, mu Hulu didn’t work. It said it could only work in the U.S. So if you want to watch TV either on the plane of in your room download from Netflix, and you can also pack your Fire stick.

Look into all of your credit cards and see which ones will not charge you for international use. Make sure to call the company and make them aware of your travel plans. I always notify a secondary credit card company and bring that card for emergencies. Take money with you, even though you may plan to use your credit card. Although most places take cards, not all do. Also, you will need cash for tipping shuttle drivers, tour guides, etc. Check the currency exchange rate.

Security is something that always makes me nervous. To make going through security easier make sure you are wearing shoes that are easy to get on and off. Take off all of your jewelry before entering the security line. Pull your clear bags (either Ziploc or purchased) out of your carry on and put in a bin, pull out any electronics larger than a cell phone out and put them in a separate bin, remove your shoes, coat, and empty out your pockets and put everything in bins. If you are going to take a Xanax do not take it before going through security.

Make sure you go through your makeup bag, purse, etc you can not pack tweezers, cosmetic scissors, etc in your carry on.

Do not walk around buried in your phone, maps, etc. Look confident and pay attention to your surroundings. Smile, relax, and ask for help if you need it.

There are so many things to know when traveling, you will make mistakes. These mistakes are learning lessons. I still make mistakes, but instead of getting upset I write what happened down so I know better for next time. I was very lucky to have a couple of great friends share with me what they know when I began traveling. Things to know when traveling will be very helpful for traveling beginners. Now I am so happy that I have been able to share what I have learned with you.

Check out some of my other blogs on traveling.

Until next time..

Why I had to travel alone to find myself

Why I had to Travel Alone to Find Myself

Why I Had To Travel Alone To Find Myself

We all know that itchy feeling of just needing to get away. Our lives are hectic, and our heads are filled with noise. Especially we women, it is ingrained in us to care for others. Well it is time we decide to make the effort to also care for ourselves. When is the last time you were still, or silent, or just alone? Furthermore, spending time with yourself is essential to knowing who you really are. This is why I had to travel alone to find myself.

I was sitting at work one day completely overwhelmed, with that itchy need to get away feeling and it hit me. I need to get out of here for a while. Immediately I went on line and started looking for a short weekend trip for me, myself, and I. Not only did I booked my flight and my hotel that same evening, I also booked a helicopter ride and a full day tour. I decided to take my first solo trip to Niagara Falls, Canada.

There sitting alone at dinner overlooking Niagara Falls, I decided I wanted to write a blog. I wanted to share things I have learned, struggles I have been through, and the fact that being single DOES NOT mean that you are alone, with other women. That moment changed me. I decided to get out of my comfort zone and pursue my desire to write my blog. I began Fabulously Single less than two weeks later.

Not only was this trip the beginning of this blog, it was the beginning of me taking the time to get to know myself. I have never felt so peaceful. There was no agenda, no schedule, nothing but my choices. That freedom was exhilarating. That quiet allowed me to get to know myself. I am usually very shy, but I spoke to more strangers then I can count. I went on a helicopter ride…and loved it. When you travel alone, you can chose to be whoever you want. I decided to be completely outgoing, funny, and brave. Yes, I have already started looking into my next solo trip.

There will be naysayers, there always are. Are you serious? You’re going alone? That’s weird. Aren’t you scared? The list goes on, ignore them. Do not let them diminish your excitement. You definitely want to take the time to research where you want to go. Make sure it is a safe destination for a woman to travel alone. It doesn’t have to be somewhere across the world, it can be to go to another sate. Rome wasn’t built in a day, take baby steps if that makes you more comfortable.

Traveling alone will give you a confidence you never dreamed was possible. Do you want to feel a major sense of accomplishment? Do you want to reconnect with yourself? Don’t think to hard, don’t second guess yourself. Book a flight and take yourself somewhere you have never been. You won’t regret it! Take this time to not just become comfortable with yourself, but to fall in love with yourself. Hopefully Why I Had To Travel Alone To Find Myself, inspires you to travel to find yourself!

My next blog will cover things you should know when traveling. Check out my photo gallery to see photos of where I have traveled.


Until next time…

Valentine’s Day For Single Women

To Be a Miserable Troll or Not, That is the Question.

Here we are, groan, eye roll, Valentine’s Day and you are single. For the past couple of months we have been bombarded with the garish red and pink explosion of chocolates, flowers, cards, stuffed animals, silk boxers, and how can we forget the singing dancing gorillas. The unceasing jewelry commercials of love struck couples, most of whom are getting engaged, because after all it is Valentine’s Day. It seems like everyone we know is in a frenzy to make this the most romantic day of the year with their loved one. Valentine’s Day for single women can seem daunting. So the question is, what are you going to do?

There are three paths that you can choose from. As my sister affectionately calls it, you can chose to be a miserable troll. This path means that you will wallow in self-pity and be angry and nasty towards the day itself and towards those who are happy. You can chose the path of humor, being sarcastic and/or deflecting with jokes and memes. Lastly, you can embrace the day and be your own Valentine (with a little humor mixed in). I choose the last.

Yes, we know what the miserable troll will say. Valentine’s Day is a made up commercial holiday, created to make money. Everyone knows about the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. We are also aware of the conflicting theories on Pagan festivals, and so on and so forth. Quoting things like “Cupid is a lying bastard”, “Valentine’s Day sucks”, etc. Believe me, I am not judging, for I was a miserable troll myself for years. However, let’s face the fact that being a miserable troll only hurts you and those around you. Chose a different path, take it from a former troll.

I truly believe that humor is what gets us through life. In any situation, humor as dark as it can be makes us laugh and can be a foundation for friendships. We all know the ghost of relationships past can be ugly. Do not forget that we have learned from that and become the better women that we are today because of it. So, let’s not dwell on it, let’s laugh about it.

Finally, in my humble opinion the greatest of all paths is the third. Try being your own Valentine. Start taking care of yourself the moment you wake up. Set your alarm five minutes early. Stretch, take a moment and clear your mind, and then get ready to embrace the day. Let’s start with don’t worry, be sexy. Put on your sexy bra and panties, do your hair and makeup, put on your favorite perfume, be sexy for you. Here is a list of other ways to embrace being your own Valentine:

  • Schedule a massage, facial, pedicure, or Hell all three. (No excuses, you would have spent just as much if not more if you were not single)
  • Send yourself a gift. I found a great one on Etsy.
  • Pick up your favorite flowers for your home or office. Do not worry about what others think. I bought flowers for myself. Sure a few people said something, but the beauty and smell of the flowers made my day better!
  • Spend time with people you love, whether it is your single friends or your family. Here’s an example that I still have to fight my inner miserable troll. Last night at dinner, my sister asked me to join her, her husband, my nieces, and nephew for dinner at Wendy’s for bacon cheese burgers on Valentine’s Day. My inner miserable troll automatically went on the defensive. I answered shortly, no I’m good. My sister bringing in the humor responded with come on it’s not like we’re going to be making out at the table, followed by gross kissy faces. I realized at that moment that I was not an imposition because I am single, but family who they just wanted to spend time with.
  • As happily and fabulously single, this one I do often. Take yourself out to dinner at a place you love, bring a good book, put your phone down, and enjoy. (Odds are, you might have a hard time getting into a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, no worries get take out)
  • Now, I realize that this is a huge commitment, but I promise the return is worth it. If you do not already have one, and you are fully capable of taking care of one, go adopt a dog! Yes I know it sounds crazy, but you will never know such an unadulterated love, companionship, and bond that you will with your dog. If you can’t commit to owning a dog, go volunteer at a local shelter. You’re not the only one alone on Valentine’s Day!

The list of things you can do being single on Valentine’s Day is endless. Remember, you are not alone. You are worth loving. Step out of your own gloom and do something for someone else who is having a hard time on Valentine’s Day. Do you have a family member or friend who is widowed or divorced? Send them flowers and get joy out of brightening someone else’s day. Valentine’s Day for single women does not need to be feared or mourned. After all if we love ourselves, why shouldn’t we celebrate ourselves?

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Until next time…

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Beauty is in The Eye of The Beholder

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is perception.  Recently I attended a wedding and I was very nervous. I hadn’t seen the majority of the people in attendance in years. My perception was that I was going to be judged for my life choices. At the forefront of those choices, still being single. Once I arrived my nerves gradually diminished. As I made my way around the room  everyone was genuinely happy to see me. There was no perceived judgment toward me. I must admit, I have a terrible fear of what others think of me. This is something I have been working on  for quite some time. This along with some other self growth journeys I will tell you about later.

One topic in particular is what really brought about the idea for today’s blog. A guy I went to school with from eighth grade through high school, made a comment that quite literally took me by surprise.  He started telling a story about how attractive I was back then, and that there were a list of guys who liked me. I was flabbergasted, as I always felt awkward and unattractive.  Never in a million years would I have guessed  that that was the case.

I guess what I am getting at here is that our perception of ourselves is often times not validated by anyone but ourselves.  Had I let my fear and nerves win, I never would have made my way around that room. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak to so many wonderful people who were a big part of my young life. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have learned that they still loved me, no judgment.

As some of the most important people in my life tell me, what you are thinking others are judging you for is really your own fears causing you to judge yourself. We women have so much love in our hearts, lets make an effort to give some of that love to ourselves. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we need to make an effort to see our own beauty. Please take the time to watch this amazing video below. Thank you all for allowing me to share with you! Until next time…