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Aired: June 22nd, 2022
Audio and Photo Source: Brittany Shakir and Instagram
If you need a reminder to take a break, practice self care, or prioritize you this is the Wine Down Wednesday for you. Full-time Police officer, part-time influencer and travel agent, Brittany Shakir, leads by example for her followers, fellow essential workers and local youths. Press play to see how she does it!
Wine Down Wednesday:Brittany Shakir
Orion Brown (00:00:04):
Hey folks. I have to watch where I'm looking. Cuz I'm pouring wine because it's Wednesday. Look y'all so hold up side note. As I'm seeing myself, y'all see this Santa Claus thing happening right here. This is what happens when sunscreen companies do not think about people of color. You end up with Santa Claus whiskers, but hello? Hello everybody. Welcome to Wind Down Wednesday. Oh, look at our
Orion Brown (00:00:40):
Time. Look at this a and Hey, was it Ms. Hunt?
Brittany Shakir (00:00:48):
Orion Brown (00:00:50):
Oh my goodness. Hi, you're in transit.
Brittany Shakir (00:00:56):
Well, I'm not driving. I'm just in the car.
Orion Brown (00:00:58):
Ah, there you go. There you go.
Brittany Shakir (00:01:00):
I don't have my wine because unfortunately I just finished with doing outreach with the, with the youth. So I have water <laugh>
Orion Brown (00:01:07):
That's okay. That's look, we do not force anyone to drink. I may have hunted down a glass of wine. Like it, it stole something, but you do not have to. And for those of you who are watching, huh?
Brittany Shakir (00:01:22):
I said, when I get home, though, for sure
Orion Brown (00:01:24):
A, there you go. There you go. <laugh> and for those of you who are watching, who don't know, this is my name's Orion Brown, I'm the founder and CEO of Blacktravelbox. We make personal care products for travelers of color. So all y'all that are excited about travel and love it. And I mean, right now it's a little bit weird. Cause it's way too many people traveling and far teaching pilots, we are here for you. We are made for you. And this is wind down Wednesday. I started wind down Wednesday, June of 2020. It's been two years of checking in every single week and getting the opportunity to talk with a new fabulous guest about our favorite subject. Come on. Y'all
Brittany Shakir (00:02:11):
Orion Brown (00:02:12):
Our very FA is travel. Yes, yes, yes, yes. So thank you guys for joining. Um, and let's just get into it. I would love, Hey, Christy, ladybug. Um, I would love if you would introduce yourself to everyone, tell us your name, where you from and where you live currently. If those are two different places and then how many stamps do you have on your passport? And there's no right answer or wrong answer.
Brittany Shakir (00:02:42):
So I'm Brittany Shakir, AKA stamps, which everyone calls me. I'm the founder and CEO of Lets Get Stamps. Um, I do travel like travel influencing, but I'm also a travel agent, but then full time when I'm not doing either, I am a police officer.
Orion Brown (00:03:02):
Brittany Shakir (00:03:03):
In Washington, DC. I'm from, I was born in Washington, DC and I live currently in Maryland, which is like a couple like 20 minutes from DC where I'm at. Um, but I'm considered the DM B. So yeah. Um, as far as stamps, I think I have 30, but I don't really know because I feel like I haven't like sat down and actually like counted. And then I've been to like a lot of places, like repeatedly. So like Jamaica, like that is like a spot in Mexico. That is like my spot. So I continuously am there.
Orion Brown (00:03:39):
This was basically a point which like they don't even stamp it anymore. They're just like, yeah, we know, come on back home now, babe, come on
Brittany Shakir (00:03:46):
Back home. Like I want to eventually move down to Mexico. I wanna that's my goal.
Orion Brown (00:03:51):
Ooh. I love that. I love that. I have a friend who just did that. She just got her like citizen card resident. Oh wow. Whatever it is. I don't maybe not citizenship, but like her residency.
Brittany Shakir (00:04:03):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Orion Brown (00:04:04):
Yeah. So she's living her best life in Mexico city, but that is so dope. So you're the DMV a, which the DMV should just be. And for those of y'all who are not from like the Mid-Atlantic DMV is Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia,
Brittany Shakir (00:04:19):
DC, Maryland, and
Orion Brown (00:04:20):
Virginia DC. I'm sorry. I used to live in Delaware, DC, Maryland. And in Virginia. Um, Delaware is basically a pimple on every like state's butt around there because it's like this little tiny spot off of 95. So excuse my excuse, my full PA. But, but don't
Brittany Shakir (00:04:35):
Be misconstrued because it's Northern Virginia, like Woodbridge area, like about 20, 30 minutes out. And then like the inner party, I mean considered like DMV. So I feel like that also has to be like the, that disclaimer has to be made because everyone be like DMV, but you live in Richmond. No, that's not DMV. That's not part <laugh>. That's not a part of
Orion Brown (00:05:05):
That's Richmond. Yeah. It's so funny how people do that too?
Brittany Shakir (00:05:11):
<laugh> they be like, I'm basically from the DMV, but no, you're not like you live three hours away. You don't,
Orion Brown (00:05:19):
You people do it everywhere. I'm originally from Chicago and people be like, oh, I'm from Chicago too. What part are you from? They'll be like, I'm from Naperville. Naperville is a whole hour and a half away. <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:05:34):
Right. Please stop. Stop trying.
Orion Brown (00:05:36):
Nah bro. Nah.
Brittany Shakir (00:05:38):
Orion Brown (00:05:40):
Well, so, so you're a police officer and a travel agent and a travel influencer. Tell me how this happened. How did these things come to be?
Brittany Shakir (00:05:53):
So I travel all the time and I use travel to kind of escape. And that's what I, you know, that's what I try to give off to people like telling them like, Hey, you can prioritize yourself. Because especially like when COVID happened, like I felt like we always had to be at work while a lot of people were at home and you know, working remotely. And I felt like there was a lot of times where we couldn't prioritize ourselves because we had to worry about what everyone else had going on and then it, it can weigh on our mental. So I used travel as my mental therapy and I think it just kind of correlated because everyone would always be looking at my pictures and they're like, oh God, you've been here. You've done this. You've done that. You, oh my God, can you plan this for me?
Brittany Shakir (00:06:37):
And I'm like, well, I wanna monetize too, because I'm seeing that everyone else is doing it. I wanna do it too. Like, why am I giving out these free gyms and everything else? And then I'm not monetizing. So then I started, you know, collaborating with brands and traveling, traveling more and then booking for people and started monetizing. And like I said, I mean, I basically tell everyone, I try to book travel or show essential workers, how to prioritize themselves with travel and without breaking the bank because you wanna do it, but not in a way to where like, oh my gosh, I just went to Mexico and I had to spend like $5,000. Like, absolutely not.
Orion Brown (00:07:16):
So you should, you just shouldn't spend $5,000 in Mexico unless
Brittany Shakir (00:07:20):
You're like, no, you shouldn't
Orion Brown (00:07:21):
Buying a car. I don't even know why you would buy a car in Mexico. Maybe
Brittany Shakir (00:07:26):
I think because I mean, I feel like people, like some people really wanna enjoy luxury. And that's another thing that I had to like differentiate between, because there's differences between like doing certain luxury accommodations mm-hmm <affirmative> and then cutting the costs on other accommodations, like maybe getting all inclusive, but then doing like some five star Michelin dining or something, somewhere else, stuff like that.
Orion Brown (00:07:49):
Brittany Shakir (00:07:50):
Or springing for the, the, the honeymoon suite versus just having the garden views, things like that. So
Orion Brown (00:07:56):
Look, and the spring for the honeymoon suite, I'll give y'all a free one spring for the honeymoon suite. And if you're in the Caribbean, I would say Mexico less. So go to a local restaurant and have them pack up a whole bunch of food and just take that to your sweet mm-hmm <affirmative> cause your Sweet's gonna have a mini fridge. Yes. And you can eat real, real good and scrub without eating, like, cause you wanna do room service and be fancy. It's like, don't do that. Yeah. Bring your own champagne, bring your own wine and then enjoy expense.
Brittany Shakir (00:08:27):
So they actually give you all of that, like room service would be free included or champagne. You might go to bottle. Like I know, like I stayed at Paradi and in Cabo and they, we already had bottles like in the room because having the upgraded room is
Orion Brown (00:08:46):
Brittany Shakir (00:08:46):
There for you mm-hmm <affirmative> and it came with 24 hours, like Butler service where you could get room service and everything else. So,
Orion Brown (00:08:54):
Okay. So springing for a room like that. What does that normally run for? And I know that there's gonna be variances in time of year and things like that, but are we talking like 600 a night? Are we talking 6,000 a night? Are we talking? We need to split this by 10 people. Like how
Brittany Shakir (00:09:09):
So? Typically when I do it, like for instance, I'm doing it again because I love para and um, I planned a wedding for my cousin and we're going in July and I did that room and it's 2000, but it's two it's for two people. It's 2000 total, but it was like the flight, the room, the flight in the room included and it's all inclusive. So I wanna say like the people that did the garden room, I think theirs ended up being about 1700 for two people while mine's was 2000 for two people. So I feel like if I do the math, we're talking about maybe 300 a night.
Orion Brown (00:09:45):
Oh, cause it's, it's not 2000 a night. It's the total.
Brittany Shakir (00:09:50):
Yeah. Total <laugh>
Orion Brown (00:09:57):
Brittany Shakir (00:09:57):
That's I'm like,
Orion Brown (00:09:59):
I need to, I mean, I'm not getting married again anytime soon, but uh, you know, I mean, Jesus, that's totally up to you, but uh, I will go and get a fancy room and I will do that solo so quick. <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:10:12):
And that's and I enjoy, and that's a place that Pardi Cabo, that was actually a place that I actually did go solo before. And I was perfectly found, I felt safe like Mexico. I definitely recommend for like solo travel. I definitely recommend, I've never, I've been there so many times. I've never had an issue with Mexico, like never
Orion Brown (00:10:30):
Really. And so what destinations do you normally go? Do you normally stay in the Yucatan peninsula? Do you go into central Mexico or into like Mexico city? Do you do the west coast at all? Like what does that typically look like for you?
Brittany Shakir (00:10:43):
So typically like every single time I go, I feel like it's always different because sometimes I'm over in the Cancun area, LA Harris area, and then sometimes I'm all the way over on the west coast side and I'm at Cabo. So I know like I have not done Mexico city yet and I wanna do that. And I'm very, very interested in doing that. So, um, typically I stay on the like on, like on the beach lines because I just like just ding on the beach and like Cabo. I was like, I went in January, um, last year and it was just amazing seeing, like I was waking up and looking out my window and seeing like whales in the water. And I was like, oh my gosh. It's like, I'm eating breakfast and looking at whales in the ocean. It's like, it was amazing. So
Orion Brown (00:11:31):
Yeah, like we're all having a moment where we're like, I just wanna be on a beach somewhere, eat breakfast and looking at whales. Like that's totally a thing
Brittany Shakir (00:11:39):
Orion Brown (00:11:40):
Brittany Shakir (00:11:41):
I, I wanna do it like for the rest of my life. I am trying to get a remote situation so I can just do this every day because I'm, I don't know. I deserve it. I deserve this life. You do deserve the sound life
Orion Brown (00:11:55):
You do. And
Brittany Shakir (00:11:56):
Try to prioritize myself.
Orion Brown (00:11:59):
Well, and you talked about helping like essential workers. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> get a sense of like how to take care of themselves. Use travel as a form of self care. What is right. I imagine this, like, you've got a really unique situation cuz a lot of people rely on you a lot. Yeah. Yeah. So like what does that even look like to be able to take time off, to be able to afford? I mean, everybody has to know how to afford stuff, but it's like, how do you take time off? Right. How do you make it fit into that lifestyle as well?
Brittany Shakir (00:12:31):
I mean, I guess essentially you just have to be okay with, because I know some officers that instead of doing things during the year, they'll hold their leave and not go anywhere for the entire year until summertime. So that then they can like take the whole summer off or take a whole month off.
Orion Brown (00:12:51):
Is that how you do it? Or like, do you just take shorter
Brittany Shakir (00:12:53):
Trips? So typically I don't have that, uh, luxury because I travel so much that I end up like using up my leave. So I just have to like accrue my leave, accrue my leave, accrue my leave. Yes. I'm seeing you say how you spend so much time traveling as a police officer. This is dope. So yeah like, okay. Also as a police officer, which I can make that disclaimer, we do different shifts. So some people are like on fours, like we get like my husband, for instance, he works four days and then he's off three days. So if you're off three days and then you add your leave to your three days, sometimes if you just add four days to your three days, then you end up having three more days off, you're adding right there. You can have easily like a nine day trip. Yeah. And all you use and all you ended up using was four days.
Orion Brown (00:13:41):
Brittany Shakir (00:13:44):
So that's how we do it to maximize like the trips by doing like adding leave with our days off. So yeah, we work shifts. I mean we have normal shifts, like other people. So it, it works. It's not like, oh, you're always at work. Like no, like we have no,
Orion Brown (00:14:02):
I mean, having essential, essential in the title now that we've got this new nomenclature from yeah. From COVID it's like, I, I feel like that seems like a lot of pressure just, you know, in general. So like part of it is, is like, oh, how do you take time off? But then like when you, when you travel, how do you decompress? Or how do you shake all that off
Brittany Shakir (00:14:27):
Orion Brown (00:14:27):
Most outta it?
Brittany Shakir (00:14:28):
Definitely one thing is not taking a work phone or anything because I don't have time. And then like just making it, my business to not talk about work, to not think about work, to not accept maybe like calls or text messages from like coworkers, because I don't care what's going on at work right now. I'm not there. And sometimes it gets to be hard because like I said, on the police department, I deal with out community outreach. So like, yeah. Any given time I might have a, a teenager or a youth. That's like officer Brittany, this is going on. And my life is in shambles. And I'm like, Ugh, like I understand, but I need it. Officer Brittany needs a break because I mean, sometimes like I said, I've gone to on trips and then I'll come back and my youth are like, where were you? You're not allowed to take a trip. And I'm like, yes, I, I need it. Like you guys don't understand how tasking it is. Like having to deal with everything. Cause on top of that, like we get, there are times where like for instance, I'm DC, what happened in DC in January, like in, so what did that mean? Restricted leave and everything else. So there's times where you have to, that's why I'm saying it's essential to like take your time for yourself. Even if it's just like running a bubble bath and just sitting quietly like
Orion Brown (00:15:48):
Mm. And just like just putting the boundary up.
Brittany Shakir (00:15:53):
Yeah. Like, and I don't watch the news. I know it's kind of, I honestly find out a lot of stuff from like social media and like talking to people because I really don't like to watch the news because time it's not, it's, it's the message that's being conveyed most of the times is not the exact situation. So that's why I'm always like, Mmm. You know? Yeah. So,
Orion Brown (00:16:16):
But I love what I love about that is like, you're modeling for these kids, even though they're like, we need you, we need you, you're modeling for them one to respond to stress. Right, right. With relaxation and, and two that like, I'm sure they're, I, I, I mean, I don't know how much you tell them, but I'm sure they, like, she came back with a tan, she looked so happy. She know that she lives and we're cool.
Brittany Shakir (00:16:39):
So ironically, like some of them see it because like I've had like little tos that like went like viral or like, you know, did amazing numbers. And they're like, you came up on my feet. Oh my gosh, you were doing this. And I was like, and I'm not like, you know, private. So a lot of them end up seeing my page anyways. And they're like, officers are Brittany. Oh my gosh. Because unfortunately, a lot of people, especially in this area was born and raised in this area and have not left their, their blocks. Mm-hmm <affirmative> like, haven't left. If they're from the south side, have never left the south side. If they're from the north side and have never left the, the north side. And so having things like a passport and all that, it's like boring.
Orion Brown (00:17:22):
Brittany Shakir (00:17:23):
So I try to like explain to them like little things, like you can do this. There's there's life outside of here. Like even looking at pictures, like you don't have to dream it. You can attain it. Like, yeah. And they're like, oh my gosh, wow. I you've been to Africa. You've done this. Like, like just different things. And it's just a really good conversational piece because then they're like, you're not like one, these officers that's like a workaholic because O honestly, even if you look at statistics, a lot of essential workers, like police officers, military, once they retire, if they're not keeping, you know, keeping a hobby or doing something, they don't live long.
Orion Brown (00:18:03):
Brittany Shakir (00:18:04):
So it ends up being like a waste of all that time that you put in doing your job because we get a pension, but then you don't even get to like, like benefit from having it for years and years and years, because then you've died because of stress or because of like, not taking care of yourself and decompressing, because it does weigh heavy on you. Like when we, when we had leave restricted and we couldn't go anywhere because of the capital, I was like stressed because I was like, I just don't wanna. And we were working twelves and it was literally like, we were doing like six to six. So some people had six in the morning to 6:00 PM. And some people had 6:00 PM to six in the morning. So, and it was just going, going, going, cuz it was a state of emergency. And it was like, I just wanna go away. I wanna go home. I wanna go away. And originally I was supposed to go to Morocco because my birthday is at the end of January. And that happened in the beginning of January. And I was like, oh my gosh. And literally they had like denied my leave and everything else. And then literally like a day before my birthday, they lifted it. And I just, I just went to the airport and just went to Tahoe. Like I just hopped the flight and was like, I don't care where I go. I'm going. So
Brittany Shakir (00:19:14):
I'm gone. Wow. Because it weighs on you like, and I don't think they realize like if you're mentally, if you're not mentally together, then you're not gonna be able to do your job like at all. So that's why I try to express to people like, listen, don't just sit here, spending all your time working because these jobs don't care about you. Beyonce, just, she done set a new trip of this new song. Okay.
Orion Brown (00:19:37):
Look, it's so evident. People are gonna be walking out on their jobs for the next few months.
Brittany Shakir (00:19:42):
Orion Brown (00:19:43):
Playing Beyonce, being like, where else you told me to
Brittany Shakir (00:19:46):
<laugh> yes. And it's like, not, it's not fair because it's like you do all this work. And then in the, in the end they'll do things like not really care about your mental or not have things set up for you so that you can like properly care for yourself. And then you're a number, so you'll die and then they'll just replace. You you'll get sick. And then they'll just replace you. There's always someone that'll just come up behind you and just have your spot.
Orion Brown (00:20:11):
So you gotta take care of yourself. You gotta figure out what does. Yeah. I love that. So, so given the amount of stress and the amount of stamps, like what are some of your favorite places? Obviously Cabo was one. Yeah, but like, what are some of your favorite places or like maybe even your favorite experience that you've been like, this is the most relaxing thing I've ever done. Like, this is crazy. I love
Brittany Shakir (00:20:38):
When I went to Bali, that was the first time I've ever went somewhere and was like, I'm never going back home. So I went to iBud and I was like, this was the most relaxing experience I've ever had in my life. I seriously was trying to be Julia Roberts over there. Like
Orion Brown (00:20:53):
I was, you pray, love,
Brittany Shakir (00:20:54):
Pray, love. And I was trying to find that guy, but he was booked up, but like I did all the praying, went to the temples, was eating good food and just like, relax, like even doing the flower baths and everything else. I was like, this is like the best experience I've ever had. And my husband said the same thing because he's also a police officer. So he was like, this is so amazing. And I was like, right, like, he's like, let's just get like a out here. And I was like, we have to go back and help. But like I literally have never felt right. I've never felt so relaxed until I went there. Like honestly, and that was the best, best, best experience, travel experience that I've ever had. So that's definitely my favorite, one of my favorite places. And then I was like, I just, oh, Costa Rica is my other, my second spot.
Brittany Shakir (00:21:47):
It was. And I feel like Costa Rica lives rent free in my mind because when I went to Costa Rica, it was my 30th birthday. My husband proposed to me. And then that night that he proposed to me, I got pregnant with our daughter. So it was like, it looked free in my mind because it was like so many like monumental things happen because I was like, oh my God. In my mind, I was like, I'm 30. What is my life? What is happening? Like, you know, because you try to think like, you always have a plan, but God has his, God has his own plan for you, but you always have a plan, like, okay, by 30, I need to be married by 30. I need to do this. And it was like, I was like stressed. And I think he knew that look, he like that. He knew I wanted it, but he was playing it off so well, because I was like, I wasn't badgering him. But in my mind, I was like, you don't have no present for me. You're in Costa Rica, like what's happening. <laugh> and then I just like went and like, I don't know, I like took a shower and then I like popped some champagne. And then like I turned around and he was like on me. And I was like, what? This is happening
Orion Brown (00:22:56):
That you just like, I love that, that you just like youer life comes at you, fast life comes at it does, but that's awesome. And I love you. Like it lives rent free in my head. I, I think that there's for all of us that love travel. There's like those places where you're like, I just randomly think about it for no reason, nothing triggered it. It's just like, Ooh, that was nice. Ooh, that was good. Now tell me a little bit more about this place in UBO that you stayed, like, what was the setup? Did you guys do like a individual Villa or
Brittany Shakir (00:23:29):
So we had a Villa and at the time I wasn't, um, booking travel yet. So I went through cheaty Ashley and like the, the Villa was beautiful. It was like a two bedroom Villa, which we didn't use one of the rooms because we were in the one room. But like you walk in. Yeah. And literally it had like the, the pool and everything. And I was like, and then we had someone that made us our floating breakfasts in the morning and it was just amazing. It was gorgeous. And then when I looked it up, I think like with looking it up, it might have been only like 70.
Brittany Shakir (00:24:05):
Like we were, I was getting money and my a hundred dollars was going so far in Bali. Like so far we were getting like duck dinners for like $5. So I was like, this is crazy. Like it's so cheap and everyone's so appreciative and they really love black people. They love black people over there. So it just, that made the experience that made the experience even better because it was like, they love us. We're not like, you know, we're not in a country where they're looking at you like, or trying to milk you for all your money. They're like super appreciative of like everything that you do. And just thank you for coming to our country. Like say something and you're like, really thank you for having me.
Orion Brown (00:24:52):
<laugh> no, I, I have a, I have a, uh, I have a dumb question. I have a rookie question, but I've always wondered and I've been to Bali, but I never did the floating breakfast. Okay. How do you manage to keep your breakfast afloat? Number one, and number two, how do you keep water up about your plate? <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:25:14):
So the way that the, the, I guess you wanna call it the floating, like the float, its kind of like when you put floats onto swim, it stays up. Yeah. So there no water got inside of it. And it was like, I guess it was hollow enough in the inside to where like no water, like came over and spilled over into my plate, which was kind of, I, it was kind of weird though. Cause I was like, wait, that's a good question because no, I never got any water in my breakfast nor did it flip over or anything. But I, I was making sure I was being like steady. Like I wasn't trying to do too much movement. I took my plate. I tried to eat it real quick after I got my pictures. And then that was it. I wasn't trying to do the most because I was like, I don't have time for this to flip over. And then I'm sitting here looking sad. Like
Orion Brown (00:26:00):
You don't want scrambled eggs in your bath water. Like you just don't no, that doesn't feel like that's a good thing.
Brittany Shakir (00:26:05):
<laugh> and not to mention like no one has time to be making fumbles like that when you're trying to get good content. Because lemme tell you I fumbled so much making content and it's crazy. I'm like, like, ****.
Orion Brown (00:26:17):
Okay. So let's talk about this. Cause like you are, I think sort of the epitome of like real black women who travel, right? Yeah. Yeah. It's not the, oh, I've been an influencer and doing all of this, like since I was a teenager and all of this, like you're you are like, I'm out here with the kids, I'm out here doing the work, I'm doing all of that. And then you jump into this space where you start making content. How did you learn how to do that? And like, how do you choose what to make when you're in those spaces when you're in Bali, when you're in Cabo.
Brittany Shakir (00:26:52):
Right? So part of it, a lot of it is getting your influence from like looking at Pinterest, looking at Instagram and everything else. Because I look at people like calculated opulence and I'm like, she always does trending reels. She always like gets really good content. So, and then like, Soia like, we lo I love her and like her creative eye being around enough people that are just as creative, I think the creativity runs, rubs off on you. And then I think you start thinking about things like, okay, what is something that would grab everybody's attention? Because I just did a real and it was just me swinging on the swing in Bali and it did over 400,000 and I put it, I posted it like a week ago. And mind you, this is batched content from years ago and it did amazing. So I think it's about showing people like or finding content and filming exactly what you know, that like they would love seeing you swinging on a swing in Bali and you're seeing the lush jungle.
Brittany Shakir (00:27:56):
People are like, wait a minute, I wanna do that. So, you know, they're gonna pay attention to that. So doing things and then sometimes creating funny content because for whatever reason, people like when you're being like goofy versus like always being serious. Yeah. But they also like to know information. So if you're showing this cute popup or this cute Villa, they're like, okay, so yeah, this, this is a cave in Turkey and it has a pool inside the room. Okay. I'm gonna watch, okay. Now I need to know like how can I book this? So I think when you're giving people information so that they can get good pictures or have a nice, a beautiful experience when they travel, I think that's what gets people to like engage. And I feel like that's what goes through my mind. Like what would someone wanna see because people, and then I also post on my story all the time.
Brittany Shakir (00:28:48):
Like what's something y'all wanna see on my feed. I ask all the time, like at least every couple of weeks, like what do you wanna see on my feed? What, what more do you wanna see? And because I have all the different pillars and I know like, okay, I'm I promote things that's going on in DC. But then I also promote my, my travel stuff. So like what do y'all wanna specifically see? And that's how I know like, what does better than, than what, you know what I mean? Like someone might be like, I wanna see more deals. Okay. Well then I need to do reels where I'm showing like deals or I, or like me, I put, put all the deals, travel deals that I get to my email. I put them in my story. So then, and then I put all the cute things. Like for instance, I did a real, like I wanna say a week ago where I said all of the festivals that's happening in the DMV that you wanna do for the summer. Nice. So like people wanna see stuff that they can learn so they can go, yes, like the rose, like the rose festival, stuff like that. They wanna do things where it's gonna be cute. It's gonna, you're gonna get good pictures and they can, and it's accessible. So that's what I think about when I, you know, shoot my content. And like I said, more importantly, I, I try to look and kind of emulate seeing the people that are, that are actually good. That's in my niche and everything else. And it works.
Orion Brown (00:30:08):
That's awesome. That's awesome. And I think there's something really nice about that balance between inspiration mm-hmm <affirmative> and then just like asking people what they want. What do you guys want instead of being like, instead of being like so theatrical, right? Like, so one way
Brittany Shakir (00:30:24):
Orion Brown (00:30:24):
<affirmative> so, so when you talk about like, you talk about like, people like this, more goofy stuff and, and having, I think to me, there's, there's like an error of the reality of, of people and personality and stuff. How do you plan for like, okay, so, you know, you want to do, um, the, the Bali swing shot, which everybody, I think if anybody's ever seen a photo of Bali, they've seen a photo of a, somebody on those swings, which by the way, y'all that swing scared crap out of me. I did not take a photo cause I was holding onto it like a weird ago. Um, so maybe I should have just posted that, but <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:31:04):
Instagram versus reality.
Orion Brown (00:31:06):
Exactly. So how do you plan, like do you come with, so I've been seeing like, um, like Anika, Raymond's been doing a lot of the back, the behind the scenes, right? Like the Instagram versus reality before it really kind of became like a trend. Right. And she would show like the pulling off 15 layers to have the dress on under it. Yeah. Like, are you that kinda like content creator or are you just like, I'm just trendy. I show up places is cute.
Brittany Shakir (00:31:41):
So no, I honestly do. Sometimes I'll do my research before and know exactly where I'm going so that I know what to pack, but I definitely also bring multiple outfits so that like my friend, oh, she's on here now. Hey CELSA she knows that. Like, if I'm like, Hey, we're, it's, it's a content day. So like, let's go, she knows I'll have like a bunch of outfits in the back. And while we're going from place to place, I'm like changing in the car and then we're gonna go get footage somewhere else because I like to batch content so that when I'm not doing anything, then I can just go in ahead and post while I'm not doing anything. And I'm, and I'm not like letting my followers be like, where where'd this girl go? I haven't seen her in two weeks. Like, no. So sometimes I'll be at the same spot and then just get it in different outfits so that it look like, oh, she's been here multiple times. Like,
Orion Brown (00:32:31):
Ah, that's a gem right there. People get the, get the, get the different outfits. You got different pieces of. And so one of the things, so this just, it just occurs to me as you were talking about this, um, you know, do you post things real time? Like, do you let people know that you're out of the, okay. And so what's your rule about that? How do you do that? How do you shift it?
Brittany Shakir (00:32:56):
So it depends because I more so don't do it because of my job. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, but also just the security piece, because you don't wanna be that person. That's like, look at my Airbnb y'all and then like you get robbed because now someone was like, I know exactly where she's at. Yeah. Like, no, I post a lot of stuff. Most of the times when I'm posting something on my page, it's probably a week late because I posted something this morning about a popup event. And people were like, DME asking me questions. And I was like, I'm not gonna lie. This is from a week ago. Like this popup is gone. It's not gone.
Orion Brown (00:33:34):
You've missed it. It's it's already happened.
Brittany Shakir (00:33:37):
It happened <laugh>
Orion Brown (00:33:39):
I love that. But from hearing it from a police officer, because I think oftentimes, um, at least us lay people who aren't making a ton of content I'm supposed to be getting there. Y'all me. My, my social media manager is like, I need you to send me more stuff. And I'm like, I dunno what to do. <laugh> um, but being the CEO of a company, you kind of do have to like bring a little more personality and stuff to it. So we'll see what comes out. But,
Brittany Shakir (00:34:05):
Or at least like, because sometimes like with my Morocco trip, I was over there for 10 days. So like, what I did was I did video in regular like video, video video. And then when I got to the next city, then I would post like what was going on in the previous sit city.
Brittany Shakir (00:34:23):
So it's like, it's almost like, you know what I'm doing, but not necessarily, like, I'm not right there this second, because I don't want someone because I mean, there have been times where we've, you know, gone somewhere and someone's like, oh my God, I saw you. And I'm like, I knew you were here. And I'm like, okay. But I mean, I go out all the time and people are like, you let's get stamps. And I'm like, hi, it's never weird, but it's just like, you know, it's one of those things. That's why even with, with it being innocent and people wanting to, you know, take pictures or whatever else, that's the main reason why it's like, you know, I don't really post in real time because you just never know. And then just with the job that I work in, you just never know. Someone might be like, okay, she cuz everything is public information.
Brittany Shakir (00:35:11):
You might think you're hiding, but there's so much information that you can get on the web. And you think no one knows where you live when everyone knows where you live. So I'll sit there and post some out of town. And then next thing you know, I'll come back and someone robbed my house because they're like, oh, she's not in town right now. So no. Yeah. It's just not safe to do that. Plus if you're gonna solo travel, it's just not safe to do that anyways, because you don't want anyone to roll up on you and you're solo traveling and then something happens to you. Like that's never gonna be a good look.
Orion Brown (00:35:39):
Yeah. It's, it's, there's a certain amount of privacy that helps maintain security at home and when you're abroad.
Brittany Shakir (00:35:47):
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's the hard part about trying to be an influencer because you wanna show up for your people and you want them to be fully engulfed in like what you're doing, but you also kind of like want some type of level of like privacy so that you're not, you know, breaching your security. Like you wanna make sure that you're gonna be okay so that you don't have to worry about, um, someone, you know, trying to do anything malicious to you. So, cause I mean, unfortunately we do live in a world where everyone is not as nice as you might be. You might be okay. And the next person might act like they're O they're nice. And then they try to do something. And it it's unfortunate because I've, I've had people tell me horror stories about travel. I haven't had many cross my fingers. I pray nothing ever happens, but I've heard, you know, people say they got robbed and this and that. And I'm like, so yeah.
Orion Brown (00:36:38):
And you don't want that in your life. Although I will say the, well, I got, I got my iPhone stolen twice in New York, which was one of those things that I realized you cannot put a phone on a table in the public place. Like, I didn't know people did that. So it was like, even the waiter came over and cleared the glasses and took my phone.
Brittany Shakir (00:36:59):
Orion Brown (00:37:00):
Brittany Shakir (00:37:01):
That's ridiculous. Like
Orion Brown (00:37:03):
It's like, so I feel less. I, I feel less of like home versus abroad in terms of safety. I'm just like, let's just stay vigilant. <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:37:13):
I, I honestly, I agree with you and if anything happens, I feel like it, it, I hate to say this, but I feel like more things happen here than it does. Like when I'm abroad. Like, I, I honestly feel safer abroad than here and that's kind of sad, but
Orion Brown (00:37:30):
I mean, we had a lot of stuff going on here and I think that's also why travel is such an important part of self care, particularly within the
Brittany Shakir (00:37:37):
Orion Brown (00:37:38):
Community. Right? Like we are creating space for ourselves because we don't necessarily always have that at
Brittany Shakir (00:37:44):
Home. Yeah. Correct. Um,
Orion Brown (00:37:46):
Correct. And it's also just nice sometimes to like reconnect with humanity. I always say like, people who look like me don't look like me, whatever it is, there's gonna be like this veil of preconceived notions that are just so very American, I think. Um, and they don't exist in other places. There's other ones don't get me wrong, but, but it's not the same one. So it's nice to just like connect with a person. I always use the example. Like, you don't speak the same language, but you see somebody's kid cutting up and both look at each other and you're like,
Brittany Shakir (00:38:20):
Yeah. You're like,
Orion Brown (00:38:24):
Doesn't matter what country it's in. Doesn't matter who the per what the person looked like, anything old man, young lady, uh, Japan, Ireland, wherever you're gonna be like, oh, that's a little.
Brittany Shakir (00:38:36):
Hmm. Right. <laugh> but I also think like with the safety piece, I also feel like it's super vital to also do your research because sometimes you're thinking like, oh, these people are being kind of abrasive when really it's their culture. So you might think like, even in Dubai mm-hmm <affirmative> like these people were a little bit pushy. And I was like, uh, what is going on here? And I was like, grabbing my husband, like, listen, these people are a little bit pushy. Like, but it's because like they get some people, like they get whites that come there being all flashy. Like they have money. So they want you because auto automatically they put Americans like in a pot, like, oh, Americans. Yeah, they have, they have money.
Orion Brown (00:39:21):
I mean, honestly, most countries we go to, we, our dollar is out ranked 10 to like, we outrank them 10 to one, if not more. So yeah. It's like, technically we do <laugh> we do.
Brittany Shakir (00:39:34):
I know. But like, listen, if y'all are getting the deal, I want the deal too, baby. Like if you only spending five for this, then I wanna spend five. Why are you trying to make me spend 15? Like, no, but my bargain, my bargain skills is on point. Cuz I'd be like, uh, uh, no, I'm good. I walk away.
Orion Brown (00:39:52):
Yeah. Mm-hmm yeah. Well, and it's so funny. You mentioned Morocco. I just came back from Morocco two weeks ago, three weeks ago. And there I found it. I mean, I've been to a few haggling countries at this point, so oh yeah. It's less uncomfortable or less like weird. Um, but it's just so funny because it's not personal, like right. It's not, they'll give you the whole, you know, and all of that stuff. It's not personal. They don't really care. No, it's not
Brittany Shakir (00:40:21):
Haggle. Like you have to haggle because everyone else haggle. Why should spend all this money for spices in Morocco? And then I can go to the next, the next, so, and they'll give it to me for that price. Like, no,
Orion Brown (00:40:32):
Brittany Shakir (00:40:34):
I'm I'm Haing
Orion Brown (00:40:35):
Yeah. Especially when you're, when you have like places that have like dubious quality, right. Where it's like, is this really the best? Is this really vouch for properly? Right.
Brittany Shakir (00:40:45):
That's why I'm like, eh, I'll give you a dollar <laugh>
Orion Brown (00:40:48):
Brittany Shakir (00:40:51):
This is not it <laugh>.
Orion Brown (00:40:53):
I mean, and that's exactly it. Like, I, I, well, I will say I spent more money than I intended. Um, and y'all, don't go to Morocco with a credit card cuz the whole credit card life is just like, uh, whole pay. Oh, it's a whole pay. It's a whole pay. But um,
Brittany Shakir (00:41:11):
It depends. Cause I used, I used my Amex the entire time I was over there because I didn't want no issues. And I, luckily though they took it because there's a lot of places you go to and they're like, nobody
Orion Brown (00:41:21):
Took it for me. Nobody's in Miami Amex. What person did
Brittany Shakir (00:41:25):
Cause she's on here too. Um, we went into this one, so, and they had like everything and they went on ahead. Let me use my Amex. And I was like, look at God. And they had everything in there from food to clothes, to all types of trinkets. And so we went there and was able to get like all of our souvenirs in one fatal suite. Cause it
Orion Brown (00:41:47):
Was like that. What city were you in? Where, where did you visit?
Brittany Shakir (00:41:50):
Oh man. Okay. So which one was that? Because we went to so many, like I told you, I was there for 10 days. So
Orion Brown (00:41:56):
Brittany Shakir (00:41:58):
We started in robot. Then we was in N 10 year. Then we went to, oh my God, I frat, we went to, oh my gosh, we were going from city to city. And then one day we went to,
Orion Brown (00:42:13):
Were you road chipping? Like, did you
Brittany Shakir (00:42:15):
Drive? I had a driver. I had a driver.
Orion Brown (00:42:18):
Brittany Shakir (00:42:19):
Like, and he drove us like everywhere from that's awesome. From city to city because we used cultural tours. That's what she's saying. Like she appreciated in the, um, itinerary, how I talked about everything, like broke down everything day by day, where we were gonna be safety rules. I was put, I put all of that in my itineraries. And so Lisa, what, which city was that? Where we, um, where we had gotten all that stuff, girl.
Orion Brown (00:42:46):
Well, that sounds fabulous. And it sounds like you spent most of the time in like sort of Northern Morocco. Yeah. Um, which I think makes sense as well because it's, it's closer to Europe, so you'll see a lot more openness to different, um, currencies and all of that stuff. Yeah. I, that totally makes sense. That totally makes
Brittany Shakir (00:43:05):
Sense. So you weren't in, you weren't in, I think, I think I'm, I can't vouch for everybody, but I think there, the best experience was when we did our, our glamping for two nights, they was like, I've never done something like this before. Oh, she said Casa Blan. Okay. The city before Casa Blan. Okay. Okay. Okay. So yeah, like our glamping trip was like amazing. Oh, she said Morocco was on her list and she scared to go alone. Did you go by yourself when you went to Morocco?
Orion Brown (00:43:33):
I went with a group, but I went okay. Okay. I just like, I didn't know anybody in the group, so. Oh, so
Brittany Shakir (00:43:40):
You went by yourself basically.
Orion Brown (00:43:42):
Yeah. I mean, so I, I don't necessarily count it as a fully solo trip cuz to me, you know, there's trips that I've gone and I've stayed at a place myself and gone around, you know, that kind of thing, as opposed to having like a structured itinerary people who are legally bound to make sure I get up out of there <laugh> debt alive. I get up outta there. You know, that's a different, I, I feel like that's a different layer, but from a comradery and like having, you know, people you're close to, to like experience it. Yeah. It was definitely a solo trip.
Brittany Shakir (00:44:15):
Yeah. But Morocco, I don't think Morocco was like that. Like I, I, I kind of feel like Morocco is one of those countries. I didn't go by myself. I mean, I had a group because it was my birthday. Yeah. I had curated, I curated the entire trip, but Morocco from even just kind of like hanging out, doing things, Morocco is definitely one of those places where you can go by yourself and you'll be fine.
Orion Brown (00:44:38):
I feel like you can. And it's also just the planning ahead. Right. Right. So yeah. Some of the things that we did, I probably wouldn't definitely really do solo. Um, like we went out into the Atlas mountains and stayed at a CASBO for a couple nights. And so it was like one, what's the point of staying at a CASBO by yourself. That's just kind of like, cause it's not that many people out there, but it's absolutely gorgeous. Right. Um, yeah. But yeah, it's the, I mean, I, I felt really comfortable there. I feel like. So there's something about places that have like markets and that it, it feels like they never sleep like
Brittany Shakir (00:45:13):
Right, right, right.
Orion Brown (00:45:14):
And wait, how about this though? I don't know if y'all noticed this, but there were kids out at like midnight
Brittany Shakir (00:45:20):
And they, and they still had school in the morning because when, and they were like
Orion Brown (00:45:23):
Playing and stuff. Yes. Just walking around like it
Brittany Shakir (00:45:27):
Day, you know, we noticed it. I was looking like, where is the parent? And where's the parent and how are you not getting lost in this suit? Like,
Orion Brown (00:45:37):
Brittany Shakir (00:45:38):
You heard the opposite. I had a black PE, a black male friend that went and got spit mm.
Orion Brown (00:45:43):
And slapped. Wow. On separate occasions.
Brittany Shakir (00:45:47):
Orion Brown (00:45:48):
I mean, um, that,
Brittany Shakir (00:45:50):
I know I have a lot of friends that went solo and they were fine. I mean, I'm just saying, I can't speak for everybody. Everybody doesn't have the same experiences. Like I said, yeah. I very well, I've traveled a lot. And, and a few women have told me the harassment was too much and they didn't feel safe. I, like I said, I don't know. Yeah. Because I've, I have felt friends that have gone solo and they were fine. Um,
Orion Brown (00:46:10):
Brittany Shakir (00:46:11):
I think it just really depends. Also there's different Le there's different levels to the solo travel. You know what I mean? Because if you have, like, for instance, you could be solo traveling, but you have a tour guide. That's like walking, you, walking with you the entire time, doing everything with you the entire time. So your safety is a little bit different than like I'm just roughing it and I'm just out here and I'm doing whatever, like there's different levels to solo.
Orion Brown (00:46:33):
Yes. Yeah. And I think there's a few things. One, um, I will say on this trip, we had two indigenous women, um, indigenous, um, Mexican women and one, I would say looked more indigenous than the other mm-hmm <affirmative> and she encountered some BS. Okay. Um, she definitely encountered some BS and had trouble, like we're, you know, part of the group is in a restaurant and they don't wanna let her in and she, but, and she does, but she deals with this stuff all the time too. So she's like, um, and somebody did come up to her on the street and like, he thought she was trying to do something. I don't know what it was, but then he like started yelling at her and then he walks away. Like it discussed, like she had like killed his puppy. Um, yeah. Now mind you, nobody spit on her or touched her or anything like that. But, um, it's an interesting thing. And then the other thing I just try to remember though, is it's crazy people everywhere. And when I say crazy, I'm talking about people who have no personal boundaries, right. To whatever is going on, whatever rage they have, whatever issues they have, all of that mental. But what I find is, yeah, most people though are like pretty chill and think something about you, but they keep it to themselves.
Brittany Shakir (00:47:51):
I think, unless you really kind of do something that goes against, because I know we did have an issue where like, I know like my best friend was wearing some type of top and they, this older lady, you, you would've thought she was about to like die. She was like important and like said
Orion Brown (00:48:06):
Brittany Shakir (00:48:07):
Like her family. And they was like, it's okay. They're like, they're American. So I think just, you know, kind of being well versed in people's cultures so that you don't offend them. But I mean, this it's also all on you because you very well could say, listen, I don't care if I offend you. This is me and I'm traveling and I'm gonna do what I wanna do. So, I mean, I just really think it's just about your comfort level. Yeah. And the atten the amount of attention that you want or don't want, like, mm-hmm, <affirmative> cause honestly, in, in Morocco it's a lot safer to just maybe have a hijab and be all the way covered up or have your jacket on or whatever else. So it just, I just really think, it just depends on your level of comfort and you not wanting to be, you know, a display because you wanna, you wanna blend in, you wanna blend in. So I mean, not doing anything that can add and talk to injury or whatever is like, you're better off. And I think you'll be a lot safer and a lot more comfortable on your trip. Mm. If you just kind of like be well versed and just kind of like blend in, like with what it, whatever the culture is.
Orion Brown (00:49:08):
And, and let's, let's, let's take a step back here. Cuz I having been to a few Muslim countries, Islamic countries, um, I cannot, I ain't sleeping on that hijab because these women have some fly fabrics and just like just decadent. I met a young lady, actually. I was just at black travel summit last weekend. Um, and she has a com oh, I wish I could remember the name of the company. I wanna shout them out. But she is a company that does like all these different, beautiful jobs. And I just was like, I hope, you know, I'm not staring at you because I'm offended by dress. I'm trying to figure out what kind of silk is this
Brittany Shakir (00:49:47):
CIS. Right. Cause you
Orion Brown (00:49:48):
Are, and she was covered all the way up to here and obviously only person in the room, you know, this wasn't even in the middle east. Right, right. Um, but I've seen some gorgeous work.
Brittany Shakir (00:50:00):
Yeah. Yeah. And it's definitely gorgeous in Morocco. You're like, I want this and I want that. And I want to, like now I wanna be a part because it looks gorgeous and I'm, I just wanna be fly in your culture and you're gonna, you're gonna have that attitude anyways. That's the energy that it brings. So I don't know. I just feel like it's easier to just kind of like, what do you call it? Like go along to get along. Yeah. So that you don't have any issues.
Orion Brown (00:50:23):
Well, not only that, I think it's an interesting conversation around, do you need to be giving people's grandma's heart attacks? Is that really the way you want to live? Because it is, there's a subversiveness that's built into that. And there honestly is a, an inherent disrespect. Now, if you don't know, if you were like, I thought my Bermuda shorts were long enough, but you know, you booty got a little bit bigger and they, they feel a little tighter and it's a little different, like that's a different thing. But I think to go out and be like, I'm going to do my best impression of Pamela Anderson in a string bikini. Right. In the middle of robot. It's like right. Why though? Why <affirmative> yeah. Why <laugh>.
Brittany Shakir (00:51:07):
And that's like, I was even trying to figure out if it was okay. When I was in Dubai, I was like, am I, what kind of bathing suit should I wear? But then I saw like regular bathing suits. So then I was just kind like, yeah, they
Orion Brown (00:51:17):
Don't care. It's so many,
Brittany Shakir (00:51:19):
They don't care. Right. I was like, they don't care. But I was, and
Orion Brown (00:51:22):
Char mentioned, she said that she was in, she was in Abu Dhabi and war, you know, her, her business, um, her business attire. Yeah. It's but it's like Abu Dhabi is a little bit more cons. Well, moderately more conservative than Dubai,
Brittany Shakir (00:51:37):
Dubai. And then saw your Arabia. You're gonna get stoned. So don't even do it like,
Orion Brown (00:51:43):
Well, I, I don't think I will be traveling to Saudi anytime
Brittany Shakir (00:51:47):
Soon. I heard that it was like gorgeous though, but I did meet, oh, I'm sure it's beautiful. Hot air ballooning in Morocco. I met this girl and she's from there. And she was like, Dave made so many, like they've made it's so much. I
Orion Brown (00:52:03):
Would go with the local.
Brittany Shakir (00:52:04):
Yeah. Like so much forward movement because she said she was a doctor and she's like, we've made so much forward movement than what it used to be. And I was like, girl, because I saw sex in the city and I was worried like,
Orion Brown (00:52:19):
Oh, look in my mind. Any at any given point in time, the world can turn into the Handmaid's tale. I'm just trying not to be in the spot when they close the Barners
Brittany Shakir (00:52:29):
Exactly. That's why I was like, listen, the friends that are have called me, like, oh my passport's expired. I'm like, listen, get on it because you, you don't wanna be the one because I'm getting outta here.
Orion Brown (00:52:42):
I I'm gonna leave you here. I'll check on you by phone,
Brittany Shakir (00:52:46):
By WhatsApp, by WhatsApp because I'm by WhatsApp transferring. So I'm, I'm gonna WhatsApp you and make sure you're all right. How are you living over there? Because no, I'm ready to go. I try to keep that bank account with some money so I can just go like, yeah, there's
Orion Brown (00:53:00):
Definitely, <laugh>, there's definitely a space for having, you know, people talk about F you money for relationships. There's definitely a space of, for F you money on trips. Um, and especially if you're traveling with friends I don't mean that like, so if you haven't gotten into your groove yet, now, it sounds like you got some friends, you got your groove already, but if you haven't gotten into your groove yet, or it's like the first time travel with people, God bless him, but you may have to get another hotel room. Right. You may have to part ways and get a flight back early or right. Whatever it might be just, you know, from being
Brittany Shakir (00:53:34):
Fed up comfortable. But it's also about being comfortable with saying, because I went on a horrendous trip with some girls before and, and me and Sali, we both said we're never going on a trip with them again. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but being comfortable with saying, okay, y'all wanna go do this. I'm gonna go do this. I don't care if I'm by myself, I can go do this so that I can make, so I can salvage my trip because I've paid my money too. So I have no problem with saying like, we might be on a group trip, but I'm gonna go off solo. I'm gonna go do whatever, because everybody doesn't necessarily wanna do what you wanna do. I did, like I said, I did hot air ballooning in Morocco and my friend did not wanna do it. So she stayed in the hotel and rested while I went and did hot air balloon in at sunrise. So,
Orion Brown (00:54:15):
Oh, see, the two problems with that is, uh, getting up early vacation and then being so high up in the air that if you sneeze, you might fall out and then that's the wrap. And then that's like, this is how it ends. I just don't, I don't need that in my life right now. Maybe if the basket's deep enough, if I feel like real energized, but I love that. Like I, that's a really great point. And we've talked about that on previous wind downs with different folks, like this idea of it's, I honestly liken it to romantic relationships in the sense that you have to have open communication, cuz there's a lot at stake. Right. And you're not at home when you're in these places and it does not even have to be foreign places if you're far enough from home, that it is gonna be a problem. If something goes down, like it doesn't matter if it's Utah or right. You know, Kilimanjaro, like it's sort
Brittany Shakir (00:55:06):
Relevant. People that know how to act accordingly, how to, how to move. I don't need someone that's gonna like be a deer cotton headlights. Like we have to be able to <laugh>. I mean, I'm just saying, because you have to be able to think logically so that we can get out of this situation. Yeah. We have to be able to maneuver. So being panicked and like, what do we do? What do we like? No, we have to all be on the phone. That is definitely, these are the conversations we need to have these conversations. So that we're all on the same page. And it's definitely yes. Just like she was saying a, a trip will definitely test your friendship and relationship. It definitely does because lemme tell you some people, you go on trips with them and then you're no longer friends. Like
Orion Brown (00:55:43):
Mm-hmm <affirmative> oh, it's happened. Oh, it's happened. It's like, oh, that's who you are. Right. That's who you are. You are so something you are knowing,
Brittany Shakir (00:55:55):
Knowing who you are is like, even is that's what it, because like I know for a fact it doesn't matter how much I wanna relax and I do relax, but I still very well will be that person that gets up at five in the morning to go do a photo shoot, and then to go start this, this, um, excursion at eight and then this, by the time you wake up because you sat in the bed or you slept till 11, I've already did like three things. Like, yeah, that's just me. But people know my friends know that this is what I'm gonna do. So you're either gonna come or you can stay there. And I have no problem with going by myself, but
Orion Brown (00:56:25):
Yeah, you're not gonna take offense. And that's a big thing too. It's being real clear about where your boundaries are. Cause for some people it might be, I need, I have a lot of stuff going on. I need friend time. I need bonding time versus I wanna go there and I'd love to share it with somebody who wanna kick it with me. Versus we just trying to keep this bill down low so we can have two different vacations for all I care. And those are all perfectly reasonable. And even friend, wait, you know, Hey, like, look, we split it. It's gonna be cheap. And then you can do what you wanna do. I'll do I wanna do grab dinner at some point by the end,
Brittany Shakir (00:57:02):
You know, boundaries?
Orion Brown (00:57:04):
Yes. Boundaries and agreements. Right? Like making those agreements early.
Brittany Shakir (00:57:10):
Cause I just don't like, don't surprise me. If, if you know, you don't wanna do dinner in the sky with me because it's 3 99 a person that's fine. I'll go by myself because this is an experience that I want to do,
Orion Brown (00:57:21):
Want to have.
Brittany Shakir (00:57:22):
Yeah. And I want to be able to sell it to my clients or potential clients, future clients. So a lot of things that I do anyways, someone else might not wanna do because I try to experience a lot of things so that when I have the dare devils or the adventurous people versus the relaxation people versus this type of person, I know what to sell them because I think one good thing about me because I experienced so many different things. I'm able to upsell in these packages because then they're like, oh wait, they have this. And they have that or telling them like, I can just get you a driver so that you can not be stressed about trying to figure out if you're gonna have wifi. So you can get an Uber or does the country have Uber or this or that or this, you know what I mean? So yeah. I try to, like I said, I try to take away as much stress as possible. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so that you can prioritize yourself and be like stress free and just enjoy your time away. Because when you're at work such as me, I'm having to care about everybody else's needs. I'm having to prioritize everybody else's needs over myself. So it's vital.
Orion Brown (00:58:27):
I love that. And I love that. Like not only are you exploring stuff like, oh, what could be interesting for these people, but you're actually experiencing it. So you have that first person perspective. So if I tell you the way, my fear of Heights is set up, I'm gonna need to know and you can be like, no, well, hot air balloon, the walls are this high. You're not gonna walk out. You know, you feel the wobbly, you just breathe through that. Cause once you get up there, I mean, that's the kind of stuff that you can't get from just like the little flip book of, okay, well you could do this, you could do that.
Brittany Shakir (00:59:00):
Right. And that's weird too, because I know people that's travel agents and they've like never been anywhere. And I'm like, this is weird. How are you selling travel when you've never been anywhere
Orion Brown (00:59:09):
Selling a dream. So Lisa has me cracking up, talking about, have you seen this traffic in these other countries? <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (00:59:16):
Yes. Like it's enough to be like, I'm not driving over here or gonna other countries where you're on the right side and not on the left side. Like don't stress yourself out
Orion Brown (00:59:24):
That I've done. And I actually found it very fun, but I don't think I could coordinate that with like roundabouts and elephants. Like, because you know, some places you go and it's just like every other turn is a roundabout and that's just frustrating to me. And I'm like, I just wanna go in straight line. Why are we going to
Brittany Shakir (00:59:41):
Circle? Right. Right.
Orion Brown (00:59:42):
Uh, and even with Bali, like, it was interesting. The, the, the, how much nature made its way into oh yeah. The streets.
Brittany Shakir (00:59:51):
And I was like, is everyone like on scooters around these? Like what is happening here?
Orion Brown (00:59:55):
Everyone's yes. Or touch, touch the little, touch up bus
Brittany Shakir (00:59:58):
Together, touch, touch on the touchup bus, touch, touch. I'm like, is this a thing? Like, I guess it is. I mean, I don't know, like <laugh>,
Orion Brown (01:00:06):
But now you can tell us if it's a thing. So now when, when folks go and, and you do a ballet package for them, they'll know, oh, it's totally a thing she told me, look out for, let me take a, let me take a selfie with one and keep it moving.
Brittany Shakir (01:00:19):
And now have like so many people on like a little scooter. And I'm like, why is it like four, four of you guys on here? Like, how are you fitting what's
Orion Brown (01:00:27):
Happening? I, I it's clown car stuff. It's just straight up clown car stuff. <laugh> but then, but then you, when you're determined, I I've definitely been places, both in the states and abroad where it's like, it's eight of us girls and it's this one car we gonna make this work. Whoever got the biggest butt have to take the front, the shotgun stack around. Right.
Brittany Shakir (01:00:50):
And that's fine. That is fine. So
Orion Brown (01:00:53):
I love that. Oh my gosh, this has been, so
Brittany Shakir (01:00:56):
I wanted do
Orion Brown (01:00:56):
Fun chatting with you and I love the stories that you shared. And you've really, I think personally, humanized this idea of going out into the world and traveling and taking care of oneself. Um, because you're just so grounded in the real, real, right? Like the, the, the world that you describe around you in the DMV versus where you're going to. And one, I just love that you get to be a role model for kids so that they can know that they can have it. Because I think as we generally generationally get accustomed to this, which we are, we're still in a transition period. I mean, there's still a massive movement happening and I think
Brittany Shakir (01:01:38):
Orion Brown (01:01:38):
As well, but we wanna make sure that even those who don't get that exposure because the people around them didn't get that exposure, that, that it comes in somewhere that it's not just, you know, middle class, black folk or black folk in New York versus those in, you know, Northern Virginia, that kind of thing. So
Brittany Shakir (01:01:57):
Orion Brown (01:01:58):
I love it. I love it. Keep doing what you do. I hope you get to your own Villa in Bali. Hey, I see both in the background. I hope you get your own Villa in Bali. Um, but tell everybody where we can find you and where we can get the, where we can see these photos and these selfies that you be posting, uh, a week after <laugh>.
Brittany Shakir (01:02:20):
So you can definitely follow me on let's at, at let's get stamps on Instagram, on Pinterest, on TikTok, on YouTube. Like I post everything on all of those different formats. And then also you have a lot of my pictures and stuff on www dot let's get stamps.com and that's where you can also book travel with me or do a consultation. So we can just have a conversation because you wanna know, like, what can I do in Mexico? I don't necessarily wanna book, but I will, I'll do a consultation, blah, blah, blah, whatever you wanna do. And that's where you'll find me, or you'll find me on TV from time to time singing or doing whatever with outreach here in DC. So yeah, <laugh>
Orion Brown (01:03:03):
Wait you out on the, in the streets singing and doing outreach. I too much. You're too. You're too wonderful. I can't take it. I just can't take it. I love it. Thank you so much for being a guest tonight. Thank you
Brittany Shakir (01:03:16):
For hanging out with you. Me.
Orion Brown (01:03:18):
I know you were like out in the world and wrapping up your day. So I really appreciate that. I think we had some really wonderful gems drop and it was really fun. Yes. Um, and then for all of y'all that joined, it's a bunch of people that just came in y'all seriously, go ahead and run it back. We're gonna post this
Brittany Shakir (01:03:33):
On. Yeah. Watch the replay.
Orion Brown (01:03:35):
Yeah, watch the replay, check it out. Add comments, all that good stuff. But really, I mean, I, I just, I love this. This is a highlight of my week. I, I came entire job. I had a whole whole day. The day was day in and life was life in, but this was wonderful. And this is why I do. I'm doing it selfishly for me. I just love talking about travel. This makes me feel good. I didn't had a couple sips of rose. I am in a place I'm like, Ooh, next trip to Morocco. Now I know I can take my Amex. I am so excited. So thank you all for joining. Um, if you don't already follow, follow black travel box, that is my company. We're a personal care products company for travelers of color. Please follow us, check us out. We've got some amazing things going at. If you all will be at essence festival in now a week and a half from now, come find us. We'll be in booth 22, 21. I can't wait to meet you guys in person. Get y'all slathered in some body butter and talk about travel. That's what we gonna be doing. I might have, I might have some rose with me. I ain't gonna lie. Might have to do that kinda party. Thank you all <laugh>
Brittany Shakir (01:04:52):
Orion Brown (01:04:54):
Bye. Goodnight. Thank you.
Brittany Shakir (01:04:56):
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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