if you've got a mean case of wanderlust with shallow pockets, you may still be able to get out and enjoy the world.
here are a few tips i have collected in my planning process that might help you satiate your travel craving even if you don't have a queen's budget:
1. decide which places on which you are willing to spend a decent amount of money. don't just travel for traveling's sake when you're on a tight budget, even if the trip might seem like a good deal. vegas is a pretty inexpensive vacation, but if you hate the environment, it's not worth spending the money.
2. after deciding where you want to go, decide which ones you can financially cover even if you can't find a discount. this is why #1 is important. if you can only afford to go one place each year, it should definitely be to a place you'd really like to go. think quality over quantity.
3. after choosing your place(s), look around for deals. definitely try groupon and livingsocial, but also look into cruises as an all-inclusive affordable option. cruises do dictate how long you can spend at each stop, which has its negatives and positives. additionally, look into travel packages that may be offered through churches and other organizations, including any alumni groups at your alma mater (thanks for this, cef!).
4. create a strict budget and stick to it. i have already calculated how much i will need to contribute from each check to afford next year's vacations and scheduled all of the transfers. be sure to include cushion for incidentals and spending. calculate how much is left from your check after paying your travel expenses and spend no more than that. sometimes that might mean sacrificing things you want to buy in favor of your travel experience.
5. if you fronted deposit money for yourself and other members in your party who will pay you back, immediately transfer that money to your travel account or to pay down on the reservation. it's better to be really strict and purposeful with that money or else you could spend it on something else. there's nothing worse than receiving that final bill without having those contributions because you spent them already.
6. have travel buddies! not only is traveling with friends fun, but also a means of accountability to ensure that you stick to your budget. when you know others are counting on you, it's a little harder to justify impulse buys that will cut into your travel budget.
i started this style after my hair had been cowashed and deep conditioned with naturelle grow intense deep conditioner (see the process here) and air dried in 10 braids overnight as opposed to set on curlformers for both stretch and texture.
curlformers stretch my hair so much that it becomes too soft to hold braids and twists.
i lightly moisturized my dry hair with it's a 10 leave-in spray and sealed it in with one n' only argan oil hair treatment.
after that, i put my hair into four loose braids using lots of avocado butter. i stopped the braids about two inches from the ends.
i gently pulled my braids apart for a bit more volume, and pinned each to the opposite side of my head.
mine was a really relaxing and laid back gathering at my brother's house.
i also got to experience my nephew having his first baby tooth removed, which was an odd mix of loving pride and complete disgust.
as this month comes to an end, it's time to update and reevaluate goals!
i do love goals, and i love them even more when i meet and surpass them.
i am a naturally competitive and goal-oriented person and i find motivation in setting up challenges for myself.
that is why this post is ALLLL about gooooooalllllls.
because i have made A LOT lately!
my end of the year goal check-in:
1. i am finishing up a thorough cleaning of my apartment this week. the rest of the year will just be all about maintaining. i may have to make a schedule for this...
2. since writing this post on 10.1, i have lost 20 pounds, but i am behind on my -6.83 lb/month goal to lose 40 lbs by my birthday. in order to get back on my original track, i would need to lose an additional 14ish lbs. i don't think i will stress myself to lose 14 lbs in one month, so i will keep trucking along and lose whatever else comes off by december 31.
3. check! i have gone to numerous concerts and been on numerous trips/participated in lots of gatherings with my coworkers! it's been awesome!
4. i did get a groupon for a photographer but i am not sure whether or not this will be done before december 31.
sponsor 1-2 meaningful blogs per month
spend 15 minutes in meditation each day
call my parents twice per week
spend one day/night with my brother's family each week
since i won the awesome taliah waajid giveaway that was hosted by klp and keyda over at saving our strands a little while back, i received a whole package full of free hair goodies!
i decided to give most of them a try yesterday for wash day, which i am now doing twice a week to combat the drying effects of the heat in my apartment.
1. i massaged my scalp with komaza care hair nourishment oil and drenched the rest of my hair in taliah waajid african healing oyl (this stuff smells great and made my hair ridiculously soft). i covered with a plastic cap and let it sit for an hour.
2. i then coated my hair in taliah waajid the great dentagler (wasn't impressed by this until i decided to let it sink in a few minutes. THEN the comb glided right through) and combed gently through my hair with my seamless comb.
3. i washed my scalp with johnson's baby moisture wash in vanilla oatmeal (i like the smell and it gently cleanses)
4. i then applied the naturelle grow intense deep conditioner and let that marinate under a plastic cap for an hour or so while i cleaned my messy bathroom.
5. after rinsing, i squeezed out the excess water and coated my hair with taliah waajid curl sealer. i then set my hair in 4 flat twists to dry overnight.
after fluffing the crap out of it...
overall, i liked the taliah waajid line.
i still have a few samples to try, but i already know that the african healing oyl will definitely be working its way into my arsenal!