Attorney-Turned-Travel-Journalist Talks Lifestyle, Treks and Well-Being

Travel caught up with the remarkable Tonya Fitzpatrick, award-winning travel journalist and co-founder of World Footprints Media, to discuss all things travel including, global awareness, culture, and travel tips.


Photo Credit: Ian Fitzpatrick (Image: Ian Fitzpatrick)


Black Enterprise: Busy professionals don’t often prioritize travel, citing lack of time and financial considerations as deterrents. What are some reasonable ways to embrace travel with limited time and budget?

Fitzpatrick: America is a country that is rich in diversity and history. There are U.S. cities that reflect a rich cultural tapestry dating back centuries, where you can experience Old World traditions and flavors. New York and Miami are prime examples of America’s melting pot of indigenous people, early colonization, and immigration. Even in a place like Havre, Montana you can find examples of early Chinese immigration in the underground city that once housed everything from a brothel and opium dens to a saloon, barber shop, law office, and laundromat.

There are also national heritage trails in cities, like Baltimore and Birmingham, Alabama, where people can explore our nation’s history by car or on foot. So, if time is limited, one doesn’t have to venture far from their backyard to discover a piece of our interesting history. Some hotels, like the Gaylord properties, are akin to to mini cities and offer free family entertainment. Historic properties like the Mayflower (Washington, D.C.), the  Grand Hotel (Michigan), and the Coronado Hotel (California) allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of history, and they provide a nice, quick getaway.

Those looking for an island adventure can travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico without needing a passport. There are also several mainland islands where people can go to unwind: Solomon’s Island (M.D.), Mackinac Island (M.I.), Catalina Island (C.A.), Martha’s Vineyard (M.A.), Jekyll Island (G.A.), to name a few.

There are cultural attractions abound in America, and every major city has a treasure trove of unique offerings.

BE: In what ways can travel add value to an otherwise healthy lifestyle?

Fitzpatrick: Travel always offers a chance to escape from the concrete jungle and recharge. When you visit a developing country and witness the generosity and kindness of people who have nothing more to offer than a smile, even the hardest of hearts will soar. Even if you just want to relax under a palm tree with a drink in your hand, that time offers a chance to compare your size to the vast ocean and realize just how small you are in the world. Relaxing poolside or on the beach also affords a time for reflection and introspection.

BE: What did you learn, and how has it shaped the way you embrace the world around you?

Fitzpatrick: Travel has opened the door to so many possibilities and my eyes to the world around us. When I interviewed Maya Angelou, she reflected what travel has reinforced for me—we have more similarities than we have differences. Traveling around the world, and even this country, is very humbling. it has taught me to value life and the opportunities that I’ve been given.

BE: What is your best advice to someone interested in becoming a global citizen?

Fitzpatrick: Leave your U.S.-centric attitude and expectations at home. Embrace cultural differences, recognize our common humanity, and be a good guest in someone else’s backyard.



Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. is the Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, an international consulting firm specializing in professional development. Follow her on Twitter: @wsrapport or visit her Website,



Need More Career Fulfillment? Travel Before You Retire


Graduate from college, secure a good paying job, accumulate assets, climb the career ladder, and give back to your community: check, check, check, check, and check.

You look up five years later and can’t help but ask yourself, “What’s next?”

You’ve followed all of the rules of success, which has given you a professional resume that could land you a six-figure job at any of the most reputable companies in the world, but there is something missing. You realize that you’ve spent the majority of life living someone else’s definition of success, without taking into consideration what success means to you.

In order for you to obtain professional fulfillment, you have to discover what sets your soul on fire and makes you come alive. It’s time to remove yourself from the chains of your comfort zone. Tap into unlimited possibilities that can transform your professional future. Start drafting your six-month action plan and book a one-way flight to another country.

I know this may sound ludicrous and perhaps appears disastrous for your career, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Traveling will give your career an instant makeover, providing you with the clarity and confidence you need to accelerate your career progress and increase your professional satisfaction.

Here is why traveling the world should be the next personal and professional development activity that you consider:

1. Traveling Elevates Your Career Confidence


Let’s face it—most people are stuck in dead-end jobs, because they don’t have the confidence to leave. But, if you are trying to get a promotion or start your own business, even more confidence is needed to convey your value and competence without stumbling over your words.

Confidence is key in the world of business. You can’t seal the deal without it, and you can’t move past rejection if your self-esteem has been shattered to pieces.

Nothing boosts your confidence faster than traveling to a foreign place, navigating in an environment where your looks and language clearly make you stand out as a tourist. These unfamiliar situations can all leave you with unflappable confidence, which will make you unstoppable and more comfortable when you return home. If you can climb steep mountains, eat foreign foods, and immerse yourself in an environment where you can speak the language, what can’t you do?

So, the next time you are asked to take the lead on that stretch assignment, you won’t be shy about saying yes, because you’ll realize that it’s not as life altering as navigating a foreign country alone.

2. Traveling Increases Your Income Potential


Education equates to financial power, if you know how to use what you’ve learned to get what you desire. Take every chance that you have to learn as much as you can, because that will determine your worth when articulating your value to a potential employer or client. The more you learn, the more you earn.

Traveling around the world gives you a chance to teach another native language, give consulting advice based on your area of expertise, deliver better business practices, enhance your social media strategies, and speak or write about leading news topics. These are all in-demand skills that people will pay you for, and when you can diversify your skill-set, you create more sources of income, which can increase your wealth potential.

Your collection of knowledge won’t help you advance unless you publicize, promote, and practice what you know. In order to get paid for what you know, you have to make sure that you market your skills and validate your credibility. LinkedIn is a great online resume that can be used to publish your skills and experience. Use your professional headline, summary, and work experience as a chance to publicize your skills. If you have the chance to deliver speeches or workshops, these are perfect opportunities to practice what you know and obtain feedback.

3. Traveling Globalizes Your Professional Tribe


How many people in your network speak a different language or are from different countries? Stop whatever you are doing to take a mental inventory of your network, as this is crucial to your future success.

Why? Renowned business leader Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The people around you provide you with a glimpse of your professional future.

Start networking around the world—now. Your education may get you in the door, but your network will give you the extra clout that you need to soar. The best networking opportunities come when you travel. Traveling can give you access to a universe of professionals that you would have never met if you had stayed in your home country.

Every person that you meet can expose you to new ideas and ways of doing business, which will allow you to think outside the constraints of your social bubble. Think about the value of your social equity, if you are able to say that you are connected with people from all over the world. The world is a cauldron of rich and interesting cultures, and your ability to take advantage of that will determine your global impact.


[BE Education Package] My Experience Abroad: Sri Lanka

Maurice spent four weeks in Sri Lanka while an undergrad at the University of Maryland – College Park

Maurice Nick

 Age: 25

College/University: University of Maryland – College Park

Year Graduated: Undergrad 2012; Graduate 2016

Current job: Supply Chain Program Planner – Northrop Grumman Corporation

Year you went abroad: 2014

Where you went: Sri Lanka

How long you were there: 4 weeks Did you always want to study abroad or is it something you decided to do after you started college?
Studying abroad is definitely something I had a strong interest in doing since high school. However, due to the need for financial support, college was the first opportunity that I could actually capitalize on. My honors ‘Spanish 4’ class went to Mexico in the 11th grade. I pleaded with my parents for the opportunity to go abroad with them, but the funds simply weren’t readily available, in addition to other concerns they had.

[Related: [BE Education Package] My Experience Abroad: London, England, UK]

How did you prepare to go abroad? Did your school help you prepare?
All of my programs were associated with a class. This will be true for the vast majority of programs offered by a school. When I went to Sri Lanka we had three meetings prior to going abroad. I was working on behalf of the International Executive Service Corp., so they held an executive meeting with all of the student consultants, and personnel from USAID. These sessions were used to jumpstart the groups on their projects. I was on a team of two, and we had two clients in two very different industries that needed similar services provided.

We were funded by USAID; they had subbed their program to IESC, who then contracted with the MBA program at my University. Therefore, IESC paid and made all of our hotel accommodations. We worked throughout the entire island; the official travel was made for each team from the capital city where we all landed, and to the cities we would be stationed. If we chose to travel between cities or to meet each other at various sites, then that was an out-of-pocket expense. The flight to the island was also an out-of-pocket expense and that reservation was made by each individual student consultant.

The first thing I did was submit an application for a visa. This step can be burdensome if the instructions for the country are not followed closely. In addition to submitting my applications and passport for a visa, I prepared by learning about the people who called Sri Lanka home. I purchased a travel guide book about a month from my departure date to learn what I could about the culture and cities I was to travel to. These books always have tips on having a great time, signs to watch out for, and things to avoid to prevent offending locals.

The CDC website provided me with the list of shots I needed and additional ways to ensure I stayed healthy while abroad. The last thing I did was call my bank and have a travel note placed on my credit cards to ensure they’d remain functional during my trip.

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Cool Jobs: The Harlem Globetrotter

Can you imagine being able to trek across the globe, flying business class and staying in 4-star hotels, meeting with senior management of top companies, and getting paid? If so, you can guess what it’s like to be Ezinne Kwuburi 90% of the year.

Ezinne has been working with MTV over the last eight years with a variety of shows from the MTV Music Awards to Pimp my Ride, and has built a reputation in which she is requested to interact and engage with people across the world on such a consistent basis that she barely sleeps in her Harlem apartment.

[Related: Cool Jobs: Hot 97′s TT Torrez on Beating the Odds to Be a Power Woman in Radio]

In Viacom’s Global Business Solutions arm, Ezinne serves as continuous improvement/change management director, helping employees or “end users” work with new systems and technology that aim to serve them better.

Adapting to change is not new to the Nigerian-born globetrotter’s journey. Shortly after matriculating in accounting at Howard University’s School of Business, Ezinne’s mother passed away. Because of this challenge, Ezinne almost left school, though encouraged by her family to continue, she kept going.

In an interview with, Kwuburi discussed how she landed her dream career, advice for those that want to follow similar paths, and more: After graduating with a degree in accounting from Howard, how did you transition to entertainment?

Kwuburi:  Before graduating, I started going to a lot of networking programs, met people from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and received an interview. I had an offer with them and two other companies. Although even then I didn’t want a traditional accounting role, I knew Pricewaterhouse had a big reputation and trained their staff well. I accepted their offer and worked there doing audits for banks and financial institutions in the Washington, D.C. area.

After two and a half years, I knew I wanted to move back to New York. I was applying to other accounting type firms and then a coworker told me she just had an interview with MTV. I had never thought about it before so I said ‘let me apply!’ I applied online and got an interview, but they were taking a long time to make an offer. I had offers with two other companies as well. At Howard, I learned negotiation, so I was going back and forth with all of them, letting them know I really needed to get to New York. I finally called MTV and said, ‘Listen, I have these offers on the table and I really want to come here, something really needs to move,’ and they hired me.

I was specializing in auditing financial institutions at PWC and when I came to MTV, I started auditing entertainment projects such as award shows, TV shows, and movies. We would create that process and  audit against it. That transitioned into, not only creating these processes, but also delivering them to the audience, which is internal. The people that I’m serving are the people that work for the company.

How have your traveling experiences impacted your career overall?

Definitely 1,000%. I think that I’m a lot more marketable now. I’ve been forced to step out of the box. I’ve always been involved, but I’ve always been the one in the background. Now that I travel globally, I can’t do that. Oftentimes, I’m the only one on my team there, so I have to be able to go into a room and interject when needed or make sure that they understand that my presence is there.

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Are You Retired? Here’s How You Can Save Money On Vacations

philly international airportFrom Huffington Post

Memorial Day weekend is gone, and summer vacation season has begun. The weather is getting nicer, the school year is coming to a close and gasoline prices are higher. We all love getting away from our jobs and day to day life, but our budget is usually a bit tighter after retirement.

However, retirees have many advantages when it comes to vacations. Retirement doesn’t have to mean an end to vacations.

Here are some ways to save money on your vacation this year:

Avoid the peak travel season. It’s almost peak travel season in the U.S., and everything will be more expensive until September. Many working families are restricted to traveling during summer breaks, and the hospitality industry raises their prices accordingly. Retirees can travel anytime they want to, and they can save on everything from flight tickets to accommodation.

Senior discounts. If there is a silver lining to getting old, it’s the senior discounts. Amtrak will give you a 15 percent discount on most trips if you’re over 62. AARP members can get very good discounts on rental cars and hotels. Many area attractions like museums and aquariums also give senior discounts, so you should always ask about the senior discount if you’re older than 55.

Read more at Huffington Post

Emergency Cash: The Most Important Thing Besides Your Passport

piggy bank money


From Travelista.Tv

Preparing to go on vacation can be very exciting and stressful at the same time. Organizing flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, etc., are all very important factors when determining how successful a trip is going to be.

You also have to make sure all of your documents are intact: passports and airline tickets included; there is also something else that is very important a traveler should bring: spare money — cash to be exact!

Let me tell you a quick story: I recently traveled to Houston, TX, where I had hotel and car reservations set and ready to go for the evening. Unfortunately, my flight was four hours late causing me to miss all of my reservations. Because I am afraid to travel with tons of cash, I only had my credit cards and of course the spare one hundred dollar bill I carry when I travel. Once I got off the plane to find that the rental company was closed for the night, I had no choice but to summons a taxi cab to drive me to my destination. When I got inside of the cab he alerted me that he could only accept cash, good thing I had my spare Ben Franklin. Once I got to the hotel, I was informed that their credit card machine was broken and that they would only be able to accept cash for the night — thank goodness once again for my spare change! To make matters more difficult, I was extremely hungry and decided to grab a bite to eat at a small diner, and guess what? They only accepted cash! By the end of the night, I used $94 dollars of my spare bill.