Life After College|Adulting in Real Life Finance Edition

Greetings Daizies,

I’m one month into working full-time, living in my first apartment, and finally having my cat living with me. I’m in the chapter I’ve always wanted. I have all the freedom of an adult and of course all of the responsibilities too. I originally was going to write an overview of life after college so far but turns out I had a lot to say about finances alone so here’s my piece on what I’ve learned about finances so far after 6 weeks working full-time and living solo.

Getting an Apartment

There are so many things I did not know that I thought I did. For one, when looking for an apartment, I was certain that all I needed to move in was the deposit. That’s all. In July, my dad told me I needed first month’s rent. I was stunned lol. What I had saved and what I would need were two different things and I was planning to move the next month. I had to think of all sorts of backup plans. But it worked out( thankfully). But the time between moving in and my first paycheck, funds were running on E. I had to use my credit card for most things which worked but was also stressful.

Paying Bills

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When I used to have 5 other people to split it with, all of a sudden I’m just splitting it with me, myself, and I. There’s so many different types of bills. There’s bills I didn’t even know I’d incur. But here I am having these funds exit my account lol. Having a list of all bills, the amount, and due dates will be really helpful for me as some are new, some are old, and most have different due dates.

Enroll in Auto-Pay for Bills

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“Uh ah Mr.Hart, didn’t go through. I even swiped it 3 times!”

I was so stressed when it was the fifth of the month and I had an email that my payment didn’t go through. “Where imma live?” I had to double check my funds and saw that it was coming out of the wrong account that wasn’t set up for bills anyway. The bank has 4 days to post that the payment went through, and for days I never saw any money come out of my account. Next time, I would follow up right away because after the grace period of 4 days is when you get a late fee. To avoid all of the confusion of having to make sure the right accounts are associated with rent, I went ahead and enrolled for auto pay so I don’t have to be at work thinking I’m about to get evicted.

Calling the Bank

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I called my bank and got the insufficient funds fees waived for that month. That’s a thing you can do. They want to make sure they keep “valued customers”. I had to ask a lot of questions regarding my accounts and getting answers to questions rather than assuming. Call the bank, call the rental office, call anyone in charge of your funds and fees if you have any sort of question.

Set Reminders for Yourself

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There’s some other non-tech friendly bills out there like water, utilities, etc. I have to actually call to pay it since they require Internet Explorer to access the online option. So I have it tacked to my wall and a deadline set on my phone.

Student Loans

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Okay so now they want their money. One of the lenders sent me a letter basically like “We say that you’ve graduated, congrats….so your date date is such and such date thanks bye”. So they really not gonna forget that I borrowed money? I didn’t have to take out too many loans so I am trying to pay my amount off fast and go (fast fast fast…fast like a lambo skrt skrt skrt) *Whoever can guess that song lyric gets points* I think it’s best I set up auto payment for that as well. I was also in the process of consolidating my loans when I looked carefully at the new offer and found that they were offering a higher interest rate. Now what is the point of consolidating just to get a higher interest rate? Since my plan is to pay the amount within 2 years, to me it made no sense to do all of that application work just to get a worse interest rate. I was 2 seconds away from signing but I’m glad I READ THE TERMS! Don’t just sign up for something because it sounds good.

Benefits

There’s a 30 day window to enroll in benefits if your employer offers them. Depending on what system is used, the options might save as soon as you select them. For example, I had started the process and had an idea of the medical and dental options I wanted so I selected the options and clicked the bubbles. I wanted to come back to it and confirm. Next thing I know, I’m getting the insurance card and welcome packet in the mail. I’m like I didn’t even finalize my decision! Welp too late lol. But good thing I picked the one I actually was comfortable with and was going to select anyways otherwise I would’ve been upset. Be careful with selecting an option even if you think they aren’t final.

There’s also the process of enrolling in 401k and company stock. I’m honestly still learning and I’m glad I can still change my options. I think I’ll have more knowledge and information once I get advice from my uncle who’s an expert on finances.

Day-to-Day Budgeting

It’s tempting to go on a shopping spree considering I live so close to all the places I love to shop. There’s a wide variety of sprees, I want all new makeup, fall wardrobe, shoes, hair products, and accessories. If I went out for all of those themes I would probably go overboard. I plan to set out a time to shop for each of those  types of things separately so that I don’t end up overspending and buying stuff just to buy it. Right now my most common expenses are groceries, cat food, and hair and skin products(I just love them). But I limit myself to doing major hauls and want to have a shopping list and a limit before I go out here and do the most. There’s things I love, things I like, and things I can’t live without (rent, food, utilities). Now that my big expenses are out of the way(furnishing my house, the deposit, etc), I want to start saving for things I love such as traveling and investing in my creativity. So that means having control and a plan with what money goes to things I like (hair products, clothes, shoes). That’s where I’m at with budgeting right now.

I hope this might help someone soon entering the “real world” and I hope to master this area of finance. I’m sure it’ll take a lot of practice and learning, just like everything else. Feel free to drop some gems if you have any. Follow my blog and subscribe for email updates, check out my latest YT video on: DaibyDai, and follow my FB page for more content!

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As always,

 

-POP (1)

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Meanwhile in July

I love everything right now. I love not having to glance at my planner every day. The making of plans as I go. Being able to get up and go. Sleeping 12 hours. Traveling. Whether the trips are long or short, far or near. Just being. It’s a breath of fresh air. I just finished Americanah by Chimamanda Adicihie and I suddenly had this urge to write. I loved how the words added such unique detailed. Like without it, a certain essence of the character or the scene would’ve been lost. I would read for hours on end. Sometimes I  read till the birds started chirping. I previously never had the time to truly get lost in a book like that. I rediscovered my love of reading this past year. I love learning and relearning things about myself. This is the rest and fun I wanted for my break. I can do anything or I can do nothing at all. Everything is up to me. Now I have applied for an apartment. I keep imagining what it’s going to be like. A new neighborhood, a new routine. All in literally a month. What is it gonna feel like to be comfortable with the newness, for everything to be normal. I’ll go to work. An actual career. The one I wrote about on my vision list. It’s all happening just around the corner. A lot of my posts have some type of purpose and usually it’s planned. But not this one. I thought it would be nice to just reflect on the time in between one chapter and the next. Reflecting on this beautiful break I’ve had from the grind.The time of living life and having no responsibilities or deadlines to meet. I am on to new memories. One’s I’ll probably still talk about for years to come. This year has truly been one of my favorite. I am where I want to be.

As always,

-POP

 

Each Step Led to This Dai… UW GRAD 2018!

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Greetings Daizies!

I finished school a few months ago in March and since then I’d been patiently awaiting my official graduation ceremonies that would commence in June. I spent time visiting family and evens started a brief part time job tutoring and cherished my new relaxed pace of life remembering my vigorous schedule from college.  Oh yes I remember waking up to a to do list of “class, class, study, office hours, practice for interviews, homework, midterm practice” and then sleep and do the whole thing over again. I put all of my energy into making sure I did everything I could to get the best grades possible and secure a job for when I graduated. The actual graduation ceremonies would signify that I was completely and totally done. My college experience would come to an end.

My time off has been a break long needed and deserved. I loved being able to plan out my graduation photoshoot and all of the exciting details without having the stress of studying for classes and finals. Eventually June 3rd rolled around and I was so happy I was finally going to walk the stage after 4 years of hard work!

June 3rd – Foster School of Business Graduation

I spent my entire Saturday watching the latter half of season 3 of Parks and Recreation and doing the twist out of my life. It took my 5 hours to do my hair.  Small, precise twists with no gaps, tangles, or bulges. I fell in love with Shea Moisture’s Red Palm Oil and Cocoa Butter stretch pudding. After my grad photo shoot, I knew it was going to be a twist out product staple. Anyways, I was confident that my hair was gonna be poppin’ for my very special day. I answered as many last minute questions from frantic and excited family members as I could. But overall I was focused on maintaining a relaxed mood and taking the experience in.

That morning I woke up an hour before my alarm. My stomach started pulsating and my heart was beating fast. I was so nervous and excited. I always wake up early when it’s a big day for me. It wasn’t an interview, a big test, or anything I had to endure over the past 4 years… it was MY GRADUATION! When it was finally time to get up, I did yoga as usual but this time my eyes began to water as I began to contemplate how hard I worked, the obstacles I faced, and how much I dreamed of this day. For many years it seemed so far away but I was finally walking through the end of the tunnel to experience the light.

I thought back to 3 years ago, freshman year. I was taking my remaining prerequisites to get into the business school ranked #1 in the PNW and #14 in the nation for public universities. I was ready to take on the challenge and knew that that was where I belonged. I worked long nights, went to tutoring almost every day for Math 111/112 and breezed through Stats 220. I was so happy for the Daizha that was crushed after BARELY passing the Econ 201 and 200 prerequisites. I could clearly remember how anxious I was thinking about having to choose a backup majors just in case business school didn’t work out. I thought about how vicious the curves were in weed-out classes like ACCTG 215. I had an extra prep class at 7 IN THE MORNING *now i could never see myself taking an 8 am class in my entire life* but I sacrificed a comfortable start time for extra practice for accounting. And when I submitted my application I checked it over and over again before submitting only to have to wait for an entire month to find out the results. As I waited for the results, I had to calm myself down as my heart raced each night thinking about if I would have my dream of being in the business school. Fast forward to June 3rd, I was in my room, doing yoga and preparing to graduate with a bachelor’s in Business Administration majoring in both Marketing and Information Systems!

I was so excited to get to the stadium. I tried to eat as much as my nerves would allow me but don’t worry, I had some snacks in my purse lol. I saw some people I never saw in my life and some familiar faces from group projects I’d had over the years. I found my front row squad and we walked around to find our entrance. I could hear the crowd buzzing and we actually were about to start. I was one of the first people to walk out and the energy was amazing. I saw and heard my family cheering for me! It was an amazing experience. The ceremony just about flew by and I walked across the stage with a huge smile on my face and a twirl for the gawds.

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Graduation selfie
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Dubs up!
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Pure happiness

Even though it was cold and rainy at first, it made me feel so good that my family planned and decorated for my graduation beach party. I felt warm on the inside no matter the weather. It just felt good to be celebrated and congratulated for something I worked for. I loved my mom’s idea of every guest going around in a circle and saying their memories, thoughts, and favorite things about me. Words mean a lot to me. I’d say words of affirmation is my love language. And hearing how I’ve made others feel and all of the nice things my friends and family had to say about made me feel so special and appreciated.  I will always look back at that video when I need it.

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The sun came out for us! Family photo 🙂

 

June 8th – Black Graduation

I had a some days in between my first and second graduation. I was just having a pretty awesome week. I got to show my dad around Seattle for the first time and spend time with him while he was here. I had so many leftovers from my grad party that I’m still craving till this day. But low and behold it was time for Black Graduation 2018! I would finally be one of the black graduates receiving their kente stole. This day was a little hectic in the beginning I must say. Nails falling off, couldn’t find my preferred lashes, unexpected things, more rain, etc. I was feeling a little off for a minute but once the ceremony and speeches started I was just like ” oh well let’s just enjoy this” and decided to be in the moment. It was still a good week and the celebration must continue. This graduation was special because I was with all of the black students I experienced UW with. It’s a small small world as a black student at a PWI so it was beautiful to have a celebration just for us. I had fun on the stage too! Peep the video below lol.

 

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June 9th- UW Commencement

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The next day was big graduation with all of the graduates from the entire school, from bachelor’s on up to doctorates. Tons of people had been saying how long and boring the graduation would be or had been for them but I was still determined to go because you only graduate from university for the first time once. The rain held out this time for a while, thank God, because it was on the football field. I was literally running to my entrance so I wouldn’t miss the walk out time but I made it! I was so HYPED seeing how a huge football stadium filled with people all excited. I was so so happy to see my mom stand up and cheer for me in that huge crowd as I walked in. It was my final graduation of the week. This one was for the college experience as a whole. This stage in my life of so much growth and accomplishment. I was celebrating all of that.

All of the departments sat with each other and when it was time to present the business school, we were formally granted our degrees! OFFICIAL OFFICIAL OFFICIAL. A pleasant surprise was actually walking the stage to shake hands and receive my beautiful degree case. I thought we were only going to stand up and sit down but yay I got to walk the stage in the stadium. Literally this day was just so fun and the ceremony didn’t feel long at all.

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At the end, when the seats were almost empty, I gazed the entire stadium and took a deep breath. I really finished. The chapter was completely over. And I was like wow I’m actually going to miss this school. My eyeballs started watering again lowkey (aka crying) but it was like saying goodbye to an era where I became the adult me. I really took my whole life into my hands and learned how to take care of myself on my own. And now my life really changes from here on out.

I came in with a mission and I completed it. A college degree is a privilege that I am so grateful for and I don’t take lightly. It means so much to know that I can take care of myself financially and have the career that I’ve dreamed of having.Generational poverty no longer can have a hold on my lifeI can be a role model for my younger families and they can see that it’s possible to go to college, to travel, to take risks, and to do anything they want to do!  I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to receive a degree from a 4 year university. I’m grateful for all of the challenges, trials, and tribulations that I experienced while in college and because of college because they made me even an even stronger person.

Graduation season was everything I could’ve imagined and even more! Through the ups and downs I know that …. Each step led to this, Dai.

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Love always,

-POP

Update: Summer 2017 Fitness

Greeting Daizies,

I wanted to post an update regarding my summer 2017 fitness goals.During the earlier part of summer, I had signed up for a YMCA membership and was going to the gym 3 times a week. My ultimate goal was to loose 15 pounds by the time school started, become stronger, and have a healthier diet.

Readjusting my Weight-loss Goal to No Weight-loss Goal at All

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Fast forward to now and my outlook on fitness has completely changed. I was so adamant about loosing 15 pounds in order to achieve the weight I had when I was studying abroad. Now, I am not all about weight-loss. Last fall of 20016, I was traveling almost every week which meant walking about 20-30 miles a week. My lifestyle has changed and I don’t want to be stuck trying to force my body to maintain the weight I had at 20 or in high school.

What I’m focused on now is being active in a way that is sustainable. I’ve spent majority of college and actually most of my life with some sort of weight loss goal. Even in middle school I wanted loose weight, usually a small amount, but I always wanted to change something. At some point you gotta just be happy with how your body changes and the way it is.  I’m finally at that point now. My body changes as my lifestyle changes and I want to be more focused on working my way up to actually exercising frequently even when I get busy.

Now I want to focus more on my goal of improving my performance with working out rather than weight loss. This means, being able to run a little longer and lift 10 pound weights with my squats eventually. My weight will fluctuate a few pounds up and down and having a strict schedule of loosing weight became frustrating and wasn’t that fun. I’m at a healthy weight for my height, so I don’t want to put so much pressure on myself to loose so much weight just to be at the same size I was when I was younger. I want to love and appreciate the way my body is now.

Nap or Gym?

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The hardest thing with staying consistent was actually leaving my house to go workout once the weather started getting cold. After class and work, the main thing that’s on my mind is taking a nap, and once I’m in the house I’m in the house.It’s rainy season during the fall and winter, and there’s not much that can make me leave the house once I’m inside lol.So there were several weeks where I was in the zone juggling school and finding the motivation to exercise even at home was difficult. Towards the end of the summer, that fire slowly died down as I was so eager to end work and go to Ghana. When school started I went maybe once a month, and three times this month of December. Sometimes, I did workouts at home when I felt like it. Next year I hope to feel like it more, or maybe incorporate light exercise into my morning routine of yoga. I’ll have more time in the morning/afternoon since my classes start a little later next quarter (it’s my last quarter omg!).

But What About All Those Swiss Rolls?

Okay I can admit my diet hasn’t change much since my summer article. I pretty much eat whatever I want.  On a weekly basis I will most likely eat my famous homemade sub sandwich, some form of chicken and rice, peppered steak, oatmeal/cereal/bagel and cream cheese for breakfast. I’d say overall I have an average/healthy diet. I always have some apples, grapes, bananas, and oranges in rotation and of course I’m drinking plenty of water. But I am a sweets person, and I did just eat a box of swiss rolls to myself within 3 days lol. I hate depriving myself of what I love (chocolate cakes and cookies lol) so why should I? I just know that once I start, it’s hard to stop. Therefore, not getting into the habit of ALWAYS buying Tollhouse cookies and Simply juices are better for me. I “try” *keyword is “try”*

Overall, my biggest health success was accepting my body weight as is and having a more positive body image and increasing my water intake.

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Have a great New Year everyone!-POP

 

 

Summer Fitness 2017 Goals

Greetings Daizies!

Last time I blogged, I was preparing for a deep condition before my first silk press (which I’ll do a blog post on soon). Since then, I finished finals and started a full-time internship in advertising.  After my first full 8 hour work day, I was so exhausted when I got home and was wondering how I would survive the whole summer. I was so tired coming home that all I wanted to do was sleep. I then started to incorporate going to the gym, in order to make my summer more fun and not simply working and sleeping every single day.

Fitness started to become part of my summer routine and now it is week 3 of my new life-style. I started going to the YMCA near my house and have participated in weekly Zumba, Pilates, and Strength & Conditioning classes. I enjoy group fitness classes because it’s structured and also pushes me to try keeping up with the instructor during class. So far I have successfully worked out at the gym 3 times each week which is a huge accomplishment for me considering going that often was always a goal during the school year. After going to one of the fitness classes or even working out individually on the elliptical or free weights, I noticed I have so much more energy.

My quantitative goals with becoming more active is to loose 1 pound a week until school starts (so about 15 pounds). When I came back from studying abroad, I had lost 11 pounds without even trying. I really liked my lifestyle I had when being abroad simply because I was always walking and ate way better than I did when I was home. I hoped to keep up the healthy eating but after a quarter of the year away from BBQ chips, Jimmy John’s, Charley’s Steakery and more, it was hard to not indulge in my favorite junk foods lol. Anyways, I kinda went overboard and combined with being less active during the school year and not counting on walking 10 miles each weekend for travelling, weight gain came back faster than I imagined. I realize that now and want to make a change. I can’t continue in my twenties eating 2 giant bowls of cocoapuffs every other day and wonder why I’m gaining more weight than normal lol.

A healthier diet is also important for my overall health goals.  I’ve cut out sugary drinks and replaced them with cucumber water. CUCUMBER WATER IS AMAZING! Like seriously I am having no trouble drinking 4+ bottles of water of day just by adding 3 cucumber slices. The extra flavor is everything. Some of the benefits are that it helps with weight loss (drinking more makes you feel full), its rich in antioxidants, and supports healthy skin. I’m adding more nutritional value to my diet by eating healthy snacks such as trail mix, granola bars, and bananas instead of hot Cheetos and Swiss Rolls lol. Just taking it step by step ….day by day literally. But every now in there I do give myself a treat 😉

My other healthy goals is to become stronger and  be able to lift heavier weights. Right now I stick to the 3lb weight during classes and I want to work my way up.  I’m learning more about health and fitness via other blogs and articles but all together it’s really fun being more active and having another goal to reach. I’m excited to make it to the finish line!

Xoxo,

-POP

Springin’ forward in 2017

Spring is upon us and its the perfect season for Daizies to blossom!

Although it feels like winter, the sunshine is starting to peak through. It’s hard to believe the year is already 1/4 of the way over. At the beginning of the year, I of course wrote down some goals and things I wanted to work on for the new year… resolutions if you want to call it that. I believe spring is the perfect time to look back at that list and revise, elaborate, delete, and/or reflect on my feelings towards what was originally written down. Even within 3 months, things can change and especially in college I am learning more and more about myself.

Revising for more effective goals

It’s easy to plan resolutions during relaxing times. For example, saying I want to go to the gym once a week and jog outside each week sounded realistic over winter break when I had absolutely nothing to do. But once school started it was less realistic considering my work days consisted of being at school and studying 10-12 hours a day with the gym an entire bus ride away (lol the bus ride is only like 8 minutes but still…). I still want to be more active because of all the health benefits that come with it. So how do I take the steps to get the results I want?

What are the obstacles preventing me?

Getting to root causes will help determine solutions. In this case its simple. I’m tired, the gym is too far away, and when it’s cold outside I would rather be under my covers watching Scandal and figuring out why Abby tried Olivia. With the root causes laid out I can now brainstorm solutions to some or most. Tired? Pick out time frames in which I have the most energy and days that are least exhausting. It’s probably not a good idea to plan going to the gym or exercising on class heavy days such as Mondays and Wednesdays. Even though I don’t start class until 1:30 pm, I always use my mornings to get a head start on homework and studying. Even Tuesdays and Thursdays can be busy with working in the late morning, one class in the afternoon, and followed by group project meetings. This leaves me with Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I have now found my ideal time frame to take action.

Why do I want to do this?

Reaffirming my motivations will help inspire and determine how your objectives have changed. If you can’t really come up with why YOU want to do something then maybe it’s someone else’s goal or not yours. Also, things can change and you may not be as interested in something as you were a few months ago and that’s okay. Asking questions like “Who am I doing this for and why?” are great questions to start with.

My example: Exercising has been found to reduce the effects of stress, and I want to have healthy stress management. Exercise makes you feel good (releases endorphins). I’m in my 20s now and want to set healthy habits so I can live a long life and have a strong heart, muscles, etc. It’s actually fun to push myself and do more than I thought I could .

Baby steps. What can I do THIS week to make my best effort?

I’m probably not going to jump up and become an active gym member anytime soon but I do want to use my school’s gym while my tuition is still automatically paying for it. So starting small I can point out activities held at the gym that I actually enjoy. Roller skating! It is a form of exercise and won’t be a huge jump. It is also on a Friday which I identified as an ideal day for exercising. If I have other plans, I could try yoga in the late mornings. I’m genuinely interested in going to a yoga class since I’ve been doing yoga independently for 10 years every morning. I’m interested in seeing what it’s like being in an actual class and improving my form. Don’t feel like signing up for the class? There is always Sunday and a park down the street where I can jog for 15-20 minutes. I have now given myself 3 detailed opportunities to begin baby steps of frequent exercising.

I used a simple example of exercising but using the framework can help with more  is complex and long-term goals. With longer-term goals of starting my career after graduating in a year and becoming an entrepreneur, this same evaluation can be used on a timescale of thinking 0-3, 3-6, and 6-9 month increments. Reflecting and taking corrective action when necessary is essential to effective goal setting and goal reaching!

In the meantime, take the time do something that makes you life or smile and enjoy the sunshine ( depending on where you live this may be every now and then).

 

A Queen in Cabo| Spring Break 2017 in Mexico!

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you… without a dope blog to step to…

After one of the most stressful quarters ever (mainly from having to adjust to the fast past academic lifestyle post-study abroad) I was hyped to get out of the country for spring break vacation. Since being back from Italy, I wanted to explore more of the beautiful places close to home. Spring break in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico was the ideal choice because I could experience a new culture, enjoy great beaches, and spend less than $400 on a round trip plane ticket. For 6 days, I got to relax and enjoy the beautiful city of Cabo!

Arriving in Cabo

Figuring out transportation from the airport was a little tricky at first. Prior to departure for Mexico I had done some research and discovered that there’s a bus from Terminal 2 that will take you into the city and the downtown area where the hotel was located. It worked out to where the bus stop was visible right outside the Terminal 2 exit of the Cabo San Lucas Airport. We were allowed to pay in either pesos or the $2.50 USD equivalent.

Getting Around & Things to Do

Cabo was a lot smaller than I imagined. Within the first day, I saw most of the city and could figure out how to get around anywhere by foot. With perfect weather in March, it was desirable to go on a stroll to the Santa Maria beach, which was about a 15 minute walk from the hotel.  The Santa Maria Beach was the main party and tourist beach with Mango Deck being the main attraction for springbreakers. Near the Cabo Wabo area was Destiny Massage, which offered a 70 minute massage for only $20 which is unheard of in the USA. It was so amazing and I felt very relaxed afterwards.

 

Nightlife

The clubs in Cabo were all located in one strip and were F-R-E-E THAT SPELLS FREE! With free entrance, it was easy to hop from one club to another. The notorious El Squid Roe was super active and had multiple floors that were all open. It reminded me of several music video scenes. The music wasn’t always popping because it was heavy on pop and EDM type of music but as the night went on there were several sequences of songs that were popping. Sunday night surprisingly was the most lit.

I had looked up clubs before arriving of course, and Pink Kitty was one of the top results but fell short of its status. It was fairly empty but I still had fun dancing to mid 2000s throwbacks with other springbreakers. The club next to El Squid Roe was a top contendor with a more sophisticated layout and with a more variety of songs on the playlist. La Vinquita was another club in the area that played more Latin beats and it was fun to show off my bachata skills!

Food

I could not get enough of Mexican food. I literally almost had fajitas every single day. There was this restaurant near the Marina called Sharky’s. They served delicious fajitas with rice, beans, and chips and salsa for only $7.50. This was also the place where they served liter margaritas for $6! Deals, Deals, Deals! I ate at this restaurant for half of the nights I was in Cabo. The other meals were from various authentic restaurants and I was always satisfied.

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Beef fajita meal at Sharky’s 
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Frida Kahlo photo

Activities

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Fish pedicure

The activities were my favorite part of Cabo! The last two days of the trip were day-long activities of snorkeling and then zip-lining. It is best to book activities in person, as they are much cheaper than online and you have the chance to bargain. Never settle for the first offer or even the first vendor. At the mall, the prices for zip-lining were much higher and for a less inclusive deal.

The snorkeling adventure was super fun because I got to see the Arch of Cabo up close and relax on the way to snorkeling. Because I know how to swim, I expected snorkeling to be easy right away. However, when I jumped into the sea I realized it would be such a workout to literally keep my head above the waters! The water was super cold and it was hard to breathe through the snorkel tube because I was out of breath and heart was beating fast at first. Once I relaxed and slowed my breathing down, things became a lot easier. I could see the tiny fish swimming below my feet! All together, the adventure was 3 1/2 hours long and a time well spent!

Zip lining was the most adventurous activity I’ve done so far! This activity was through a company called Cabo Adventures and featured 7 different zip-lines, including the longest zip-line in Mexico. I can’t believe I glided across mountains in Mexico and even had the nerve to do it upside down! That’s right, I zip-lined upside down. There was one obstacle called the pendulum, where I stood at the side of a cliff while harnessed, and then jumped off like and was swung to the other side. I totally underestimated how high up I really was because as soon as I left the edge, my stomach dropped and I just started screaming. It felt like I would never stop falling! I loved seeing the nature and experiencing the beautiful outdoors. I’m excited to do more outdoor activities in the future!

My goal this year was to travel to another country/content and I’m so happy I’ve been able to accomplish traveling to another country and in the summer will be headed to Ghana!

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Living life!