Guilty Pleasures

I’m confessing that I may be a little bit addicted to travel. There has to be a travel anon group out here somewhere.

I try to convince myself that I am not that bad when it comes to travel, because I have not been to too many places, but I know a great deal when I see one! When that opportunity comes; you need to be ready, willing and able!

Pop open the Moscato, because I am about to be MIA! Notice the MIA on the bottle of Moscato! I can’t make this stuff up! Lol

I have not traveled since my last fiasco in September when I left the DR and I am a little sad I am going to miss the infamous Be Mine Punta Cana group trip next month! But…

Ironically, being an anxious introvert, I have been looking, researching, and comparing travel packages in Jamaica, Tulum, Puerto Rico and I have even considered going back to Santo Domingo. This time, it’s going to be a new experience.

Planning to travel can be very challenging, in my opinion. Some travelers would leave it up the travel agents. I am determined to figure this out and to stay knowledgeable on how and when to travel. I have shared a lot of my secrets here on my blog on all the great travel deals I run across. It looks as if I hit the jackpot again!

Skyscanner is my best friend! This app manages to find great travel deals with many of the major airline carriers, except Southwest. I don’t know how they do it; but most of the time their information is very accurate.

When I ran across this flight from HOU to MIA, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to dig a little further for more details and to determine what was the catch. I’m sure this deal is not for everyone, just the BASIC travelers like myself!

United ran a deal from HOU to MIA during Valentine’s week! It does require you to embark on an evening flight departure, but on the upside it’s nonstop, (approximately 2h25m ~so no long flights here.

I didn’t want to travel solo and I didn’t know who to tell!

Hmmmm… now who can travel during a weekday, take time off from work, pack a carryon bag and be ready to travel 2-weeks out for a trip to Miami?

Is it you?

I have not fully worked out the logistics yet; I am still raising teenage boys! How do I tell them Momma is going on vacation again? These guilty pleasures I am experiencing. Is this self love or selfishness?

When I woke up today, I was led to sit upon this hill and meditate. I had originally planned to relax in bed all day, but I got up anyway and made my way to the park with my yoga mat and my mother’s crocheted Afghan.

There is a deal out there for you! When the opportunity comes, I hope you don’t feel guilty about booking yourself a vacation, even if it’s a staycation, do it for yourself, because if you don’t, who will?

Until next time…

Shalom

Raquél

#guiltypleasuresmia #travel #dream #boulonhotels #skyscanner #thanksUnitedAirlines #ihopeiamnotatraveladdict #GodisGoodallthetime

#grace #mercy #justgrateful

QueenLyfe

I am so happy to see more people working and branding their own ideas and walking in their purpose with the support of their community. Check out Houston’s own QueenLyfe started by Candace Strother.

QueenLyfe is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to promote financial literacy, creative expression, healthy relationships, mentorship and civic engagement through their workshops and events for multi-cultural women of all ages.

One initiative I’ve been able to participate in is the Mental Wellness Walk. The group meets at 8am and are introduced with warm greetings. A short warmup and stretch exercise is done before 2 1/2 mile walk around Hermann Park!

In addition, there is a guest speaker to pour life into your spirit to discuss mental wellness and how you can apply tools to your life to help you maintain a good mental state of mind.

It’s a great time to connect with other women and talk it out while you walk.

Connect with yourself and join their last Mental Wellness Walk for this season. Saturday, October 20, 2018 8am.

To learn more on how you can support QueenLyfe, visit their website below!

“Love Yourself First Everyday”

https://queenlyfe.org/ways-to-give/

I Understand

From IAH to SDQ

Trip No. 10

Dominican Republic ~ When I am there I feel free. Flying into the capital (Santo Domingo) and a two hour scenic drive to a Romantic beachfront property in Uvero Alto and then back to the capital… Lord, I’m so in love!

You don’t want me to acknowledge the pain.

You only want me to acknowledge the good again.

I understand

Now that I’ve turned my back to you, I know you’re hurting too, but what are you teaching me?

Not to be blue?

Just as you think of me daily, the consequences of your actions reminds me daily not to let you back in until you can acknowledge the pain I’m in!

What you’ve learned to accept in your culture may not be ok in mine. If you can’t live without me, then you have to confess that what you feel is true.

Which is… You can’t be without me and you don’t want to be blue!

#poetry #author #blogger #travel #romancetourism #theloveexperience #thepoetryjournal

What’s Most Important?

Always remember, no matter how bad some things are, they could always be worst and no matter how good things are, there is always room for things to get better. Better is always around the corner.

You are one of the best, because there are so many great things about you, that if you get caught up on focusing on one thing, you might miss what’s most important. ~You. ~ Anonymous

Declare what you Desire

Paralyzed by the love we found, he likes the way I love. I’m stepping way out of my comfort zone now, Lord keep carrying me down this road. Protection means to set boundaries. Be patient and be bold. Declare what you desire! Let your intentions be known. #thepoetryjournal

I opened the door to love and I was amazed at what I could find. You would not believe my story if I told you how this all began from my very first time on this island.

But don’t think for a second it’s been all peaches and cream, from a fantasy unfolding to a reality untold. This has not been easy.

Things can be going good, but when the flames go out we find a way to ignite them again. Isn’t that what love is about? To keep finding your way in and out?

Just as you can see the clear blue skies, the trees taller than you could ever climb. The sand and shore for miles and miles. This is Faith because I never thought I could have this. Never imagined that I could deserve this. If I would have waited to depend on him, I would not be here writing this.

If you want something and you have the desire to make it happen, declare what you desire. There’s many ways to go about getting what you want, but the route I took was truly a faith walk. I had fear, but I also had love. The Lord’s love for us allowed this to happen. I have not done this on my own.

This romantic abode sits right on the shore in Uvero Alto in the Dominican Republic. It is elevated above a gift shop so when the sun rises, it’s something you don’t want to miss. It’s stocked with essentials like milk, juice, eggs, bread, cereal, coffee, fruit, and more. There is Wi-fi, even a portable wi-fi if you decide to go out on the beach, now that’s a plus.

It has two electric burners, a panini grill and a microwave. I was just in my own little heaven. It really felt like home. When I woke up in the middle of the night and I saw the view of the moon shining very bright along the ocean, I knew that God was with me. I can’t thank him enough for his protection and his grace that abounds much more. The host for this Air BnB deserves a 10 for superb service, accommodations, cleanliness and great communication throughout my entire stay!

I want to return one day to this cozy place and explore love all over again with a rendezvous face to face.

Click here for $40 and find yourself a nice get away. Step out of your comfort zone and step into love. Define love for yourself. Live, Love and Travel!

Quél

Traveling on a Budget

If money didn’t matter, would you care how much you spent on your airline tickets for leisurely travel? For some, money ain’t a thing, but if you’re traveling on a budget or you are just conscientious about how you spend your hard earned money, (like me) always watch your airline flights.

I will tell you how I saved $463 on my next flight out!

Let’s just keep this short and sweet because I know you have more important stuff to do than to read my blogs. So here goes nothing!

I’m an avid traveler to Punta Cana. I have been there more than I should probably admit to. Yet, I’m still grateful.

Something told me to visit Santo Domingo, which is the capital of the Dominican Republic. I never fly into SDQ because the flights are usually expensive (to me) because I’m always on a budget. The flights usually range from $600 – $900. For the dates I chose to travel, these same flights are ranging from $783 – $851 round trip.

A round trip flight to Punta Cana is 1/2 this price which is why I usually fly on SW “Wanna Get Away” fares.

IF YOU HAVE REWARD MILES… USE THEM!

From IAH to SDQ I booked a one way flight using 15K AA reward miles and only paid $36!

I added trip insurance for my flights just in case. Cost for that? $28!

I use several different sources to watch airline flights such as Hopper, Skyscanner, Google Flights and Mezi. So I’m watching this return flight from SDQ to IAH because I cannot stay in the DR! Although I wish I could. This one way flight is $463 and it is fluctuating up and down by a couple of dollars. Here’s what Mezi found for me…

Something told me… Do not buy that flight!

You guys must know that I am tuned into booking my own travel because one, I am amazed at these trips I have chosen for myself and two, I am on a budget! LoL

I started looking at the round trip flight details. The route is from SDQ to MIA and to IAH. I’m thinking, I know MIA (you gotta know your airport codes) has some one way deals to IAH. Let’s look at these flights separately!

Voila! From SDQ (Santo Domingo) to MIA to IAH I paid $256!

A big savings from that one way flight for $463! It’s a big savings to me because you already know I am on a budget! LoL

$196 for SDQ to MIA

$60 for MIA to IAH

A really great deal!

There is a downside to this and if you know me I cannot leave out this part. These airline flights have some restrictions and there is a longer layover in Miami. That $463 flight had me arriving at 10:00 pm, well with these flights I will be arriving at 11:52 pm. I really do not like traveling long periods of time but if I can save over $400 on a round trip flight, well sometimes you gotta do what’s best for you. I was willing to spend that extra time to keep the savings in my pocket.

Here are the restrictions (I thought I said I was keeping this short and sweet) LoL

AA has these new bag rules it seems and the weird thing about me booking these flights is I wanted to look at how I can improve my packing process. I usually have one luggage, a duffle bag and a shoulder purse when I travel. Look at these restrictions below for this Basic Economy Fare.

1. One item that fits under the seat! That would be my duffle bag because there’s no way my luggage will fit underneath their seats.

2. No access to the overhead bins, which means if I do bring a suitcase I would have to pay a checked bag fee for two flights and that’s $50! That is not about to happen because I need to eat with that $50! Now I have to travel without a suitcase.

3. Boarding in the last group! Oh Lawd!!!! I’m used to boarding group A/B. They will assign my seat for me. I am so curious to see how this goes. I better not get bumped for this flight.

So yeah, I will need to make some adjustments to how I travel for this trip. It is my goal to pack light because I usually take too much stuff anyway. My last trip I had to give some of my clothes away. I hope whoever has them use them. LoL!

This is my short travel segment on how I saved $463 on my round trip flight to the beautiful Dominican Republic once again! This time en la capital! Zona Colonial Style!

MUAH! (I think I need a backpack) LoL

LIVE ~ LOVE ~ TRAVEL

Holy Week

I have the privilege to partake in the presence of the Holy Spirit daily, but during certain times of the year, there’s a special time set aside for worship, adoration, giving thanks, repentance, protection, and praise. We get the opportunity to go around this room and write down our thoughts and we pour out what’s in our minds and what’s on our hearts; not only for ourselves, but for those who are suffering, persecuted and or lost. I do not take this time for granted. I’m very grateful. I’m humble. An awesome place to be. Thank you.