November 22, 2021 0 Comments
Photo Source: Chanel and Instagram
It's Tuesday which means we get to introduce you to our newest Travel Crush, Chanel! This week Chanel shared with us where her zest for travel comes from, her #1 travel destination, and her craziest travel experience... times two! Let's just say the second one had us yelling like we would at a movie screen, "RUN GIRL!" Get to know Chanel as we have and we promise, you'll be crushing too.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
My name is Chanel, a Maryland native and a current Charlotte, NC resident. I am a business owner of a beauty brand that caters to all women in which I predominantly provide eyelash extensions. I bartend occasionally on the side for extra money which has funded most of my travel expenses over the years. As a child, I always loved to travel. My parents made a great effort to show us the world even if that "world" was a short distance away from home. As I grew old enough to create my own travel experiences, I was most inspired and motivated by the many different cultures and foods of others. It has been extremely humbling to travel outside of the United States and witness the not so "touristy" or fortunate areas, but still see how happy and kind people choose to be.
How many countries have you been to? Which destination was your favorite and why?
I have been to 14 countries & counting! Though it's hard to choose my favorite, I'd have to say Thailand left a lasting impression on me. I cannot wait to return to Asia! Aside from it's beautiful greenery, sunsets & water, it was affordable with more than enough activities and the people were fascinated with Americans - especially those of melanin as they aren't used to seeing our kind. The overall vibe was very mystical. I tell anyone who wants to experience a spiritual awakening to go to Asia (Thailand or Bali specifically) and you will come back a changed person!
How do you make frequent travel your reality and what is your advice to those that would like to do the same?
People ask me all the time to forward my travel agent information and are so surprised when I tell them I don't have one. Once I decide on a location, of course considering costs and budget first, I do a ton of research. I recommend watching YouTube videos, following Travel Influencers, reading blogs and diving deep on Google. The more you read about a place and weigh the pros and cons, it makes planning a lot easier. I'm not a very organized person but when it comes to travel, I don't play! I write out a full blown itinerary in my notes on my iPhone with flight information, good eats and activity suggestions. I often try to pre-book excursions but sometimes I enjoy just going with the flow.
What is one travel experience or excursion you think everyone should try once?
Paragliding!! I tried it for the first time this year in Medellin, Colombia (sidenote: Medellin completely stole my heart and is easily neck-and-neck with my favorite destination choice.) I'm not afraid of heights so I wasn't too concerned about the experience but I traveled with 6 other girls who I don't think can say the same lol. However, we all did it and LOVED it. The views were insane and the experience was actually very peaceful & liberating. For the girls who conquered their fear, they felt invincible afterwards.
Share with us your craziest travel experience. What made it so wild?
When I went to Dubai, I went with one of my best friends who got really sick halfway through the trip. The last 4 days I was stuck exploring by myself. I'm always very cautious no matter where I am and felt very safe in the city but I did have a strange man stalking me while shopping at the Gold Souk. He sat down with me uninvited while I was eating and straight up told me "he had been watching me and parked his car up the street then followed me to the restaurant." I dipped as soon as possible but he kept following me and eventually became angry when I didn't give him the response he wanted. I walked up the street to a well lit and populated area but kept my eyes on him as he walked across the street. I seen him talking to another man and they both watched me. Make a long story short, I safely made it back to my AirBnB but if i wasn't on my toes I whole-heartedly believe I would’ve been abducted or taken advantage of.
Where else can folks find you?
My Facebook is Chanel Monae. I solely use it to keep family and friends back home in the loop with my travels and have joined a ton of dope travel groups that have also given me great advice and direction on my travels. I love meeting new people and am always down for new travel friends. Shoot me a DM on Instagram and let's connect!
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