Afro Punk Fest 15′

When I think of Afropunk Fest, I think of FREEDOM! Which is why every summer, I look forward to this event at Commodore Barry Park. Nope, scratch that, I count down the days until this event, that’s how much it means to me. From the first time I attended Afropunk, it made me feel like I belonged somewhere. It represented a bunch of misfits, who dared to be different, coming together to be great! Does this mean we are misunderstood by society? Of course it does, but for one weekend, you are among others just like you and no one, not one person will judge you. I swear, Afropunk is the best place on the planet to people watch. It’s epic. The fashion, the food, and the vendors, are all out of this world fantastic.

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Afro Punk Vendors travelbyky.com kydee williams

This was the first year Afropunk charged a fee ($45 for a one day pass and $75 for a weekend pass) to attend, in the past it’s either been a requested donation or a regular R.S.V.P. I was hesitant at first but soon decided, the performances were worth my money. On Saturday, which was the first day of the festival I caught acts like Sza, Kelis, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Grace Jones. Sza can sing her butt off. Kelis was fun and pregnant. She engaged the audience and has so many hits that I love—of course she sang the crowd favorite My Milk Shake brings all the boys to the yard. During the intermission, DJ Beverly Bond turned the house down before Lauryn Hill’s performance. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s performance was much anticipated. I spent weeks listening to the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, reflecting on how amazing of an artist she is. I love her. However, her performance was straight up mediocre. Her voice is no longer the same, her sound was low, she sat down for most of the performance even though it’s a music festival and no one past the first 5 rows could see her. To make matters worst, she sang my favorite song Ex. Factor with a totally different tune and shortly after her sound completely went out. Like completely stopped working. I will credit her for continuing her performance, that’s the testament of a true star. Some people started to boo her and leave, while others, her real fans, wanted her to win so bad, so we stayed there and encouraged her through the rest of her set. She ended her show with Doo Wop (That Thing) and then suddenly dropped the mic and walked off the stage. I was heartbroken. I felt like a child who just found out Santa Claus wasn’t real.

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Afropunk Fest 2015 travelbyky.com

My friends wanted to leave, but I wanted to stay. I’m trying to hold on to as much of summer as I can. I mean I hate the winter, there’s really nothing to do. They eventually decided to stay and I am so happy they did. We watched Grace Jones perform and were recuperated. All of our hearts were no longer pained (after Lauryn). Grace Jones killed the game, killed Afropunk Fest, and just made everything great again. She’s such a talent, and her songs are amazing. Once, I was able to shake my memories of her from Boomerang the movie, I was really able to appreciate her as a true artist. She’s wild dope!

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Afropunk Fest 2015 travelbyky.com

After Afropunk, we decided to explore Fort Greene. We went to Walters for a small dinner and then Mo’s for drinks and dancing. Overall, it was a great day. Afropunk is so liberating. The perfect end, to an amazing summer.

Walters Restaurant Kydee Williams travelbyky.com

I love you Brooklyn!

My First Experience as a Solo Traveler

Alone. Not by choice. My boyfriend (at the time) and I got into an argument. We parted ways that weekend. I was on my own in a huge city much like my own, but it was not NYC, it was different and I would be doing a disservice to Chicago if I compared the two.

Alone. I never anticipated Chicago being a trip for one but God always has other plans for us, doesn’t he? After settling in my new hotel, I decided to wear my hair in its natural state to represent the sudden burst of freedom I now felt. It was liberating to say the least. The first thing I did was explore Magnificent Mile. I walked outside of my hotel, conveniently placed on the corner of Ohio and Mag Mile and proceeded down the strip admiring the tall buildings and the shopping. I was in Chicago for sure. There were stores for days—Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Guess, Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, Neiman Marcus, H&M and the list goes on. I decided to take a boat tour of Chicago along Lake Michigan followed by a trip to “The bean.” I looked around at all the people swarming towards the bean with their families and friends and at that moment I wished I could share this time with someone—but I couldn’t so I did what anyone else in my situation would do…I found someone who had a nice and friendly demeanor and asked if they could take a picture of me—I was alone in Chicago, but that didn’t take away from the fact that I was still a tourist. I met two middle-aged women who were more than happy to take my picture. They complimented me on my natural hair, in awe of what I did to make it look the way it did and went on about their day. I felt exhilarated. My fear of being alone in Chicago wasn’t completely gone, but I loosened up. I would make the best of this trip and enjoy the wonders of solo travel.

The next morning, I woke up and had time to reflect. I sat in silence. I prayed. I talked to God. I was able to write. I planned out my itinerary. I talked on the phone. I did everything I wanted to do in MY time. I planned to do a museum day. I would visit all the museums in Chicago that were on my itinerary. Three museums in one day. As a matter of fact, 3-museums in 5-hours, since I didn’t get to my first museum (The Art Institute of Chicago) until noon and everything closed at 5PM. I say this all to say, I was on my own time. I didn’t have to answer to anyone else but me. I was accountable for how my trip would go. This was the day that my fear of being solo in Chicago completely left me. I no longer feared someone would notice I was alone, or that I would be kidnapped. I let go of everything and lived life. I enjoyed my time walking through the exhibits of the Art Institute, interpreting art from my perspective and not the perspectives of others. I enjoyed taking pictures of pictures at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and watching the Dandy Lion video over and over again without being rushed by someone else. I loved learning about the history of African Americans at the DuSable Museum and getting caught in the rain, looking for the bus on the way back to the hotel. It was beautiful. It was liberating. It was such a necessary experience to push me out of my element. That night, I decided to take myself to a nice dinner. I wanted to visit the Wild Hare with my boyfriend and dance the night away to reggae music, but things did not turn out as such—so guess what, I visited without him. I arrived to the dinner around 7:30PM and I was surrounded by other couples on date night but that didn’t faze me. I asked the hostess for a table for one and ordered my jerk chicken plate filled with cabbage and rice and peas. I had an ice cold drink to go with my dinner and danced for a few hours to old school reggae music. When it was getting late, I took a cab home and got back to my hotel around 11PM. The next morning I took the CTA Blue Line train and found my way back to the airport. Overall, it was such a beautiful trip.

My first time as a solo traveler was an experience. I am not going to act like it wasn’t scary because it was. I don’t like being alone, especially in a hotel room by myself but now, I understand that this time alone was exactly what I needed. I had time just to spend with myself. I had time to think and evaluate my life decisions. I was surprised by my own strength because I could’ve just remained in the room, stagnant since I was alone, but instead I was empowered. I got up and did everything that was on my itinerary. I am now more open to an experience like this.

10 Tips to Conquer Solo Travel as a Woman

  1. Be Bold. Do not be afraid of conquering the city you are visiting. Make sure you know everything you want to get done and go for it.
  2. Prepare. Before I started each day, I had an idea of the things I wanted to do and how I would do it. I also googled what time everything opened and closed, and planned my daily itinerary based on my research.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, directions or for someone to take a picture of you. Just make sure who you ask makes you feel comfortable.
  4. Try to get home at a decent time.I wouldn’t advise staying out until the wee hours of the night especially as a woman traveler. Safety First!
  5. Treat this new city like it’s your own and you deserve to be there. My friend gave me advice to act like I was out and about in NYC and once she said that, my whole mindset about the trip changed. I wouldn’t be so cautious in NYC so why should I be afraid here?
  6. Enjoy time with you. Take time to breathe, read or even sit in silence when you’re on your solo trip.
  7. Don’t be embarrassed to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner by yourself. Again be confident. You may get stares, which is expected, but people will ultimately respect your independence. However, it’s okay if you just want to take your food back to the hotel. #NoPressure.
  8. Meet Up. If you’re going to a new city solo, see if your friends or family know of anyone you can connect with or if there’s any events or meet up groups happening.
  9. Treat Yourself. Maybe it’s a cupcake or a new outfit but make yourself feel special…you deserve it.
  10. Little White Lie. Never tell someone you are alone. Safety First!

Chicago Travelbyky

Restaurant Review: Elberta Restaurant and Bar

Elberta Restaurant and Bar 335 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217

So far, I’ve had dinner and brunch at Elberta. Elberta is a relatively new restaurant on Flatbush, in Park Slope that serves comfort food. The first time I came here was for my birthday. I had a series of their sides which included Mac and Cheese, Sautéed Spinach, Truffle Fries, and Deviled Eggs. I loved everything except for the Mac and Cheese, which needed a bit more seasoning and cheese. The rum punch in a mason jar was really cute and tasty as well.

For brunch this week, I had deviled eggs again, which wasn’t as tasty as it was before. It had a fridge taste but I still ate them. The brunch menu was filled with dishes I loved. I am on a healthy kick but I had a craving for steak and eggs. I went with my instinct and ordered it. The presentation was amazing. The dish comes in a skillet and in addition to the steak and eggs there is a side of potato’s mixed with tomato’s and spinach. I didn’t like how big the chunks of steak were, but it was so good! Well seasoned, juicy and just an all around good choice.

The décor of this place has exposed brick, great music and an intimate vibe. I will definitely come back here and I suggest you give it a chance as well.

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TRAVEL BY KY

It’s been a beautiful year since I posted my first blog entry on this website. All I can do is thank God for giving me a vision for what I wanted to do with this blog and watching it flourish. Since my first trip abroad to Europe last year, travel has become my addiction. I am at my happiest when I travel. I feel so blessed and I thank God for revealing to me the vision he has for my life through these adventures. Traveling makes me bold, fearless, adventurous and curious. It’s allowed me to grow in so many ways in the last year and I am so thankful for every opportunity that may come my way. Thank You for the support.

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Women In Travel Summit 2015 Part III

Day Two of The Women in Travel Summit started with breakfast. I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing ladies, including one who traveled throughout the United States, by visiting 50 States in 50 Weeks. Here’s the kicker, she’s from Australia. One of the profound things she said is that we are so lucky to be in the United States, because if we want to be in the desert we can go to Arizona, if we want to be on a beach, visit Florida, Need culture? go to New Orleans and there’s history in every state in America. Her stories resonated with me, as she found splendor in driving through New Jersey and Nevada. Why does it take someone from a completely different continent to visit our country and find such magnificence in it? Too often as Americans we overlook the grander of our country. It made me want to discover all that she found to be enticing. There’s such value in living in a vast country filled with natural resources, nature, and incredible wonders.

IMG_1604After taking our quintessential group picture (all 300 of us), we listened to the amazing stories of people who partake in volunteer travel. This conference opened my eyes to traveling with a purpose. I eventually would love to use my travels to help others; maybe building a school in Thailand for girls who just escaped sex trafficking or making pillows and beautiful patterns with the women of Kenya; Teaching the children of Dubai English or handing out sanitary napkins to young girls in need in India. I had a lot to think about when it came to travel, I was excited about the prospects.

IMG_1601 IMG_1608Our first breakout session was WordPress for Travel Bloggers, it basically went through all the ways you can self-host on a WordPress platform. This was valuable information, but right now I am ok with hosting via wordpress and not self-hosting. However, three things I learned that could be valuable to you is:

  1. Always compress images before uploading to a blog.
  2. Always do regularly scheduled backups of your database and your entire site.
  3. Protect yourself by any means from hackers, because they want to send out spam emails using your credentials. If WordPress prompts you to pay extra for hacker protection go for it.

Street Harassment while traveling with Delia Harrington, was one of the sessions I looked forward to the most. While I was producing my show Reserved, this was one of the issues I was very passionate about bringing to the forefront. Growing up I had no idea how to navigate this unwarranted attention I was getting all of a sudden. To avoid the hissing, cat calling and being stalked to my building, I would just take a longer way home, getting off the train one stop before I should’ve and just walk the 5 extra minutes. This was my means for coping with an issue, that everyone else ignored.

IMG_1660When I arrived to the forum, it felt like I was not alone. I watched around me when women of all shades raised their hands when asked if they have ever been victims of street harassment. I shared my story of my first time being cat called at age 13, or even cursed out when I didn’t respond. It was comforting to know that other women were able to relate, some women recounted being as young as 11 when they were first approached by men on the street. It’s disheartening to know that an issue such as street harassment, which can make girls and women feel unsafe in their own neighborhood, is taken so lightly. I remembered trying to tell the women in my family about my experiences and feeling like I was talking to a brick wall. Just ignore it, they would say. I believed I had to accept this fate of being harassed as just the norm, although at the time I didn’t know it was harassment. I had my aha moment in college; I was in a women studies class listening to group final projects, when a team based theirs on Street Harassment. It was the first time I was able to define what was happening to me; finally I didn’t feel ignored because other people experienced it too. Although street harassment is a global issue, there are great strides being taken against it. Here are some ways we can respond to street harassment:

  • Direct confrontations with street harassers may prove extremely dangerous, particularly if you are alone in an unpopulated space.
  • It’s each individual’s right to decide when, how, and if to respond but keep your safety in mind
  • If you’re safe to do so confront your harasser with strong body language
  • Use statements not questions leave me alone vs. will you leave me alone?
  • Identify the perpetrator “Man in the yellow shirt stop touching me”
  • Educate others, especially men
  • Tell your story
  • Get active

Finally, after sneaking out of the hotel to do some sightseeing with my mom and grandma, during our 2-hour lunch break, I attended the last break out session for the conference. This session was all about maintaining a travel blog when you are not travelling. I found some amazing tips on using your neighborhood as a source of inspiration or reliving your times in the countries you previously traveled to, by writing about topics you did not already address( maybe restaurants, museums, to dos or what not to do). I found this session to be great because it inspired me to keep on writing even during the down times when I may not have a trip on the horizon. Just open your eyes to see that there’s culture all around.

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When we all convened, back in the main hall, I was under the impression that the conference was over, but there was so much more to come. Adventurous Kate was the final speaker of the conference. She spoke strongly and passionately about Gender Inequality in the blogging world. She rose awareness about men getting all the praise for blogging and photography but are they really dominating the field or just getting credit for it? She encouraged us to support one another.

With that being said, I had to leave the conference earlier than anticipated. I thought the conference would end on time but it went over and I felt like I was leaving an amazing party early. Well, there’s always next year and its happening in sunny California!

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Debunking Myths of The Middle East

Be careful not to get Trafficked. Don’t get kidnapped. The men oppress their women. There’s a lot of sex slaves out there!

One of the most important reasons why I travel is to combat ignorance. How can you really know what a culture is all about unless you’ve experienced it for yourself? A lot of the above statements were from people who have never visited the UAE in their lives, but the propaganda they “heard” about the Middle East and how terrible it is-with ISIS roaming around and kidnappers ready to take American girls as captives, led them to assume this would be my fate.

Now imagine if I allowed their comments to hinder me, I would’ve never been able to sit here and tell you that I felt safe in Dubai. At some points more safe than I do while living in Brooklyn. I traveled to the Middle East and survived. Yes, there are injustices going on in the UAE including: a lack of fair labor laws and poor labor treatment for the individuals working on those beautiful buildings, prostitution, human trafficking and mistreatment of housemaids–but this is the case wherever you go, even in America.

Not all women are oppressed in the Middle East. Middle Eastern women jhave different standards than some American women. Middle Eastern women wouldn’t dare expose their bodies for the entire world to see. They treat their bodies as a temple, only revealing their treasures to their husband. They know their worth and walk with confidence in their long black Abaya’s. They wear the best of the best underneath their garments. Christian Louboutin shoes, Alexander Mcqueen dresses. Almost every one of the women have a designer bag. While shopping with their friends they open their Abaya’s and reveal they are decked out in jeans and the latest shirts from Zara. They are just like us.

I learned the importance of being chaste, while in Dubai. Always being mindful not to offend anyone by exposing my shoulders, or showing too much cleavage like I would in America. Yet, the profound significance of this was that I didn’t feel less sexy, I felt beautiful. One of the most monumental parts of my trip was being able to put on an Abaya for the first time. I felt honored to imitate the essence of a Muslim woman. I felt like they showed me another way. I was able to walk in their shoes for sometime, while in the mosque and it felt empowering. I have such an indescribable respect for them.

Thank You God for bringing me back home safely. Unfortunately we do live in a crazy world and anything could’ve happened to me. I am completely aware of that. However the moral of the story is, you should never let other peoples beliefs of a country hinder you from traveling. You should also never let your own misconceptions hinder you. Go for it. Find out for yourself, and you will be glad you did, because whether good or bad, you still will have a story to tell and an experience to share for the rest of your life.

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Travel Bucket List

I’ve been thinking about my travel bucket list this week. Where do I want to go? How can I check off these places within the next couple of years? Travel has become extremely important to me. I always wanted to see the world but now that i’ve seen a part of it I want more, almost like an addiction. See below my travel bucket list:

Goree Island-Senegal,Africa

Istanbul

Berlin, Germany

Greece

Israel

South Africa

Kenya

Hawaii

Cuba

St. Thomas

Morocco

Costa Rica

Chicago

Atlanta

Texas

Dubai

New Orleans

Japan

Hong Kong

Haiti

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Ready…Getting your ticket

Come fly with me lets, fly lets fly away- Frank Sinatra

Being that this was my first extensive trip, I missed out on the travel points and mileage gains that I would have gotten had I used a travel credit card. These travel cards would have given me credits usually via a point system for the number of miles I traveled. The beauty of these cards is that for frequent fliers it really gets your trips to work for you and your future travel adventures. But you live and you learn.

Falling credit cardsDeals: I found sites like Skyscanner.com to be a great resource for searching for tickets. It gave an overall view of what the average ticket prices were to travel from NYC to Singapore which helped with my decision making . Essentially Skyscanner.com scans for the lowest price amongst airlines that flies into your area of interest and lets you know about the possible connection options on non-stop flights (I sought a connection in Japan). Overall, it gave perspective on what price range I would fall into when booking my ticket. SkyscannerPricing: When booking my flight for travel in May the price range to fly to Singapore was between $1200-$1600 on a mainstream commercial airline. There were less mainstream airlines that fly to Asia for reduced prices, however I would advise researching their track record if this is an option you would be interested in. While Skyscanner was my tool for keeping in mind the expected price range, I eventually used the actual airline’s website to buy the ticket. I found a ticket on Delta Airlines for around $1400, and spent $1700 in total for the flight. Leg room, was where the extra $300 came in, and this turned out to be a very good investment. Spending 32 hours in total on the plane, including a 20 hour flight from California to Japan and a 7 hour flight from Japan to Singapore, meant that at a mere $85 a flight, the cost for leg room was well worth it. This plus some of the other things mentioned in my next post may help you make your next long distance flight pretty pleasant.

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Guest Blogger Alert: Asia by Tash

Guest-Blogger
So I have Awesome News! As you guys may know, i’ve been super busy working for a travel platform, called Travelnoire which has shown me so much about the inner workings of travel, it truly amazes me (but more on that in future blogs).

Yet, this new responsibility takes a lot of time and I can’t quite blog as much as I would like. To my surprise, a few weeks ago I received one of the best emails ever. One of my fellow travel expats and friend Natasha recently returned from an awesome, life changing trip to Asia. She expressed that she would want nothing more than to guest blog about her experiences on TravelByKy which of course I screamed yes! I am so excited to introduce her to you guys. Her trip was amazing and after reading her blog I have extreme wanderlust for Asia.

So join me by welcoming Natasha and lets live vicariously through her travels in Asia. My biggest wish is that you will see how attainable travel across the world can actually be and go for it.

Cheers,

Ky!

Weekends By Ky: Philadelphia

So often we look across the world to experience history and culture and never in our own backyard. This past weekend I decided to visit my friend Brittany in Philadelphia. We spent the first night having careless fun which included fish tacos at a Mexican restaurant and Korean Karaoke. The following day I felt a little under the weather, so we got a bunch of snacks from the grocery store and watched Law & Order Criminal Intent all day. Finally she convinced my sick self to get up and catch a movie which we did and it was awesome.Luckily for me, I got a double deal. We went to see the movie on the UPENN campus and I got to experience life as a Penn ivy leaguer, well sort of. That night, Britt made delish spaghetti and I called it a night early.

Kydee WilliamsThe next morning I felt so much better. We got an early start and headed to the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. I ran up the Rocky Balboa stairs, like I was the champion himself. I had no idea about the significance of those stairs as it related to the movie. I saw people line up just to get a picture with the Rocky statue and I eventually put two and two together. We headed straight to the museum and luckily for me my Penn State credentials granted me access to the museum at a discounted student rate.

Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsThe museum was amazing, filled with a lot of antique furniture, portraits of George Washington and breath taking artwork. What captivated me most was the medieval room which was an exhibit filled with military armory from the middle ages. Always assuming that this part of our history was some what fictional, it was interesting to see the steel army wardrobe of the past on display.

IMG_7615 IMG_7616 IMG_7618Kydee WilliamsOutside of the museum was The Oval which is a seasonal local festival. Brittany and I watched performances and drank apple cider while sitting on a haystack. We enjoyed taking in the amazing sights of this beautiful fall afternoon.

IMG_7606I felt fulfilled as I headed back to New York. Who knew that the Philadelphia Museum was the first museum in the United States? I didn’t. Not only did I experience culture, and a lot of history in a short 2-days, but this weekend seemed longer than ever. I was totally ready to head back to work and finally have something great to say when someone asks me the quintessential “So how was your weekend?”

The Wedding Day

The day of the wedding was so relaxing. Danielle, Kirsha and I decided to go to the beach across from the hotel which was absolutely breath taking. The water was clear and the beach was alive and filled with cool vibes and fun tourist. I wanted to stay in the water forever, but the yacht to the private island where the wedding would take place was set to depart at 6PM and with 3-girls in one room, we needed more than enough time to get pretty.

IMG_6773 IMG_6642 IMG_6648The wedding was beautiful. I cried only 2-times (when the bride came down the aisle with her father and grandmother and when the groom said his vows). When the guest first arrived each of us said kind words in a video that they would watch later. I quoted Boyz II Men “You gotta believe in the spirit of love” One of my favorite quotes ever. After the wedding, all the guests took one huge picture before heading back to the reception. Cocktail hour was by the pool and the reception followed shortly after. Akilah and Rion’s union made me come to a lot of realizations in my life. For one, I was twenty-five and was literally messing with the wrong men and getting into the wrong type of relationships. My friends were getting married! Furthermore, I was ready for growth in my overall life. Snapping myself out of my thoughts, allowed me to enjoy why I was at the wedding in the first place, to celebrate my friend’s union, which we did all night. The reception was fun! We danced the night away to the latest songs and jumped into the pool with our wedding clothes on for the hell of it. Bahamas was awesome!!!!!

IMG_6658 IMG_6663 IMG_6680 IMG_6684 IMG_6688 IMG_6734 Luckily, traveling back to NYC was a breeze. The only thing I needed to focus on was catching up on sleep. It took about a week for me to get into the groove of things, which also meant I was late to work just about every day when I got back. I didn’t realize how little we slept until I returned…geesh. Overall it was an amazing vacation and I am so blessed that I was able to share this memory with my closest friends. Cheers to #DOUBLEADAY

We Made It-Bahamas

I stayed up for about 23-hours without going to sleep the day of departure. I had to go to work, then braid my hair, then pack and leave for the airport at 3am. My flight departed at 6:30am which meant I literally had no time to even nap.

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Absolutely Delirious-NO SLEEP

The flight attendant put me in a window seat with no windows. I was pissed, but luckily slept the whole way to Atlanta; it didn’t bother me as much as I thought. I met up with my friend Kirsha who would be staying in the room with me. She’s an airline employee so she was first classing it honey. I sat in the emergency row during the flight to the Bahamas which was super annoying but spacious. Honestly, I was so drunk with sleep, I could care less. When we finally arrived to Freeport we headed straight to the Pelican Bay Hotel to unwind and explore.

Kydee WilliamsPort Lucaya was next door to the hotel so we explored the marketplace a little before taking a nap. Kirsha went straight to bed, but I decided to lay out by the pool and take in little sun before the beach party.

Kydee Williams BahamasThe Welcome Beach Party was the first event for wedding guests. Great music, great people and the food, oh my, I can’t emphasize the food enough, it was delicious. After crash dieting for a week, this was the first time I had actual food and I was just in heaven.

IMG_6254 IMG_6295 IMG_6288The beach party was eventually shut down by cops, so we made our way to the bars at Port Lucaya which comes alive at night time. As the night progressed we jumped into our hotel’s Jacuzzi and talked until the sun came out. The things that happened while in the hot tub were insane. Just when we started to talk about scary movies like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” a weird Eastern European man that we nicknamed, Ivan, appeared in the midst of the night and sat in front of the hot tub. He decided to smoke a cigarette as we watched him silently and he watched us silently. It was one of the most bizarre occurrences of my whole existence. Day one in the Bahamas was definitely for the books.

Helpful Conversation Starters

Knowing how to say the basic words in each of the countries you are visiting is valuable. Below are a list of terms that I found to be extremely helpful during my stay in Europe. They are in the order of French, Italian and Spanish. Most Europeans speak multiple languages, so it’s rare you will encounter someone who can’t understand you. Nevertheless, I hope this is helpful. Is it necessary to travel with a dictionary? I would totally invest in one, although I forgot mine at home :/ but it always helps to be prepared.

Kydee Williams Hello

French: Bonjour

Italian: Bonjourno/Ciao!

Spanish: Hola

GoodBye/See you later

French: Au Revoir

Italian: Arrivederci/ Ciao!

Spanish: Adios

Good Evening

French: Bonsoir

Italian: Buonasera

Spanish: Buena tarde

Thank You

French: Merci

Italian: Grazie

Spanish: Gracias

Where is…

French: Où est

Italian: Dove si trova (didn’t have to use this because all the Italians we encountered spoke English)

Spanish: Donde esta …

How much…

French: Combine

Italian: Quanto

Spanish: Cuánto

Wine

French: Vin

Italian: Vino

Spanish: Vino

To Paris With Love

Now we out in Paris, yeah we perriering” -Big Sean

Things left to do in Paris

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • People Watch
  • Musee D’Orsay
  • Seine River

Our list of things we had left to do in Paris wasn’t impossible, but it was Sunday and a lot of places were closed. We started our day with a nice brunch at a café by our hotel. We had crepes, omelets and baguettes. I loved how the locals walked around with pain (bread) and baguettes like it was an accessory. One of the things I enjoyed doing in Paris was people watch. There were so many happy and fabulously dressed people to see and the Europeans just loved to sing in the streets Tres Magnifique!Kydee WilliamsAfter brunch we walked towards the Seine River and discovered the Love Lock Bridge. We took pictures and celebrated all the love that was in the air. Couples kissing here, a group of friends putting a lock on the bridge over there and then it was us, trying to recreate Beyonce’s XO video…(don’t ask).

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Kydee Williams
Click to watch our horrific XO by Beyonce reenactment

The Eiffel Tower was marvelous. There were a lot of people who had the same picnic plan as us, so it was quite crowded with tourists and the likes. Everyone was in such great spirits as we ate Nutella crepes and took pictures with Miss Eiffel.Kydee WilliamsKydee Williams
Kydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsWe proceeded to walk along the Seine River which was close by. The walk was serene and eye-opening. Parisienne people loved their bottles of wine. I watched as the locals walked, jogged and played along the river, a bit envious that Paris was a place they could call home, while I had a clicking clock whose time was almost up. I too found peace on the Seine. Kydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsKydee Williams

Kydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsKydee WilliamsThat night, we had dinner at a cute restaurant by our hotel. The waiter was hilarious. He was super charming and allowed us to drink our own bottles of wine. We laughed the night away, embracing French culture to its fullest.

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams Kydee WilliamsAfter dinner, we decided to take the bus back to the Eiffel Tower. It was definitely more gorgeous at night. We had a blast, although we encountered rats in the area…yuck.

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams

Kydee Williams

The clock stroke one, which meant the final light show of the night was on the way and let me just say, it was enchanting. We sang Drunk in Love by Beyonce as the locals sang with us. We also made videos of our wacky wine night until it got too late and was getting too creepy. Two guys started following us by the Seine so we naturally ran for our lives. Once we got back to a safe zone, we took a cab back to the hotel. Oh quelle nuit!

Kydee Williams Kydee Williams