5 Tips for Traveling While Natural

1.Keep your hair moisturized and protected

I have been enjoying the efficiency of head wraps. Not only are they stylish, but stayer convenient for the on-the-go traveler like myself. While on a 10 day trip across central Europe, I wore mostly head-wraps with my hair braided in a cinnamon bun type braid. I was happy to keep my ends protected, and still to apply oils and leave-in conditioners to stay on top of my moisturizing regimen. My new routine is wearing my hair in twists for 5 days, styling them with wraps or wearing them loose. Then rocking a defined twist out for 2 days.

Coming to Italy, I had my hair in twists and kept them in for about 6 weeks. Arriving to your destination with a long-term protective style is great because you won’t have to worry about styling while also adapting to a new environment. Once my marley twist style came to an end, I saved the hair for future styles. The hair came in handy for my Beyonce Formation Halloween look and the two french braids the total costume required. I still have the hair and will put it to use, for a bun or two.

While in London, I found a plethora of hair stores available and even though I didn’t know when I would use it, I purchased 4 packs of crochet braiding hair. Bundles at a great prices are hard to come buy and I knew London would be the closest place to decent priced hair and products, so I just bought them. I will probably hook up something cute for my last month abroad.

2. Bring your entire hair care system

One thing I wish I brought more of was CONDITIONER. It seemed like I would be doing too much by buying 3 bottles of conditioner as I was leaving the States, but when I really think about it, its totally realistic. Think about how much of each product you use and bring that amount for your trip. I am already savoring my last bit of Cantu leave-in conditioner. I should’ve known to bring at least 2 jars! Even though there is a store here in Milan, it just doesn’t sit well with me to purchase a $12 jar when I know I could get the same thing for half the price back home! Bring enough products to last you or you might have to pay twice as much for literally the same thing!

3. Scope out hair-stores

In an earlier post I talked about finding a hair store randomly in Rome. Coming to find out, there are a few small hair stores near central station in Milan. Ask people who live in the area where they are getting their products, and this will make the search a whole lot easier.

4. DIY with it!

On the note of overpriced natural hair products, a cost efficient solution is utilizing DIY recipes!

  • Detangler – Apple Cider Vinegar & olive oil
  • Deep Conditioner- 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of olive oil | Conditioner, water & olive oil
  • Leave-In Conditioner- Mix Conditioner, olive oil, coconut oil, water and mix into a spray bottle ( This will be the mixture I use as I am on the last scoops of leave-in conditioner)
  • Shampoo – 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 2 cups of water. I had to find the right proportions because the first times I used this method earlier this year, I found that my hair felt very dry afterwards. This is because I used WAY too much ACV, as I was thinking “the more the better” and that it would cleanse my hair even more. In this case “less is more” is the way to go.

5. Google Translate is Your Friend When Buying Products

If you do decide to buy hair products at regular stores or grocery stores, be sure to use google translate to read the ingredients. Even if you think you have an idea of what the product does, it is also great to double check! If I were to get the wrong product, its not like I could take it back! Refund policies are a lot different in Italy! I’m so glad I read the ingredients of a Palmer’s shampoo I was about to purchase. Right at the check-out, I translated the description to find out it was a protein based conditioner for fine and limp hair. My hair is neither fine or limp, so that particular product would have probably made my hair very hard. I saved $7 just by checking to make sure I was getting the right thing.

 

PSA: SHEA BUTTER IS WILL NOT MAKE IT PAST AIRPORT SECURITY IF IT’S OVER 3 OZ

This is a side note to prevent others from  the loss and suffering of 2 jars of shea butter. Even if the jar says “solid”, they still won’t let you get on the plane with it. I’ve lived and learned lol.

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The Netherlands: Amsterdam & Utrecht

9.21-9.26

I spent 5 days in the Netherlands and fall weather was sure in full force. Summarizing my trip there in a few words I would say bicycles, brisk weather, coffee shops, and fries. Amsterdam was a quaint city. It reminded me of the backdrop to many classical plays and performances. I felt appreciative of the Italian language once I saw the Dutch words with more than 8 syllables. Nonetheless, it was still a nice visit to one of the places I’ve been wanting to go.

Journey to Italy|First Day Nervousness and Excitement

I am here!!!!!!!!!

After months of thinking about this day, I am finally here in Milan. I am currently wide awake and flipping through multiple tabs on my computer. It is nearly 3 am lol! I took a long 7 1/2 hour “nap” after arriving to my dorm. I was feeling very exhausted, physically and mentally overwhelmed from the basically 24 hour travelling and emotional departure leaving home. I have pretty much been in my room ever since arriving. Unpacked most things and made lots of phone calls to keep myself company. I am looking forward to starting my journey tomorrow as I will be making my way to the school to pick up my student ID and register for some walking tours. I am just ready to have fun already and have friends. I need to be patient, clearly, considering I literally just arrived. I just want to be acclimated and used to everything already. I remember feeling this way on the first night I arrived to London. I was so ready to have the fun everyone said I would have. Ready to experience what I was hoping for and to have fun people to make memories with. Well it’s the same right now. There isn’t much to do on the first night when it’s literally the middle of the night and I haven’t been around many students to even initiate friendships, and that’s okay. The right people will come.

Anyways, McDonald’s is truly on my mind. I can only imagine how fancy it must taste in Milan haha. I am so glad I brought a bag of snacks filled with bagels, jello cups, pop-tarts, fruit snacks, and an apple. Those snacks really came in handy during the plane ride and now seeing as how I was too tired to find a grocery store here. I was very delighted that my airline provided dinner AND breakfast. I was like “look at God!”. I had a more pleasant experience flying this long journey. Last year I felt dizzy and a little nauseated by the flying motion and the flight just seem EXTREMELY long. This time around I at least slept 2-3 hours on each flight. I had the chance to watch The Intern, a few episodes of Fresh Prince, and Person of Interest. I then listened to some podcasts, The Read and Another Round, to make me laugh and keep me in good spirits.

I know these last couple of days have been very exhausting for me. I cried so many times just preparing to leave. It’s scary leaving home and going all the way across the world. Will I have fun? Will I be homesick too much?  Will living in the dorm be a hassle or should I have just gotten an apartment? Is this still a good decision?  I can’t speak Italian lol how will I get by?  Will I make friends I can be myself with? These are all things that were and still are running through my mind. I literally don’t know the answer to these things which is why I want to be adjusted already and find out the answers lol. I’m trying my best to just relax and take things one day at a time. I will look back at this like haha why in the world was I so worried? It was starting to feel like my fears and anxiety were taking over the more I thought about how this is the boldest move I’ve ever made. But I overcame it. I may have cried and did a lot of overthinking, but at the end of the day I got my butt on that plane and I’m here right now. It’s okay to feel nervous. I know how I am and I am still learning how to not worry and to tend to my own emotions when I am feeling anxious about something.

I discovered my favorite scripture about 5 years ago when I was a freshman in high school. I was worried about something and came across Matthew 6:34 which says “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”. That whole chapter describes how much God cares about even the birds in the air and how those birds ain’t worried about a thing so why should I? Worrying doesn’t add a single hour to my life. So after I’m done worrying… the situation is literally still there but only hours of stress have passed. Then in the end, it’s like all taken care of. I’m gonna have to go reread that chapter honestly. It’s good to just reread things and get it through my head again. Thinking back to times like this when I didn’t know the future but it felt like a really huge deal. Getting into UW, leaving home for college, whether I would pass ECON 200, leaving the country for the first time to the UK,  and the entire admissions process to the Foster School. Each different experiences that required acknowledging my fears and putting my trust in the Lord. Looking at each thing I typed out and being on the other side of those events, everything turned out okay. The same feelings were behind them whether it was just feeling overwhelmed, anxious, helpless, stressed, or like it was the most important decision in the world. I got accepted to UW which was my top choice, I ended up really enjoying being in college and living in Seattle. I know I barely passed ECON 200 with an acceptable grade and was looking at about 4 back-up majors once I saw my grade, but with even that I was accepted into business school. Look at God! No seriously, look at him. And we all know how much I loved London so that’s self explanatory lol. This is a brand new experience and I know it will turn out great just like the rest of the things I was excited or nervous about.

This post is longer than I expected but it was a good chance for me to get everything written out and release the rest of my worries. I freed up some space on my phone so I can take some fire pictures tomorrow. I recorded my travels through airports and will make it into a travel vlog soon. I also have a DIY honey and olive oil deep conditioning video I plan on uploading to Youtube. Don’t worry, I will still keep my Youtube videos coming!

Time to walk in my destiny! I’m putting into the atmosphere that this will be one of the best experiences of my life. I will learn more about myself and grow tremendously as a person. I attract great people and form amazing friendships. I will remain safe and healthy throughout this entire trip. I will laugh, not worry, dance, eat, save money and have the time of my life!

Taking it step by step and Dai by Dai 😉