Ask Us Anything: Moving Abroad ~ Travel Noire

Expat life? Yes please. In today’s episode with Travel Noire’s Founder & CEO, you’ll hear top questions as it relates to moving abroad.

When you’ve finished the video, tell us below if you’re thinking about taking the expat plunge, what you’re doing to turn those dreams into a reality or if you’re already an expat, what are some things you’d want other people to consider before moving abroad?

Thanks for watching!

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Number-One Tip For Having Sex In Space ~ Eliza Sankar-Gorton

“Bring a lot of leather belts to keep things strapped down… and you’ll be just fine.”

That’s the best way to have sex in space, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson. In a new video (above), the “StarTalk” host answered a fan’s question about how sex in space m be different than having sex here on Earth — and Tyson got right to the point.

It would pretty difficult to do the deed in microgravity, he concluded, but there are solutions to the weightlessness problem. Just check out his explanation in the video.

You’re welcome.

11 Ways Hawaii Feels Like A Foreign Country ~ Chloe Fox

From the moment you land in Hawaii, things just feel different.

While Hawaii has been a state since 1959, it has always been a distinctly exotic destination, unlike anything else in the country and even the world. It’s no wonder America fell head over heels in love with the islands.

As the world’s most isolated landmass, Hawaii has its own culture, its own timezone, and its own way of doing just about everything. 

The idiosyncrasies that make Hawaii so distinct are precisely the reasons we love it so.

Below, just 11 ways Hawaii feels like a foreign country. 

  • Even fellow Americans forget that Hawaii is a state.
    No, you won’t need your passport. And yes, we do use the U.S. dollar.
  • But you do have to fill out a form when you land.
    It’s an agriculture form, not a customs form, but after the long flight (roughly 10 hours from New York), it’s easily confused. 
  • You won’t find your bank here.
    Not a single one of the country’s ten biggest banks, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo, has a retail location in Hawaii. Instead, you’ll find local banks like First Hawaiian and Bank of Hawaii.
  • There’s a language barrier.
    Hawaii has two official languages, Hawaiian and English. But Hawaiian pidgin is also widely used. A recent US census of languages in North America included Hawaiian Pidgin  as a recognized language for the first time, meaning a lot of Hawaii residents were pleasantly surprised to find themselves newly bilingual.
  • McDonald’s has a special menu here.
    We’ll take the spam, eggs and rice breakfast platter and one taro pie, please. 
  • But who needs McDonald’s when you have Zippy’s?
    With its extensive menu (saimin and grilled cornbread, anyone?), Hawaii’s very own fast food joint is truly unique.
  • There’s an honest to goodness palace.
    Home to the last monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Iolani Palace is the only palace on U.S. soil.
  • Hawaii has its own gods.
  • It is truly diverse.
  • Some visitors may experience culture shock.
    There is a unique culture in Hawaii, one that extends well past tiki stereotypes. Aloha is a concept people live by, honking is totally taboo, and don’t you dare think about wearing your shoes or slippers (flip flops) into someone’s house. 
  • It is truly otherworldly.
    Hawaii, we love you. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that Hawaii was the only state with more than one official language. It is not.

The Top 5 Sites For Cheap Student Flights ~ Suzy Strutner

Travel can be tough to afford when you’re a college student strapped for cash. But plenty of websites offer stellar student travel deals, if you know where to look. The best part? Many of them will continue after graduation, offering anyone in their “youth” age ranges a deal. So study up! There are deals to be found.

1. Student Universe

Student Universe offers special rates on flights, hotels and tours for students ages 18-25 at degree-granting universities. You can access student deals automatically, but occasionally you’ll have to prove your student status by sharing a class schedule, ID card or other documents. Some Student Universe deals don’t require you to be a student: Anyone age 18-25 can get in on the action.

2. STA Travel

STA provides flights for all ages, but some of their airfares are available only to full-time students and travelers under 26. THOSE are the ones you want. Get an International Student Identity Card through STA for discounts on air travel, hotels and train tickets worldwide.

3. CheapOair

The online travel agency has a special student travel page where you can search cheap flights for travelers between the ages of 16 to 25. (No need to prove you’re a student here!)

4. American Airlines Vacations

Check out the airline’s college page to find vacation deals for travel to Jamaica, Hawaii and more. You’ll have to enter your student ID and verify that you attend a participating school. (Don’t tell, but we just entered a random number and browsed trips as if we were students. It worked!)

5. Generation Fly

Lufthansa’s student travel program promises the airline’s lowest and most flexible fares will be available to students with a valid school email address. Let the international journeys begin!

How Going B(l)ack Can Provide Perspective by Naeemah

Amazing article about the value in knowing your history. It is important to have self-value and recognize that there are things beyond your day to day life that matter, that impact, that change who you are.

The below is written by Ernest Owens.

5 Lessons Traveling to Africa Taught Me About Being Black in America

 by Ernest Owens


Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling to Ghana for 10 days to explore the history and culture of the region. And contrary to America’s heightened fear that traveling to West Africa would give me Ebola, I am fortunate to reassure you that I am happy and healthy.

Now that your potential conditioned hysteria is reduced, here is something you should be concerned about:

Black America, we have so much to actually learn about Africa — and yes, it does matter.

For far too long, our perceptions have been negatively impacted by white dominated narratives that have plagued our grade school text books and public discourse about the Motherland. The separation between our people across the diaspora is not just geographic, but philosophic. And while both sides can assess blame on boasting superiority against the other — Black America’s constant dismissal of the continent in our identity makes us the bigger culprit.

I, too, was once guilty of this — but sometimes it takes one to go back and re-direct the masses. Consider this my form of “Sankofa.”

These were my five major takeaways during what has now become my restored relationship to the ancestral homeland:

1) Privilege is real. 

During my stay in Ghana, for the first time in my life I felt what it was like to be in the majority. Most of the population is black and the experience of seeing my skin color on nearly every television station, public arena, and facet of society gave me a psychological gratification and confidence. A sense of pride that allowed me to walk in the street without feeling targeted. A level of high self-esteem when I told people my professional aspirations and was sincerely heard and not interrogated. My time in Africa gave me a first-hand look at what it feels like to not be a second-class citizen in society. It showed me how much America has tried to ignore the existence of white privilege when it is actually engrained. On a lighter note, please don’t believe American companies when they say they cannot produce quality black television commercials and programs… I saw tons that would put ours to shame.

2) Understanding slavery in the past explains the current struggles of today. 

“Get over it,” they tell us back home in the United States. There is absolutely no way we can and should when it paints a larger picture of the current systematic obstructions that are relevant to our present. In Africa, slavery is discussed and they actually have renowned museums and tourist attractions that cater specifically to the topic… I’m still waiting America. When visiting the former Elmina slave castles near the coast of Ghana, I felt a sudden sense of immediate anger, emotion, and frustration in how much of the manipulation and strategic disenfranchisements blacks faced then are still prevalent. Same crap, just a different day.

3)Sorry, Raven-Symoné — but we are indeed African-Americans.

Just because you cannot find your exact roots on a continent, doesn’t mean they aren’t apart of your ethnic make-up. That would be just as dumb as assuming that not knowing your father means you weren’t conceived by one. Coming to the realization of what it means to be an African-American rather than simply “American” gives me a more honest rationale as to why I face the current obstacles in a nation that speaks of “equality and justice for all.” Furthermore, it re-teaches me that my legacy didn’t start when my ancestors entered the West from slave ships (that’s only the second half of my identity), but that there was an enriched culture before America — and that was in Africa.

4) Oppression of black people is an international concern. 

Just as we fight for justice in Ferguson here in America, our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic are dealing with the discrimination and mistreatment of mass hysteria related to Ebola. Across the diaspora, blacks are feeling ostracized from the global discourse of how to protect their own communities. Such lack of representation of Africans being able to address how to eradicate their own problems reflects a worldwide stigma of having black leadership. Although our issues at surface level are distinct, fundamentally we are tackling the same mission: making black lives matter.

5) There needs to be more cross-continental discourse of connecting blacks across the diaspora.

Enough with just having cultural food and music fairs… let’s have a discussion about universally helping one another socially. When I attended college, it often aggravated me how black Americans felt Africans were another foreign group of people they could not identify with. And it was also troubling to see some native Africans look down on blacks in the country for not feeling as self-confident and culturally strong about their heritage. At this very moment in our present history, we now more than ever need to put down our media-driven stereotypes about one another and have real conversations about it. I am tired of seeing too many people of color help one another among regional affiliations and not the diaspora as a whole. Because the truth of the matter is that the rest of the world do not see us any differently and by strengthening our connections we can better combat these problems.

In closing, my travels to the continent gave me a fresh perspective on how I relate to blacks across the diaspora and how their burdens shape my work here in America. A lot of what the black community is trying to look for in themselves in our media, education, and economy can be found in the legacy and teachings that come from our brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.

This is not to say that I am entirely dismissive of American values and opportunities, I have been privileged on a technological and industrial level. However, I do believe that now is the time to expect more than just survival, and begin to thrive.

It is going to take more than just a village… but an entire continental shift in unifying self-value for all people of color.

Trip to Montana’s Yellowstone National Park by Natasia DaSilva

 Photo courtesy of Natasia DaSilva

In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Idaho to visit my grand parents at their lake cabin and took a side trip to Montana’s Yellowstone Park. That was definitely the most incredible part of the trip. Overall, Montana had a very rugged, natural beauty. It was like nothing I had seen before back in the Northeast and I treasured everything I saw there.

Yellowstone was akin to going to another planet. Everywhere I looked, there was steam rising from mysterious looking, bubbling pools and magnificent vistas of mountains.  Apparently, the pools were sulfur springs and animals gathered around them for warmth during the winter months.While driving around in Yellowstone, my family and I also saw tons of buffalo walking alongside the road. It was like they could care less about the presence of humans. We were in their territory. In the picture I took above, there is one lying down by one of the sulfur springs.

I stayed at the Old Faithful Inn during my trip. The rooms are pretty old-fashioned and spare but visitors at the inn get to see the famous Old Faithful geyser. Interestingly enough, it starts off slowly and then eventually builds up to a powerful jet of water. It is very much like a water version of a volcano. Besides the Old Faithful attraction, the food is also quite tasty — I highly recommend their buffalo steaks.

For anyone who likes nature, Yellowstone is a unique place to go to. It has everything from petrified trees to intriguing rock formations. There’s nothing quite like it.

Wanderlust Wednesday – U.S. National Parks

Yesterday was Earth Day, an occasion in which we celebrate everything that Nature has to provide. We express gratitude for the beauty, resources, and infinite wonder that is Nature. Here are some of America’s National Treasures and some cool ways to celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network,[1] and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.[2]


Here are 6 ways to celebrate Earth Day:

  1. Be car-free. Walk or bike to school — not only is it good for the body, it’s good for the environment too!
  2. Make a bird feeder or house. Use a milk carton, a large water orsoda bottle, or a pine cone.
  3. Create recycling bins. Cut out pictures of plastic bottles, paper, and aluminum cans and glue them to the bins. Practice sorting together!
  4. Make positive promises. Fill a journal with resolutions for how your family can help the earth. Decorate it with photographs, poems, and pictures.
  5. Grow something. Plant a seed, sprout, flower, or tree in a pot, garden, or backyard.
  6. Spread the love. Make and decorate Earth Day cards using recycled materials. Include an Earth Day celebration tip, and send them to friends and family.



Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
Yosemite National Park, California
New Orleans Jazz Historical Park, Louisiana
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia
Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
Alagnak Wild River, Alaska
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California

Wanderlust Wednesday – Best Beaches

Nothing short of wishful thinking here. In preparation for the not-close-enough summer, we take a look at some enviable vacation spots. Enjoy!

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Rhossili Bay, Swansea, Wales
Lanikai Beach, Kailua, Hawaii
Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelle
Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia
Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Baia Do Sancho, Fernando De Noronha, Brazil

Wanderlust Wednesday – I’m On A Boat

No, I’m not really on a boat but it is a nice idea. For today’s Wanderlust Wednesday we explore some of the best places to live or visit on a boat.

 A houseboat is a boat that has been designed or modified to be used primarily as a home. Some houseboats are not motorized, because they are usually moored, kept stationary at a fixed point and often tethered to land to provide utilities. However, many are capable of operation under their own power. Float house is a Canadian and U.S. term for a house on a float (raft), a rough house may be called a shanty boat.[1]



Maya Bay, Thailand
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
The Amazon River
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Mississippi and Illinois Rivers
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Regent’s Canal, London England



Wanderlust Wednesday – Croatia

Time for a little wanderlust. Today we visit the beauties of Croatia. Sitting between Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia, and right across from Italy, Croatia is an interesting mix of Mediterranean and Central European cultures.

Because of its geographic position, Croatia represents a blend of four different cultural spheres. It has been a crossroad of influences of the western culture and the east—ever since division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire—as well as of the Mitteleuropa and the Mediterranean culture.[200] The Illyrian movement was the most significant period of national cultural history, as the 19th-century period proved crucial in emancipation of the Croatian language and saw unprecedented developments in all fields of art and culture, giving rise to a number of historical figures.[38]

The bulk of the tourist industry is concentrated along the Adriatic Sea coast. Opatija was the first holiday resort since the middle of the 19th century. By the 1890s, it became one of the most significant European health resorts.[143] Later a large number of resorts sprang up along the coast and numerous islands, offering services ranging from mass tourism to catering and various niche markets, the most significant being nautical tourism, as there are numerous marinas with more than 16 thousand berths, cultural tourism relying on appeal of medieval coastal cities and numerous cultural events taking place during the summer. Inland areas offer mountain resorts, agrotourism and spas. Zagreb is also a significant tourist destination, rivalling major coastal cities and resorts.

Fun Fact: A global cultural contribution from Croatia is the necktie, derived from the cravat originally worn by the 17th-century Croatian mercenaries in France.



Dubrovnik, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Zagorje Region, Croatia
Makarska, Croatia
Mljet National Park, Croatia
Split, Croatia
Peljesac Peninsula, Croatia
Rovinj, Croatia
Zagreb, Croatia
Kornati islands, Croatia