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STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
KWANDIA: I am small town country girl from Athens, Alabama that moved to Atlanta right after graduating from high school. I am a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia with a BA in Psychology. I am currently residing in Huntsville, Alabama. I have worked in property management for about fifteen years, and I really love what I do! I am an extroverted introvert. I love people, but too much “peopling” will stress me out! I love to laugh, but I can also be very serious when I need to be.
I have a big heart for God and for the community. I love volunteering in the community when I can. I am somewhat of a free spirit, but at the same time, I dislike the unknown. I guess you could say that I am a spontaneous planner. I am a big family person! I love my family and try to spend every moment that I can with them.
PASSIONS:
Community!! I volunteer for quite a few non-profit organizations in my area as well as I am an Executive Board Member for the local chapter of the Cross in Huntsville. I believe in giving-whether in your time, your talents, or financially. If everyone took time to give back to their community, we could make a serious impact to the greater good!
TRAVEL GOALS:
To get lost traveling internationally. I want to be able to get away and just soak up the culture of other people.
STS: What are some of the things you must enjoy about solo travel?
KWANDI: Sleep! No, but seriously, I always like to check out the local spots
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo travel adventure, where did you go?
KWANDI: Most recent solo travel was to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City, FL. No time at all. I have traveled there before.
STS: What are some of your biggest takeaways from your solo journeys as a Sister Traveling Solo?
KWANDI:Enjoy yourself!!!! Life is short and you only get one life to live. Live it to its fullest!
STS: Tell us what was it about STS that made you want to go from being a member to being on our STS team?
KWANDI:
I loved all of the positive vibes in the group and felt as if it was something worth making a long term investment in being a part of the team.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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Sisters Traveling Solo by Sisters Traveling Solo - 10M ago
STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
LOLA: I live in Honolulu, Hawaii. I’ve lived here for 18 years and love it. I can have a staycation every weekend! I live here with my teenage daughter, partner and dog Princess Moonpie. When I’m not working with STS I am an event planner and theater professional focusing on choreography, play writing and directing.
I love reading, dance, art, writing, theater, burlesque, listening to podcasts, and food. My goal is to see as much of the world as possible. I love learning about other cultures and I love food. Since I’m a theatrical arts lover, I try to see as many productions as I can every time I travel. On the top of my list is Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse in Paris.
STS: What are some of the things you must enjoy about solo travel?
LOLA: I love escaping and catching up on my alone time. I typically explore while listening to audiobooks and podcasts. Solitude rejuvenates me.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo travel adventure, where did you go?
LOLA: I went to Japan in March. I visited Osaka and Kyoto which was a longtime dream of mine. Japan is such a beautiful country and I enjoyed my time there.
STS: How long did it take you to adapt to your surroundings? Did you find it difficult to get adjusted?
LOLA:I adjust to my surroundings pretty easily. I usually research where I’m going ahead of time so I understand the culture.
STS: What are some of your biggest takeaways from your solo journeys as a Sister Traveling Solo?
LOLA:I’m no longer scared to travel alone! I love group travel too but traveling alone made me realize I don’t need others to explore somewhere new.
STS: Tell us what was it about STS that made you want to go from being a member to being on our STS team?
LOLA:
STS inspired me to be fearless and make my travel dreams come true. I wanted to get involved because I want to participate in the mission on empowering other women to travel.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
MICHELLE: I was born in Castries, Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, raised in Brooklyn, New York and currently reside in New Jersey. I come from a tech background and hold a Masters degree in Information Systems from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
Before that, I served 4 years active duty in the United States Army. I'm married to a Prince (yes a real Prince!) from the Mossi ethnic group in Burkina Faso and I hope to relocate there in the next few years.
I'm passionate about volunteering in Africa and have completed 4 volunteer missions so far and hope to continue throughout the continent as one of my travel goals. My leisure travel goal for 2019 is to visit the Seychelles, so please cross your fingers for me everyone!.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
MICHELLE: I really wanted to become a part of the Sisters Traveling Solo team because I have tons of solo travel & organizational experience and felt like I would be able to positively contribute to an already dynamic, professional and organized team
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
MICHELLE: My most recent solo trip was to Rwanda this year. I spent some time in Rwamagana, Kigali and Kitabi and absolutely enjoyed myself. Rwanda is by far one of the cleanest, most hospitable countries that I've been to and I will be returning to visit my friends there, to continue volunteering and for the fresh passion fruit juice every morning.
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
MICHELLE: It's very hard to only pick one or two things that I love about this group, but I'll do my best.
I love the theme of the trips that are organized, from the 7 Wonders of the World to the idea of partnering with local women's groups for the traditional trips. I love that no one has all the answers, but somehow, some way, we all have the answers to almost any and every travel question/destination collectively.
And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the warm welcome that every new member receives.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
MARIA: I’m from Brooklyn, New York. I'm a workforce development manager focusing on organizational development for health care transformation projects. I love my work because it is people focused and helps organizations understand the value of communication and relationships.
I hold a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Columbia University. I’m an avid runner. I started running in 2015 and completed the NYC marathon in 2017. I am a proud “back of the pack runner”- It’s about finishing the race not how fast of a runner you are.This year I am a pace leader with two running groups (Black Girls Run and Galloway NYC). I would like to combine my love for running and travel – “runcations”. My next goal is to complete an international half marathon in 2019.
My travel experience is pretty average to say the least. Solo trips had never been something I was able to do before. There were always hesitations about my safety or what was I going to do by myself. My friends and family would ask me why would I want to travel alone or “what was wrong” that I would even consider traveling alone. I totally bought in to the stigma of traveling alone and let it hold me back.
I look forward to breaking those barriers and helping others do the same.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
MARIA: I had never heard of STS until it came across my Facebook feed. The company title alone spoke directly to me! I joined the FB page thinking that it would be a good resource for trip ideas. However, it’s become so much more than that. I never expected to connect with the community over stories of their anxieties of traveling alone. I love hearing other women’s stories about overcoming fears about traveling. We come from all over and yet share the same experiences and fears. It’s wonderful to see everyone’s travel photos but my favorite photo is that one taken on the plane on the way to their destination. Those facial expressions say it all!
My desire to be a part of the STS team came from the support demonstrated by the FB community. I know the focus is on travel but I also see it being about personal growth. I see STS as an opportunity to empower women and give them the confidence to travel alone or in a group.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
MARIA: Last year in February, I went to my favorite city in the world so far - New Orleans. I went thereto compete in two running events. It started out with about 5 of us signing up for this trip. I didn't waste any time, I booked my flight and my hotel and got my stuff in order almost 6 or 7 months ahead of time. The closer it got to the trip, the more people dropped out so I ended up going solo. Needless to say I was disappointed, anxious, scared, and felt like cancelling the trip multiple times including the day before. But I reflected on it and I decided to go for it. I was also really psyched for my first out of town race. I needed this trip to help break my fear of traveling alone.
As I stepped off the plane I could literally feel my feet tingling. I felt weird, nervous, but crazy excited and happy that I was breaking through my anxieties along the way. I completed my races, shopped, dined out, and danced on Bourbon Street! I met people all along the way and had conversations with natives and tourists alike. I was invited by other runners for excursions and drinks. I had a blast and, more than that, I felt a great about myself. A weight was lifted from my shoulders as I experienced a personal growth moment. It really motivated me to make plans for solo travel in the future.
My upcoming trips are: Miami (July), Charlotte (September), and Seattle (October).
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
MARIA: At this time I would have to say the FB community. The support and camaraderie is different from what I’ve experienced with other groups. It’s a safe, positive, and productive environment for all women.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
WHITNEY: I am 30 years old. Born and raised in Memphis, TN. I am an alumnus of Vanderbilt and Yale Universities. I work for the federal government where I create legislation that governs the Medicare program.
I love the Arts (I can sing the entire Hamilton Musical album), am currently trying to live a more minimalist lifestyle, I love meeting new people and I (OBVIOUSLY) love to travel.
My love for travel started when I had the opportunity to study and live in Copenhagen, Denmark for a semester during college. My main travel goals right now are just to visit as many new countries as possible! I am also looking to transition to a career that allows me to travel for a living.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
WHITNEY: I love the community that has been created via the group. I love that its a place where women, particularly those of color, can find inspiration, positivity, and support. Those are values that can be hard to find in the everyday life of a woman of color.
I wanted to become a member of the team because I want to give back to a group that has given so much to me! I am already super involved in the FB group, so being an Ambassador didn't seem like much of a stretch from there.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
WHITNEY: I most recently spent 2 weeks traveling through Lisbon, PT; Marrakech, Morocco; and Dakar, Senegal celebrating my 30th birthday. I traveled over Christmas and NYE as well, and it was my first time being away from home and my family for Christmas! I had the time of my life! From having strangers sing me happy birthday at a cabaret gourmet restaurant in Lisbon, to riding camels in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, and standing on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Dakar, I couldn't have asked for a better way to ring in a new decade!
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
WHITNEY: The community! Seeing women, particularly WOC, defying stereotypes, and living their fullest lives inspires and makes me happier than anything!I touched on this in point 2 but I love the encouragement in the group. I love seeing someone be vulnerable and post what makes them nervous or afraid, and instead of getting teased or made fun of, the group comes together to encourage and lift them up. It's also like a personalized TripAdvisor. For most of my trips now, I search in the Facebook group to see what others have said!
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
SHALANE: I'm 32 years old and I was raised in Texas but consider Chicago home!
My first time traveling solo was to live in Costa Rica for two weeks when I was 19 and the travel bug never left me! Next was 6 months abroad in Spain my junior year of college, and then 3 years in Dubai as an adult! One of my "travel pics" is capturing me upside down in a handstand around the world.
Outside of travel I love cheerleading; good old fashioned Gabriel Union bring it on style! I also love kids and have been a Sunday school teacher for almost 10 years!
My 1st travel goal is to get to every continent. Currently missing on my list are South America, Australia and Antarctica. My 2nd travel goal is to do a DNA test to figure out my roots, and then spend some time in those countries in Sub-Sahara or west Africa.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
SHALANE: The STS community is a powerful one. Having traveled all my life, I took for granted how hard it can be for someone to take that big step, whether it's leaving the country, or even leaving their home state! Watching the forums and seeing how the women lift each other up and encourage each other is something worth supporting and growing. Not to mention, I love people and any excuse to meet more like-minded ones is A-okay in my book.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
SHALANE: Most recent solo trip was to Edinburgh, Scotland for NYE. I called up a friend from Dubai who had moved back to Scotland and asked if I could crash her NYE plans and she said yes! Scotland was amazing!
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
SHALANE: I touched on this in point 2 but I love the encouragement in the group. I love seeing someone be vulnerable and post what makes them nervous or afraid, and instead of getting teased or made fun of, the group comes together to encourage and lift them up. It's also like a personalized TripAdvisor. For most of my trips now, I search in the Facebook group to see what others have said!
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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Sisters Traveling Solo by Cole Banks, Sisters Traveling Solo - 1y ago
STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
AYOKA: I am 46 years old. I was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in East Africa. I am not old enough to remember the country, as my parents returned to the United States when I was very young. I was raised in Pasadena, California an amazing city right outside of Los Angeles. I am married with two adult children. I love traveling, sports, museums, jazz, collecting art and wondering aimless through large cities.
I am a social worker and I’ve actively worked in this field for nearly 25 years. I am a strong advocated for social justice and equality. I love people, all people. I embrace gaining knowledge and creating change. I believe the more you learn about others makes you a better person. I know everyone has something to offer to this beautiful world we live in. I have studied and worked with people who have been exposed to trauma. Come to find out, most people have experienced trauma. However, many people aren’t aware of its impact because they have nurturing lives. Well, keeping the body and spirit nurtured prevents trauma symptoms from surfacing.
Traveling is nurturing and healing to the body and spirit. It can be a humbling experience and bring much peace to ones life. It surely has made me a better person. I love it! Every chance I get I try to encourage others to travel, to take leaps and discover new avenues. I work with Transition Age Youth who have involvement in the Foster Care System. I am constantly telling them how much the world has to offer. I take the necessary steps to make sure each of them get a passport. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes when I tell them I can get them a passport so they can journey beyond the 10-square block radius in which many of them could not have ever dreamed. Just having a passport can be empowering to many.
My goal is to return. I've been to many places in the world; however, this is my dream trip. I want to learn the culture, embrace the people, enjoy the sites, and party (I love a good party, dancing and live music), and the social worker in me would love to do some volunteer work, as giving back is my way to receive my blessings. Next goal- I have never been to South America, so I am diligently researching which country to visit first; maybe Peru, not sure.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
AYOKA: The first international trip I took was to Paris when I was 17 – full circle - my first solo international trip was Paris. I’ve been solo many places; Rome, Hawaii and many places in the U.S.
My travel buddy for many years was my daughter. I took her at age 7 to China for her first international trip (so, I was nearly solo). We then began our journeys all over the world, she is now 22. I have tagged on to senior travel groups solo and traveled to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
My next scheduled solo trip (which I’ve done before) will be in a few weeks to Las Vegas, NV. I am going to see Diana Ross; this will be my FIRST solo concert. Funniest thing is am nervous about being alone at the concert.
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
AYOKA: I have a mentor who knows my love for traveling and referred me to STS. She told me it was a positive and encouraging site. She was right. I am amazed at all of the wonderful women who have found a safe space to share their travel dreams and accomplishments. It is very motivating.
From the moment I was accepted into the group I have been addicted to the amazing photos, funny stories, luggage and shopping advice. I have found myself doing research (which I love) on places I had never imagined visiting. Thus far my favorite photos were the ladies in the Antarctica. It made me smile and feel so proud. I’ve heeded recommendations from the group and purchased new carry-on, shoes and a Global Entry Pass..
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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Sisters Traveling Solo by Cole Banks, Sisters Traveling Solo - 1y ago
STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
DIANDRA: I was born in Jamaica and that is a large part of my identity. I love my people and I love my food! I love traveling to small islands because the beaches tend to be breath taking and I love laying on the beach and reflecting. I am very passionate about food because it is a great part of culture and I am a food lover. Due to my love for food I also love going to restaurants.
When traveling, I have to seek out the places that people rant and rave about and try it for myself. However, I am also the first person to try street food. When I go back home I love getting my jerk chicken, fish or boxed food from the street vendors. I also like to support small businesses so when buying arts and crafts I make it a mission to seek out vendors who are in need.
God willing, next year I would love to take my little sister to Japan. Also, I would love to visit the luxury tent in Thailand by the Four Seasons. The photos I have seen are incredible.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
DIANDRA: Sisters traveling solo is a traveler's dream! I advocate for traveling to any and everyone. When I saw this community of women I was immediately inspired.
I wanted to go from a member to being a part of the STS team because I feel like I could learn a lot from our members and also teach a lot. I work in the hospitality industry and my days are filled with curating itineraries for anyone you can imagine, but it has become repetitive. I just want to inspire and help anyone who I can.
Being a part of this team is honestly one of the things I have had on my vision board and I definitely will follow through.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
DIANDRA: The most recent solo trip I had was Colombia. It was in September after my birthday. I chose this place because the ticket was cheap and I just always wanted to go. Then, I booked it literally on faith. Colombia was nice!
I believe I spent less than 48 hours there, but it was enough to experience the feel of the region. I even found myself high up in the mountains! There were breath taking views of Bogota and the food was top notch!
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
DIANDRA: I enjoy the sisterhood of the group. I am very passionate about women empowerment and traveling and this group combines both. I love how everyone is so eager to offer advice and share their experiences. I look forward to meeting up and trading stories and hopefully making some life long friendships.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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Sisters Traveling Solo by Cole Banks, Sisters Traveling Solo - 1y ago
STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
LATECIA: I'm 39 single mom of a 17yr old daughter. My latest passion has become traveling. Travel doesn't always have to be internationally there are some really great sites to see here in the states and it is my goal to visit every state in the U.S. I also plan to make a least 2 international trips per year.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
LATECIA: I love planning and hosting events. What better way to showcase my talents than to become a part of such a powerful organization doing what I love.
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
LATECIA: Recently I took a solo trip to Cancun & it was nothing short of amazing. I met some great people, I did some activities like zip lining, & ATV's that I've never down before. But most importantly I overcame my fear of solo international travel & got to know myself better.
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
LATECIA: There is so much positive energy in this group filled with sisters encouraging one another. I love the great housekeeping the admins do my ensuring the groups stays positive & the sole purpose of travelling remains relevant.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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Sisters Traveling Solo by Cole Banks, Sisters Traveling Solo - 1y ago
STS: Tell us a little bit about yourself? What are some of your passions? What are some of your travel goals?
KRISTIN: I'm passionate about my town, St. George's, a historic spot on the eastern end of the island. I moved here from the central parishes 14 years ago, and the charm, beauty and stories captured my imagination. Much of the last 5 years of my life has been about getting others to feel the same way through my tours, retail store, marketing, and work in tourism, events and community development.
I'm also passionate about the outdoors - riding my bike Shoshanna, bonfires on the beach, sleeping under the stars, swimming. I'm generally barefoot and in the sun. Other passions include writing, reading, hula hooping, yoga, star-gazing, cooking, and of course traveling.
Travel goals, gosh so many! Short term, I'd love to spend some more time in the Caribbean. For the longest while, as a Bermudian, I wasn't really interested in exploring other islands, but now I LOVE seeing the connections. This year, I am planning to visit Tanzania and Ghana - I won a travel voucher and am just staring at it making all sorts of plans. From a local standpoint, I'm planning to put out a series of videos for travelers to Bermuda. Long term, I'd love to have my own travel show with my husband.
On the home front, I've been with my husband for 14 years (married for 7, but I want credit for those first 7 years!). I had my son when I was 16, so he's just celebrated his 21st bday, and is like me basically in every way. I also have three incredible step-daughters. AND my new rescue puppy arrives this weekend. So exciting!
For more information about me, my store and my tours, you can visit my website kristindotcom.com.
STS: Tell us what it was about Sisters Traveling Solo that made you want to go from being a member to being on the STS team?
KRISTIN: I have plans for my 2018 to be spectacular, and this just seemed like such a good fit, really a win/win. It helps me to expand on my skills, knowledge, network, and personal brand AND be part of spreading this cool message and vision to my sisters in Bermuda
STS: Tell us about your most recent solo trip. Where did you go?
KRISTIN: To be honest, I haven't traveled alone in a while, other than a quick trips to the states where I generally end up meeting up with friends and family, so not really a solo adventure. That was another reason I wanted to be part of the STS team - I knew it would be a catalyst to plan a solo trip. I'm already thinking about where I want to go.
STS: What do you enjoy most about Sisters Traveling Solo?
KRISTIN: I love any initiative that empowers women. To be part of a group that inspires women to see the world and themselves differently, that shares resources and information, that is woman founded and led (so important!) - I'm all for it. I love the daily discussions, the tips and tricks, and hearing everyone's travel stories.
Be sure to join us at Sisters Traveling Solo on Facebook by clicking the icon below; along with follow us on IG @sisterstravelingsolo
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