Category Archives: What’s New

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Where Do People Find Money to Travel?

Since I have been sharing my travel experience through my blog, I have had this question time and again: where do I get the money to travel?

And I am happy to tell you.

But first things first, it is important that you know that what works for one might not necessarily work for another person, and as such, use the advice and information here to see how this can apply to you.

Here are three key questions to ask yourself:

1.First things first! Where do I want to go?

A lot of people tend to believe that you need to have money first before traveling, but let me correct this: you need to know where you want to go before you have the money. Just as much as your budget determines your destination, your destination also dictates your budget. In other words, where you want to go determines how much you’d need. Note that some people prefer to save up a lot of money and then decide on where they can go based on how much they have. I personally prefer to pick a destination and work towards getting the means to afford a trip to that destination.

2. How much do I need?

Now that you know where you want to go, it’s easier to determine how much you’ll need. 95% of the time, your biggest expenses are on flight+accommodation, so budget for that first. To make a budget for your flight, consider the travel season (summer vs winter, holidays vs regular days, weekdays vs weekends, etc.) to get the best flight deals. To make a budget for your accommodation, consider your preferences and expected level of comfort: do you rather stay in a guesthouse and maximize on sightseeing and meals, or do you rather stay in a resort and live the suite life? Either option is fine, according to your needs. You just need to take that into consideration when making your budget. Once you have an idea of the cost of your flight and accommodation, you can estimate the rest of your expenses on site such as transportation, meals, and sightseeing.

3. Where do I get the money?

The money can come from either existing funds, or newly acquired funds. Existing funds refer to savings and newly acquired funds to money earned while working at a regular job. So if you’re currently employed, it goes without saying that it’s easier for you to earn and save, depending on your responsibilities.

If you’re not employed, then you need to look for a source of income. Possible sources of income include:

  • Conferences: this is a great option to combine traveling and learning (I call it traveling with a “greater” purpose). Regardless of which ever field you’re into (Arts&Crafts, Business, Marketing, Accounting, Pharmacy, Medicine, Videos Making, you name it), there are a lot of conferences out there with other people sharing the same interests as you. Check it out, and if available, apply for travel assistance! However, it might be important to demonstrate how attending such a conference could help advance your career goals/develop your community.’
  • Training workshops: just like conferences, training workshops are great opportunities to get out there, learn new skills, meet people and discover other countries. You can also apply for travel assistance where available.
  • Paid volunteering programmes: a lot of my friends are involved in those and these options are rewarding at multiple levels. Again, it is important to pick something in the field you’re interested in, as it makes it easier for you to align the experience with your career objectives.
  • Freelance work: do you have any skills or services you can offer in your community or online? Get out there, give it a try and get paid for it! Whatever you think can be used as a marketable skill, is probably  marketable skill. Don’t let your fears limit you. Get out there. Remember, you’ve got a trip to plan!

Do you know of any other opportunities where someone can get money to travel? Feel free to share them here!

If you liked this article, subscribe to my blog and receive more tips and tricks on financing when traveling!

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine


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The 1 Reason Why my Sister and I… Eventually Put Up a Christmas Tree.

If it’s December 25th where you are, Merry Christmas to you. For those who are still waiting, Merry Christmas to you still… <3

Now, for those who have been following, a few weeks ago, I shared 4 key reasons why I didn’t put a Christmas tree: 4 valid ones. However, something happened.

About 9 hours ago, I spoke to my mom and siblings, as it’s custom in our family. We were discussing about what Christmas means to each one of us. Towards the end, she pointed out something very pertinent: Christmas is a celebration of “giving”, and we ought to celebrate the greatest gift that God gave to mankind: the gift of redemption through the birth (and later) sacrifice of his only Son (for those who believe). And that’s the reason we have “Joy”. However, while we receive that Joy, we ought to share it with those around us. There is no Christmas without Light, there is no Light without Joy and there is no Joy without God. And while we were having a pleasant family discussion, I was reminiscing about the 4 reasons why I didn’t put a Christmas tree and immediately,  I thought of ONE reason why we should have a Christmas tree….

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I have a lot of friends who have felt great pain this year: the loss of a sister, a brother, a father, a mother, an aunt, an uncle, a grandpa or grandma, or even another friend. For them, it’s going to be the first time celebrating Christmas without that special person. For others, it’s going to be their second, third, fourth or even fifth Christmas with a missing member. As I was putting every garland and every ball on the tree, as grateful as I was for the blessings that God has given to me, I couldn’t help but think about those friends of mine. And so I thought about each person, and how things had been and would be different from them.

Holidays are tough without the people you love. And sometimes, the thought of holding on to “only” memories is not enough. I can’t tell you I know the pain you feel because I don’t. In fact, I can’t begin to imagine. But I trust that the same God who has sustained you, and who gave Mary the strength to endure the sight of her only son dying on the cross, will give you the strength to go through this, for such strength, no human can give.  And I hope you find some comfort and relief (no matter how small) in knowing that you’re not alone and you’re being thought of and prayed for.

Finally, I hope this helps to make your Christmas a little merrier.

PS: certainly this is a travel blog (and not a lifestyle blog), but this is the Christmas season, and I just couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room. So although this post is not particularly about sharing a travel experience, I feel it’s fitting for the season.

Merry Christmas, from me to you. <3

Photocredits: My sister, “Magnificent” Marie.

PS: to learn more about my upcoming adventure here, feel free to follow my blog or like the page on Facebook to be notified of new insightful blog posts.

 


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10 Things I Learned from Living on the Nature Isle, Dominica.

I come from a culture where I was taught that nothing worth having comes easy.

From a very young age, I knew that it was paramount for me to work hard to get where I want to go and become who I want to be. That principle has instilled in me a sense of discipline and hardwork that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

However, I have been so busy working that I never ever time to get to the “living” part of life. What is the point of spending all your time working and having none left to celebrate the fruit of your work? I never really realized what a counterproductive cycle I was living in until I moved to Dominica, where I discovered these 10 life facts.

1. Nature is free. Be like Nature. 

This refers to the nature that surrounds us, and the nature of things within us. One of the best things I have experienced living in Dominica, the Nature Isle, is the ability to get in touch directly with nature: original, pure, untainted, unstained. Not only can you experience it internally, but also internally with the availability of fruits and vegetables, all year long. There are always fruits and veggies for every season, and you get them straight from the ground into your body. Sounds a lot like Eden to me!  And if you really want to know what it feels like to get a “breath of fresh air”, then come to Dominica.

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2. Life is a party, so dance while you’re still an invited guest.

“We never know what the future may bring: it could be winter, summer, fall or spring” (By Marie Pascale Affana) . So you’ve got to dance, sing, shout, eat while you still can, because you don’t know if you’ll be able to do that tomorrow. So why wait to be happy tomorrow when you can be happy today? Don’t procrastinate on your happiness. Happiness doesn’t wait.

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3. Seize the Day. 

This saying has had such a great impact on my life that I bought a mug (my “now” favorite mug) to remind me of this every day. I won’t tell you that everyday is a gift, because you probably already know it. I also won’t tell you to live everyday like it’s your last, because I don’t know how to do that (not even sure if that’s realistic) and I wouldn’t want to spend a day thinking about how I’d live my last day. However, what I’d like to share with you is this: everyday comes with a new set of 24 hours, 60 minutes and 86 400 seconds, and the power is in your hands to decide on what you want to do with it. So take it. Take the Power. Take the Frigging Power.  

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4. Listen to your needs… and attend to them. Your body is comparable to a machine or an engine that needs regular care and servicing to function efficiently. When you feel sleepy and tired, your body needs to re-set. When you feel hungry, your body needs to re-charge. When you feel angry and cranky, your body needs to re-lax. Often times, we tend to ignore those needs and hope they will pass. I have learned to pay a close attention to the messages that my body, my emotions and my whole being are sending. And instead of giving it a quick fix, I have actually learned to address them accordingly. Most of the time (as you would have figured from reading my blog and past posts), the message is hunger (because I am a foodie), and there is no better to address hunger than to eat. 🙂

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Breakfast with a view. Buena Vista, Calibishie (Dominica)

5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.

I am so proud of the person I’ve become. If you had known me a few years ago, I’d have probably been the most uptight person in your friends circle (my current friends actually have a hard time believing that because of how silly I’ve turned out). And this doesn’t make me any less smart or capable than I was before. In fact, being silly give me a different approach to life, and makes me more open-minded to different ideas. Obviously, it’s important to know which cap to wear (silly or serious) based on the situation, but I can guarantee you that 90% of your day does not require you to be this serious. So don’t take life so seriously. None of us is getting out of here alive anyways.

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Dominica Carnival, Powder Fete – 2016

6. Do More of what Makes you Happy.

We are all called to live a life of service. And if you just take the time to observe your life, you’ll realize that too. Whether you are a gardener, a chef, a lawyer or a doctor, whatever you do ends up helping someone, directly or indirectly. So, we are constantly being of service to our fellow humans. However, before you can take care of (or provide service to) someone else, you have to take care of yourself. The reason being, you can only provide the best service when you are at your best, and for you to be at “your best”, you have to be happy. So do more of what makes you happy. Find your Happy. 

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7. Celebrate Small Successes!

Goal-oriented people tend to be very focused on the task at hand and do not stop until they have accomplished whatever it is they had set their heart and mind on. That is great, because it helps you keep the focus. However, what would be even greater would be to look back at how far you’ve gone and celebrate your progress as a way to motivate you to even go further. Are you in college? Don’t wait for your big graduation day to celebrate your accomplishment: be proud of yourself for making it to the next semester. Are you in medical school? Don’t wait for the day you finally become a Doctor to give yourself a tap yourself on the back. Are you working on a special project? Don’t wait for the last day, but celebrate every successful milestone.

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8. Be Daring. 

A wise woman once told me that you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take, and that wise woman is my mother. More, every time you take a risk, there is a 50% chance of it ending into a positive or a negative result. So why deny yourself of the 50% chance of whatever you want actually happening? And what’s worse than missing a shot? Not taking it. So take a chance! The worse that could happen is you getting a NO, which means Next Opportunity. 🙂 For my part, every time I take a shot, I succeed, because I believe I am going to succeed even before I take that chance.

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Performing with Michele Henderson at the World Creole Music Festival (Dominica, 2016).My sister (on the right side) was having a ball of a time. Photocredist: Zaimis Olmos Visual Arts.

9. Show Love to Your Friends, as often as you Can.

A wise woman once told me something deep enough to be reflected upon: our friends and family members are not ours, they do not belong to us. In fact, they belong to God and He only lends them to us for a specific purpose (whatever it may be), until He calls them back when He needs them. (That wise woman is my mother, and I seriously think she will start billing me for using all her quotes in this article).

So, we need to value the time we spend with them because we never know when He would call them back. We also need to show them love and appreciation because as human beings, we all need this. I am not asking you to tell all your friends that you love them everyday (which could be quite a task actually 🙂 and they might not all be receptive to your words, because we all speak different love languages (and thus, we have different ways of expressing our love). Rather, show your appreciation to each one of your friends in a way that he/she would like to receive it. (I guess it’s time to go through that list of 1000+ friends you have on Facebook ^_^)

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10. Work on your Resting Face. 

Everyone has what we call a “resting face”, and that is basically the state of your face at rest. When you are in the bus (or driving), on your way to work (or school) in the morning, pay attention to the people around you, and see what their resting face is like. Some people look angry (even if they are not), others very pensive, others extremely serious and others quite happy. The thing with your resting face is, it does not always depict your emotion “at the time, but it is the default state in which your face goes when there is no emotion to depict at all. So if the majority of your time, you are angry or anxious, your face is going to get used to that constant emotion, to the point where even when you are in a good mood, you still look mad (and not mad happy, more like “mad mad”). That is one of the reasons why some people are perceived as “less approachable” than others. So make sure you control your resting face, as well as the message it sends. (As you can see in the picture below… I have several resting faces. That’s because I am still working on those!)

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The inspiration for this article comes from a heart of gratitude and an amazing change in perspective. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed putting these thoughts into words.

All pictures were taken by a wide variety of amazing people, but at the same location: The Nature Isle, Dominica. 

PS: I will soon start an article series specifically for my travels, tours and sightseeing experience throughout the Nature Isle, Dominica. If you live there, feel free to contact me and contribute! If this is a destination you’d like to visit, make sure you subscribe to follow the upcoming series!

Either way, subscribe to this blog to make sure you keep seeing amazing content!

Cheers,

Clem 😉


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