#AuthenticConvos 10.24.15

Saturday, October 24th, I hosted the latest installment of #AuthenticConvos. This conversation was focused on the power of transformation through travel. As a black girl from the hood, I always sat on the porch reading stories of adventure, wishing and hoping one day I would have a chance to do the same. Fast forward years later, I've traveled to 7 countries in 3 continents, and throughout the United States. While my travel goals are to visit every country in the world and spread light, I am grateful for what life has afforded me thus far.

The event was beautifully set up at a hip local bar, The Trenton Social, where a group of 25 beautiful souls gathered together in an intimate setting. People ordered food and drinks and pulled in close. Cocktail hour led to many laughs and introductions by attendees. The main event consisted of myself, and a young lady by the name of Monique Gray. You may know her by @just_go_monique on Instagram (if not follow her), where she posts about her many adventures around the world - right now she's at 30 countries. We physically met Saturday before the event, but formed a relationship online when we were both featured on the Travel Noire's Instagram page. I couldn't help but stare in amazement at her travels and send some light her way. Little did I know, she lived only 30 minutes away from me back home in New Jersey. After a brief direct message and plenty texts and phone conversations, we finally met.

Monique shared her travel story, and dropped some knowledge on how to travel on a budget. I had never heard of couch surfing, which is staying in a home with registered hosts for free. We also talked about websites like Airbnb, Air Fare Watch Dog, and Book It.com for cheap flights and packages, also, being flexible with travel dates and open to minimal accommodations in order to save and see more of the land. For two hours, we shared our experiences and invited attendees to join in on the conversation. 

I found money and fear were two major reasons that held people from traveling, as they desired. The financial component is always a factor when traveling, however there are so many ways around it, from fellowships to flight hacks (cheap flights). I taught the audience how to manifest the trips they desired through affirmations. I had everyone write down a place they wanted to visit, no matter the cost. Then, I had them close their eyes and visualize this place, what the wind felt like, did it have a beach, was the food spicy or sweet, what adventures did they take...I wanted them to picture this place as a way to call it into their lives. You attract what you put out. If you want to travel, and all your actions are towards it, then it will happen. My motto is: The first step is writing it down. Own it. Then take action; the plan will work itself out. You can have all you desire by taking the steps necessary to obtain it. I shared a story about wanting to go to Las Vegas for my undergrad graduation gift with my friends, it didn’t work out. While I had every desire to go, I did not have the financial means to take such a trip, and my friends, well I’m not sure they were as serious to go with me. I kept affirming I was going, telling people my next trip was to Vegas to have fun on the strip. Two months later, I was on a plane alone headed to Vegas free of charge with only $20 in my pocket. I found a job on Craigslist that took me there for 7 days to work an event. I stayed at the beautiful Venetian Hotel, partied at some of the hottest clubs, and dined for free at the Grand Luxe Café everyday as part of the benefit package. I got paid to go on a trip that I desired. It didn’t happen in a way that I planned it, but by being flexible and open, I received more than I expected.

My travel affirmation: "I travel around the world for pleasure, adventure, service, and to seek truth.”

I am grateful for everyone who came out to support me, sent their love, and the continuous support. 

Find out more about #AuthenticConvos here. Find me on Facebook Ayana Iman -click LIKE! 

Ayana GibbsComment