Aired: July 13th, 2022
Audio and Photo Source: Kaydia Tomlinson and Instagram
Kaydia calls Jamaica home, but through her eyes, America is its own little paradise. With 22 stamps in her passport since 2016, this avid explorer is a huge fan of girls trips, impromptu getaways, and surprise visits. Tune into celebrate all that the US has to offer through Kaydia's adventures and get inspired to explore your own backyard.
Wine Down Wednesday: Kaydia Tomlinson
Orion Brown (00:03):
Hi, everyone. It's that time of the week. Again, it is Wednesday. And I'm your girl. Orion. I'm the founder and CEO of BlackTravelBox. And this is wind down Wednesday where we talk all things, travel and beauty and Blackness and living and womanhood. I mean, basically all the things is what we're talking here. So welcome. Come on in, come in, come in. I'm so excited. Our guest is here. I love it. Every week we have a new guest, we talk, so, so, oh wait,
Orion Brown (00:46):
See, that's the first thing <laugh>, I'll run it back. I'll run it back every week we have a new guest and we talk all things, travel, uh, all things beauty. And ah, there is my beautiful guest. Yes. And we drop gyms. We talk about locations. Honestly, the conversation's gonna come to food at some point. Uh it's it's all about that life. So welcome. Welcome everyone. For those of you who don't know me? My name's Orion Brown. I am the founder and CEO of BlackTravelBox. Hit us up. We're at the top. We're we're hosting this, um, make sure that you give us a follow and this is Wine Down. So I hope you have your beverages folks. I have mine. I'm not gonna lie. This wine is a little sweet. Hey, look at it. Look at it. And I brought some Black, it's a Black-owned company. It is sip and share wines. Um, and they have like these little tiny bottles. So I was supposed to be doing a wine tasting and I just, I got into it early. Like what can I say? I had to it's Wine Down Wednesday. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome miss.
Orion Brown (01:50):
Kaydia Tomlinson (01:52):
Can I say where my wine is from?
Orion Brown (01:53):
Yes, of course.
Kaydia Tomlinson (01:54):
So I'm drinking. Manja 12 lime lights. Ooh. And then some Harbo wines and spirits. It's from the wine division of Grace Kennedy in Jamaica.
Orion Brown (02:05):
Oh, I did not know that. Yeah. I did not know that. Cause I was gonna say, I know Manja TW and it's like a larger brand. I haven't seen the limelight before. Is that only in Jamaica?
Kaydia Tomlinson (02:16):
No, it's you can get it internationally as well, but it's really good. It's citrus flavors, you know, lime key lime, orange blossom. It's really
Orion Brown (02:27):
Kaydia Tomlinson (02:29):
Heart flavor, which, but just really nice.
Orion Brown (02:30):
Ugh. Y'all support Black business. I, one of the things that I did, um, really actually in 2020 around the time that I started wind down Wednesday, I was like, okay, I got my self care covered. Cuz I love talking about travel. I love all things travel. I created a travel brand, a travel beauty brand. Um, so creating this space to talk about it was just like great when I stuck inside and not being able to go anywhere. But the other piece was looking at all the things that I buy and somewhat frivolously, right. And things like wine. We don't, we don't need wine. We really like it, but we don't need it. Right. And so in so far as I could find new wine and spirit brands that are Black-owned, I've been trying to do that. All of my luxury purchases. I've just taken a moment. Every time I pick up something that is, you know, I would consider a luxury purchase, whether it be makeup or wa or alcohol or whatever it might be. It's like, is there a Black-owned equivalent that I can just go and buy? And it has been an awesome discovery process. These glasses was Black-owned. I mean like Savant and Scholar. They <laugh>
Kaydia Tomlinson (03:39):
Orion Brown (03:41):
They're not, but they have amazing. They have amazing frames. Um, your glasses are looking fabulous. My dear, thank you
Kaydia Tomlinson (03:48):
Much. They're actually four years old that they need to be changed now girl.
Orion Brown (03:53):
Well, Weve got some, they've got some cute frames I've got on there.
Kaydia Tomlinson (03:59):
Take them out.
Orion Brown (04:00):
I love it. I love it. So let's get into it here at wind down Wednesday. We have a little tradition cuz I called it that and we've been doing it now for two years. We, when we have a new guest we ask where you live, where you're from, if that's a different place, um, and introduce yourself of course. And uh, how many stamps do you have on your passport?
Kaydia Tomlinson (04:24):
Oh, all right. So let me say the
Orion Brown (04:27):
First one. Perfect number. Just yeah. Ballpark
Kaydia Tomlinson (04:31):
All. Well, I'll give you a ballpark. Okay. So I am, my name is Cadia, AKA travel with kids. Okay. And I am born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. I still live in Jamaica and I'm in my beautiful home now relaxing after work. So thank you again for inviting me. I very, very grateful for the opportunity to talk to you today. So thank you. And in terms of my passport, I'm gonna say so since I got my new passport, I would say about 15, 20 stamps.
Orion Brown (05:11):
Kaydia Tomlinson (05:12):
Not worth since I'm gonna say that was since 2016. Yeah.
Orion Brown (05:18):
So, so that's 20 since 2016. Yeah. So how much of that, tell me how much of that has been like purposeful planning. Like have you been going for numbers or are you like, I just travel and it all stacks up.
Kaydia Tomlinson (05:34):
All right. So definitely I don't go for numbers. I'm very, I love to travel. Yeah. I love to floor. I get very bored easily with my look <laugh> with where I go. I just want to be and see and do everything. So, um, I was recently for the past few months, um, I have been traveling the us. I've been going to Georgia in Atlanta, my, my sister and I have a lot of close family and friends in Georgia. So for the last few months I've been to Georgia. About three times I went to December, February and I just came back two weeks ago.
Orion Brown (06:13):
So that's a, that's a pretty big spread because Georgia is beautiful in December and February, its in July. <laugh>
Kaydia Tomlinson (06:22):
I actually loved it in July because it was more lush. So I was able to be more of the beautiful summer lush greenery and it was, it reminded me of who.
Orion Brown (06:32):
Oh I love that. Yeah. That's true.
Kaydia Tomlinson (06:36):
Orion Brown (06:36):
True. Not quite as in like intensely Lu, but it's close the whole east coast. Yeah.
Kaydia Tomlinson (06:43):
Beautiful. So in terms of intentional traveling, my last planned, the trip was when I went to, I went to Chicago, I came to Chicago actually. I told I to Chicago in December and was a girl trip. I went to Chicago and Vegas.
Orion Brown (07:01):
Oh. So that's a nice balance. I can, I can get with that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (07:05):
Yeah. But I did that before I was in Europe. I went to Europe in June 20, sorry, September, 2019.
Orion Brown (07:13):
Oh. I went
Kaydia Tomlinson (07:14):
In Barcelona and I went to Paris in 2019.
Orion Brown (07:19):
Oh at Europe. Oh I missed Europe. It's been so long. It was definitely prior to 2019 that I was last out there. But tell me what kind of girls trip takes you from the cold of December Chicago weather to Las Vegas? Or did you guys just like get sick of the cold and say, give us somewhere warm and we're gonna run away. Like how, how did this come about?
Kaydia Tomlinson (07:44):
All right. So my friends, I have really close friends that live all over the United States. So I try and visit all of them at some point. So in Chicago I had never visited her. And in ju in, in 2019, my mom actually passed away in
Orion Brown (08:00):
June. Oh, sorry to hear that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (08:02):
Thank you. So after that I was really excited about just, I mean, of course I'm, I'm still grieving, but I'm like, you know, Kate need to live, anything that you want to do, just get up and do it. Don't think about limiting beliefs and stop. What's stopping you. The money will come. Everything will come together. Right? Yeah. So, um, so of course I went to Europe and then the Chicago trip, my friend of course Christmas is not necessarily ideal.
Orion Brown (08:29):
Kaydia Tomlinson (08:31):
However, my, my thing is you can make anywhere ideal once you have the right mindset. Right. So I know it would be cold. So of course I had to be very prepared and um, but we just decided that we wanted to do it. We didn't want to wait. And I'm thankful that we did because then of course, you know what came next? The pandemic, right. Um, in early 2020. So I, we just decided let's do it. Why wait? So we decided on December we planned it out. And so we, we met up in Chicago, so we left Jamaica, met up in Chicago and she gave us a tour of downtown Chicago and I thought it was beautiful. The magnificent mile. Is it
Orion Brown (09:13):
The lights? Oh yes.
Kaydia Tomlinson (09:15):
The light. I was just so mesmerized. <laugh> OK. Did
Orion Brown (09:22):
That feeling I've had, since I was a child about the magnificent mile with the Christmas, it's not even Christmas lights, they're just lights wrapped around the trees and just the glistening buildings. And Ugh, I love that for you. I love it.
Kaydia Tomlinson (09:36):
It was amazing. And then, so we went to Vegas, I think we spent three days in Vegas and we did a wine tour. We went and did a little mini
Orion Brown (09:47):
Kaydia Tomlinson (09:48):
Orion Brown (09:49):
Let's y'all I did not know that there were wineries in Vegas.
Kaydia Tomlinson (09:56):
They do. They, so they have a chocolate tour and winery.
Orion Brown (10:01):
Ooh, chocolate wine,
Kaydia Tomlinson (10:03):
Chocolate and wine girl, chocolate and wine. I'm trying to remember the name of it. If I remember I'll tell you I'll send you a DM after. Yeah. But it was very good. It's right outside of Vegas. So it's in Nevada, but right outside of Vegas. And we also did, we went to seven magic mountains, which is outside of Vegas as well. So we went in the desert and did a little photo shoot, right? Yes. All of those pictures are on my IG. I travel with kids and then we went to the, the ele show, which is the Michael Jackson one. That particular search show.
Orion Brown (10:43):
That one was good. Yes.
Kaydia Tomlinson (10:46):
That was absolutely incredible. It was incredible. It was an amazing,
Orion Brown (10:53):
Now I'll hear this. She didn't say we spent the whole time in the casinos or anything like that. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but there is a lot of stuff to do in the greater Las Vegas area. Like anything within like two hours. I mean, obviously you got things like grand canyon and stuff. If you take like the helicopter tours, but I mean the photo shoots in the desert y'all come on, photo shoot, post
Kaydia Tomlinson (11:20):
Uber took those shots. So we bought some sexy dresses on fashion, over a lot of skin showing a lot of wind and we're like, oh my God, <laugh> very cold. And then we're like, oh, we had this grand idea. But we were like, we didn't think of who would take the pictures. And so, or Uber driver was like, oh, you girls look so good. You look like an R B group. I'm gonna tell my wife. I was hanging out with Beyonce and the girls <laugh> I was like, can you just, can you take some shots for us real quick? And he did. And we just hurry up, ran back in the car, headed straight back to the hotel. We stayed at Mandalay bay and Mandalay bay is also an amazing hotel.
Orion Brown (12:01):
It's gorgeous. It's gorgeous. It's gorgeous. What kind of setup did you have at Mandalay? Like I've done, not at Mandalay. I've done at, at the Palazzo. I've done like a suite, like a whole suite, but like what's the, what's the room situation? Like how big was your group?
Kaydia Tomlinson (12:18):
So it was just three of us. So we just got a regular room, not a big suite. Um, but we were on a very high floor so we could see a beautiful view of the LA the Delan and all, some of the other hotels. Yeah. It was really, really nice. It was good. And we tried to walk through the hotel and we couldn't. It was so big. <laugh> always been possible. <laugh> yeah.
Orion Brown (12:46):
Yeah. That's I mean, it's, I feel like the Bella Bellagio's like that I've gotten lost in there a couple times. Yeah, no, I'm like, I know the shape of this, so I know if I just follow the hallway, but Nope. I always end up in the corner and I'm like, how do I leave? I don't know. <laugh>
Kaydia Tomlinson (13:02):
Went the Bellagio for the fountain show.
Orion Brown (13:05):
Kaydia Tomlinson (13:06):
Went inside as well for a little bit, but we, we went for the fountain and Sean, that was nice. That was good.
Orion Brown (13:12):
Isn't it beautiful.
Kaydia Tomlinson (13:14):
It's I, I I'm actually supposed to go back to Vegas in March
Orion Brown (13:18):
Do it. Yes. I'm
Kaydia Tomlinson (13:20):
Excited for my friend's birthday. So I'm excited about that. I'm looking forward to going back. It was an amazing trip.
Orion Brown (13:27):
Oh my goodness. People, I feel like particularly folks that are in the states kind of have this like, nah, it's Vegas. You go for bachelorette parties or things like that. But it's like, there's just so much richness. Even in the states. It's fun to talk to someone who doesn't live here because you have like that wide-eyed excitement that we get about going to Canada in Mexico, like in the Caribbean. You know what I mean? Yeah. I love that though. Have you been, um, I'm curious, have you been to Dubai or has that ever been in your
Kaydia Tomlinson (14:01):
So Dubai, to be honest, I've seen a lot of people going to Dubai. I would go because of course I'm, I'll go anywhere, but it's not necessarily on my list right now. Yeah. But if somebody calls me and say, Hey, let's go Dubai. I'm like, okay girl, let's do it. <laugh>
Orion Brown (14:18):
I love that attitude. And especially with these 20 countries, since 2016, I'm like, okay, I got you. Um, but the reason why I mentioned Dubai is under the Burch Khalifa, which is, I don't know if it's still the tallest building in the world. It was back when they built it. Um, it's it's wedged between the mall and there they have a water show just like the Bellagio, but bigger. It is a massive girl. Massive.
Kaydia Tomlinson (14:45):
Okay. So I need
Orion Brown (14:47):
Ready. <laugh> let's go.
Kaydia Tomlinson (14:51):
Just to clarify. So it's not 20 countries since 2016. So I have 20 stamps. So a lot of those stamps are in the us.
Orion Brown (14:58):
Oh, okay. Got you. Right. 26 is still pretty solid. I'm not mad at that at all. Yes. I love it. I love it. I love it. And the other thing that you mentioned going hopping into the desert and taking photos, the desert out there is, is legit. It's you in the middle of it? I don't wanna, I don't even know if I ever have the desire to go into like the Sahara, cuz it's like much bigger desert, but Dubai was big enough. I was like, okay. I have
Kaydia Tomlinson (15:26):
Nothing. When did you go?
Orion Brown (15:28):
I I've, I've done twice. So I was there in 2018 and prior to that, I was there in 2010.
Kaydia Tomlinson (15:38):
Oh nice. Okay. Yeah. And
Orion Brown (15:41):
The second time, oh, go ahead.
Kaydia Tomlinson (15:43):
Sorry. I was asking, what did you love about Dubai? Like what stood out for you about Dubai?
Orion Brown (15:49):
Yeah, I mean, so the funny thing is, is I correlated so much with Vegas. I do have the like three day tolerance similar to Vegas. Like you can't, you can't stay in Vegas for like a week. There's fun stuff to do, but right around day three, you're like, oh, I'm about ready to go home. And I feel like Dubai is similar. It's very energetic, high energy, bright lights, big city, um, lots of activities and stuff. Um, but I do really love the old city. So going into the spice SOS where you can get, you know, pounds and pounds of paprika and like all kinds of they're so colorful and smells so good. And the Curry mixes and Ooh baby, that's my favorite part. There's a gold. So next to it. And I'm like, I don't wear jewelry like that, but I do eat so <laugh>
Kaydia Tomlinson (16:35):
Okay. Okay. Nice.
Orion Brown (16:36):
I love that. I love that. So tell me what, how did you create travel with Kates? Like what, what was the, the starting point to make your travel love? Something that you took public.
Kaydia Tomlinson (16:49):
All right. So that's a good question. I actually started travel with Kates in January of last year.
Orion Brown (16:57):
Kaydia Tomlinson (16:58):
So I've been doing the page for a little over a year. Um, and it happened, I was at the beach in Portland, um, a beach called Frenchman's Cove in Portland, Jamaica, just hanging out with my friend and my cousin and my aunt and my friend was like, Katie, you're you're you go everywhere. People always want to know what you're doing, what you're up to just start the page. Like they were talking to me about this page for so long. And I was like, no, man, nobody don't want to know what I'm doing. They don't wanna know, you know, like you, you, you really talking yourself out of doing it.
Orion Brown (17:38):
Kaydia Tomlinson (17:39):
And I, I had every excuse in the book and then they were like, you know what, give me a phone <laugh>. So my friend was like, let me just start a page for you real quick, because if I was on you, it will never happen. And she started it and immediately I got you started it. OK. What should I post first? So I posted the sea, the beach, um, at Portland and then yeah, it just took off, had a, took a life of its own from there. And then I think I was in my mind a lot about the page because like, what do people want to see? What do they want to know? You know, am I cool enough? Am I hip enough? Like, you know,
Orion Brown (18:23):
Ity girl, come on now.
Kaydia Tomlinson (18:25):
You know, I had a lot of second guessing and just self doubt, but it's over a year later and I have over 11,000 travel fam. I don't call them my followers. They're my travel fam you know, they're partnering with me on this journey. I don't like the idea of seeing followers. I just don't continue. And so, yeah, just call them a travel farm. And they're just with me every step of the way. And I take them on my trips when I go out of town or when I travel internationally and just share the things that I do and what I really love to enjoy and experience and people connect with it. I just try and just be myself, that's it, you know, no pretentious and yeah, I've been doing it and I am just so happy to continue to share. And somebody I was traveling with it's travel with kids and that's K a Y D Z. And I'll, I'll probably put a comment in the chat. I'm not very technological,
Orion Brown (19:24):
So it's all good. I'm just, so I'm gonna try, I can also see her in the, um, in the, uh, live title there. She's also, I think you should be listed there as well. Yep. You're, you're listed there as well, but, uh, that's awesome. I, I, you definitely said something that rang true to me was this idea of like, oh, well, like nobody's really looking like nobody. I mean, I started this business. I started BlackTravelBox and I was like, I'm going to be behind the brand. And then the brand is gonna be out there in the world. And I got the, you know, you people wanna know who's like running stuff. Like people wanna know what's going on. Like people wanna know that you're a real person. And I was like, mm, people don't really need to know that. Like I'll just wave on live once and then be done.
Orion Brown (20:12):
They'll know that I'm alive. And that I'm a per person. Um, and similar with, you know, wind down. It's just kind of like taken on a mind of its own. And if nothing else, this has been such a great de-stress for me talking to beautiful women and, you know, passionate travelers and just, you know, and then I get all the, the, the details on where to go and what to do and where to eat, which I am here for. So over the last, um, I'm gonna do the math six years of the latest passport iteration. What have been some of your most highlighted trips, the trips that you just like you look back on and you are like, yeah, I did that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (20:56):
So my last trip is, was just to Georgia, but it wasn't a trip where I expected to do much because I actually went to surprise my friend, um, for her son's birthday. And then I just expected to, because I work remotely. So I just expected to be on my laptop for most of that trip.
Orion Brown (21:15):
Kaydia Tomlinson (21:17):
Um, I was encouraged to just take three days off, just rest and relax and sorry of first technical challenge. My life went out, but that's okay.
Orion Brown (21:26):
No worries. We can still see. All
Kaydia Tomlinson (21:27):
Right. And so what I, I ended up going all around. Um, so I did the hikes. I actually drove to South Carolina.
Orion Brown (21:38):
Kaydia Tomlinson (21:39):
Did. And I, I explored downtown South Carolina, um, just randomly, I don't know anybody that lives in South Carolina, but my sister and I just randomly drove to South Carolina. And I also, we went to, we went indoor skydiving, and that was so much fun.
Orion Brown (21:58):
That is a random thing to do.
Kaydia Tomlinson (22:00):
That was very random. And I'm ready for the real thing now. I'm absolutely. Really? Yes. I'm ready to jump out of the plane. I okay.
Orion Brown (22:10):
Okay. So, so I am guessing as a Jamaican woman, your sister, that eats, you got a little substance to you. Yeah. How did that work out? Because I, I eat and I got some substance. I got, I got a lot of substance. I got a little extra substance, but how did that work out? Like being in the tunnel and the suit and all of that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (22:31):
It was actually pretty good. I didn't know what to expect. So I just went into it, expecting nothing and getting everything from the experience. It was very euphoric. I was like, I can only imagine what it would be like to dive out of the actual plane. It was amazing. It was girls. It was amazing. I was like, oh my God, I'm ready.
Orion Brown (22:59):
Really. I guess that makes sense. Cuz you're not like, I don't know. I like, I might punk out in an actual wind tunnel. Like what was that process like when just getting ready for it? Were you excited going in or were you more curious or were you apprehensive?
Kaydia Tomlinson (23:16):
I was curious. I was excited. I was nervous. I was like, oh my God, I'm gonna die. Cuz I'm very dramatic. <laugh>
Orion Brown (23:25):
Me too. Me too.
Kaydia Tomlinson (23:28):
It's very, it's, it's very simple. So, um, it's what they do. So you get suited up, they have a weight requirement. So you have to meet the weight requirement, um, to do the, to do it. Um, they have a full non-disclosure agreement. Um, not non-disclosure like a waiver, sorry.
Orion Brown (23:48):
Yeah, yeah. Sign a waiver.
Kaydia Tomlinson (23:51):
Yeah. And then you sign that, um, get suited. The gear was actually pretty comfortably. It wasn't uncomfortable. Really. I must, I had on a wore shorts and a tank top and I had on sneakers. So over that it was quite comfortable. And then they carry you into a room for about five to 10 minutes, I would say. And they show you a video about what to expect. And then they go over some basic, very basic rules about some hand gestures when you're in the tunnel. Right. Because when you can't hear anything, it's just the wind blowing up in your face, in your nose. And then I did two flights and the first flight, I was like, ah, my mouth is wide open. The wind is up in my mouth and I'm like, this is not a good idea. So when I go in the second flight, I'm gonna close my mouth. So anybody doing it, just keep your mouth closed. <laugh> cause doing is going all up in your face and your nose. So, but it was pretty good. It was fun. It was euphoric. I finished it feeling like, wow, I need to jump out of a plane. So I'm gonna get that done. I
Orion Brown (25:03):
Never had that thought, but I am so here for this <laugh>
Kaydia Tomlinson (25:08):
Girl do it.
Orion Brown (25:11):
Okay. Okay. I'm gonna start with the indoor so I can get excited like you are. And then for, for the jump,
Kaydia Tomlinson (25:20):
Start with the indoor work, your way up to the real jump.
Orion Brown (25:24):
I love it out the
Kaydia Tomlinson (25:25):
Plane. And then
Orion Brown (25:28):
Interest. Would you call yourself adventurous? Is this like, is this like, oh, I just did something outta character and, and did this indoor skydiving or you kind of like the girl that's like, yep. Let's do it. Let's zip line. Let's get all the things in.
Kaydia Tomlinson (25:40):
I am adventurous. I'm scared. I'm really scared. But I am like one life I'm let me just try it. And if it doesn't work out and I don't like it, it doesn't work out. But then at least I can say I tried it, you know? Um, so I try and challenge myself. Um, I mean, as I told you, my mother's death really impacted me because it was sudden and she was adventurous. She was all over the place, traveling and doing her thing. She didn't let anything stop her from living her life. So I'm like, you know what? My mother would do it. I'm gonna try it. You know, I'm gonna just, if I don't like it fine, but at least try it one time.
Orion Brown (26:20):
That is that's a whole gem right there. And what that tells me, like we, we often talk about like leaving legacy, creating businesses, doing these things so that our, our family can mm-hmm <affirmative> but there's also a legacy of adventure and freedom. And your, you know, our daughters look to, you know, we look at each generation, we look to our mothers to, to, to inspire how we live our lives. I love that. She left you with that sense of adventure. That's a really great way to honor her.
Kaydia Tomlinson (26:51):
It did exactly. I'm honoring her memory and I'm also honoring myself in the process because I don't want to live a life of what I could have shoulda or regret. Yeah. So yes, I love that. Definitely.
Orion Brown (27:06):
I love that. So where do you have any adventures planned? Do you have any PR um, travel plan? That's that's, you know, coming up.
Kaydia Tomlinson (27:16):
So I, my next adventure or trip is actually another girls trip. I haven't done a girls trip since 2019. Well, technically early 20, 20, I went to the vision 20, 20 tour, um, Oprah vision, 2020 tour. I went to Dallas with another girlfriend. So jealous. Yeah. <laugh> it was amazing, but yes. So my next girl girls trip is next month is actually literally a month away. We're going to Panama.
Orion Brown (27:45):
Kaydia Tomlinson (27:45):
Yeah. We're gonna explore Panama. We have a whole life I've never been, so this is gonna be my first time. Yeah. And everybody like's going it's our first time we have never been,
Orion Brown (27:56):
Are you going like, is it a, is it a planned group trip or is it something that you guys just sort of put together an itinerary and we'll explore,
Kaydia Tomlinson (28:06):
It's a planned group trip and we have an itinerary we're working it through still. Um, but it's a planned trip and it's about six or seven of us going.
Orion Brown (28:17):
Kaydia Tomlinson (28:18):
And I'm excited. It's also for another friend's birthday. So we're gonna celebrate her and we're gonna live it up in Panama. <laugh> gosh.
Orion Brown (28:28):
So what are you most excited about? So I don't know a ton about Panama. I do know maybe 15 years ago, folks that had started to move down there cuz they were like, it's got a scene it's kind of popping and it's cheap. And if you can work, you know, if you can work for the us company and like do like the expat thing is a great way to go. But like what are some of the things that are really exciting to you?
Kaydia Tomlinson (28:53):
Okay. So for me, I love to learn about new cultures. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and so, and I also hear that there's an infusion of Jamaican culture and dance hall in Panama because some went to support with building the Panama canal. And so from that, you know, we infuse because anywhere Jamaican's going up, we infuse ourselves. <laugh> you know, we're not like what has them say? Yes. So I'm excited to learn about Panama's culture and then to see the Jamaican influence there. I heard there's a particular place in Panama. I believe it's cologne in Panama where they, they have dance hall parties and I'm looking forward to experiencing that and immersing myself in the food. Um, walking through the streets of Panama, observing the people, taking pictures, you know, just immersing myself in the entire experience as I land. Yeah. So I'm looking forward to that and also experiencing it with other people and seeing it through airlines as well. People that have never been. So that's also exciting for me and I am looking forward to that. Yeah.
Orion Brown (30:04):
That's I'm like getting hungry already and I don't even know that much about Panamanian food, but I feel like you get south. I would say, I mean, Mexico has some good food too in, in certain places, but you get like central America, south America and it's just a whole different deal. It's a whole different gang. I
Kaydia Tomlinson (30:23):
Love that. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, that's what I heard. That's what I heard. So I'm looking forward to it.
Orion Brown (30:27):
How are you guys planning? So you said six or seven people. What are some, what are some things that maybe some challenges that you've run into with the planning to coordinate with everybody and like what are some tips that people can use when they wanna like coordinate a, a larger group trip like this larger
Kaydia Tomlinson (30:45):
Group trip? All right. So first tip you need like-minded people to plan a trip with like, you know, your friends, you know, the friends that are all talk and they're not action. Like they won't book the trip,
Orion Brown (31:00):
They don't put down the deposit, they
Kaydia Tomlinson (31:02):
Don't put down the deposit like, you know, your friends. So for me, I personally have a very small group of people that I travel with. And so they're my people. However, this trip is a little different because it's my friend's birthday. And then she has invited her closest friends. Mm. And so some of them I'm I'm I have a good relationship with, but some of them, I don't know that well. And so she has been really the lead on this trip and she's very organized. So we did a little video. I made the video to just excite everybody around the trip. Right. You know, the, a little birthday video,
Orion Brown (31:39):
Multimedia content to get exactly.
Kaydia Tomlinson (31:43):
Girl's so hype everybody. And we created our group. Um, so one of the friends made us specific itinerary that we're still tweaking. So that was sent in the group from jump from day one with costs and everything. So everybody could prepare themselves for that. And then we also formed the hotel real quick, gave the cost of that. The good thing about the hotel we're staying at, which I'll share more and travel with kids. Yeah. As I go along for safety reasons, I won't share the hotel though, you know, just generally. Yeah. Um, but the, the hotel you can pay when, on arrival and book it before, so that was good.
Orion Brown (32:24):
Nice. They can
Kaydia Tomlinson (32:25):
Reserve the rooms and pay on arrival. And so we did that already. And if you want to cancel, you can cancel like the day before or the week before, which is also good. So if anybody drops out at the last minute, you can cancel it. Right. And
Orion Brown (32:40):
Note to that, that's a, that's a big tip because yes, sometimes people and, and for good reasons, as well as reasons people will drop out, even after you've like gone through all the planning and you're ready to go, it's like, Ooh, I can't make it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> knowing that you've done things like, um, booked and held things that allow you to cancel it up until the last minute is helpful. Um, yeah. And certainly not having to outlay the cash, especially with a larger group where maybe not everybody has the cash front for it, but they will be able to afford it by the time they get there.
Kaydia Tomlinson (33:12):
Right. By the time. So you can plan for it and, and the plane ticket. Oh, the plane ticket. <laugh> uh, so there's a straight flight from Jamaica to Panama on Copa airlines. We were watching that flight, watching that flight, hoping the number, the figure would go down. It wasn't, it was going up. So we just booked it. Like we just had to make a decision to book it before it goes up any further. Yeah. So we were sharing communication about that in the group. And some, most of us, I think have booked a ticket already. Some of the girls are not coming from Jamaica, they're coming from the states. Mm. And interestingly, it's actually cheaper for them to fly to Panama from the states.
Orion Brown (33:57):
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. Yeah.
Kaydia Tomlinson (33:59):
So yes. So, um, that worked out and then, so now, you know, you have to plan the outfits, you know, for the different occasions, you, you have to go to machine hall and the fashion overhaul or whatever haul you do. You know,
Orion Brown (34:15):
I love that. <laugh> how do you, so, so fashion Nova being one of those that loves to keep their, keep your money, take your money and keep it. What are some tips that you, cause you know, like you were talking earlier, you did the, you did the trip to Vegas and you had these dresses and they were showing a lot of stuff. Sometimes you can't tell from the photos. So what's your process of using these online retailers to find the things that you want and like, how do you kind of balance that out with like returns and things like that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (34:48):
So fortunately I've never had to, I've personally never had to return anything to fashion over. If I get something. Yeah. If I get something I can't fit, I either go tailor it, which I did. And I picked them up this week. I go get it. I ordered them too big this time. Right. So it was too big. So I had to go to the tailor and have him adjusted. He did a great job of adjusting some things that I had. And then if, if, if it's too small, I'll sell it. I'll just do it. I don't return it.
Orion Brown (35:23):
So how do you sell it? Like what are you selling it on?
Kaydia Tomlinson (35:27):
So I just ask around, I ask friends, um, if they know anybody that would want, sometimes I give it away. Right. Depending on how much you come, but sometimes I sell it and get my money and it's easy. Yeah. Yes, girl. <laugh>
Orion Brown (35:42):
I am not mad at that at all. I am mad at, uh, at fashion Nova's customer service. Cause I have returned before and gotten burned. I was like, woo. Never even
Kaydia Tomlinson (35:52):
Get them when you call you get them. Or like, I don't get them at all.
Orion Brown (35:56):
Took, it took, it took a lot. Um, and it was, it took like finding the right time of day, like first thing when they first, you know, first thing in the morning kind of thing or last thing in the evening. But, uh, eventually I figured out the groove, but I love that. That's a great tip. It's like when you're buying stuff, especially if it is some of these more unique online retailers, half the time women can't even find this stuff cuz you're um, she in like you're, you're scrolling through for days, days
Kaydia Tomlinson (36:27):
Scrolling for days scrolling for days. But I love, I, I filter, so I use the filter option because I'm a girl on a budget. So I filter the cost from like three to nine or $10. I, I try not to go over that amount. So I only scroll for things within that amount.
Orion Brown (36:46):
That is brilliant.
Kaydia Tomlinson (36:49):
Orion Brown (36:50):
That is brilliant.
Kaydia Tomlinson (36:51):
I'm a girl on our budget. <laugh>
Orion Brown (36:54):
Now is that Jamaican or us dollar,
Kaydia Tomlinson (36:57):
But as us dollars, um, I earned Jamaican. So I have to be very careful about how I spend in us. Oh definitely. Because one us dollar is approximately 153 Jamaican dollars. The, yeah, the equivalent is crazy. So yeah,
Orion Brown (37:16):
That's, it's, you'll notice this in a lot of Caribbean nations and African nations, a lot of places where people are brown, you see this, this disor, um, uh, dollar for dollar and y'all go ahead. I'm not even gonna get into it. Y'all go ahead and look it up on Wikipedia. It's some bull like Haiti got, y'all heard about Haiti. Haiti was in the new Yorker. Yes. Um, that is happening in more, more countries has happened in more countries than Haiti. Um, and it's crazy. I will say though, the first time I was in Jamaica and I didn't really internalize the, the, um, the cost difference and mm-hmm, <affirmative> you your metric system? So I passed a gas station and it was like, I don't know, uh, $20 a liter or something. I don't know what it was. And I was like, what? Or 200 a liter. And I was like,
Kaydia Tomlinson (38:09):
Orion Brown (38:10):
No. Um, and then I was like, well, maybe leaders and I couldn't do the math cuz you know, American education system, they didn't give us nothing that, so don't let the sticker shock fool. You find easy ways to do the math. Although it, I, it sounds like it pulled apart a little bit more. Cause I think when I was there last, it was maybe like one 10 to one, not one 50 to one, so, oh my gosh. But yeah,
Kaydia Tomlinson (38:37):
So it's gone. It's gone up significantly in the last year or two. Yeah.
Orion Brown (38:42):
Mm okay. With COVID yeah, yeah. Yes. How so? So for Panama, are you, how are you thinking about the outfits that like, do you pre plan? Like we're gonna have this photo shoot we're about to go out here and do this thing at this place. Or are you just picking stuff that you like, are you coordinating with the group? Like how is the fashion situation coming together?
Kaydia Tomlinson (39:05):
All right. So the only thing that we have to coordinate with the group is, so the birthday girl wants an all white dinner, so we're gonna do, we're gonna do that an all white dinner and then we're gonna do an all black swimsuit photo shoot. So those are the only two things that we have to coordinate. There's no specifics in terms of what style, which I like. So any style that you're comfortable in because of course we all have different styles and different body types and things that we like and feel comfortable in. So yeah, we, but we know we're gonna have to wear all black swim suits at one, some point and then all white for the dinner. Um, I am the go-to girl for, you know, fashion options and I do personal shopping and styling as well, really. So. OK.
Orion Brown (39:54):
So that's a person to talk to. OK.
Kaydia Tomlinson (39:57):
<laugh> I do. And I would love to help you if you need me I'm here. So I do like as well and my friends reach out to me. So I actually styled the birthday girl and gave her the options for her birthday. Nice. So she's, she's gonna go with the options I selected and then still have the black swimsuit and the white outfit for the dinner. But, um, outside of that, it's free game. Anything that you're comfortable in, um, they'll run options by me. So like kids, what you think about this? Or can you look for an outfit for dinner for me and I'll do that. I'm like I got you girl. No worries. So
Orion Brown (40:37):
<laugh>, you are good friend to have. I can tell love that. And so in doing this personal, like doing this shopping for people and styling for people, how do you, like, how do you one, like, what would you consider your personal style and two, how do you get, uh, a sense of other people's style? Like how do you keep those things separate? So everything does it look not so everybody don't look like Cades.
Kaydia Tomlinson (41:05):
That's a great question. That is a great question. So my friends, the good thing about it is that I've been supporting people that I know for years, so I know their personal style and what they're comfortable in. Sometimes I try and push them out of their comfort zone sometimes depending on the occasion, but definitely what I do I think about your body type and what would best suit you and accentuate your curves or if you're more petite. So I think about all of that, I think about the occasion the time of day and what you would feel comfortable in essentially and confident in. Mm. And I ask questions, um, you know, what, what do you have any thoughts in terms of what you were thinking of going towards? Sometimes they don't have a clue and then I make recommendations and I send them styles that they can look at and they will say, okay, I love this, this not so much, but we'll go towards that. And so keep sending me more of those options, cover my arms. You know, I don't like to show my arms or I want to accentuate my legs. So when they give me that feedback, then I will do that and I'll send more options. So it's not that they're looking like kids, but they're themselves. And they feel confident in their own skin wearing something that they love and that they're comfortable in.
Orion Brown (42:26):
Ooh, I love that. I love that. And there's you, you said two things that really stood out to me, use the word comfort several times and use the word confidence several times. And there is something about, um, the confidence that can, I think, elevate an outfit that maybe you're more, that's a little bit more comfortable, but because you're so confident in it, you can like be, yeah. I love that. Best of both worlds. How do you, how do you gauge, um, the confidence piece? Is it just finding out sort of what are the insecurities and helping them like, especially if they haven't tried the clothes on yet, like how do you kind of get to, oh, you're gonna be real confident in this. This I can already tell,
Kaydia Tomlinson (43:14):
Um, I gauge it because I know them. Well, I know them well recently I styled a bride for her bridal show and her bachelorette. Mm-hmm <affirmative>, it's not somebody that I necessarily know well, but I talked to her and got a sense of what she liked about her body and loved about it. And certain things that she was more self-conscious of. Yeah. And because when I asked her, you know, guide me, what you thinking of? The only word she used was okay. Elegant for her bread or shower and then real sexy for her bachelorette. So <laugh> so I was like, all right, we can get real sexy, but what do you want to accentuate? How, when do you feel sexiest? What, when you wear, what type of clothing are you accentuating your breasts, your legs, your hips, like what, how do you feel sexy? And when y'all see her moving,
Orion Brown (44:08):
Right. Y'all see her moving
Kaydia Tomlinson (44:11):
<laugh>. So, so she told me and you know, she was like, I love my legs. I want to accentuate my legs and she's very tall. So I got her a beautiful gown that accentuated her leg that showed a lot of leg and she loved it and thankfully it fit. So that's the part about it when you order it, sometimes they don't fit properly, but yeah, the things that we order, they fit perfectly.
Orion Brown (44:40):
Kaydia Tomlinson (44:41):
So that was the good part. And she was confident and happy about the choices that we selected.
Orion Brown (44:47):
Do you have any good tips for, um, for getting sizing, right? Especially cuz you're dealing with like a lot of different bodies, but even a person who's like, okay, I know, I know my measurements, but, or I know my size, I don't know my measurements. Like how what's, what's the best way to, what are some of the hacks that you use to get to a good fit?
Kaydia Tomlinson (45:09):
All right. So what I would recommend because different different, um, companies have different sizing charts and sometimes you can even look by the sizing chart. So what I normally recommend look at the type of material. So it may be a hundred percent polyester. It may be polyester mixed with spandex where, you know, it's more stretchy. Yeah. And I recommend that you order like two or three outfits from each, if you can afford it, something really cheap, um, or affordable, sorry, not cheap as in the material, but
Orion Brown (45:43):
Kaydia Tomlinson (45:44):
It's inexpensive. Yeah. Right. Um, so like something for five, $10, order it to try it out and see how it fits. Sometimes you can order it in your size that, you know, you normally wear or a bigger size depending on the material. Mm. So I always recommend that first, before you do a big haul, because especially if it's the first time that you're ordering from this company. Mm.
Orion Brown (46:10):
So do a, do a test order so that you can do a
Kaydia Tomlinson (46:14):
Test order. Yeah. And order a top order, a button order address.
Orion Brown (46:22):
Ah, look y'all. So yes, because those things, you could be 16 on the bottom. Yes. Hand on the top
Kaydia Tomlinson (46:31):
Orion Brown (46:31):
Be like a large dress or maybe even a medium depending. So
Kaydia Tomlinson (46:35):
Yes. Um, so we get an idea, um, because of course online shopping, you're not in the store trying it on it's different. So mm-hmm <affirmative>, that would be my hack. Fortunately, it's been not as challenging for sorry for me to, to find the right size for me. But this last shopping order that I did, I ordered everything so big. It was huge. I was like, girl, what are you doing? <laugh> girl, what?
Orion Brown (47:07):
You, you were staying into like that.
Kaydia Tomlinson (47:09):
Orion Brown (47:10):
Yeah. Where like, I may need to go off the size.
Kaydia Tomlinson (47:14):
Yeah. So I ordered everything too big, so I had to get everything I just did. Um, but yeah, that's my hug for that.
Orion Brown (47:20):
I love that's my and getting stuff adjusted. If you do have, um, an inexpensive tailor near, you can be like to the point of buying it, inexpensive dress, you know, at a low price and then you pay for the tailoring and now it fits like a much more expensive dress.
Kaydia Tomlinson (47:37):
Yes, yes. Agreed.
Orion Brown (47:39):
Kaydia Tomlinson (47:40):
I love way to look at
Orion Brown (47:42):
That's a great hack in and of itself. So if you guys are going on vacation and you're like, I wanna look perfect in this photo. Perfect. Number one is not a thing. You are wonderful the way you are, but if you want the dress to sit right, you want the top to sit, right? You want the ladies to sit right? Go take it to the tailor, buy a size or even two up, depending on the material. Cuz they may need to climb, play around with stuff. And then pow, pow, pow, perfect. Pow,
Kaydia Tomlinson (48:10):
Orion Brown (48:12):
Powow pow. Yes. I love that. I love that. <laugh> and so that's the, that's the confidence side, the comfort side, knowing that you make a lot of content and you share content, how do you think about your comfort versus how you look like being dressed up in photos and things like that? What, what, how do you kind of balance that? What's your style in that regard and how do you find comfortable things that's like cute, you know, like truly comfortable. We're gonna go on a hike all day. How do I, how do I show up? Cute.
Kaydia Tomlinson (48:50):
All right. So let me tell you all right. Me personally. So sometimes I look at these other travel pages and I'm like, oh, she has this beautiful gown on the rooftop with the birds flying. That is fly, but that's just not me. <laugh> yeah. I have to be comfortable. Especially if I'm walking around touring all day, like I'm very realistic. I have to have on my sneakers and I wear my leggings and a cute little shirt. So like I'll probably wear a shirt like this. It's very comfortable, you know, without the shoulder and have my leggings on and sneakers and I still feel confident. I walk confidently and I feel comfortable. So I think a lot of it is really you wearing the clothes and not the clothes wearing you. Right.
Orion Brown (49:41):
That's a word.
Kaydia Tomlinson (49:42):
It, it is because I don't, I think we, and especially of course, social media, it's hard not to compare and see all this fabulousness and a root for them actually, cuz I'm like, girl, I could not do that. That's beautiful. But that's you me? I'm gonna keep it comfortable and still look cute. Right. I'm gonna be in my leggings with those birds flying around me and still make it look fabulous and it's gonna be me. Right. Yeah. Um, and so I would say focus on that. Um, I do think that simplicity can be everything. I just think it's how you carry yourself and how confident you are in the woman that you are.
Orion Brown (50:27):
Kaydia Tomlinson (50:28):
Orion Brown (50:29):
Mm. How are little out some people in the back? Yes.
Kaydia Tomlinson (50:31):
Orion Brown (50:34):
How just be confident in what you, how you've been created and
Kaydia Tomlinson (50:37):
Be confident, be confident in it. I mean, you know, of course I'm a bigger woman. Um, you can, as you can see, I, um, a lot of a lot going on right here. Yes <laugh> but I know my body well. Mm. And so I know what is flattering for my body. I know what I'm conscious of and what I try to come AFL so that I feel more comfortable and confident as well as even just how I step, how I walk into a room, the level of confidence that I, uh, that I have, um, is just because I'm confident in who I am.
Orion Brown (51:16):
Kaydia Tomlinson (51:17):
You know, and that's something that can work on, you
Orion Brown (51:19):
Know, there, there's something about that walk too. There's a feedback loop in your brain when you stand up, right. When you walk, when you hold certain poses, there's, there's scientific evidence for these people. I'm not just making it up. Your body tells your brain, I'm standing confidently and your brain's like, oh, well then I ***** must be confident. That's why we have, that's what we're doing. And it works. If you've ever had to go on stage and speak, they say, use the Superman pose with your hand, you know, your elbows, your hands on your hips. Um, yes. It changes your brain chemistry and you, your feelings start to match the, the, the stance. So I love that. Walk into a room and be confident.
Kaydia Tomlinson (52:02):
Yes. Sorry. I turned the light back on. Oh
Orion Brown (52:06):
No. <laugh> yeah, no worries. No worries. No worries. I love this. We've gotten so many gems unlike between how to dress amazingly, comfortably and confidently while you travel to, um, how you make group travel work and, and the ways in which you can do that. I mean, there's, this was, this was so much fun. I really, really had so much fun chatting with you.
Kaydia Tomlinson (52:30):
I, it was amazing. Thank you again for the opportunity. I must say the first time you reached out to me was in 2020 for a travel crush. Tuesday feature.
Orion Brown (52:41):
Kaydia Tomlinson (52:43):
Was so excited and grateful. I felt seen, I'm like, oh my God, she sees me. I
Orion Brown (52:51):
See you. I do see you. Oh, what's, that's a reason why we do travel crush Tuesday. So for those of you don't know my company, BlackTravelBox, we're hosting this live now at BlackTravelBox. And we do every single week, a travel crush. And sometimes you may see some women who are quote unquote influencers and make that, you know, a part of their life. But for the most part, I'd say 95% is just women who love travel Black women who are living their best life. Um, we've had first responders. We've had just all kinds, educators, PhD, all kinds of people from all over the world. And I want you to feel seen like, that's, it's worth putting that together. Like it's not easy. And
Kaydia Tomlinson (53:39):
I can't imagine
Orion Brown (53:40):
It's, but it's for the sake of, we don't get the spotlights everywhere. So I, I want you to be, so when you say, I feel seen, I'm like, oh ****, bro. Yes,
Kaydia Tomlinson (53:52):
I can. I can tell that you are intentional around making us feel seen. So I wanted to thank you for that because you are right. There's not a lot of opportunities out there really. And, but your page is very important and I'm grateful. I don't take it for granted. I'm very grateful that you invited me this evening and we could talk about so many different topics, not just travel and I'm, I'm just thankful for your page and for you. So
Orion Brown (54:22):
Thank, thank you. <laugh> um, the girl in her flowers, I love it. I love it. So tell everybody where we can find you on the web and where we can see your, your next adventure.
Kaydia Tomlinson (54:35):
All right. So you can find me currently. I'm just on Instagram and TikTok and it's the same page. So I travel with kids and that's K a Y D Z or Z, depending on how you pronounce it, right? Yes. And I will be sharing all my adventures from Panama on my page. So you'll be right there with me walking with me in the streets of Panama, seeing what I'm seeing and I'll share any tips, um, travel tips and all my, you know, in terms of tips for doing group trips, all of that I'll share on my page.
Orion Brown (55:11):
I love it. And we're gonna be on the lookout. We'll be right up in the comments being like, so where did you get that outfit? Cause we knew you, we know you sourced this SIS. Exactly.
Kaydia Tomlinson (55:20):
So you'll see all my
Orion Brown (55:21):
Office, everything. So I'm ready. <laugh> I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for joining us. Uh, for those of you who don't know me and BlackTravelBox, follow us. My name's O' Ryan. This is wind down Wednesday. I created this in June of 2020. It's been two years
Orion Brown (55:41):
And pretty much every week that I can, I am on here. And I am talking to amazing travelers folks with two stamps folks with 72 stamps, actually I think she had 73. Um, and so everything in between. So, uh, you know, we are taking this time to talk about and be about the thing that we love, which is travel. And I tell you what guys, I hope that this has been a height to your Wednesday. It's all easy, smooth sailing from here into the weekend. Thank you all so much for joining and kicking it with us. We'll be back again next week. Thank you. Doing it all over again. Bring your glass. We'll be looking out for you. Yes, miss Kate. Thank you much, hun. This has been so edifying to chat with you. Um, and you, I have to say I missed the, the sound of the Jamaican sing song.
Orion Brown (56:31):
The little, the little, it sounds like you it's like a lullaby listening to yeah. Not to, but it's relaxing. It's calm. Yeah. So when you come to Jamaica, remember to hit me up, let's hang out. I can take you around. I love that. So let's do it. Okay. I love. And if Chicago call you, yes. Oh, I've got you on Chicago, all the places in a few other places in the states as well. So you hit me up anytime I will. All right. Thank you all so much for coming. Have a great rest of your week. Take care. Bye bye. Bye <laugh>.
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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