Why a Career Break Can Reignite Your Life

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What do you want?

I've been in a funk the last few days.
I Thank the Almighty for the optimistic people I have in my life. During one of my moments, I called my cousin to unloaded, and she asked very directly and plainly,"Meredith, what do you want?" I didn't reply. " I ain't trying to be deep. What do you want?" I sat silently in my car. I could not answer. Any other time, I could rattle off a list of wants within seconds. Today, I had nothing. At times like this, I turn to music. Today, it was Diana Ross who God used to speak to me.

"If you listen long enough
If you dream it strong enough
A door inside will open
And a light will flood the dark
Like a song too long unsung
Or a soul forever young
We all will find an answer
In the voice of the heart"
(Diana Ross: Voice of the Heart)

Thanks for reading!
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Generate a custom packing list for any journey!

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I am still here!

Watching Julie & Julia today inspired this blog. It has been a while since I have posted.  I have  broken a Golden Rule and have allowed work to consume me. Who knew the nonprofit world was so intense. After a year, I have finally found my groove and I'm starting to  focus more energy towards this part of my life again. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but a purpose/passion balance is important to me. 

Unlike most bloggers, I don't have the desire to write a book or be a full time travel journalist ( if Ms. Winfrey ever needs a host for her travel show, I am her girl), but I have been approached about a few travel related business ventures, that could possibly turn into something. I don't know what that something is, but I'm praying & brainstorming. I am also investing in Professional Development that would allow me to work while traveling. 

This year personal travel was 100% domestic. In the spring was DC, late this summer I took the train to visit family in New Jersey/ Philadelphia and a few weeks ago my family hit the road to Savannah & Tybee Island, GA. Both trips were fulfilling in very  different ways.  I had a trip to Hawaii planned for November ( after Election Day of course), but I had an operation a few months back and needed to use that Personal Time Off. 

I'll be posting more in the months to come. I have recently been notified of  work related trips all over the country in October, November & December.  

With all that being said, if you are still out there, Thanks for reading,

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2013 Travel Calendar

 I have a better chance of getting to Utah than India. I'll make this a mini Eat Pray Love journey.

Listen to CC White (http://www.soulkirtan.com/ ), ride a Llama, Throw colors at the Holi Festival & visit the Krishna Temple.

Sounds like a plan to me!

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Happy Africa Day 2012

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My Passion. My Purpose.

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My Mother's Daughter: DC 2012

Google Images

Anyone who knows my mother, knows her love for  

gardening, however several years of chronic knee pain has caused

 her to give up her beloved hobby. In 2011, she decided to have both

 knees replaced. After a year of taking it easy, it was no surprise

 when she requested to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC. I invited

 my cousin and aunt and made it a Mother/Daughter Weekend. 

Ironically, the Cherry Blossoms bloomed 2 weeks early and were 

gone by the time we got there. It still turned out to be a special trip 

none the less. 

This was my first time using Priceline, but I was pleased with the results. 
The hotel is older, but the staff was dynamic. 
Random fact: 
This hotel was the location of Clinton's 1993 Inaugural  Ball 

My mom line at Sprinkles.  
The line over at Georgetown  Cupcakes was insanely long. 
Ms. Miriam got Lemon Coconut.
I got S'mores!
Two thumbs up!
The National Cherry Blossom Parade
52nd  Annual Sakura Matsuri  Japanese Festival

Babysis, my mom and Kiche. 

It was too much going on not to get a picture.
Anime characters 
Say cheese!

Brunch with the ladies was pure comedy! 
What is wrong with this picture? 

Hands down THE BEST tea I have ever had. 
No milk, honey, lemon, or sugar needed. 
Flora by

"Suddenly, through birthing a daughter, a woman finds herself face to face not only with an infant, a little girl, a woman-to-be, but also with her own unresolved conflicts from the past and her hopes and dreams for the future. " 
– Elizabeth Debold and Idelisse Malave

After the Cherry Blossom & Monuments Cruise

The Roses and Thorns of the weekend:
  • We had the best Cab Drivers in DC.  So open about love, logic and the roles they play in a relationships. 
  • The weather!
  • The hotel staff
  • My mom telling us she tweets Shintaro Ishihara. 
  • The company. The best of the 30's, 40's, 60's and 70's! 
  • Kiche and the weather were beautiful, but were driving my allergies crazy!
  • The street festival was too crowded to really enjoy. 

As always,
Thanks for reading!
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Miami 2011

I will be the first to admit, I may be the big 3-0, but I still have a smidgen of party left in me. Truth be told, I think I always will. Not like Paris Hilton- drunk party, but more like Don't Stop the Music- party. I am working on my dancing technique, because at the moment, I think I am a bit awkward on the dance floor. Kind of like this.

Just teasing. I like Kimbra.

Back in 2009, I reconnected with one of my good friends from high school. After months of gloomy chatter about men and work, we decided to leave the stress behind and head for
When we touched down the weather was windy, rainy, and cold. Perfect for sleeping and reading. Unfortunately, sleeping and reading was NOT apart of the plan.

She was playing these drums with everything she had.
The energy was insane.
Heeeey Tara!

The Clevelander was perfect for us. First and foremost, the rooms were CLEAN and clutter free. Secondly, it was budget friendly.
We were offered a free upgrade, but bigger isn't always better.
The location of the hotel was ideal.
This is what happens when the economy is a mess.
He got laid off from his job and
this is what he has been doing ever since.
How do I know? I asked him.
Clearly, I didn't see Jaws behind me.
Cheers to the Big..
Cheers to dreaming less and living more!
My Pizza Boo. I sat down and he started talking. I cropped me out. I was looking a lil off from being at the beach.
Hanging out in the Everglades. Taking it all in.

An alligator can jump 6ft in the blink of an eye.
Sometime I question my sanity.
This is the gelato shop where the kids from the Jersey Shore worked. They were open until 11pm every night and I was there every night. Pistachio and Hazlenut are my favorites.
The last morning of every trip, I get up before everyone else to reflect and gather my thoughts before heading back to the madness of my other life.
One day these lives will collide and I won't have to plan
Getaways because Everyday I will live in my element.
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Ivy & Pearls: Kenya 2012

I adore my sorority!

Heifer International
Kenya: AKA Study Tour
June 24 - 30, 2012
Heifer Logo

Kenya TourThe Heifer International Study Tours Program is pleased to offer a special Study Tour to Kenya in June 2012.

Charles Stewart, long-time board chairman of Heifer, will lead this tour that will explore in-depth Heifer’s approach to sustainable development in Kenya. Stewart, who has traveled extensively with Heifer, will offer his unique perspective on Heifer’s approach of providing livestock and training to developing communities. The tour will be an intensive educational experience that will introduce participants to Heifer’s various beneficiaries from the Maasai people, to children orphaned by AIDS and to women who are bettering their lives through a dairy goat project. These project visits facilitated by country staff will provide a better understanding and appreciation of Heifer’s work and the strategy of Passing on the Gift.

The Heifer Kenya: AKA Study Tour will begin in Nairobi at the Heifer Country Office with an orientation to Heifer’s work and the issues of hunger, poverty and environmental degradation. The tour will also include trips to cultural sites such as game parks before departing Nairobi to spend several days visiting communities where Heifer works.

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Lake Lure, North Carolina 2011

One year ago today, I started a new job. If you don't remember how excited I was Click Here. I thought my traveling days were over for a while. Little did I know. The week I started, I hit the floor running and I absolutely love it! Within the last year my job has taken me to Baltimore twice, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Lake Lure, NC. I have neglected to keep my blog updated, but my goal is to bring it up to date before I take off again in a couple of weeks.
Lake Lure was the location of our department retreat. For three days we analyzed & strategized in a cozy house in the mountains. It was a challenge getting there. Not because of directions, but because Volkswagon Jetta's were not built to climb the side of a mountain. Upon our arrival we were notified that a Bobcat had just given birth and not to go hiking alone or after dark. No Problem!

Since I've waited so long, I can't remember every detail of the property or all the history of Lake Lure. However, if you ever visit, the Lake Tour is worth it.

It usually takes a lot to impress me, but a few houses managed to do the trick. One family has sand flown in from the Panama for their private beach. Another house, excuse me castle, was built for a daughter as a wedding gift, but she wasn't pleased. * blank stare* So she simply moved back into her childhood home across the lake. That's that Arab Money! <-----S/O to Busta Rhymes fans! Please click the link to Urban Dictionary for more information on Arab Money!

Even though our days started early and ended late into the night, I had a lovely time. I would recommend Lake Lure for almost any occasion- a low key friends get-a-away, couples retreat, or families with children. Not ideal for a large family reunion or if you are looking for an active nightlife. It's also perfect for a road trip, unless you are prone to motion sickness.

Laying on a beach/lake with a view of the mountains, who would not enjoy that? Photo courtesy of Google Images

Lake Lure was the location for the
HGTV Dream Home contest in 2006. The contestant won a furnished home.

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