If you frequently read my posts, you know that I am first-in-line-here for Black people, with Black families, being unapologetically and openly Black for the world to see. And a family that wears this cape so beautifully, is none other than the Native Borne Family—expat social influencers, John and Safiyyah Christian and their 5 kids—all embarking on a relocation journey to live their best lives abroad. They encourage holistic living while boastfully being true advocates of down-to-earth lifestyles.
From traveling as a family of seven, to creating and sharing a relocation blueprint, this family is all about helping us find our passions, and showing us that we can live and travel while simultaneously being immersed in them too.
Well, recently, they grabbed my attention by detailing their painfully honest list of key, or what they described as dumb, mistakes made when moving internationally. And with many of us considering moving overseas, this list could be even more valuable to international cautionary tales.
Their mistakes consisted of:
Not Rooting in a Secure Place
Like with any move, but especially internationally, home should be safe—that's a given. Obviously, John and Safiyyah did their due diligence in ensuring their new home was safe, their new residence even had 24/7 security. But as time went on, they learned that their security was too lax and wasn't as thorough as promised. This caused them to be robbed while sleeping one night, all of their belongings being stolen.
They later found out that although Ghana is an overall safe country, known expats and tourists are targeted at a much higher rate than locals.
- Be mindful. Pay the price for peace of mind.
- Get advice from locals about locals. Get to know people.
- Take your time in choosing where you want to live.
- Look for clean grounds and security performing thorough inspections.
When the NB fam officially decided to move to Ghana, they were so excited to relocate, that they chose to ship all of their belongings to the country. Beds, mattresses, dishes. Even unnecessary paperwork.
Huge mistake. Why? Because it was expensiiiiiveeeee. They soon found out, that not only are there shipping costs, there's also Customs fees, which they estimated to be about $2,000 USD. Ouch.
- Less is more. If you don't need it, don't bring it.
- Find a shipper who is able to explain the full process in detail.
- Adopt a minimalist mindset.
- If you want to bring particular items, just pay the additional bag fees to bring your items on the plane. Whatever that cost is, it is much cheaper than having them shipped.
Not Having Residual Income
Like many expats, they saved up money and moved with their faith in tow. They had a nice-sized cushion to sustain them for a while, but it dwindled quickly. Their ultimate goal was to always become digital nomads, so that they could travel the world, but they learned that they had to set themselves up properly in order to continue to do so, thus monetizing their journey and providing insight and guidance to those of us interested in doing the same.
- Savings is great, but have residual income.
- Take part in business that's proven to bring you revenue.
- Start the business now, and then relocate.
- Be able to show yourself results on paper. Confirm that “this is what this business is making, and if I move, I'll be OK.“
Sending Money Ahead Of Time
Prior to arriving, the NB family made connections with locals in the country. They ended up sending money to people that they trusted to secure their home. Once they arrived, communication changed, the story changed, and the place they were supposed to be living in, also changed. They were supposed to save money through this connection, but it ended up costing them more due to..."fees." *side eye*
- When dealing with professionals, conduct business in person.
- Have written agreements and contracts to protect both parties.
- Stay at an Airbnb or hotel until you are acclimated with the area.
- Find a reputable real estate agent show you around. There's plenty where you want to relocate, but it's one of those things that you must do on-site.
- Be patient and stay in control.
- Don't send your money.
- Don't send your money.
- Don't send your money.
Rushing To Purchase Land
Like with any country, buying land is a highly in-demand interest across the board. The NB family had many conversations with people who have lived in the country for decades, who all told them to take their time. Unfortunately, they soon learned they were taken advantage of by people whom they trusted. To make a purchase of that caliber, takes time, so their process ended up being quite difficult.
- Before you make any decisions, rent. Don't allow excitement to cloud judgement.
- Build your team. Hire a reputable surveyor, real estate agent, and the like.
- Always protect your interest and don't be afraid to walk away from a seemingly great deal.
- Again, conduct your deals in person, guys. Nothing less.
- Take your time in signing the dotted line.
Ultimately, the NB family found their stride and perfected what they sought out to do. In addition to living in Ghana, they frequent various countries, masterfully traveling as only they know how: black and beautiful.
Feature image courtesy of The Native Borne Family
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
2023 has become the year of celebrity breakups with headlines breaking left and right about celebs filing for divorce or ending high-profile relationships. The latest couple to announce their dissolution? British actress Jodie Turner-Smith. TMZ reported that Jodie has filed for a divorce from her husband, Dawson Creek alum Joshua Jackson.
As far as her reason for calling it quits, Jodie cited "irreconcilable differences," according to TMZ, and has requested joint custody of the couple's daughter, Juno Rose Diana Jackson. Late last year there were rumblings of there being "trouble in paradise" for the couple after the media realized they were no longer following each other on Instagram.
Those rumors were more than laid to rest when Jodie and Joshua went to the 2023 Oscars together earlier this year, and even more recently, when they celebrated her birthday together last month during the September unveiling of the Lotus Emeya.
Jodie Turner-Smith celebrates her birthday with husband Joshua Jackson at the unveiling of the new fully-electric Lotus Emeya on September 07, 2023 in New York City.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for Lotus
Despite seeming particularly happy and in love, perhaps the writing was already written on the wall even then. In the past, Jodie has been very celebratory publicly about her love for her estranged husband, even boldly recounting their love story for the books in a 2021 interview with Seth Meyers.
When Jodie and Joshua met, it was while at his birthday party in 2018. Their relationship was hot and heavy from the start, with Jodie openly noting that they began as a "one-night stand." During her 2021 interview with Seth Meyers, she jokingly referred to their love story as a "three-year one-night stand." She shared:
"First of all, I saw him before he saw me and when I saw him, I was like, 'I want that.' And then when he saw me, I just pretended like I didn't see him. He had to yell across the room to me, and I was wearing this T-shirt from a movie called Sorry to Bother You and [actress] Tessa Thompson plays a character called Detroit, and she has this T-shirt that says, 'The Future Is Female Ejaculation.'
"And so, he shouts across the room, 'Detroit!' He comes over and… does this really cute, charming thing that he does and just all night -- he just basically followed me around the party."
The couple were together from that moment forth, and even made things "Instagram official" less than two weeks later while on a dinner date. Joshua would later clarify to Insider that the night they met in 2018 was not a 'one-night stand' or a 'three-year one-night stand' like his then-wife joked but instead, it was "technically a three-night stand."
"It was sealed with a kiss that night and then we didn't leave each other's sides for, well, three years now," Joshua continued at the time.
In a July 2021 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Joshua dropped more details about the why behind getting married. He revealed that he didn't know he wanted to get married to Jodie until "the moment she asked me."
"She asked me on New Year's Eve. We were in Nicaragua. It was very beautiful, incredibly romantic, we were walking down the beach and she asked me to marry her."
He added, "I did not know [she would propose], but she was quite adamant and she was right. This is the best choice I ever made."
Joshua Jackson Reveals Jodie Turner-Smith Proposed To Him
Jodie received quite a bit of flack for proposing to Joshua because it goes against tradition and what society sees as acceptable for a woman to do to a man, and proposing isn't one of them. No matter how much time has passed, the viewpoints around who should do the proposing and who should be proposed to are still very traditional.
After being on the receiving end of such backlash, Joshua would later clarify to the media in a separate interview that it wasn't just Jodie's proposal to him that sealed the deal of them getting married, he proposed to her too. She might have initiated it, but Joshua followed through.
"I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn't give the full context and holy Jesus, the internet is racist and misogynist," he explained to Refinery29 that same year. "We were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic."
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
He continued, "And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn't say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I'm still old school enough that I said, 'This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].'"
"She has a biological father and a stepdad, who's the man who raised her. [I said], 'You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.' And then, 'I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old-fashioned way down on bended knee.' So, that's actually how the story ended up."
Joshua and Jodie would eventually marry in December 2019. Shortly thereafter, Jodie gave birth to the couple's first child, Janie, in 2020.
In a recent interview with Elle UK, Jodie shared the ways becoming a mother to Juno helped to heal her of her wounds from colorism she experienced in the past. "It's interesting because I had a lot of resistance to becoming a mother and, throughout my life, I always said if I were to have children, I wanted to have Black, Black babies so that I could affirm them as children with the love that I felt I needed to have been affirmed with by the outside world," Jodie shared with the outlet.
She continued, "Then I fell in love with my husband and we talked about having kids. I did have this mini pause, where I was like, 'She's going to be walking through the world not only having an experience that I did not have, but looking like people that, in a way, I'd always felt a little bit tormented by.' Now that I've got this little, tiny, light-skinned boss, I feel like it’s the universe teaching me lessons. I've been given a daughter who looks this way to heal my own conversations around colorism."
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Featured image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images