Cancun, Mexico 🇲🇽 🌴☀️

Let me just start off by saying writing on the regular or maintaining this blog is a work in progress. It’s not the lack of content but rather the time, motivation and energy for me to sit down and write. Of course when I do write it’s always therapeutic. Think of it as going to the gym. The hardest part is literally gathering all of yourself and going to the gym. But after you get there and work out, it’s the best feeling ever. So please bear with me and continue showing the love and support. I promise I will get it together.

So it’s the beginning of summer and Lord knows this had been a long time coming. Literally, this was my light and rainbow at the end of my hurricane.  This past winter season had truly been the test of time if it wasn’t already the lowest point of my life.  Afro-Flava wasn’t doing well, my minimum wage job that I had at the time wasn’t working out and having car troubles were some of the experiences life was throwing at me. I was basically trying to make ends meet. Paying my rent at the time was a mission and a half. Looking back, I am still stunned that I was able to push through and make it out. (Those are some stories for another time)

My friends and I had been talking about going on a tropical trip together to start off the summer. All those winter months of watching travel vlogs from the likes of Lydia Dinga, Est-Are and among many others, it was time for us to make our dream a reality. At this point, I had saved a little bit from the new job I had started towards the end of winter into spring. We originally had planned to go to Thailand but the flight prices were not working in our favour. Besides, the amount of hours it takes to travel to Thailand, one needs at least two weeks to not only recover the jetlag but to fully explore Thailand and some of the other Asian countries. (This is still goals). We then settled going to Cuba until last minute when we found out how one has to typically carry cash for the entire trip since debit cards from America do not work there. Let’s not forget the struggles of customs getting into Cuba. (Thanks Trump for ruining it for us after Obama had cleaned up the mess.) After intense deliberation, Cancun, Mexico was where it was meant to be. None of us had been there and some of the packages were within our budget.

We got a package of about $700.00 per person that was all-inclusive (food and liquor, flight and accommodation for 6 days 5 nights). I don’t know about you but that’s a pretty decent deal. This was also the first trip of the year so the hype was very much anticipated. It was also the first time travelling with a big group which I was very selective in going just because the vibe had to be right.

Cancun is a Mexican city on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea. It, is known for its beaches, numerous resorts and nightlife. Just Like every travel destination, Cancun is composed of 2 distinct areas. The more traditional downtown area, El Centro, and Zona Hotelera, a long, beachfront strip of high-rise hotels, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. Cancun is a popular destination for college students during the spring break period.it is also a very popular destination for black folks especially for memorial weekend

We stayed at Princess Yucatan Resort which is about 40 mins drive outside Cancun. A resort that I must say I will definitely go back. We also bought different activities beforehand so when were there we wouldn’t have had to worry about money or any surprising costs. Going to Cancun was the first trip I had done in terms of going on a full vacation resort. You all know that when I travel I like to experience the culture and learn the way of life. Unfortunately this trip was not one of those but at the same time you can’t blame me after the stormy weather I went through. All I wanted was to bask in the sun by the pool with my cocktails and relax.

This trip was everything and more. Not only was it much needed but it was a reward to myself. I am grateful I got to experience this trip and just like I imagined it did set the tone for the rest of the summer. Make sure to follow me on Instagram @Victor_4realzz and check-out my highlight for the full visual aspect of the trip because words cannot express the magical experience.

LUCY

I wouldn’t call myself a creative guru but after this photoshoot, might as well add it to my repertoire.

Since the beginning of summer, one of my best friend Lucy mentioned that she wanted to do a photo shoot for her 24th  birthday. Now I am not sure if you remember her from one of my last post, “Whitney”. she was the creative director/Make up Artist on that shoot and we created magic. Just like me, homegirl knows how to work the camera behind and in front of the lens.

I would say lucy and I are one and the same when it comes to the creative aspects. We tend to be on the same page and have the same vision. For this photoshoot, I was very eager to challenge myself on the creative director role, especially with the trust and confidence that my dear friend bestowed upon me.

We also partnered up with our other good friend Rita, owner and publisher of VisualMag who is a beast when it comes to photography. A woman who’s dedicated her career to telling stories through visuals has proven that dreams can be valid with a lot of hard work, ambition and the attitude of a “go-getter’. Make sure to check out her work and be inspired.

We woke up at 3 am and had to be at the location (Salem, MA) by 5 am in order to catch the sunrise. The whole point of the shoot was to catch that natural lighting. Believe it or not, this was the first photo shoot we ever did as friends many moons ago. Aside from the runaround, being at this location brought so many memories and added that bit of luck and charm for a successful shoot. We literally watched and experienced an idea that started out as a joke come to life.

Lucy, I hope this was everything you dreamed of. As you mark another year in the bag, I wish you more joy and happiness. Better yet, I grant you the wish of partnering with me in the many more projects to come.

Through my previous posts, I believe I have proven to Y’all my capabilities as a model and photographer. Now check me out as I dominate the role of Creative Director. Make sure to show some love, subscribe, repost if you can and comment. Enjoy the pictures.

Back At It. 🥂🍷🍾#winetasting

It’s been close to two years since I visited a vineyard and had a wine tasting session. Today, all the memories came rushing back from the mini adventures that I ventured in South Africa through my wine tasting escapades. Oh Stellenbosch how I miss you.

For those who’ve been with me from back in the day, I am sure you know what am talking about. If you haven’t, please do yourself a favour and go check out my archives and you’ll get all the way caught up.

I got a chance to visit Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton Massachusetts with a group of special folks. Two of my co-workers who I adore to death and Esther who I met for the first time but had a lot of mutual friends. Esther if you’re reading this, I am still baffled why our so called “friends” never introduced us because the connection was too real.

This is my first official wine tasting experience in America and I must say, “What the hell have I been doing with my life?” Quick note to all my wine lovers. It doesn’t matter what location, city or country. The culture of wine tasting is literally all the same. As soon as we arrived, I felt right at home. Not to be extra and all dramatic but I did feel like the prodigal son that had finally returned home.

For just $15, we got to taste and sample 10 different wines out of at least 20 options based on one’s preference. Well technically, you get 10 tokens and you can use them to sample wine, beer or brandy. Of course I used all of mine to try the wines.  Compared to Rands (SA currency🇿🇦), this is some bull pricing but for the average Americans, this is absolutely affordable. The atmosphere and the energy was absolutely amazing. From the open greenery fields to the actual vineyards, the views were absolutely stunning and very relaxing as well.

Towards the end, we bought a couple bottle of wines. Some to take home and the rest to sip while we ate and enjoyed the day and the views.  What better way to soak it all in with some good vibes, friends and amazing outlooks.

The weather was perfect as well which added to the aesthetics of the property that contributed to a dope Instagram pic. As I am getting older, the clubbing scene/night life is kinda getting too outdated for me and I am finding myself leaning towards these kind of vibes and hobbies.

I absolutely recommend for everyone to check out Nashoba Valley Winery. It’s perfect for a date, mini day get away for couples, friends and even with family. Stay tuned because there’s definitely gonna be more post on my wine adventures.

WHITNEY

They say that in photography there is a reality so subtle, that it becomes more real than reality. It’s definitely a different perspective when you look through the lens of a camera. I bet most of my fellow photographers can relate to what I mean. When taking a picture, there is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. We all view the world and its content through the lens of the human eye. A good photographer must attain that humanity of the moment with every picture through just the lens of a camera.

I got the opportunity to shoot my old time friend Whitney with the help of one of my closest friends Lucy.  I met Whitney through a friend of a friend and it was an instant connection. Her soft spoken voice that filled the room with so much vibrance and personality which was easily recognizable. Oh and you can’t forget that touch of the ‘Lowell hood’ with a sprinkle of a southern belle which she expressed with every reference of “ooooh child” in every sentence of a story she told. She knows what I am talking about.

Whitney was the first person that I experienced the late night city lights of Boston. This was around the summer of 2012 and every other day we would drive my little hoopty hoopty, otherwise known as black cherry into Boston. We would immerse ourselves into the city’s diverse population and culture that we lacked back in our hometown. We shared our dreams and goals to each other as we made promises to our future self.  This was about 5-6 years ago. After losing touch, life as you know it had a funny way of bringing us back together.

Whitney is now about 36weeks pregnant and had asked me to do a maternity shoot of her before she gave birth. Of course I had to bring in my partner in crime Lucy, who is my creative twin that we see eye to eye when it comes to the art of fashion. Lucy helped me execute this one of a kind master piece.

 

Lucy, who’s a Picasso when it comes to make up, helped with co-directing of the shoot and setting up of the scenes. Of course her energy and positive vibes added to the ambiance of the room.

 

What was only expected to be a just a favor for an old time friend, turned out to be the best baby shower gift I could give to her. Here is to you Whitney as you begin this new chapter of your life. I know you’re going to rock being the best mom in the world.  Happy Mother’s day.

Lets Talk Style!

In the recent years I have found different ways to express myself. Through Music, the art of cooking and photography. But my newest form of expression or rather my new form of therapy has been travelling and fashion.  Initially when I started this blog, it was specifically for travelling but later on it just made sense to talk about my experiences and my journey as a whole.

For today’s post I wanted to share my interest for fashion specifically. In all honesty I don’t think I have ever had a conversation with anyone about my sense of style and how or why I can express myself through it. I have always just allowed it to speak for itself. I would never call myself a fashion expert or any type of fashion influencer but I do believe that I have a type of swag that can be well respected with those in the fashion community.

I would say my sense of style is very versatile, hence why I shop everywhere and anywhere. I don’t care about brand names (my bank account doesn’t even allow it if you know what I mean). As long as it looks good on me, I am all for it. I kind of started paying attention to the way I dressed between my later years of high school and going to college. At this point it was basically figuring out what works for me. Being on the heavier set, it’s not the same like for the average norm. Knowing what stores would carry your size yet still have a variety of styles to choose from that would also cater to your budget.

Name brand stores like forever 21, H&M which cater to the younger generation and style, sadly don’t accommodate as much to those who happen to be a little heavier. Personally I am always lucky whenever I can find something that fits, stylish and is current. I mean it’s great that right now we can have thicker models on the runway and brands that are catering to the average size woman but what about our fellow gents who are big and tall?

I don’t know about you but for me, whenever I get dressed up it has to be appreciated. Meaning the justice of the outfit needs to be served. Have you ever dressed really well and by the end of the day it feels as if your outfit just went to waste so you end up repeating the same outfit for another day/event? Well that’s exactly what it means when your outfit’s justice is not served.

When I dress good, it makes me feel good and it adds to my confidence which is portrayed by my energy and how I interact with people. It compliments my whole being and who I am as an individual. I always feel like I am telling a story and exuding a character every time I pay attention to what I wear.

It didn’t help that I went to a school in the middle of nowhere, where my environment was very country. Not that there is anything wrong with that in fact, I did walk away with a newfound taste of fashion sense for that type of environment. You see, if you really love fashion, you see beauty and style out of clothes, accessories and any fabric known to man. During this period of time while in school, I began collecting pieces and “must have fashion items “. Like I said before, being on the heavier set is a full time job when shopping for clothes. It was also at this period of time where I learnt a lot about thrifting which I must say has played a big role that’s added to my knowledge for good quality materials.

If you look at my style today, you will see that I like to incorporate a touch of different styles that contribute to an entire outfit. Currently I have been more attracted to print styles and that retro/vintage style. (my dad back in the day)

When it comes to accessories I love African pieces from the necklace to my wrist game. Finding inspiration through fashion gurus from Instagram socialites like Michael Anthony who’s based in Detroit and Julian Hernandez from Stockholm has also greatly influenced my style and confidence.

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of how I express myself, I want to know how you express yourself. If you can relate or just enjoyed reading this piece, make sure to leave a comment and don’t forget to share and subscribe.

2018 Baby!!!✨🙌🏾💥

It’s been a minute since I put my thoughts into words. Basically, I have been MIA (Missing in Action) from blogging. I have never thought of myself as a writer but more of a story teller through word of mouth. Blogging was just an alternative that I fell in love with along the way.

Most of you who write or blog already know that the hardest part about the job aside from having ‘writers block’ is being able to keep up with the writing. For me the disease of a “writer’s block” did not affect me, It was merely just a case of laziness and lack of motivation that drove me away. Don’t get me wrong either, Life also played its role in contributing to me being MIA but hey, I am taking full responsibility and I am back now! 2018 is a new year, new me.

A lot has happened since I last shared with ya’ll. I ended up quitting my job as a server, travelled a little bit more, got a new job and last but not least, the biggest change out of them all was me moving into my own apartment or should I say studio. I also met new friends along the way and became closer to folks I never thought we would cross paths. I know it’s crazy because one of my last post that I wrote last year, I talked about sharing my journey and bringing you guys along. I am a man of my word and I still vow to share those stories with you as part of my content. I am thinking of creating a segment called ‘Story Time’. This is where I will share my stories that were content worthy that I should have shared with yall in the past. A lot of vloggers do this on their YouTube pages. For those who are avid YouTube watchers, it’s pretty much the same thing.

Just in case you’re still wondering, Afro Flava is still pushing through. I still cook part time and I must say the experience has taught and still teaches me new things every day. #FuturePost

As of now let’s cheers to new beginnings, more content and new adventures.

Afro Flava😋👅💦

As I sit down and reflect from the last time I wrote to ya’ll, a lot has quite happened. I mean from dating to finding a job, there’s been quite a personal growth.  I recently just got a job as a server at a pretty descent restaurant. Others would call it a classy, high-end but yet affordable.  Having worked in the restaurant business before, this was one thing I’ve always shied away from. Getting the three/four dollars an hour is not a conversation one looks forward to hearing especially when you’re in desperate need of fast cash. Now that I am in the industry and knowing what servers go through, it all makes sense. (Future blog post)

Anyways, so ya’ll remember my Instagram food page that I started a few weeks ago? (@Afro_flava) well let’s just say it’s been great so far. What started out as a platform for showcasing my love for food, quickly overturned to a possible business venture.

Not going to lie but all this happened so fast, it still feels like a dream. They say it happens when you least expect it. It all started when one of my good friends had asked me to make her a meal prep (this was when I was struggling to find a job). She offered to buy the main ingredients and pay me $50.00.

At first it seemed like a side hustle but mostly just helping out a friend. Besides I cook all the time on social media so it really didn’t seem much to me. After her reaction of the master piece that I prepared for her, I decided to kinda venture and look for more folks who will be willing to pay for a meal prep.​

We’re living in a time where fitness is a trend and all that comes with it (food, fashion, beauty) has become a day to day lifestyle. I believe this is an un-tapped market area so why not be smart and take a risk in this possible business.​

​I never imagined I will be my own boss, yet again we also never thought Trump would be president. Thus far I’ve gotten a couple of clients here and there but haven’t really gotten a loyal clientele yet. As crazy as it sounds, I feel like maybe this could be the start of something big.

I officially want to introduce you to Afro Flava. A food and beverage company that is dedicated to exploring the art of food and different ways to exciting ones taste buds by catering meal preps.