October 25, 2021 0 Comments
Photo Source: Kenia and Instagram
Meet this week's TCT, Kenia. Kenia is an aesthetician, hailing from the Sunshine State, with a love for travel, style and beauty. She's as Travel and Slay as it gets! This week we chatted about her travels and boy does she have some stories. These stories may include, Pablo Escobar, Illegal Uber Rides, Zip-lining over mountains, and almost getting stuck in Colombia, not once, but twice. Dig in because this TCT is a juicy one.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
Hi there! I’m Kenia (Keen-yah) I’m an aesthetician from sunny Florida! I believe that naturally, I have an eye for beautiful things so traveling allows me to do just that. There are so many places around the world, both natural and man made that are truly just unbelievable! I think that’s what keeps me going— thats what keeps me booking flights!
How many countries have you been to? Which destination was your favorite and why?
So far, I’ve traveled to 10 different countries. Mexico was my first “big trip” so I’ve been there alone like 6 times! Last year, when COVID made its way to the states, I was in Colombia, South America. That was my favorite at the time because I felt at home, it felt …right haha. Myself alongside 6 other friends started planning the trip in November 2019 with the idea that we'd be safe because at the time , COVID wasn't anywhere near the US -- So off we went! As we were nearing the end of our trip, we started seeing on social media, toilet paper is out of stock, there's no food at the grocery stores, the kids' schools are closing, flights are getting cancelled, and we were thinking ""What's going on here?"" ""Are we going to make it back home?!"" Thank God everything worked out for us to safely return home after that!
Being in the middle of a pandemic, flights were the cheapest they'd ever been, and with that, I booked two more trips to Turks & Caicos and Mexico for the end of that year. Travel to me is not a luxury, it's a necessity!
If you had a round-trip ticket to go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go and why?
I would definitely hit the UK. London specifically! I’ve always been fascinated by their sense of style so naturally, I’d want to be a part of that. I feel that my aesthetic fits perfectly into many European fashion brands, and I seem to naturally gravitate towards their trends (i.e. PLT, Boohoo, Princess Polly). I'm also generally just obsessed with the buildings and architecture there. I get really inspired by naturally beautiful & antique things.
What is one travel experience or excursion you think everyone should try once?
Zip lining over really tall mountains. It’s the scariest, most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done. Naturally, I am terrified of heights, which is extremely confusing because I fly , ALL THE TIME. I think I generally just overthink the "what if the worst thing that could ever happen, happens." My wanting-to-feel-adventurous side usually kicks in right when I start freaking out so I usually just end up forgetting I was even afraid to begin with and start enjoying whatever it is in the moment. So roller coasters, cable cars, skiing, hiking really tall mountains, scares me, but the feeling I get when I make it to the top, or after the ride is over is so fulfilling, I forget I was ever even scared.
Share with us your craziest travel experience. What made it so wild?
While in Medellin, we took an Uber all the way to the top of the mountain where Pablo Escobar's Prison is located. Our Uber left us up there with no way down and no cell service! Let me back up a little bit. As we arrived at the abandoned prison, our Uber driver walked with us, and we were all talking, laughing, and just generally excited about being there. So as we're enjoying the view, we get distracted by this Colombian rapper filming a music video, and we didn't notice that our driver was on the way back to his car. So our friends then point out, "make sure your driver doesn't leave because you won't have a way back down" so then we start panicking. No one has reception and the other Uber is about to leave. A police officer rides up to the prison and I'm the only one who speaks any understandable Spanish. Mind you, UBER is extremely illegal in Colombia, so we have no other option. I am forced to ask this officer if he can help us get back to our airbnb. The police officer then tells me that we have to call an Uber because taxis don't come up here. Which was so hilarious to me because I was freaking out for absolutely nothing.
Long story short, our friends flagged down a cab to come get us, We paid him $20USD and we called it a day. Something you definitely had to see to believe.
Where else can folks find you?"
You can check out my YouTube Channel at ciaobellaTV and my TikTok @bellamerlot_
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