Tag Archives: traveling

MBA Chronicles: Power of THE PUSH

 

I am two weeks away from business school orientation and I feel like I have a million and one things to get done. My to do list comprises of finishing up pre-course work, back to school shopping, getting my immunization records to the school, deferring my loans, buying stuff for my new apartment, registering for “Math Camp”, doing work for the career services team, and so much more.

The pre-course workload is way heavier than I thought it would be and I’m starting to regret going on vacation and doing nothing for two weeks. Usually in situations like these I would get 1) super flustered  2) just quit and say I’m not doing it and just take the 0% grade. But it’s crazy when you want something bad enough you will somehow find your inner grit, and get sh*t done. Yesterday I had a very late start to my day (my sleep pattern is way off ever since returning from vacation). I went to the library around 5pm and started doing work. I went home right before the library closed at 9pm, and kept doing work. Before I knew it, it was 2:30am! Between the hours of 5pm-2:30am I dedicated my time to my school work. Was I tired? Hell yes, but what kept me motivated was my end goal of making six figures after I graduate, and how badly I want to reach that goal.

In undergrad I wasn’t the best student, but I wasn’t the worst. When I applied myself I made Deans List 4 out of the 8 semesters I was there. I slept a lot in undergrad and hardly ever stayed up past 12am studying. If something was hard I’d bullsh*t my way through it to get a decent enough grade. Back then I was too lazy to see the importance of hard work. Fast forward to today, Ive had a 9-5 job in corporate America that I hated. I have been underpaid for most of my career and the work that I was doing was not interesting to me at all. Going through that experience really has given me the ” The Power of the Push”. 

I’m not sure where I got this term from, maybe I made it up…but this is a term that has been repeating in my head over and over again since I’ve been in this season. “The Power of the Push” is what separates great from mediocre, the strong from the weak, and those who want it to those who don’t.

For most of my life I have always felt as though there are just some people who just succeed because they are simply smarter. As I navigated through corporate America, I realized that its not about smarts all the time. Its about who works harder, who wants it more, who pushes harder to get what they want. I mean a great example of this is Donald Trump. His vocabulary is limited, he isn’t well read, and he isn’t the smartest cookie in the batch but some how he has been able to elevate himself to the highest office in the United States (granted him being a white man has probably helped a lot too, lol).

My will to succeed is so strong that I can not see anything except GREAT things ahead of me. I am willing to put my blood, sweat, and tears into this. Something that I can’t say Ive been willing to do for anything in my life thus far. So as I begin my business school career I am going to promise myself to keep pushing, to not allow outside factors disrupt my grind, and to always remember the POWER of the PUSH!!!

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

“When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots we become part of the unity of our environments” – Yayoi Kusama

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The great thing about living in a major city is that there is ALWAYS something new and fun to do.

The most recent hot spot in DC has been the Hirshorn for its Infinity Mirrors Exhibit! After a month of trying, I was finally able to get tickets to the the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit. Although the tickets are free, they are extremely hard to get and they usually sell out in two minutes.

 

About the Exhibit

This specific exhibit, Infinity Mirrors, is called as such because of Kusama’s use of mirrors to give the illusion that the space is much bigger than it really is.  In all actuality, the art is broken up into small rooms and can only fit a small number of people in it at a time.

What you need to know before you go

Despite having timed passes the lines to visit each room is very long. The museum allows small groups of people to enter each room at a time and you are only allowed 20 seconds in each room. They do not allow you to bring in any bags, food or liquids into the rooms.

There is other art…

Although the Infinity rooms are the main attraction, the Hirshorn features other art from Kusama that allows for some really great photo ops as well.

Final thoughts of the exhibit

This exhibit is amazing. If you can get tickets I say go! The lines were a nuisance and because of it I wasn’t able to see every room. Having 20 seconds in a room was annoying because you couldn’t really get a chance to take in what you were seeing. By the time you had a chance to admire, and appreciate the art work, they were opening the door and carting in the next group. In order to ensure that you have some memories one needs to walk in with their camera in hand and start snapping away immediately. There is no time to think about your pose and perfect angle.

Although overshadowed, the free standing art is something to be admired as well especially the polka dot room. The polka dot room was my favorite space because each visitor was given a set of polka dot stickers and told to put them anywhere in the room!

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South Africa Part 10: The Return Back Home

The last thing that was a big treat for us was that  my boyfriend and I got a free upgrade to business class during our layover in Dubai.

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Us in business class. Can you see how excited we were to be there!

The amount of excitement that we were filled with was that of a child being able to eat ice cream and cake for dinner!  Don’t get me wrong coach on Emirates Airways is really great but Business Class takes your flying experience to a whole other level.

For instance, business class is located on the top floor of the plane (Yes, this plane has two levels). As soon as we got to our seats we saw how big of a difference it was flying business class. The biggest thing were seats that could be laid out horizontally with a push of a button so that one could sleep on the flight the same way that you sleep in your bed. This was so BOMB!

The second major difference was the food. Though the food in coach was delicious, the food in business class was much better. The food seemed fresher as though it was cooked by a chef on the plane (although I know it had not) and as soon as we sat down we were given a choice of champagne, and mimosas before take off. Oh and did I mention that they had premium alcohol in business class.

In business class they feed you, LITERALLY, all through out the flight. I thought we were pretty well feed in coach, but in business class they come around with many different things such as: warm croissants, pastries, and warm nuts.  There is also a lounge area in the back of the plane and a fully stocked bar! My boyfriend and I took this as a chance to try some expensive alcohol that we probably will never buy with our own money! In the lounge they had even more snacks for us to munch on during the flight  including cheese, small cakes, and crackers. And yes we did get fed three meals while in business class, so all the extra snacks were just an added bonus! Flight attendants also  laid out linen table clothes for each person before we ate. We also had actual glasses and silverware in business class that made you feel a little bit more at home.

Because our seats converted to beds I slept way more on this leg of the trip than I did when I went to South Africa. I am not sure when I will ever get an opportunity to fly in business class again (considering for one leg on Emirates it can cost you upwards to 5k for a business class ticket), but I sure did enjoy my 13 hour flight from Dubai back to the United States!

South Africa Part 9: Our last day in Cape Town

Our last day in Cape Town we spent the day at Green Market Square. The day before we had asked one of our servers  where was a good place for us to purchase South African souvenirs at a cheaper price. He said Green Market Square was the place to go. Since we only had a few more hours left in Cape Town until we departed, we ate a small breakfast and made our way to Green Market Square. We called an Uber and he dropped us off right by the square

Once we walked up, there were several different vendors and most of them were selling the same things. Initially I thought that each vendor had hand crafted, painted or sewn each item, but as I walked around I realized that they all had the same exact items. But this was not that big of a deal to me because the items were very nice nonetheless.

What is good about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What is bad about Green Market Square is that you can negotiate prices with the vendors. What do I mean? Well first off it is always a good thing when you can talk down a price but some times this can lead to vendors haggling you, giving you their life story about how much they are struggling or even you feeling guilty that you asked for a cheap price on an item (this was my case, I felt really bad asking for lower prices). It was a bit overwhelming when we were walking around the different booths trying to decide what to get. I wanted to get everything, but of course I could not. It was also overwhelming because as soon as I would go up to look at an item more closely I was then bombarded with the vendor asking me a ton of questions or saying things to me to try and make me buy it. I mean I get it. This is how people make their living and as a person from a third world myself I respect the hustle, but sometimes I just want to browse and decide on my own.

Nonetheless we ended up getting some real good items to bring back to America. Some of the vendors actually take credit cards, but most only take cash. We ran out of cash at one point in time so we had to go to a local ATM to get some more. Since Green Market Square is in a busy part of Cape Town finding an ATM was not hard at all.

 We purchased kente clothe bags, necklaces, cups, dashikis, key chains, and so much more. Here are just some of the items that we purchased. Unfortunately I did not think to take any pictures of Green Market Square myself (still trying to get use to documenting everything) but I went ahead and googled some images of the square so that you could get the idea of what it was like.

South Africa Part 8: Discovering Cape Town

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After our tour of Robben Island we decided to go  to lunch and walk around Cape Town a bit. Unfortunately I did not take as many pictures as I should have during this leg of our day. We stayed down by the water front and took in the atmosphere of this tourist town. We walked around and grabbed lunch at a restaurant right by the water front. The wait staff was very polite and was very attentive. As I said in other posts, service in South Africa is top notch and the people who work in service seem to be extremely grateful to be serving customers.

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People walking around the water front of Cape Town

After we ate we proceeded to walk around and take in the atmosphere. We went to the mall and saw how similar the mall in Cape Town felt to the malls in America.  We also got a chance to take a picture with one of the signs that says “Table Mountain”, with the back drop obviously being Table Mountain. These signs are actually sprawled out around Cape Town for tourists to take pics with.

The first thing that I would say that I didn’t not expect while in Cape Town was the obvious European influence in its architecture (obviously if you know the history of South Africa this isn’t that surprising). Even though I haven’t been to Europe yet, I could imagine, that this is how some places there would look. Although there are a lot of Black people in Cape Town, I would say I was also surprised at the diversity. There were Indians, Chinese, and White people. It felt a little bit like Trinidad to me.

South Africa Part 7: Robben Island

We had one more day in South Africa and we were going to use that last day discovering Cape Town and visiting Robben Island.

We purchased tickets to Robben Island prior so that we knew for sure we would have a place on the tour. They offer about 3 tours a day. Each tour takes about three hours. An hour each way to and from the island and an hour touring the island. We took a small boat to Robben Island.

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On the boat from Cape Town to Robben Island

The first part of the tour was the bus tour around the island. We had a guide who gave us the history of Robben Island and its many uses. Unlike what most think, Robben Island was not only for prisoners, it had many other uses including a place for leapers to live. The views from this island are amazing and breathtaking.

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Robben Island main entrance

The final stop of the tour was the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years imprisoned. The tour started in a holding area where prisoners would first be brought to be booked and processed. While we all found a place to sit, a man came to the front and began telling us some of brutal history of the prison, and he revealed that he himself was also a prisoner for many years with Nelson Mandela. The tour continued as he walked us around the prison grounds telling us about the different sections of the prison, and some of the things that prisoners were forced to do. The tour finally concluded with us passing by the cell that was designated to Nelson Mandela.

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Entrance of the prison that held Nelson Mandela for 18 years

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Holding cell of prisoners

 

Grounds of the prison

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Mandela Prison Cell
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Our tour guide was a prisoner here during the same time as Nelson Mandela

Being on this tour was a great way to end our trip to South Africa. Walking the same steps of one of my heroes was a transient feeling that I will never forget. Walking the grounds and thinking of being imprisoned behind those walls for years was a sad feeling that reminded me how much people had sacrificed all over the world for black rights.

South Africa Part 6:New Year’s Day

After the wedding my boyfriend and I went to the Airbnb that we were staying in on the property of Val De Vie. This place was HUGGGEEEE. We stayed there along with some of the other wedding guests. One thing that we had no idea of until we got there was that this was the exact same house that Prince Harry stayed in when he came to Val De Vie. We were mind blown once we found this out by seeing a picture of him and the house attendant standing in the house. Considering we all paid about $150 each for two nights,  we couldn’t believe that we were staying in the same place as Prince Harry. “If it’s good enough for Prince Harry, It’s good enough for me” became my motto for our stay there. Our Airbnb also came with a house attendant who made us breakfast each morning. Once again I can not stress how amazing the people were while we were there. The lady was the care taker of the house, as the owners of the house only used that home to vacation, was amazing. She was so kind and warm and she seemed very happy to see black people renting out the home.

The day after the wedding my family decided to have a braai (BBQ) at the cottages where my parents and other relatives were staying. All guests were invited! Because it was New Years Day many places, including some grocery stores, were closed so we decided that we should purchase some extra food just in case there wasnt enough food for everyone. We all came to the consensuses that we should get a few extra buckets of chicken and french fries from KFC. I stand with my statements that KFC tastes wayyyyy better overseas than it does in the United States.

As we were driving off of Val De Vie property, I looked over out of the window, and what did we see but wild Zebra running around! This was so awesome and very unexpected! As we pulled over to look at them it seemed as though they were looking back at us like “What are these stupid humans doing?”. img_20170101_203037_267We eventually drove to KFC, got the extra food, and headed to the cottages where the braai would be taking place. Once we arrived it was surely a sight to see as we had to drive through a vineyard to get to the cottages( every place we went in South Africa was a sight to see). It was so great to be surrounded by family, friends, food, and a scenic background for another day!

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Driving through a vineyard to get to the cottages