Life with thatgirlcarmel: Jan. 2016

Can you believe it’s already February?! February 2016?! Crazy – right? Needless to say, this month whizzed by in a blur.

Earlier this month, Jave and I returned from our road trip around Jamaica which officially wrapped our six weeks of 2015 travels. Since returning, we’ve jumped back full swing into the “busy”-ness of our everyday lives here in L.A.

Jave and I have adopted a “no days off” work ethic as we grind for our dreams. And when I say “no days off,” I mean it. Lately, it seems that we’re always working. But experience really is the best teacher, and I’ve learned in the past that self-care is so important, and for me that means eating cleaner (I’ve decided to start juicing again), exercising regularly (this is still a work in progress), reading more (so far, so good this year – check out my reading list here), and of course, occasionally getting away to recharge.

With that said, my feet are starting to itch again. What’s wrong with us, travelers? It’s like, we return from one trip and are already thinking ahead to the next one. Or maybe you’re like me and you already have your next trip mapped out even during your current trip. I’m telling you – wanderlust is a real condition, and I’m already starting to show early symptoms.

Unfortunately, Jave and I will more than likely have to cancel our spring travel plans to Asia due to his schedule, and I’m definitely bummed about it especially considering that we already purchased airfare for most of the legs of our trip. But apart from Jave’s schedule, he’s not really down with the idea of traveling anywhere for the first half of the year so that we can instead focus on channeling our finances to our businesses and to other goals and priorities we’re determined to accomplish this year. As much as I hate to admit it, he’s right.


Thankfully, California has no shortage of amazing getaway options

BUT, my feet are still itching, so I have a few local getaways up my sleeve over the next few months which is good because I’ve been longing to scratch some places off of my California wish list. And who knows where we’ll find ourselves by the time summer and fall roll around?! So while this won’t be a travel-free 2016, for now, our plans for the year are up in the air (hopefully, we’ll be back up in the air again too!).

This month, I challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone by going to a travel networking event. I know that may not sound like a big deal, but for an introvert like me, it definitely is. While Jave is a social butterfly and a bona fide chatterbox, I tend to be a bit more reserved and reflective (but by no means shy).

To give you a better understanding of my introverted nature, when my family and I had just moved back from Panama when I was young, on my first day at my new school, my mom told me that she wanted me to be sure to make some new friends in my class. So what did I do? I went up to some random girls in my class one-by-one and said, “Hi, my name is Dana. Will you be my friend?” And when they responded “yes”, I said “thank you” and walked away. Lol! Fortunately, 28 years later, those girls are still some of my best friends.


travel massive

Mixing and mingling and walking up and introducing myself to random strangers has always felt awkward despite all of the mixers I’ve had to attend in my educational and professional career. But discomfort goes hand-in-hand with being an entrepreneur, so there’ll be a lot more networking events in my future. Plus, it actually turned out to be fun because I was able to make some great connections and enjoy some delicious bites all while getting inspired to plan my next trip to Great Britain.

In other news, in celebration of Black History Month, each Thursday this month here on the blog will be dedicated to all black errthang! So be sure to check in here frequently this month.


Also, I’ll soon be launching a new round of the Dream Trip Challenge. This round of the challenge will run for 21 days during which participants will receive video lessons wherein I’ll share all of my best cost cutting travel planning tips and secrets. Apart from the video lessons, I also have a private Facebook group where I answer travelers’ burning trip planning questions and hold their hands through the process of planning their dream trips. So be on the lookout for an announcement from me about how to sign up for the next challenge.

Last but not least, if you haven’t been traveling as much as you’d like because you think you can’t afford it, then you need to sign up for Time Card Express. Starting really really soon, you’ll receive exclusive travel discounts delivered straight to your inbox so that you can save on hotels, tours, and dining experiences around the world. It’s free to join, so don’t miss out. Click here to join!

What’s been going on with you lately? How was your January?