The Number One Hack To Get Traveling

If you want to start traveling but don’t even see how it is feasible financially, I will give you the NUMBER ONE trick to get you going.

The absolute first thing you need to do, is get a travel rewards card. I am not talking about some random bank card that gives you rewards or “cash back”, I’ve tried those and I am telling you that I NEVER saw a benefit to using it. There was always a loop hole to when you make your payment, and if you don’t roll over a balance you don’t get the points, and if you try to cash out your rewards at a certain time there may be a black out date…

NO! Get a REAL rewards card for REAL travelers. Get a TRAVEL CARD.

Here is what you want to look for:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No black out dates
  • Free checked bags or VIP perks
  • Mile bonuses (loyalty rewards)

Foreign transaction fees- what is this? When you’re in a country with a different currency and choose to use your card, most credit card or debit card companies will charge you a fee per swipe to do the currency exchange. (It can be super risky to use a debit card over seas, so check with your bank before packing one with you.) These fees can add up quickly, no foreign transaction fee means that the bank accepts the cost of the exchange.

No black out dates- Choose a card that is not going to have travel restrictions. If there is a seat on the plane, you should be able to purchase it with your points.

Free checked bag and VIP perks- If you choose to travel with a bit more luggage, a checked bag fee varies from airline to airline, and can cost more when traveling domestically. Booking with a travel card can often wave several fees and make checking in and boarding easier.

Mile bonuses- The more you spend the more they deposit into your miles account. There are often entry bonuses with travel cards, spend $3000 in your first 3 months and receive 50k in bonus miles; that is about a round trip ticket to Europe with most airlines. The way most miles are earned, is for every dollar you spend you receive one mile, but when you go to book a flight with miles, they are not dollar for dollar… So having a card that will have bonus months, or perks for signing up can really help get those miles in your account.

Keep in mind that MOST travel rewards cards do have an annual bonus fee for carrying the card. I have never had a problem paying an annual fee, because the flights I have earned would have cost me 5-10 times what the fee is per year. 

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I have an American Express Platinum Delta Skymiles Card

I went with this card for a number of reasons, the number one reason being, I live in a small town with a small airport and Delta is one of the only airlines to have consistent flights coming in and out each day. There hasn’t been too many occasions where I have had to book with other airlines, so being limited to flying with Delta has not affected me too much, and loyalty is rewarded!

Pros and Cons in my opinion:

Pro- I received a 50,000 mile bonus when signing up for my original Gold card and another 70,000 mile bonus when I upgraded to the Platinum card a year and a half later.

Pro- 1 mile per dollar spent and 5 miles per dollar on Delta purchases.

Pro- Every approved referral from me earns me 10,000 bonus points.

Pro- First checked bag is free with every flight- that saves me a minimum of $35 each way.

Pro- Bonus miles for hitting spending goals

Pro- Extra miles for shopping with small businesses (as a small business owner, I love that this is a thing), and benefits for making every day purchases which vary from month to month.

Pro- SUPER safe, I have had no fraudulent issues (knock on wood). I don’t have to notify my card when traveling, it knows my spending habits and doesn’t reject purchases made by me. I get alerted when my card is charged and not present, and notified of large purchases immediately.

Pro- Extra coverage and warranty with large purchases- I bought a laptop with this card and its warranty is extended and extra year just by using my American Express.

Con- Many places do not take American Express

Con- Limited to flying Delta when redeeming reward flights

As you can see, for ME, the pros out weigh the cons… there are many cards out there, you just have to do your research and decide which one is best for you.

I use my card for EVERYTHING I possibly can, all of the purchases I would have to make just go on my card, including groceries, online purchases, product orders for my shop, fuel, automatic payments, etc… At the end of each week, I just pay my card off and watch my miles rack up!

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Obviously I am not suggesting you go out and make a bunch of huge unnecessary purchases, just to earn some points… that would be incredibly counter productive, so watch your spending and use these tools wisely!! BUTTT if its a payment or purchase you already have to make, why not reap the benefits.

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Happy Traveling,

XoXo

-Tia

Fake IT Until YOU Make IT!

Happiness… man has this word been a paper weight in my head space for the last few months. What is happiness and why is it so hard to obtain at times?

I have had some interesting experiences and observations popping up over the last few weeks, and each time I began to dissect these encounters, the question returns to my mind… why are people so unhappy? Analytical in nature I turn to self-study… what makes me unhappy?

I have found that there are 3 major elements to a lack of joy and luster in my daily life:

  1. Inauthenticity
  2. A Lack of Direction
  3. Inability to Cope

Acting in our most authentic nature can solve many of our daily dramas. When we find the courage to speak, dress, and act in the best interest of our inner soul, or highest consciousness, we are able to tactfully and gracefully express our personal boundaries. In this state of being, our truest light source is revealed, and we are able to accept others for living their truth. Embrace your inner you in this wild ride called life, and in turn, you’ll embrace others in their journey as well.

Goals, Goals, Goals. Why are we up grinding ourselves to death at work, hustling everyday… Sure, for our families and to “have a better life”, but what does that really mean? I have found that when I am not content, it is typically because I have no goals or focused intention for doing what I am doing, day in, and day out. Keeping major aspirations, as well as small obtainable goals, helps me to stay active and focused in reaching them. If I ever find myself saying “What am I doing all of this for?”, I know that a lack of direction is getting me down. Time to reevaluate.

Coping, how do you cope? Yoga has been a saving grace for me, and my burdens. My body’s aches and pains, my emotional wounds, and my anxieties, all seem to melt away when I am keeping a regular practice. When the day’s chaos is compounding, I can go home, to my mat, and in complete silence, offer all of it up there. Yoga allows me to gently work through the back pain and joint pain I live with daily. After years of dancing and working on my feet, it’s there; rather than taking a magic pill to will it all away, I allow myself to acknowledge it, and in partnership with spirit, heal it. Coping is good, its ok to feel uncomfortable sometimes, it means you’re alive, and you have a perfectly imperfect human body.

So fake it until you make it, put a smile on your face until that smile becomes fixed and works it’s way through your soul, and into the hearts of others. Take small steps into the bold life you always knew you had within you, be authentic. Set ridiculous goals if that is what is going to keep you on your feet and grinning each and every day! Cry if you need too, let your heart pour out and recognize that this is you coping, congratulations.

May we all remain steadfast in our purpose, as we carry our soulful hearts, with joy, and grace in this earthly form.

XoXo

-Tia

What is Your Life’s Work?

You know… I really never applied a deeper purpose to my career as a hairstylist. I always thought that my artistic ability and competence in communicating with clients were the things that pushed me towards success.

After all, what kind of affect can a hairstylist really have on the world?

I built my business on the intention that everyone should be able to afford to have good hair! It wasn’t until I was 9 years in, and busier than ever did I begin to question that; was it enough? It seemed I was working every waking hour, I was burnt out and wondering what my life purpose really was. Sure I had so many beautiful and gracious people around me most every day, but was I really making a difference in their lives? Was I making my life count? Was I building my legacy?

This question has been a great source of my anxiety for quite some time now. After countless hours of inertia, self study, and examination, I came to the conclusion that I had been asking the wrong question all along….

I was asking, “Is my life meaningful?”.

I should have been asking, “How can I make my life meaningful?”.

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And I will tell you what conclusion I have come too…

Working predominantly with color clients, I am able to spend the majority of my day with various women for a few hours each; it’s just her and I in a small partially enclosed space. Rather than allowing a superficial nature to my work, with physical change, gossip, and outer beauty, I had the perfect opportunity to work in partnership with inner beauty.

While building my dream space, I had put so much intention in creating a sanctuary from ordinary life; I really wanted a space for purpose and deep connection with my community, and once it was there, I had overlooked the opportunity to do so.

You know the saying, “the grass is always greener”? I was looking for something new to light up a path for me, hoping passion would be sparked somewhere else. I was doubting my career choice and praying daily for direction, when all along, deep down inside of me, I had the answer. This is what I was meant to do, I just had to challenge my faith and security to see that.

As hairstylists we are in the perfect position to really listen to our clients, to work one on one with them closely as we manifest the deepest beauty from within them. If you ask the right questions, and you take the time to communicate with someone who hasn’t felt like they have been heard, you can create lasting beauty. You have the ability to use your hands and ears, to bring to life that goddess form they have been burying underneath layers of doubt, and insecurities. Transformation is as internal as it is external, and that is the responsibility we step into, each time, we stand behind the chair.

Don’t ever discount your impact on others, believe that you can make the world a more loving and beautiful place.

XoXo,

Tia

 

In Response to What The Health

With all of the buzz circulating about the latest pro plant-based documentary, What The Health, I had to put in MY two cents in the only way I know how… a blog post.

After some hours (yes hours) of digging I was able to uncover a few photographs of my past self… I thought I had destroyed all evidence of the creature that ate Tia, but low and behold I found them. I don’t call that version of myself a creature for derogatory reasons, but more as a way of totally encompassing what had happened to me. I was completely absorbed in destructive emotional behavior and it was reflecting majorly in my skin, weight, and health. I hated myself; the way I looked, the direction my life was taking and the way I was behaving, were all signs of this. I was not a healthy human, and wasn’t nourishing myself physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

After a few hard life lessons, I realized it was time to make a change.

It was time to give up the poison that had entered my existence in the form of self loathing, guilt, body shaming, emotional eating, chemical dependence (in “food”), weight loss plans, and a clouded sense of self-worth. It was time I started treating myself the way I treated most everyone else, and it was TIME that I had a real conversation with my spirit about how I was doing in these areas.

I thought I had confidence and good self-esteem and I always felt like I was loved and able to love myself… but when I took a good, hard, look at what I was fueling my body, mind, and spirit with, it was a rude awakening.

I learned that I was eating addictive substances in the form of chemical additives, sweeteners, sodas, and processed foods. I realized the body shaming and guilt cycles of diets and the ups and downs of being insecure about my weight were toxic for my soul, and were all, quite possibly, the culprits for true joy being sucked from my life. I didn’t feel good so I started really putting in the time to research and invest in my wholeness and well-being. By some guidance, from a previously unknown internal source, I had slowly converted to a 100% plant-based diet, and had no idea exactly how I had gotten there. The results were incredible. My face and eye color changed, brightened, temperament relaxed, I had regained passion for living and was able to make business goals and quickly become more successful in my career. I lost 70 pounds and went from a size 15 to a 3. The dark cloud had cleared from my mind, and I was reborn.

This transformation took 2 years and when I looked back, it was like I had boarded a train and wasn’t sure of exactly where it was going at the time.

With this intense physical detoxification, I also spiritually, emotionally, and mentally detoxified. Choosing carefully what I filled my spare time with, and ensuring that anything I was reading or watching was fueling me on every level in a positive way.  Health has always been something I don’t view as a destination, but a journey, constantly evolving and growing. As I educate myself and work through the deepest and most buried conflicts within my overall energy and material body, I find that my greatest passion is becoming the best possible version of me.

True and authentic reflection of the soul. 

In relation to the documentary, I will just say this… these outlets of information are meant to make you think. To make you stop and question the things you do mindlessly everyday that are leading you to a lack of health or happiness… sure they may be exaggerated or “cherry picked” facts, BUT if this is what it takes for you to turn inward and evaluate whether or not you’re doing the best you can for your ultimate well-being… well, then watch away and let yourself be shocked. As an adult consumer you should ALWAYS gather as much information as possible and then use personal experience, factual evidence, internal guidance, and intent in choosing the right lifestyle options for you.

May you all find self-love and inexplicable happiness.

XoXo

-Tia

First I Do the Yoga & Then I Do the Things

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Yoga helps me to connect with my inner being.

That authentic self that is buried beneath the layers of fear, self esteem issues and conditioning.

My best self.

1- I connect…

There is a great source of power that is at the core of our souls. Some call this simply Source, God, Creator, or Universe. When we go within to connect to this Source or our creator, we can find peace. Connecting to this power and finding peace, takes practice; our minds race, we judge our thoughts and we feel unsure of what we may actually be connecting to. Continue reading

Everyone Has a Shadow Side

Self love is one of the most basic and fundamental requirements on a journey to health, wholeness and vitality. When we disembody and detach from the parts of us that are dark or in need of work, we disembody our shadow side. This is not to say that everyone has an evil “twin” or multiple personalities… This is just a reference to the pieces of our personality that are in need of light and improvement.

Have you ever had the opportunity to read up on the concept of psychological projection? This is something many people believe is a part of daily life and one of our most basic defense mechanisms. It is believed that as humans, we see in others the qualities we deny most in ourselves. By displacing our own darkness, or traits in need of improvement, this appears as an external threat. After years of study and personal experience, I believe this “external threat” appears in our relationships with people, animals, and even spirits. I believe when we feel psychically, spiritually, mentally, or physically attacked, this is our shadow side manifesting itself in our external world. I also believe when this happens, the more energy or conflict associated with this particular threat, is a signal as to how much this INTERNAL conflict is in need of love and attention.

So what do we do??

Well first, we recognize it, and then we inhale LOVE.

When we are able to accept that the supposed external threat is actually an internal threat, the denial of these specific qualities is eliminated and we are able to begin the process of taking responsibility for our own actions and delusions. We are drawing awareness to the intricate parts of our personality, and awareness is the first step. We then give ourselves a big hug and we interject understanding, patience and forgiveness into our thoughts and feelings of self. Unconditional love for self and others is the ultimate goal and ultimately, this begins with patience.

There is always room for improvement.

No matter my beliefs or the years of study and work on self, the external threats continue to come and in different forms. At some points manifesting in the physical as arguments and physical confrontations and in the metaphysical as spiritual hauntings, psychic attack, and disembodied spirits. These manifestations, in my opinion, appear to us in the form that will awaken us; show us what is and is not wanted in our present lives so that we can CHOOSE something different. When we project our darkness out into the world, we are then shown that darkness without fail. The negativity and ugliness you are shown is without doubt, the negativity and ugliness you project.

Now is not the time for judgement, but the time for evaluation of self. If we can look at the trials and tribulations we have in our own lives and accept them as we have chosen them, we can then CHOOSE something new. The beauty of life and human nature is that we are evolutionary creations, and are creators ourselves. If we choose to create and be creations of beauty, light and love, then that WILL be our experience.

Our true nature is light and love, so project only love, because that is what you are.

Happy Creating,

XoXo

-Tia

I Don’t Believe in Cheat Meals

I don’t believe in cheat meals.

I believe in subtle, permanent, lifestyle changes.

I treat my diet and food habits as a drug user would treat their recovery. I cut ingredients and foods from my life, slowly and with as much information as possible, to ween my body away from the foods it was addicted to.

Yes I said addicted. I believe food is as addictive as any drugs, we use it to cope, to heal, to mourn, to celebrate, etc… There is an emotional tie to the foods we eat, and I think there are many food companies out there that know this and pray on us weak eaters. To me a cheat meal system doesn’t motivate me to be good all week. I eat well and then it feels like falling off of the wagon, the sugar and chemical cravings have finally subsided and then I put them back into my body once a week. It also feels like I am going to have to spend 2 hours at the gym everyday for the rest of my life, on a system like that… And I don’t want that for my life.

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This is the cycle I believe in, and I like to imagine it 3 dimensional, as if it’s a spiral elevating as it circles upward. The more positive we think, the better we eat, the better we treat our bodies, the more we feel good and it keeps getting better and better. I believe in elevating our bodies, minds and spirits, continually growing and becoming better. Not being hard on ourselves, but allowing our habits and daily rituals to change, evolve, grow… My version of healthy eating and living was much different 5 years ago than it is today, and since a year ago, it has even changed. I’m not being hard on my image, I just continue to educate myself on healthy living and allow my body to evolve to a healthier being each day. I don’t miss the foods I used to eat, I know now how much better I feel everyday and I truly have no desire to eat the things I have cut from my life. I eat what I want, without calorie or carb restrictions, I simply educated myself on what my body needs to feel satisfied and nourished, and I KNOW without a doubt I do not need or want to eat chemicals and processed foods. This took time and lots of education, but now, it’s just eating for me… It’s not a chore or a guilty desire, it’s simply who I am and how I choose to eat. My body size, weight and shape remains whether I am working out everyday or not and every morning when I get dressed, I don’t look in the mirror and think negative things about myself because I know I am trying hard everyday. There is no more guilt attached to the eating patterns I had all week, or even the day before. The guilt is where the problem lies, it’s far more detrimental than anything you could pollute your body with. Removing the foods you know are not good for your body, will remove the guilt cycles and elevate your being to a better place. This takes time and knowledge, but you can’t be hard on yourself if you are doing the best you can with the knowledge you have.

Happy healthy living.

XoXo

-Tia

The New Moon

As we approach a new moon on Tuesday, let us be reminded that just as the waxing and waning of the moon symbolizes transformation, flow and rebirth; we too can transform, flow and be reborn.

A new moon is always a cleansing energy.

Like an energetic bath.

The moon illuminates to us in cycles, waning until it disappears from sight and waxing until it is full again, and then waning until it disappears and waxing until it is full again. On the eve of the full moon we experience complete darkness. We go into the night blindly but with faith that the moon will rise again the next night in its entirety. Just as it wanes and retreats from visibility, we too wane, and as it grows, we grow. This cycle for us, can be each month, each year, each lifetime. Remember that we will never fully disappear and that no matter what happens to us, we will remain whole, because our wholeness lies within.

This is an auspicious time for a full moon, it is spring time, which is also symbolic of cleansing. March is such a time of change and sometimes instability. The seasons are merging together, and we are surrending to the rain as it brings the sun for summer. The ebb and flow of life, Mother Earth, and of love is present in everything around us. As we let go and embrace this season of change, our hearts can be softened to our own ebb and flow, which we call life. Everything has its seasons, and in knowing this, we are able to recognize the struggles and trials we face in our life can be, but, for a season. We rise with this full moon in our wholeness to be cleansed of worries, hardships, and battles.

We SURRENDER.

This message is to all of my friends out there, in tough situations, unhealthy relationships, battling illnesses, and those who are just trying to better their lives and circumstances. Let this new moon bring the change and energy you need to surrender to the hardships in your life, so that you can be reborn full with each passing day, month, moon, and year.

Love and blessings beautiful beings.

XoXo

-Tia