All posts filed under: Travel

New Byline! Travel + Leisure Destination of the Year: Italy!

I have a new byline in Travel + Leisure’s latest issue, Destination of the Year: Italy. This byline is extra special as I produced and styled a fashion shoot to go along with it! When Travel + Leisure’s editor-in-chief Jacqui Gifford told me that Travel + Leisure’s Destination of the Year for 2021 was Italy, I was excited. Travel + Leisure decides the destination of the following year as early as the previous spring. Italy was still in the throws of the first round of the coronavirus. This was before Covid-19 ravaged the U.S. It is an honor to contribute and I wanted to tell a part of the Italian experience that is a blind spot from travel publications, tourism boards, bloggers etc. There are indeed Black people in Italy! ITALY IS A MULTICULTURAL PLACE AND NOT ALL ITALIANS ARE WHITE! Is the world not letting the perception of what Italy is today evolve or is Italy choosing to portray an archaic notion of its culture to the world for the sake of “heritage branding?” …

Bright colors with text saying Could Covid Free Flights Restart the Travel Industry and Rome airport with Covid-Tested Flights

Covid-19 Tested Flights Expand

The CDC is expanding the range of Covid-19 tested flights. Starting on January 26th all air passengers entering the United States will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test. The test must be taken 3 days before entering the United States. With the strain that seems to originate from the UK, currently, this regulation is in place for UK departing flights. By the end of the month it will expand to all international flights. At the end of 2020, I did an IGTV video on the new regulations being imposed by airlines like Delta and Alitalia for their “Covid-Free” / “Covid-Tested” flights. In 2020 the tourism industry suffered severe losses. Even with the vaccine on the horizon, the industry is struggling with solutions to make people feel safer traveling. Airlines and tourism organizations say testing is the answer and are opening testing sites at airports — though, I found the testing site at terminal 5 JFK to be wildly expensive (over $300 for a rapid test). They are adding test results to passenger records and …

Girl standing in front of home prepping for a flight. Mask on, and nylon track suit

How To: Flying to Europe from the USA During the Covid

Until July I hadn’t left my neighborhood in Brooklyn and less than 2 square miles around it. Since understanding the severity of the Covid pandemic, I was afraid to fly, seeing airplanes as petri-dishes. I flew direct from Milan’s Malpensa airport to NYC’s JFK on March 2nd and soon became unsure of when I would see my partner, Michele, as both of our nations shut their borders. Weeks turned into months. Italy was on full blown lockdown and NYC the same. Markers like my birthday passed without us seeing each other. When we were able to figure out a solution, the next stage left me anxious about the flight. There were no direct flights to Milan and I would have to fly into Rome with a domestic connecting flight. I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR LONG HAUL FLIGHTS, UNLESS NECESSARY RIGHT NOW. But, here‘s my experience and a helpful how to fly during the Covid pandemic. I’m a person that’s an easy flier. I fall asleep before the plane even takes off; I like taking overnight …

Ed and Rosemarie street shopping in Manila

The Problem with 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way’s Big Ed

I remember the scene that hooked me on 90 Day Fiancé a few years ago. My mother kept insisting I watch the show. With my propensity for dating foreign men, she told me the concept over and over again but it wasn’t until I walked into her bedroom and overheard Luis chastising Molly about her brujeria and Molly screaming in bewilderment, was I hooked. Luis probably used Molly for a green card. I’d heard of “green card marriages,” even knew one or two and as a reality tv junkie whose business is in travel, I am even able to take Sharp Entertainment’s portrayal of the “dodgy foreigner” with a grain of salt. Upon hearing that my partner is Italian, many people ask if I’ve seen the show. Believe it or not, it the same thing that has many transfixed on the relationship between Meghan and Harry, curious about mine, Loren and Alexei, Tom and Rachel. Love is hard enough without factoring in oceans away, completely different cultures and lifestyles. So for seasons and spin offs, …