people: aunt brenda

Aunt Brenda, my mom’s sister, is the reason I got my first passport. When I was ten, she invited me to go on a trip to the Bahamas. I have so many great memories from that trip–the nice couple who sat next to me on the plane (my first time in the air); almost drowning my cousin, who was trying to teach me how to swim; Marcia at Guanahani Villas, the sweet Bahamian lady who worked at our hotel. But mostly I remember being introduced to the world beyond my small town.

Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is the gift of travel. If it makes her see the world through new eyes, it’s just like you’ve given them the gift of possibility.


What was your first life changing trip? Leave it in the comments below!


  1. My first international trip was to Italy/France in 2009 with my twin sister. It was life affirming because it gave us a new perspective of being Black in a foreign country. There weren’t many of us there, and we wanted to seek them out. We started a blog and webshow called Take A Leap that infuse our love of travel and filmmaking. We’ve since traveled back to Italy and also to China where we chronicled the lives of African-American expats. We’re taking it a step further by incorporating a career mentoring component that will provide career and financial planning to career changers, as well as an assigned Mentor in their new career field of interest. The inaugural year long program also has an optional int’l travel component. In Jan 2014 we’re taking the Mentees to Quebec City, Canada. My sister and I have also helped fundraised for youths in our area in need of funds to travel abroad.

    • Thank you for sharing this! I don’t think enough people realize just how transformative travel can be, so I think what your sister are doing–helping to make travel possible–is wonderful.

  2. My first life changing trip was to Maui…alone! Love that place and can’t wait to go back. I was a very grown woman but I got tired of not going anywhere/not seeing the world. Of course, I got flack from family (who never travel much) but it was a great trip for my birthday at the time. Off topic, but that is a pretty picture of your aunt and son!

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