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My Husband & I Are On An Infinite Honeymoon To 35+ Countries

Travel

Whenever I tell someone I took a 3-year honeymoon, their reaction is usually a mix of confusion and admiration, which quickly manifests into a stream of countless questions as they try to understand how and why I've created this lifestyle.


Two years ago, I wrote an article on this same platform explaining the 'how' behind my indefinite honeymoon with my husband Jarrell. I hope to now answer the "why."

Two years out of college, I was working a career that I hated, missing my days on the yard at Howard University. My paycheck was far from fulfillment, although it afforded me my modern apartment on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, weekly brunches followed by boutique shopping excursions, and regular vacations around the country. I had a lot of things, but I didn't really know who I was, or even what I wanted.

I had my life planned for as long as I could remember. First college, then a career after graduation, before marrying the perfect man, mortgaging a house, leasing a car, and having a couple of kids. These steps were securely drilled into my subconscious, but no one ever talked to me about creating the lifestyle I wanted, or defining success on my own. Everyone around me seemed to be in the same rat race, so it was easy to get comfortable in my routine.

Istanbul

Then, my life seemed as if it were going to take an adventurous and exciting turn for the best, my boss recommended me for a position in Canada! I was ecstatic at the thought of living abroad; it was always one of my dreams. I was lucky enough not to get the one thing I wanted so badly. It's funny how life works that way. Had I gotten that job, I wouldn't be in Asia now, but in that moment it seemed like the best opportunity in the world.

While not receiving that job was devastating at the time, it was just what I needed in my life, because it showed me what I truly wanted. Once I admitted to myself how strongly I desired to travel and live abroad, I could no longer deny it. So I decided to make my dream come true. I didn't need a job to send me anywhere; I could go on my own!

One day, sitting in my tiny office at the job I hated, I decided to quit my career and make my dream of traveling the world a reality. I called my sister, my best friend, and Jarrell, to share my big news. My sister and best friend thought I was crazy and tried their best to talk me off the ledge, but Jarrell thought my idea was brilliant. He was so excited for me that I thought there might be a chance he would be crazy enough to come along with me. So I proposed traveling together, and he proposed marriage.

After a wedding in Vegas, we spent a year in our hometown of Columbus, Ohio, before setting out on our indefinite honeymoon around the world. In the first year of our honeymoon, we focused on our respective passions (I am a writer, Jarrell is an artist), and not running out of money. So we traveled based on opportunities, rather than our wanderlust desires and tried to save as much money as possible, which led to the tips I share in my free eBook, 101 Ways To Travel The World For Less Than $10 A Day.

In the second year of our honeymoon, we decided we were going to travel how and where we wanted. So we focused on Jarrell's dream of entrepreneurship and launched two successful online businesses, which now afford us more of a luxury travel experience. In my article written around this time last year, I proclaimed that in 2015 we would travel to England, Paris, Amsterdam, Morocco, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and India.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

At that time we had no actual travel bookings, we simply drafted up our dream itinerary for the year and those destinations were our top choices. I am very proud to say that Egypt was the only place we missed, after falling in love with Istanbul and altering our plans. In addition, Jarrell surprised me with a weeklong trip to Rome to celebrate my birthday, with a pizza party in Naples on my actual birthday. We also visited Belgium, Germany and Kyrgyzstan briefly.

Together we have learned to prioritize each other's dreams and goals together, before achieving them as a team. We are enjoying the fruits of our labor and sacrifices, as new opportunities present themselves daily. We didn't know what we were doing, but we did it. No, it hasn't all been beautiful sunsets and beaches, but the sunset over The Arabian Sea is breathtaking, and floating in The Mediterranean Sea is magical – and those are memories we experienced together and will cherish forever.

We wanted to take the first years of our marriage to focus on us. I wanted to fall in love over and over, as we are able to be selfish and indulgent in our love. We wanted to build a family together, and we knew that would take a strong foundation. Our goal is to have our children become additions to a strong family unit, rather than the binding glue that holds us together. We know that parenthood will be an exciting and adventurous journey as well, and we look forward to sharing with our future children just how much fun we had planning for them.

Here are some of the highlights from our travels since my last article.

Paris

Paris, France

We celebrated Valentine's Day in Paris and had a ball getting lost on the Parisian streets, admiring the beautiful architecture.

We rented a beautiful apartment in the Latin Quarter and ate way too many baguettes and macaroons.

Morocco

Guelmim, Morocco

Morocco was a life changing experience for us. We spent three months in the country and really fell in love with the culture, and the people.

Greece

We celebrated our third wedding anniversary on Crete, the largest Greek island. We lived in a small village and spent our time exploring and eating gyros.

The Mediterranean Sea is the most beautiful body of water I have ever seen. We regularly spent days at the beach, floating in the sea.

Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is my favorite city in the world. The modern part of the city gives me strong NYC vibes, with a complete alternative in the old city, filled with beautiful mosques and monuments.

India

We spent Christmas and New Years in Goa, India, which is absolutely beautiful. Situated along the Arabian Sea, there are countless beaches and the food is amazing!

I can't begin to explain how beneficial our indefinite honeymoon has been for us, but I can tell you, without a doubt, that in our third year abroad we are more happy and in love than ever.

You can follow our Indefinite Honeymoon on my blog Indefinite Honeymoon.com

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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