Two-Year Anniversary Of thebarefootqueen

Two years ago this month I was inspired to start this blog. While it has a long way to go, I’m happy to say I’m very proud of it. This month Google renewed my blog name thebarefootqueen.com.

I don’t know what it is about sentimental moments but I don’t realize how how magical they were until it’s over.  Let me start from the beginning…

Why thebarefootqueen Name?

I image thebarefootqueen as a loving, free spirited leader. She has a bohemian style and

flowers in her hair. She sleeps by the sun and lives by the moon. She fearless yet vulnerable, because vulnerability is strength. She is the embodiment of  who I want to be.

What Will Happen Over the Next  Two Years?

The next two years you guys are going to see a lot more of me. I plan on starting a YouTube channel and doing vlog, GRWM, OOTD, travel videos are much more. I find myself happiest when I am creating. I remember taking a drawing 101 class in college and everyday I was excited to go. I feel the same way when posting.

Where Do We Fit In?

You guys are important to me. While we are a small  group, we are a strong group. I can truly say I’ve gotten nothing but positivity and inspiration from you guys. I hope to grow our group and get a conversation going. I enjoy hearing feedback, comments, praise, so lets start chatting!

Home Base For Travelers

A home base is a place you stay for a few months between traveling. A few travelers on popular travel sites don’t see the need for a home base.  They believe it’s a waste to pay rent if you’re not living there all the time.

There are travelers that disagree. A home base, especially in your country of origin, is important. A home is a place to spend time with your

friends and family, and celebrate holidays.

I was thinking about this recently since I’ll be relocating soon. The idea of traveling from country to country is exciting yet terrifying. I like traveling but a home base is important to me. A familiar place that I can recharge when I get tried.

The pros of having a home base are; familiarity, a place for your belongings, you can rent it out on

Airbnb until you come back, and conveniences of a home.

The pros of not having a home base are: the world is your home, constant adventure, in-depth learning of culture and languages.

My family is important to me and the fatigue I get when traveling is unbearable. I cannot get a good night sleep unless I am in my own bed!   While it sounds appealing to constantly travel I think I need a home base for now. I like the flexibility of traveling while still being able to come home.

VACATION TO NEW YORK CITY: COUCHSURFING

Happy first day of summer everyone! I’m nearing the end of my New York series, and one of the things I wanted to talk about was my experience with Couchsurfing. When scrabbling for the cheapest travel options I remembered Couchsurfing. I went to a liberal arts college and it wasn’t uncommon for the more travel-savvy students to use Couchsurfing.

A couple weeks before I went to the website. Since the time I’ve visited, it has updated.  To briefly explain Couchsurfing  is a site that hosts travelers for free. You basically crash on the couch and tour the city with your host. People on the website are very weary of hosting guests without references or verified profiles. I would do both before requesting a couch.

My experience is that the site is lacking active members. I contacted a couple of people and realized they have not been active. The profile would show activity from three years ago. There’s also a disproportionate amount of hosts. Most hosts are male, there are few female host.  Couchsurfing is adamant on safety, and verification but is still lacking in hosts.

The hosts are moving to sites like Airbnb where they receive payment for their room and service.
If you look at my previous posting you can check out my experience with Airbnb. I did notice that Couchsurfing has a great meet-up community. You can check on their website or app to meet-up
with fellow couchsurfers.

In the future, I won’t use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay but I will use it to find fellow travelers
in the area.

Hey, guys. I want to get back to my budget vacation series. The next step of my budget trip

was staying there. Staying in New York especially on the main island can be expensive. Thankfully

Airbnb exists. Airbnb is a website that hosts small independent bed and breakfast, rooms, even houses.

So before arriving in New York, I reserved two different rooms at two different places for two nights. One room was in Queens, the other was in Brooklyn. Airbnb allows you to request a room when approved they take payment. Rooms in Brooklyn are available from 20 to 150 dollars.

I was fortunate enough to stay in Brooklyn right next to the subway. My host was Ms. M, she is an entrepreneur in Brooklyn. She rents out a room in her family home to Airbnb every summer.

The room was only available for one night, so I made another reservation in Queens which is not that far from the main island.  A useful tool on the website is the map tool. You can see how far the hostel is from the attraction. I was doing a walking tour of  Manhattan so I chose rooms close to Manhattan.

Below are a couple of tips for future budget travelers.

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  1. Make Reservations Two Weeks Before
  2. Communicate With Your Host (about your expected arrival and departure)
  3. Be Courteous (Respect your Hosts’  Home, and House Rules)
  4. Make Memories (Airbnb are some of the coolest people on Earth)
  5. Write honest reviews

I enjoyed my stay with Airbnb and hope to use them again in my future budget adventures!

Quick question for you guys, have you used Airbnb? What was your experience?

Vacation to New York City: Getting There

The first step was getting to New York. The simplest way would be to fly, but due to my ill planning by the time I wanted to get tickets, it was 300. So I had to do the next best thing, take the train. I know taking the train is a bit old school but it’s still economical.

I arrived at the train station on Wednesday, by the time I got to New York it would be Thursday morning. Honestly, the ride was hard, I don’t like sitting for that long.  The pros of taking the train are that you arrive at Penn Station and don’t have the burden of parking a car. I arrived at Penn Station and took the subway to my Airbnb.

In the future, I will do a couple of things differently.
  1. Buy a plane ticket in advance.
  2. Buy the 7-day Transit pass (unlimited rides)
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions
  4. Subway and Buses are the most effective forms of transportation in NYC
  5. Bring a book and snacks for long train rides 🙂
I found the subway to be an efficient way to travel. I can say that the subway is secure. As a solo traveler, it is intimidating to travel alone. My advice is of you feel uneasy you can sit in the car with the conductor. The subway has emergency buttons throughout the station, or sit next to someone like yourself, like another solo traveler.
 
Do you guys have any tips? Leave a comment below.

Vacation to New York City

Last week I posted that I was going to travel.

Surprise, surprise! I went to the Big Apple, the center of it all.

After going there, it sure was! I didn’t rent a car or stay in a

fancy hotel. This was truly a budget trip, and it was amazing.

I enjoyed the challenge of finding budget-friendly alternatives

to travel.  I hope to do more again in the future, maybe on Youtube?

Leave a comment below and tell me what you guys think.

Anyway, I decided to attend the Governor’s Ball music festival.

It had a great lineup like the Bleachers, Tove Lo, Chance the Rapper and more.

 I was super pumped. Big musicians like that don’t perform where

I live. So I bought my ticket and off I went!

 In the light of everything that happened in Manchester,

you may be hesitant to be a solo traveler. But we can not

fear life.The night before I was so stressed. I did not start packing nor did I know how

to navigate the city. I went anyway, my stomach cramped and I couldn’t

stop fidgeting. (BTW this is my first time going to NYC and traveling solo)

I pushed on anyway even though every thought in my mind said ‘turn back,’

 ‘are you crazy?’, ‘It’s not safe, it’s not familiar.’

I needed this trip because I  was in a rut. I needed to break

free of the monotony of my life. The same places, the same people, day after day

I was sick of it.

I believe that new experiences, meeting new people are the purpose of life.

We are meant to connect.

So I went forward. I pushed past all the doubts and after it all, I’ve become

a better person.

I hope my trip insipres you to do some solo travel of your own.

In the next couple of posts, I’ll explain how I traveled on

a budget.