Random travel, whether local or abroad is always a good idea. Now, this is not something I could financially do often (abroad) but when I can, I will. In this case, I randomly decided (again) that a trip to Washington D.C was a go. Yes, I have been before but this time, I stumbled upon a gem on Instagram that appeared to be a great networking opportunity for travelers, like myself. Clearly I had entirely way too much time on my hands at work to thoroughly vet the host, location, traveling distance, etc. but multi-tasking is what I do best. I am not sure what I would do if I had a job that clocked my every move though. Wait, yes I do. I would quit!
As you know, I am a big fan hashtag following on Instagram. This was over a year ago, so if I remember correctly, I was following these hashtags: #blackgirlmagic, #blackgirltravelslay #travel, etc. Strolling, per usual, I seen a post advertising a Black Women Travel Bloggers Meet & Greet hosted by @leeleetalks and @heymstraveler. I wasn't following them until that day but believed after reviewing their pages, they didn't appear to be kidnappers, so why not? This was my first time blindly traveling to a destination based solely on an Instagram post. Of course, I then recruited my sister, Nene, to tag along. The event was free so we didn't have much to lose. Worse case scenario, we would roam around D.C. I live in New York so getting there was the easy part. Lodging was affordable via one of my favorite travel sites, cheaptickets. The plan was to stay only one night so I think we paid $35/person for lodging and BOOM, we were all set.
Now the plan was to leave promptly at 6 a.m so we could arrive by 10 a.m allowing us enough time to settle in, eat and change clothes. Yup, you guessed it, 6 a.m was a dream. Nene takes forever to get ready and she moves like a freaking turtle. It's insane, actually unreal. Frustrated was an understatement. Between she and I, I am the serious one and she thinks everything is for "play-play". #Rollseyes We ended up leaving close to 7 a.m after waiting for her, going to Dunkin Donuts (we're from New England so WE RUN ON DUNKIN) and getting gas. I usually drive because Nene does this wired thing where she randomly falls asleep on the road. Strange shit. I was not in the mood to entertain her ridiculousness. Speed it up 4 hours, we made it to D.C just fine. The ride was smooth with very little traffic.
We got to our hotel, Best Western Pentagon Hotel - Reagan Airport, in Virginia but couldn't immediately check in because our room wasn't ready. Bullshit if you ask me because "ain't nobody trying stay here sir". ha! Whatever. We ended up changing in the bathroom like some basic chicks but nonetheless we put ourselves together. Next, to drive or to @uber? The best thing about the #DMV area is that the distance between each state is so short that the uber rides are so affordable. At that point, I reconsidered my life as a Brooklyn resident. The parking is trash and do not get me started on the fare for uber from borough to borough but that is a different story. We ended up calling the uber and got there in minutes, fabulous. We successfully reached the location but was a little annoyed that the entrance instructions were not clear but we were surrounded by other attendees so made small talk. The host later came down to get us and from there, a small traveling network was made. There was food, music, gifts, games and dialogue among each other. DOPE AS FUCK.
It was great to see so many women who love to travel. Some women loved solo travel, some traveled with their partners while some were just starting off. My favorite part was a game we one of the games we played. The objective of the game was to name the location of the popular travel destination from photo shared with us. Some destinations were Greece, Italy and Jamaica. I was surprised I knew more than I thought. To me, I do not travel often but to others, I am always vacationing. However, in this circle, I was one of those that traveled the least. Some women have been to over 30 countries. DOPE, pure DOPINESS. In addition to the games, I loved that we all shared a goal we wish to conquer within that year. My goal was to create a travel blog. Viola! I'm a little late but I'm finally writing!
Nonetheless, the event was successful. Cheers to those ladies for creating a small travel network and encouraging others to TRAVEL and EXPLORE. Culture is a beautiful thing that should be embraced. Thank you ladies, I now have a goal to reach 30 plus countries!
It was a short networking session so we spent the rest of the day sightseeing in D.C. Our older sister is the history buff who tells us the significant of each monument. Imagine the confusion between the both of us trying to sort out the order of event in history without her. We did our best to capture everything but we were stressed trying to remember what was taught to us in history class so we kept it sort. Kiki (older sister), help us out!