How do you drink red wine in the summer in the middle of the day or on a balmy summer night? For me, the answer is: you drink a dry, frizzante (semi-sparkling) wine called Lambrusco, from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Yes, I know — we’re so used to red wine being still that the concept of red wine with a little fizz might leave you apprehensive. To that, I say — just try it!
Gosh, this was a hard loss and a hard win. Even in the matches where Venus and Serena played against each other and one emerged victorious, a win has never felt this bitter for me. The only sweet is that Naomi Osaka, the HAITIAN-JAPANESE (let’s respect that she is both) 20-year old, has her name in the history books and a $3.8M purse.
I doubt there’s a mixed person alive that has escaped the “what are you?” question. I used to answer this flatly with — I’m Jamaican and I’m mixed. If I had to elaborate, I’d say I was born there, my parents and grandparents were born there too. People would still look at me puzzled, like their brains couldn’t compute a light-skinned Jamaican person. Where they though Sean Paul is from, only God knows. But I digress, the question of what my mix is has always been complicated.
I love traveling alone. It’s wonderfully terrifying in that it forces me to conquer a lot of my fears. It offers a unique solace; every solo trip I take is an endeavor of self-love and self-discovery. A friend of mine recently told me that my solo travels have inspired hers. I don’t know that I’d ever considered what my trips do for others, but it was a reminder that we have no idea how the things we do affect other people. When I started solo traveling, I dipped my toe in by starting the journey by myself and having someone join me later in the trip. Now, I’ll gladly hop on a plane and get out of dodge solo. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few things I like to do:
I love a mango, not only is it one of my absolute favorite fruits, some of my favorite childhood memories are of me climbing and hanging from mango trees in my grandparents backyard. I remember my first trip home to Jamaica after moving to Canada, it happened to be mango season and my grandmother let me gorge myself on them. She had even given me an East Indian mango (my favorite) to take with me on my flight. Unable to contain my excitement, I bit straight into it on the plane, hearing the delightful pop of the skin, as my teeth sunk into the soft and sweet flesh.
There’s something about steeping a pot of tea and sitting in bed or on my couch to enjoy it that puts me at peace. Maybe it’s that I’m an ‘old soul,’ or maybe it’s something else entirely that I have yet to discover. Tea has a culture onto itself, different countries have their own teas, and the tea trade was huge for the British in colonial times. When I travel, I try to always enjoy a cup of tea wherever I am. In Peru, it was the coca tea to ease my altitude sickness. In France, it was whatever I found at a market in Provence that made me feel like a local. As a Jamaican, there are two things that I believe cure all ails: rum and tea. I suppose I say all this to say that it’s not just that I love tea, it’s that tea is something that is loved around the world. It’s a part of global and individual cultures, it’s used to wake you up, put you to sleep, soothe aches, and cure illness – it feeds something in the soul.
My most recent obsession is a cup (or pot) of happiness that Harney & Sons calls Hot Cinnamon Sunset. It’s a black tea with cinnamon, orange, and sweet cloves – and every single cup has been an absolute delight. At first sip, you taste the sweetness of the cloves (I almost thought I’d added sugar), and then it unfolds – the oranges come in and then you feel the spice of the cinnamon as it slips down your throat. It’s the best tea I’ve ever had, and I’d gladly buy it by the boatload. I’ll drink it morning, noon and night. I’ve let friends and family taste it and the consensus is all the same – this is damn good tea.
For my birthday, I ventured to Santiago, Chile. It was, as my birthday trips tend to be, on a whim. I’d half-heartedly meant for it to be a solo trip, so when my mom offered to come with me for at least half of the trip, I jumped at the chance. I used my miles to book a flight, scanned through Airbnb and booked my getaway.
Everyone and their mom loves avocado toast! Let’s face it, we eat with our eyes thanks to Instagram and the pop of green is just so pretty. I spotted a riff on this insta-fave last week on the Real Simple IG and I was determined to make it myself. It’s so simple I didn’t even need to look up the recipe – I did, however, use this as an excuse to buy my favorite Trader Joe’s Garlic Naan. In their photo, it looks like they used a flatbread or pita, but if given the opportunity, I’ll use garlic naan over any other flatbread. It’s just so darn yummy!
I just booked my Airbnb Parisian ‘appartement’ for my trip in March! I’m so excited, and this may finally be my first full-on solo trip! I can’t imagine a better place for me, a bonafide francophile, to explore solo than the city of light. I really need to work on my French, but hey – I’m happy to wander aimlessly through the streets of Paris, meander through the markets, and eat as much bread and cheese as humanly possible. And of course, drink lots of wine! I did a lot of searching for the perfect space for my next week in Paris, and I’ve been trying to Airbnb for a while there, but my plan keeps getting messed up! Sign up for Airbnb here. These are my favorite Parisian Airbnb’s at the moment, all for less than $120 a night.