Updated: Dec 17, 2019
“Being a Hot Girl is about being unapologetically you, having fun, being confident, living your truth, [and] being the life of the party.” - Megan Pete (Meg Thee Stallion)
This past year included a new job, a new city, a breakup, and finishing grad school. Honestly, it felt like every night my mind was running wild, and at one point I thought I was suffering from insomnia. I soon realized it was due to stress and my emotions deciding to participate in a race from the Fast and the Furious. I often joke that I used the month of July just to make up for all the sleep I lost this year. The 2018-2019 school year had its ups and downs but overall it was a hard, yet, fulfilling year.
After a long, tiring, and eventful year, I was extremely dedicated to having a Hot Girl summer. I intended to take deep breaths, focus on me, listen to music, live in my truth, and have as much fun as possible. So, I set out on a journey to find myself through travel. In a matter of weeks, I had the chance to visit Toronto, Atlanta, Austin, Phoenix, and Boston. All of these places brought me closer to special people in my life and allowed me to live the best Hot Girl summer possible! Let me tell you why...
Cherry Gyal and Su take Toronto!
First on my list was Toronto with one of my best friends, Akosua. For as long as I can remember, Toronto has been on my list of places to visit and I was determined to finally make it happen, no matter what. It ended up being the birthday trip I’ve always dreamed of. Right after we bought our tickets, the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA Championship, what are the odds? But this meant we would be in town for the parade. My first parade ever, and it just so happened to be in the city I’ve been telling my friends about for years. Sua and I spent our “Birthday Anniversary” whining down and laughing hard. She reminds me of the importance of quality over quantity. Love you down bad!
Freak-What? Why is it so hot?
Next on my list was ATL with my fav Ti’Asia. She had just returned from teaching abroad in Spain, and we both needed a weekend full of fun! So we made an impromptu plan to meet up to attend the ‘FreakNik Festival.” Now, some of you probably flashed back to the 90s. But I promise it was very clean and allowed us to twerk our lives away to classic Trina and Juvenile. It was a weekend full of laughter, Lil’ Kim photoshoots, and tequila! But, we survived and lived another day to twerk.
Shush, It Was Just a Layover
Needing a place to crash before my next adventure, I decided to stop by and visit one of my best friends, Julian. He recently left me all alone in the Bay and moved to Austin. Of course, I am happy for him. But who am I going to watch movies with now? Either way, I had the chance to spend some time in a new place, and honestly... just relax. There was no need to turn up. I simply needed good company, good conversation, and good food, and that is exactly what Austin and Julian provided. He listened. He cared. He was very supportive, and most importantly super chill. I was very grateful for his hospitality.
It was a jam-packed week! Right after leaving Austin, I arrived in Phoenix at 10:30 pm and it was 101 degrees. Talk about hot! But I was there to celebrate my favorite Cancer, Sua. It was her birthday, and only she could get 10 people to travel to Arizona, in the hot dry summer. She is essentially a Curator of Vibes. It was a weekend full of laughs, good energy, swimming, and reenactments of the City Girls’ Twerk video. Oh, I almost forgot the amazing view. We witnessed the most beautiful sunset at one of the 8th Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon. It was an experience I did not expect, but one I would not trade for the world.
My last and most important stop was Boston to see family. I originally flew home to celebrate my unborn nephew (watch out world Auntie Ria is coming) and to support my brother, who always shows up for me! But while there I gained so much more, I reconnected with my family. Once I left the nest, I always felt like I lost a piece of me, my family. They are always proud of me but that does not stop me from feeling like I abandoned them. This trip reminded me that family just needs something to celebrate and important conversations to bring them back together, to heal. That’s Family Business.
See, a Hot Girl summer is way more than just wearing shorts and dancing in the club. Meg, the woman of duality, inspired us to live our best lives by having fun, being confident, and living our truth. To do that you must first stop and Turn Up for Success and Turn Down for Reflection (Thank you Dr. Agbeshie-Noye for these words that I will never forget). This is exactly what Black Teachers Travel plans to do this upcoming December. Join us for a turn-up and some self-care in the Big Easy.