St Thomas US Virgin Islands

Hey everyone! Well it’s been over a year and a half since I last wrote. In my last blog, I had just landed in St Thomas USVI. My agenda was to find the best places to stay, the best places to eat, and the top night spots. However, a lot has happened in this past year and a half.
I really thought I had done my homework on the USVI but I was way off! I went at the absolute worst time of the year, no work anywhere! I rented a room from someone, who later robs me of all my money. So I call the police and end up having to leave. The officer who responded let me get all of my belongings together then took me to a homeless shelter. As I’m sure you can imagine, I was scared to death!
So I spent the next 5 weeks in the shelter, in the hood and I can assure you, the tourist don’t see this shit! They welcomed me in and treated me with the utmost respect. In that shelter I found an inner peace, I found out what humility really means. I learned so much about myself and I learned how to love myself. Eventually I found a great paying job, I rented a live aboard sailboat and now I want a sail boat! It was heart breaking to leave. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a family emergency in New York and about seven days in, I had a bad accident that would require two spinal surgeries, I’ve had the first and I’m about to have my second surgery within a few weeks. So today I am back in New Jersey recovering from surgery and as soon as I am able I will be moving back to the Virgin Islands.
So here I am, picking up where I left off, finding the best US hotels, diners, campgrounds and entertainment for every budget! Because I fell in love with the USVI I intend to spend a little bit of time focusing on why you should vacation there and I can think of a million!

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ONLY EIGHT MORE DAYS!!! 

Good morning!  I haven’t been to on in over a week,  however I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing!  This vacation blogging is a lot of work! Research, making contacts and planning!  I’m okay with it though,  I know it’s going to pay off in the long run.  I intend to get Americans pumped up and traveling again,  interested in what the U.S. has to offer!  I can’t wait to tell you where I’m headed but I’m not going to just yet.  I will tell you,  I just bought my airline ticket and I leave for my first destination on the 28th of September.  Just eight more days!  And I will tell you this, pack a swimsuit, grab your flip-flops and your favorite party dress! 

Selinas Thrift Boutique 

Happy Monday!  So as you know,  (those of you who are following)  today I did my first interview!  It went great,  I could not have chosen a better subject,  she has the same mindset as I do and that I am trying to instill in other Americans.  

Her name is Selina,  of “Selinas Thrift Boutique”  located on 15th Street in Panama City, Florida. Selina is a 26 year old mother of a 10 month old baby boy and is engaged to a local chef.  She moved to Florida from New York when she was just a baby herself.  Selina has been a hard worker all of her adult life.  She held her first job for six years,  working for Sprint. She also worked  for her mother on her lunch truck.  In 2012,  Selina began selling at local flea markets and by May of 2016 she was able to open her own boutique!  Selinas features,  women’s apparel, mens and children’s clothing all types of baby furniture and bedding,  jewelry and accessories, knick knacks and other various odds and ends. When asked what prompted her to open her own store, Selina stated  “she saw a need for this type of business in her community,  a place that offered more affordable shopping. ”  She plans to expand her business over the next five years. 

Selina does much of her own personal shopping at thrift stores,  flea markets and Farmers Markets.  She mentioned a few of her favorites as being;  The Humane Society Thrift and Gift on Harrison Avenue,   The Farmers Market at The Fairgrounds on 15th Street and one of her favorite homegrown restaurants is Granny Cantrell’s all you can eat buffet,  located on West 23rd Street,  all located in Panama City,  Florida.  So if you ever find yourself in Panama City, check out Salinas and some of her favorites maybe they too, will become some of your favorites!  I asked Selina why she prefers small local homegrown stores,  shops and restaurants,  she replied “for the cheaper prices,  a friendlier and more personal experience and it gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know the people in your community”.  Kudos Selina, way to give back to your community!  I next asked Selina if she ever vacations, guess what?  She has never gone on a vacation in her life, unfortunately her finances have prevented her from being able to take any!  Selina dreams of one day,  being able to visit and explore Puerto Rico.  (U.S.)  Well Selina, keep up the hard work.  You are an exceptional young woman, a stand up American citizen and if anyone deserves a vacation, you do!

That so happens to be the basis of my blog.  I plan to search and find vacations affordable for every budget.  Keep following Selina,  my road trip starts in two weeks!   I will definitely keep you in mind. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview you.  I wish you the best in your endeavors. 

I hope you all enjoyed the interview,  please feel free to comment.  I am open to all suggestions and feed back as I am just getting started as a Travel Blogger. 

The light at the end of the tunnel

So yesterday, I decided I wasn’t going to Google anything,  I wasn’t going to look anything up,  well that lasted a whole 5 minutes haha. 

My goal yesterday,  was to sit on the beach and think about my next move and plan my strategy, try to take as many pictures  as possible,  however I am no photographer,  so no cool pics, a lot of opportunities,  as there was a baby shark, too big sharks and a bunch of dolphins everywhere!  

Anyway, on my way to the beach, I stopped in a local thrift shop called Salinas Thrift Boutique,  to see if by chance she had a beach chair. She had a camping chair for $3 and it was in very good condition!  I remember I had seen a small two-man tent last week, she still had it for $15. I was hesitant because well as I mentioned,  I’m on a biweekly budget of $358 that I am drawing from my unemployment. When she saw me hesitate,  she offered both for 15.00, very cool, thank you Selina!!  I hope she will see my post,  as she did ask about my camping trip. I explained briefly about my journey and she asked where she could find my blog.  I feel as I am making a little progress! 

As I start my journey, I will be living as a pauper,  well because at this stage,  I am,   haha but finding a tent and a camping chair for $15, dollars priceless! The best part is I didn’t buy it from a large chain of stores, so I just brought a local woman a little business and kept my money at home! So anyway,  back to my visit at the beach. I am sitting on the beach hoping to take some really fantastic pictures and a baby shark is swimming right along the beach! I followed him a little ways down the beach with my phone, haha (I think I mentioned I’m not a photographer) now a group of about four to five dolphins are out swimming close to the Shoreline and I’m not sure if I want to go back in the water now! I no mama shark must be close! So here I am, trying to take pictures and videos with my cell phone,  I couldn’t even see what I was shooting but I just kept on shooting,  I figured if I had a few good ones when I got back from the beach,  I would post them.  Well when I got back I went in to my pictures,  parently I had the camera facing me!  hahaha Every picture and video was of me chasing sharks and dolphins and the beach! 

So anyway lesson here here today,  check out your local homegrown Thrift Stores and second-hand shops.  I got a good tent and beach chair for $15, now that camping trip just got alot cheaper!  Oh yeah and guess what Salina,  agreed to be my very first interview!  I will be interviewing her on Monday!  Wish me luck!