All 2019, we are catching flights and not feelings, ladies! Our featured lady, Pia Green is an exceptional woman spreading her wings and soaring! She is a GIRL BOSS creating organizations, empowering women, and sharing her radiant light with everyone that she encounters all at the age of 21! Read on to find out about Pia’s adventures and her key takeaways from traveling to several countries! P.S. Take notes, ladies!
Q: Where have you traveled too?
A: International: Paris, France, Frankfurt, Germany, Dubai, UAE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Quito, Ecuador (my favorite), Panama, Mexico, Belize, The Cayman Islands, Nassau, The Bahamas, St. Kitts and, Honduras.
The United States: Miami, Orlando, Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, New York, Connecticut, Columbus, Ohio, Washington DC, New Orleans, Louisiana
Born and Raised: Jamaica
Next Trip: Portugal, Spain and Croatia
Q: What opportunities have you been afforded when traveling abroad and/or within the states?
A: One of the greatest opportunities I have been afforded during my travels is to have met the twins, Lilito and Javier from my 2012 trip to Quito, Ecuador. Those kids were incredible, that trip was incredible. I am forever changed because of them both.
Another one of the opportunities I have been afforded with during my reign as M.I 2019 is being able to work with the United Nations Youth Branch of UNICEF to share ideas that will advance education efforts especially for women and children in countries worldwide. I have gotten the opportunity to attend several conferences geared towards the 2050 vision of the world with the goal of achieving a better standard of living for many of those in impoverished nations.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge or challenges while traveling?
A: Travelling sometimes puts you in an odd and uncomfortable predicament in terms of honoring your conscience and your value system while at the same time respecting another country’s customs. I live by the mantra that “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere”, so when I travelled to a country where there were virtually no rights for women and I witnessed a lady being grossly mistreated, I wanted nothing more than to intervene. I was warned before travelling to this country that certain oppressive acts were just a part of the “culture” of the country but in the words of Sweden’s Foreign Minister “Women’s rights are HUMAN RIGHTS and there is no room for culture in that discussion”. Human rights are innate rights given to any inhabitant of earth regardless of their nationality or culture and the woman I witnessed being attacked had not been afforded her rights. However, I had to take into consideration that as a traveler in the scenario, I am the one who could come and go as I please. She didn’t have such a privilege. So, I wondered, in a country where the man abusing her would face no criminal consequences for his actions, would I be making it worse by intervening? Would I cause her to get punished more? What would happen to her when I left? Would she be imprisoned because of my actions? I say this to say that one of the biggest challenges for me when travelling was refraining from acting on impulse when I felt enraged by the deprivation of fundamental human rights in certain nations. I have since realized that matters such as this are delicate must be handled strategically. I have learned to put my faith in the non-combative ways that I can help like volunteering with several committees of the United Nations and non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International.
On a lighter note, one of my other biggest challenges while traveling is learning to pack light and being on time. When packing I have the “I don’t need this but what if end up needing it “type of mentality. To this day, I am still the biggest over-packer and end up not wearing even half of the things I pack. I also pack super last minute and I have been late to catch EVERY single flight I’ve ever taken haha.
Q: What can you say is your biggest takeaway about traveling in your 20s?
A: I feel like in our twenties, and I can only speak for my generation of course, the generation of 21-year-old millionaire like Kylie’s Jenner and youtubers buying their first home at 20 years old and 26-year-old successful entrepreneurs like the youngest Chick fil A restaurant owner, it can be easy to feel like happiness is some far away concept that can only be achieved after a certain level of success has been reached. “I can’t wait to be rich and happy”, I just wanna be boo’d up and happy”. Travelling in your 20’s and getting that early exposure to different cultures at a younger age deepens your appreciation for your circumstances and your life. When you travel you realize that someone else is happy with a lot less than what you have and while it shouldn’t’ make you complacent with your life, it does make you conscious of the things in life we should prioritize. Travelling at an early age allows you to escape your comfort zone, foster important global conversations, reshape mindsets and rectify unwarranted stereotypes or reinforce truthful ones, to unburden yourself and cultivate your own opinions, and ultimately enhances your overall way of life. Honestly, it becomes an addiction, the kind you’ll never recover from.
Q: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone who wanted to travel?
A: First, I would say, if you really want to travel, especially at this age, make it a priority of yours. You have to be willing to wake up at 3am and check flights to catch them at just the right time for just the right price. You have to be willing to sacrifice a Pretty Little Thing shopping spree and a Fenty Beauty Restock to save towards your expenses. You have to be smart and finesse for example link your Uber/Lyft rides to your Delta Account because those trips earn you miles too. You have to be willing to take your time. Every country is worth visiting, not just the ones you see plastered all over Instagram. You can start with a short distance trip that might be a cheaper first experience. That may end up being the best trip even more so than the trips to the typical “travel goals” destinations.
Second, I would say if you’re going to travel, do it right. Strike a balance between being a traveler and being a tourist. Enjoy the resorts and the beautiful water. Go kayaking and shopping and snorkeling and ATV riding through the desert but set aside some days to go into a local village or two, visit an underfunded school or an orphanage and volunteer your time and energy, go to the market and talk to the vendors instead of only talking to the tourism ambassadors, try the local food and don’t just run to the nearest Five Guys if they have one, try to pick up some of the language and the local dialects. Every person you encounter is a connection made, helping to bridge the gap between hemispheres and continents. Leave just as much of an impression on the country as the country leaves on you. They say travelling makes you into a storyteller, but I believe that if you do it right, stories will be told about you
WOAH! WOW! OMG! I am truly at a loss for words! I don't even know where to begin! There were so many gems dropped!
If there is only one thing that I could take away from today’s amazing feature lady, it would be this: travel as much as your heart desires and enjoy every single moment! There are so many things that could potentially ruin the experience of travel like packing last minute (it happens to the best of us) or almost missing a flight (again, it happens to the best of us), but ultimately our attitude and the way that we choose to show up dictates how good or bad our experience is. We have the power to create an absolute amazing experience, but it all starts when we decide to step outside of our comfort zone and let our wings soar.
The moment that we take a step back and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the streets, the stillness of the night, or maybe even the yelling of street merchants, we then begin to create a transformative, educative, and life altering experience for ourselves.
Traveling is truly a transformative experience that I hope that everyone reading this has the opportunity to experience fully! You do not have to be a 21 year old millionaire to travel the world or have a husband in tote! There is no one size fits all when it comes to booking trips and catching flights! One thing I would say is: be open to new experiences, new cultures, new customs, etc. as YOU will learn so much as you encounter every single person, place, or thing.
Traveling is not about posting amazing pictures on the gram for everyone to see, but about exploring yourself and digging deeper into who you are as a person and shining your light wherever you go. Go with an open mind and an open heart! You never know what may happen! You may find a new friendship, relationship, or better yet a new place to call home!
REMEMBER TO CATCH FLIGHTS AND NOT FEELINGS