Finding Chalanda Michelle was initially created to document my journey of finding the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself (in the words of Queen Oprah).
After a year of self-analysis, I do know myself better. What I know for sure is I love exploring the world. Nine countries traveled this year alone confirms that conclusion.
After 18 years of living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (USA), a glorified college town, I moved to Clarkston, Georgia (USA). It contrasted majorly to my hometown. Clarkston exposed me to nationalities from around the world. Hearing native tongues other than my own became common. In hindsight, I was being prepared for my life as it exists today. English is not the first language of my spouse or individuals I interact with daily.
The beginning of travel for me
In the year 2000, I attended a travel school. With a travel agent certification in hand, I obtained a job as a travel agent in a travel agency. Immediately after completing the company’s training program, 9/11 happened. The operation closed.
Fortunately, I was hired, shortly thereafter, by another travel agency. I got my first passport and an IATAN card. An IATAN card is a platinum membership card to travel agents. Countless travel perks came with possessing an IATAN card. Familiarization trips (i.e., fam trips) staying in all-inclusive resorts to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. All expenses paid by the company and sponsoring resorts.
My new employer wanted us to have the first-hand experience of the products we were selling. I couldn’t agree with them more. Stay in mid-range to luxury properties. Relax on the beaches. Indulge in the properties amenities. I fell hard for this lifestyle. Life was good for a 20 something-year-old.
Unfortunately, the travel industry did not fully recover. The company downsized.
A safer trade for sure. With two degrees in accounting, I landed a job with the state government. The icing on the cake was I got paid to talk and travel. Two of my favorite things.
In my spare time, I explored the natural beauty of Georgia. Inadvertently, racking up compensatory time and hotel points to fund my future world travels. Life was good again. Book me to speak at your next event by clicking here.
Slowly, the travel fire was being reignited.
In 2012, the church choir organized a trip to Italy in the summer of 2013. Coincidently (or not), the Roman Colosseum was on my vision board.
World, here I come.
The next international trip took place in 2016. For my 35th birthday, I traveled to 7 countries in southern Europe and 1 in North Africa for 35 days. Words can’t express what that trip meant to me. A road trip throughout Greece. Shopping on Champs De Elysees avenue in Paris on my birthday. Watching the moon rise from the ocean in Barcelona. Experiencing Ramadan in Morrocco.
I began to dream and journal about living abroad. I’m a living testimony that dreams can become a reality. Make sure to read “Baby Step Your Dreams Into Reality.”
What Do I Blog About?
Earlier blog posts are inspirational pieces on: self-reflection, self-discovery, self-improvement, and self-love. Living abroad is life and relationship training on steroids.
After my crash course on life and relationship. On November 4, 2019, I decided to take the blog in a different direction and focus on travel. I’ll be writing (and vlogging on YouTube) about a specific destination’s culture, cuisine, climate, and currency.
Finding Chalanda Michelle is unfolding and evolving daily. The search for Chalanda Michelle will be literally and figuratively.
My Type of Travel
I love traveling. Trips I can think back on and say I truly lived life. Having high tea at the Atmosphere Lounge in Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world). Seeing the sunrise in a rooftop pool in Thailand (Bangkok). Walking the white cliffs of Etretat in Normandy (France). Relaxing poolside at Kempinski hotel in Accra (Ghana). Running through the rainforest in Capetown (South Africa) with some ultra-athletes. My goal is to create memories of a lifetime.
Planning A Trip?
Thus far, I’ve explored 23 countries throughout the world: Bahamas, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Mexico, St. Martin/Marteen, Punta Cana, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, India, Italy, Greece, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Morocco, Oman. Sadly, only seven states in the United States. I’m working on a plan to increase my footprint across America.
Currently, I’m resting between the United Arab Emirates and Ghana with Daniel. I call the world home. I have a love affair with faraway places. Daniel is aware of and approves this affair (to an extent…lol).