Photo Source: Instagram and Shunda
This week we have a TCT like no other! We got the privilege to interview Air Force Veteran, Shunda. This interview is rich with stories of her travels both while deployed and after retirement. In this one interview we covered, Egypt, Turkey, England, Kuwait, Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Oman. We even had time for Shunda to share her #1 travel tip!
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
Hey yall, I’m Roshunda Jones, a southern girl from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I have a Travel and Lifestyle blog - Ms. Southernverse. I started this blog to inspire people (especially women of color) to open their minds to the world of travel. I love writing about my travels in England, Europe, and Africa while focusing on showing others how easy it is to travel. Plus, I help other military members and expats learn about England and how to navigate living in another country.
Also, I had a whole career before I started my blog. I just retired in December 2021 from the United States Air Force after serving for 20 years. I worked in Materiel Management (Logistics) in the Air Force, where we supported and provided aircraft parts to aircraft maintenance personnel to get the planes in the air to complete the mission.
Now that I’m out of the military, I have fully submerged myself in working on my Travel and Lifestyle Blog full-time.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management, which I have utilized in my military career as an effective leader. This degree has helped me build a brand and tailor the travel needs to my audience.
Why have you decided to reside in England? Did you always know you wanted to live abroad?
One of the pros of being in the military is that you get a chance to live in different parts of the US and abroad while getting paid. I lived in Virginia working at Langley Air Force Base for 8 years, and I felt stuck. I needed a change, and I wanted to move ASAP. Personally and professionally, it was time to move on to something different to grow and challenge me to become a better person. So I decided to request to move overseas. Requesting to move abroad was the only way that I knew for sure that I could get out of Virginia.
However, England was not my first choice. You can request what bases/location you would like to move to in the military on what they call a “Dream Sheet.” I had Germany and Italy listed on my Dream Sheet as well, but I got England. Although it was a hard decision to move, I went in headfirst and was like, I need this welcome change. I was like, okay, I’m happy with that, at least they speak English.
Ultimately, the #1 pro of living in England is that I can just hop on a +D14flight (or train) and be in another country two hours later. How amazing is that?
Did your military background play a large role in discovering your love of travel, and does it play a role in where you visit now?
I’ve traveled all over the world perks of being in the military. I joined the military about 6 months after graduating from high school. My first duty station was in Incirlik, Turkey. I’m not going to lie; when I first found out I would live and work in Turkey, I was terrified. Not only that, I tried to get out of it by switching bases with someone else. Needless to say, that didn’t pan out so, I moved to Turkey and lived there for 15 months.
I’m so glad that I did that because moving to Turkey at 19 years old opened my eyes to the world of travel. I’ve had one of the best times of my life living in Turkey. I met other military members from all over the world, chatting it up with the Turkish people and learning about new cultures. From then on, I was hooked.
Additionally, there are a few places that I would’ve never traveled to if it wouldn’t have been for the military. For instance, I’ve deployed to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Oman. Living in tents with 20-30 other people, sharing communal showers, all while being in the middle of the desert, definitely puts life in perspective. Although there were some conflicts in these countries and it wasn’t the best of circumstances, I am still grateful for the experience.
What was your most memorable travel experience? What made it so unforgettable?
The most memorable travel experience I’ve had was in Egypt. I just recently got back from spending Christmas there. And let me tell you, Egypt is a trip of a lifetime! I am beyond ecstatic that I seized the opportunity to visit Motherland Africa. Plus, having these epic travel experiences with my daughter was priceless.
Going to see the Giza Pyramids is what initially brought me to Egypt, but Egypt is much more than just visiting Cairo alone.
My daughter and I stayed for 10 days and traveled throughout the country. We went to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, and Sharm el Sheik. Every city had its own diversity. I think I liked Aswan and Luxor the best. In Aswan, I started seeing more people with darker complexions like me. They definitely made me feel welcome by calling me Nubian, saying “hey sister,” and welcome home.
Egypt is full of incredible history, Egyptian pharaohs and queens. I’ve seen the awe-inspiring temples in Luxor, taking rides down the Nile river, and seeing the tombs of the greats in the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt is an enchanting country that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. Going to Egypt and seeing thousands of years of history first-hand was mind-blowing!
What is a travel hack that you think everyone should know?
A travel hack that I think everyone should know is credit cards. Using a travel rewards credit card will save you tons of money on travel. For instance, I have an American Express Platinum card. The annual fee is waived for active-duty military members. They usually offer a welcome bonus of receiving up to 100,000 membership rewards points by spending a set amount of money within the first 3 - 4 months. By receiving points, you can use those points to book flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. Not only that, but when you book a room exclusively with AMEX, you can receive free room upgrades in luxury hotels, late checkout, hotel credits to use at restaurants and spas, and 5X’s reward points. This card has so many perks it’s worth having one in your wallet.
Where else can folks find you?
You can find me at my blog site https://southernverse.com
Here are some more of our favorite travelers and their gorgeous shots.
Need some inspiration and tips on capturing the best photos on your next trip? Let this week's travel crush Angelica aka @readyfor_jelly show you how! This international tax planner is anything but boring. After deciding to be her own boss she's doubled down on her travel content creation and isn't shy about it either. Read to more to hear how she takes the awkwardness out of travel selfies and snag her #1 tip for creating the perfect photo.
BlackTravelBox® hair and skincare products are made for life on the go, with travel friendly packaging and formulations that make packing, carrying (on), and using them simple and easy.
Unbox the beauty of being you.™
Got questions or comments?
Drop us a line: email@example.com.
The Black Travel Box, LLC
4800 Dahlia Street, Denver, CO 80216
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more…