What inspired you to travel abroad?
I can’t say I was inspired by any one person place or thing. Maybe it was the national geographic books or shows I watched as a kid and as an adult. maybe it was Sci fi movies. I know I loved HGTV international House Hunters. I always knew I wanted to see more of the world. I was always curious. I always knew there was more to explore than what I had seen so far. And I wanted to seek out my heritage so that meant traveling to other countries.
Was it a long process to get a passport?
Getting a passport in the US is probably easier than registering your kids for school. Applying for a job can be more complex.
So no, it did not take long nor was it difficult. I got me and my son’s first passports in 2006. We actually went to the post office filled out the application and received them in the mail in say 4 wks. Im on my second passport now. The Cost is under $200, I believe. I strongly encourage people to get passports for themselves and their children even if they haven’t planned a trip yet. It is the key to Narnia
What are some of the misconceptions of traveling as a woman that you have heard?
I always think about all the things I’m told I shouldn’t do as a woman and how dangerous it can be.
We should not go alone- it is not safe.
We can not maneuever about on our own without a man to speak for us.
We would be lonely.
We would be intimidated.
I respond.. all of those things can be issues at home where we live .
Yes, I am mindful, alert and try to be smart but again those are the same precautions I take on the streets in the USA.
What I hope happens in my lifetime is while we teach women how to avoid harmful altercations, that we also strongly and forcefully reprimand men for the things they do to harm women an hold them accountable on the spot. Don’t wait until the crimes and harm has been committed.
Are there any useful tips you want to give women traveling? Always be aware of your surroundings.
Don’t take kindness too easily traps are also set by other women.
Have your go to spots where people know you.
Make acquaintances with owners as well. **Keep people in your circle who have something to lose. People with Integrity no matter the class level.
If you are alone don’t be flashy. Anything that is high end should be kept for places where everyone will be wearing the same.
How long have you been gone?
I left the US July 29, 2020 to go on a 7-10 trip to Mexico and stayed in Mexico for 4 mos. It was great. I had never seen Mexico through that llens before. The truthful lens.
I stopped back in the US Nov 27 2020 and left again Dec 10,2020. I have not returned since then.
What are some of your favorite countries that you have traveled? Every country I’ve been to has something I loved. There are so many cities to check out and each has its own unique element. It is so hard to pick..
But a few are
Honestly each country I’ve been to in Alkebulan/Africa (Kenya, Kemet, Tanzania, Senegal Morocco), Indonesia, Thailand, Portugal, Cuba, Iceland, Belize, Mexico, Spain and on and on..
What are your favorite foods from those countries? Im vegan now so if I can find a place that takes advantage of its natural grown products and can create amazing dishes, I am in heaven. Exotic fruits & veggies are so pleasurable for me . Like the Jackfruit, soursop, tree tomatoes, thorn melons, chocolate tomato, 20 types of banana, passion fruit, local lemons, dragon fruit, so many typesof Greens
You’d be surprised how many of the dishes are the same with a slight differences.. like rice from Spain, Mexico & Africa, curry dishes.
The major differences to me are how they use seasonings.
When you went to Africa; what was your first “Must see” place? Why? My first trip to Africa was 2018 and I went to Morocco. Interestingly enough I saw it on HGTV and I wanted to buy a house there. After that trip I went to Senegal in 2019 and the major difference was the people. Sub Saharan Alkebulan/Africa is black Africa. I was finally somewhere where everyone looked like me. I was somewhere where I did not fear punishment based on my skin color. It is so crazy to say.. but the observation that I could live outside of that fear was mind blowing.
No shade, colorism is a whole other thing.
What do you do to relax? I am a Yogi, Plant based foodie and adventurer. I live creating dishes and wellness products like being in my lab. I love water and animals I love being outside. I love sharing the world with friends and family also.
Tell us about Mind, Body and Soul?
I created Mind YOUR Body & Soul to assist people on their journey when they are looking to walk a different path in life. We promote wellness through Food, Movement & Adventure (mentally & physically). The focus is my Lifestyle Transformation program which supports meal planning, prep, food shopping through exploration, food demos and body movement yoga flows & other activities. I also promote healthy awareness in our beauty regiments so I created a holistic beauty and bath line called Zoetic Essentials where everything is simple and multi purposed to encourage a more sustainable ecological foot print.
Because I love meeting people, learning about others’ cultures, exploration and adventure. I believe the only true way to get to the next level of learning is by experiencing it, touching it, seeing it, smelling it..
How did you come up with #WHERESALI? Soooooo… I would come and go a lot back when I lived in Chicagoland so that was a common question my friends would ask because I would come around then disappear. So when I started traveling more and started what I call air cruises it was always put out an APB For Ali or “where are you now” or where are you going next” so #WheresAli became my household tag.
What is Ali’s next destination? I want to stay on the east side of the world like the Jeffersons, haha. I would love to spend a month or 2 in Bali and Thailand when they open back up fully. I also would love to stop in Turkey and Israel, Montenegro, Manta, Buda & Pest, (I love saying it that way), more of southern EU & Ireland etc… When I return to west side I want to visit a few more cities in Mexico and make my way back down through central and south America for sure.
There is SO much world to see. So many misconceptions to right. I hope to see as many as I can and to continue sharing with everyone.
“Experiences are Better than Dreams…”~Ali