S1E10 - On Planning for a Summer Abroad w/ Jas

Episode 10 March 29, 2023 00:22:10
S1E10 - On Planning for a Summer Abroad w/ Jas
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S1E10 - On Planning for a Summer Abroad w/ Jas

Mar 29 2023 | 00:22:10

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Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this episode, Aisha and her guest, Jas (aka @blackexpatmom on IG), mom to a school age child who does summers abroad, discuss how to plan a summer sabbatical with children. Aisha has always loved traveling and is now ready to plan her first family sabbatical with her two daughters, who will be five and ten when they take the trip. Aisha shares how she joined Facebook groups to find accountability partners and is now excited to start planning her trip next summer. Jas shares her experience of taking sabbaticals with her daughter and how she has managed to travel for extended periods while working remotely. She explains how she strategically uses credit card hacking and point systems to reduce costs.  They also discuss the first steps Aisha can take to plan her sabbatical, such as determining her budget and identifying travel destinations. Aisha plans to invite Jas back on future episodes to continue her travel planning.  We hope you consider following Aisha and Jas as they plan an epic sabbatical.

View the video on YouTube:  https://youtu.be/uBuLCjrPcII

Jas can be found on Instagram and TikTok:

 

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Hi everybody. I'm so excited to finally get back to travel planning. I am hoping to take a few weeks off next summer with the girls to do this wonderful trip next year. My oldest will be 10, my youngest will be five, and so I finally feel like it is doable. I'll be fully transparent. The 2022 holiday season took an unexpected turn with me intentionally seeking out safe spaces for black women. And I was in the process of setting up my YouTube channel, my [00:01:00] podcast. For start to finish motherhood. When God and the YouTube algorithm introduced me to a YouTuber, Stephanie Perry her messaging and her personality just resonated with me, kind of like a friend in my head, speaking directly to the need that I had at that moment. The YouTube video was called More Ease for Black Women in 2023. That Headspace really took me on a journey to identify what I really needed in this next season of my life. I love being a mom, but before becoming a mom, I loved to travel and I had always planned to go back to traveling after I was done building my family. I was done building my family in 2019 with the arrival of my second daughter and I had actually started planning our first family vacation as a team of three, the vacation was supposed to take place in May of 2020. Well, as you all [00:02:00] know, the pandemic happened. And everything hit in March So now that the world is opening back up and we have Covid protocols in place, I really feel ready to travel internationally again. Prior to having children, I had always wanted to spend a few years working and living outside of the US Now on this side of motherhood, I thought that that train might have been behind me or off the table. Well, it's not, and. It's not, but it does look different. And this is where Stephanie's channel really came into play for me. As I explored more of her videos and I kept hearing her talk about taking sabbaticals. I really started thinking like, Hey, That might be the option for me and where I am with my family right now. So here we are. I am going to take maybe a four to six week sabbatical with the kids Next summer, my youngest will be ready to pull her luggage [00:03:00] and she'll be turning five. Daycare will be optional so I don't have to worry about holding onto. Spot, and I was going to be paying for a summer camp for my oldest anyway, so that's already built into the budget, so now it feels like the right time to start planning a family trip I started joining a few Facebook groups and in one of the Facebook groups, it was like the Exodus Summit. I threw out this question that I think, as a single mom, I feel ready to take a sabbatical for a few weeks with my two girls, and if anybody would be willing to be my accountability partner and then my guest. Said, yes, I've done that. I've got a kid that is school age, and so yeah, you could do this. I was so excited to now put everything together and get you on because I'm there. And when you're there, you're ready to start planning, you're ready to start moving. And while I'm planning this for next summer, a year to [00:04:00] plan might seem like a long time, but it really isn't. With that being said, I'd like to introduce my guest Jazz. If you can go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience and tell us a little bit about yourself, your experience, your family structure, and then we'll jump right in. Hi guys. I'm Jazz Black, expat mom. I am located in Atlanta, Georgia. I have two kids and I just traveled with one. My daughter, our CO CEO is Adeneke and I have a son that's 21 years old that's at home doing his own traveling and in school. So most of our travels are with just add, and I, I wanna take a step back for a moment. And. While I can't do travel for extended periods of time, like living extended periods of times outside of the us, what really drew me to your story was that you have, taken your summers and I think that that's where I'm at. And you are like, I take my daughter, you know, [00:05:00] every summer so now I'm curious about what that looks like for you and where you actually, got the idea. Hey, I could do this thing, you know, call the sabbatical. Okay. So the first part of how I got to the summer was the summer of 2020. Camp was limited. Like summer camp was limited. Like I said, I live in Atlanta. I'm not gonna have no kid at home. Like, I'm bored. I'm bored. That's gonna drive me up the wall. She has to be active. And camps were limited. , she was already with like virtual learning half the school year. So when I started to look at the camp registrations, it was also expensive. Almost $300 a week for. Space camp, dance camp. You had to transport them. They weren't all day. The odds adding up, you had to hurry up and register. Like only were allowing six people. So that was one of the reasons I started to [00:06:00] look for something different. The second was I was gonna go on F M L A. I was experiencing severe migraines. I had to see a neurologist. I was on medicine and I knew my job situation. I needed a. The third thing was in February, 2020, my aunt passed away suddenly from cancer. She was in Dallas, Texas, and. That year before the pandemic started February, 2019, I found a flight $250 to Spain and I begged her to go and she did not go. And me and my best friend, we end up going and then she passed away. So I had a multitude of reasons to try to say. This just can't be life. It is just not this, it's not just working. Now we're stuck inside with the pandemic. What's more, I think in my generation it's like the American dream. But I always knew that I wasn't gonna be a part of the American dream. And when I [00:07:00] reached things of the American dream, I still wanted more. Mm-hmm. . So that summer I said, you know, We're gonna go abroad, we're gonna go somewhere. Cuz I knew moving abroad or traveling abroad would be significantly less than summer camp with a lackluster experience would be more valuable. Yep. Yep, yep. Yeah, you, you said a whole lot. I think the pandemic really changed a lot of our perspectives on how we're living this life, Like you, I did experience some high stress levels. I call it P T S D. It hasn't been a diagnosis, but , as a single mom, I had an eight month old at that time, and I had a kindergartner and trying to do school, trying to keep them alive, trying to keep myself alive. It's a, a head space that I never wanna get back to. And it was one of the reasons that I actually turned to therapy as well as a, a means [00:08:00] of coping. But it also did change my outlook on how I wanted to live the rest of my life. And so when I got to Stephanie's video, I was like, yes, this is speaking to me at this particular point in my life, post pandemic and seeking out safe spaces. I was just like, yeah. So what, what was on my bucket list before I became a parent? that I took off that I can now put back on because my perspective has changed. Life is too short and one of it is including my kids in doing not just international travel, but expended, you know, time span of travel someplace else, because I don't want to do the hurry up pace I can't do that. My body can't tolerate that right now. And I think the girls would really appreciate having that time to really connect. Okay, so on the same. On the same page. So I think my second question to you in the group was how, I'm already at the point where I'm motivated. I think I could do this. And then I threw out to [00:09:00] the the group, like, how are we doing this right? Are we quitting our jobs? Are we taking like longer vacations? How are we finding the time and the resources to do this? And your response was awesome. So you had a job that was London based and then you worked your job around your vacation time with your daughter. Yep. Okay, so that was in February. My aunt passed, so February, March, April, May, I already knew that I was going because 18 months prior to that? When the pandemic or started shutting down in March, I was hybrid. It was like two days in the office, three days at home. So then our whole team was like, okay, we're just gonna do virtual and we'll figure it out when it opens up, we wanted to keep people safe. So I was at home working. So even though I was at home working, I was so stressed. And I, like you said about therapy people, people don't talk about the dynamics of how our routine [00:10:00] was interrupted and how we manage the stress. So I was already working at home, so I was gonna leave that job. Or, or go on F M L A. My doctor's advised me like, you have to take out stress somewhere. So in that time I was interviewing for this gig and I was interviewing. Let's say like, it was a six month interview process, but this was an interview because I was to move to London. Well, first I told him I'm gonna be in Mexico for two months. I'm working remote. Is that still gonna work for your team? Luckily two years later, I'm not even on any migraine medicines. Gotcha. May have an occasional migraine. So I, I let them know. So London is about five hours from Atlanta and six hours from Mexico. So how I made it work was I had to wake up early. , everything's a give and take. So I was waking up five o'clock in the morning, six o'clock in the morning to be in alignment with my meetings on London time. So it works cuz my daughter was still sleeping. Now I let her stay up real late [00:11:00] so she could sleep through so by the time she woke up and we were in our hotels, we had breakfast. With my laptop by the pool I would work a few hours, just get my immediate stuff done. We would go out and explore Mexico, come back, put her to bed, and then I'll work a few more hours. So I had a, a lot of flexibility with the time difference. So parenting hack, this is something that I do sometimes where I let the kids stay up a little bit later because it will make them sleep a little bit longer. Yes. Parenting hack. So another how it costs money to do this. It's. Free, but it is relatively inexpensive and a lot of this is gonna be in my workbook . I used credit card hacking, so for two months we had 85% of our hotel stays were free. That's a whole another course of to go into. But I [00:12:00] strategically, you know, I still had my household bills to cover. It just worked out, it was still doable. But having 85 to 95% of my hotels, they freeze. Definitely freed up a lot of my financial budget. Okay, good, good, good. Yeah, I'm definitely gonna have to have you back on to talk about the whole financing it. All right. Because I. Do a little bit of credit card hacking because prior to having kids, I did travel for work, so I knew about, the point systems and all these different things that you can do as long as you paid them off at the end of the month. So definitely we'll have you come back and talk a little bit about that. Okay, so. That was the hows of it. Based on your response, I actually started having conversations with my own job because I knew during the pandemic that we did get a bit more flexible. So I work from home three times a week, and then in the office the [00:13:00] other two days out of the week. So now that we already had flexible work arrangements in place, I started asking around to some of my coworkers and peers like, Did you ever work outside of the country? Then I started, I got more confident to ask managers, that I'm friends with like, Hey, you know, how did this work if your team members did that? So I found out that it was doable, that there were team members in my department that did work offsite while they were on vacation or if they got stranded someplace. So then I. The courage to ask my immediate manager, you know, what are the flexibilities? What type of remote are we? We can work hybrid. Some people do work full-time remote. What does that entail? Like, can I work in a different state? Can I work in a different country? Do I have to be driving distance to the office? Essentially where flexible, remote, as long as I am not spending like three or four months someplace out of the country. It's whatever, right? And so the only stipulations is what you kind of laid out around work hours. [00:14:00] Making sure my team members and project members know when and how they can reach me, and that's it. So wait a minute, I can do this. So if I wanted to take like four to six weeks, I could do this. Yeah. I, the manager was like, yeah, I would support that. I was like, wait a. I just wanna make sure that I understand, you know, like, is it vacation time? P t O? She's like, it's any combination of what happened after the first ok. I will support that. I would've booked my trip. Right, right. I gotta ask too many more probing, no more probing questions. Right? There are things in the, you know, in the context of that, cuz I am a single mom by choice. So that means that I am the sole earner, right? So I can't have any loopholes in there. And then I'm, I'm a black person who's fairly vocal at work and holding them accountable to their racist. Anyway, so it's just like, I don't want y'all looking for a reason to fire me. I wanna make sure that I have what the bounding box is to a [00:15:00] t mm-hmm. and email you asking you confirmation that that is possible before I book any because I don't wanna come back to no job, but I did like this ex, this experience outta, I'm like, no, no, no. You're not about to catch me like that. I wanted to make sure that I was, I was certain about. What the parameters were. But now that I'm like, okay, I can get the time off, and not have to worry. I just need to let people know where they can find me. I was like, yes, I could definitely do this. And one of the, also another big thing at the company I was at, they promoted that you can work abroad any country for one month. The company being based in Europe. It's easy to go to Paris, it's easy to go to France, Italy. They encourage people to travel and work abroad, to increase creativity and productivity. See, and I think that that might be the difference between a foreign-based company versus a US-based company, right? Because when you think about diversity, at least in the [00:16:00] US, it's just like that's a competitive advantage if you're a company. To have as diverse a workforce as possible. The fact that many companies are not getting that and not just like, oh, diverse at the lower levels, it's like diverse throughout the entire organization. That's where you get the most creativity. That's where you get the innovation and the fact that many companies in the US cannot grasp that concept is just. eye opening and astounding. All right, so let's talk a little bit about your workbook. I've decided that I can do this. I've dis I identify what the parameters are in order to keep my nine to five job. What is the name of your workbook and where can we find it? But then what are the next steps? , talk me through like, at least the first two steps and then we'll have you back on to talk more about the remaining steps. So you were so helpful with helping me with the first couple of steps. My next question is, what do I [00:17:00] do next? In my planning. So I know that I can do this. I have the will to do it. I've spoken to my job about the type of remote situation that we have and what parameters I need to work in. So based on your workbook, what would be my next step? So my workbook is coming out in the fall of 2023. It will cover a multitude of travel, how-tos with the child your next step. One. You wanna decide where you wanna go. ? Yes. Research where you wanna go. , different locations require different research, right? That's one. Second, you wanna jump into the finances. How much is flight gonna cost for three people return? Are you gonna go one way? Are you gonna get a round trip ticket? You know, all. Steps you mentioned , finances at home, covering that while you are gone, or having paid for that while you're gone, it helps you eliminate stress. Not trying to worry about paying bills while you're on your [00:18:00] your sabbatical, you know that, that's helpful. I also have an emergency plan in place, you know, as single moms, as solo moms. It's important to have emergency. Action plan in place. I also talk about this in the workbook. It's always, I think in financial literacy is like always have $1,000 saved. For an emergency that is also essential when traveling. And if you have more than one child, it may need to be more of, if anything pop off in this crazy world, I'm gonna flight outta here, you know? Right, right, right. So you need finances, you need credit, you need something to take place of your emergency plan. So I talk a lot about that in the workbook. So it'll be out soon. I, I wanna be able to touch black expat moms from my perspective, from living abroad. With a grade age child. So I'm excited. Okay. So if you're willing, I'd like to bring you back to in a few [00:19:00] weeks as I get further in my planning and talk specifically about where to go. Cause I've got four places that I'm thinking. Let, okay, so I do, I do have a friend who. Casita in San Miguel, Del Allende in Mexico. Uhhuh Delente. Mm-hmm. . Uhhuh, that one. And then I have another friend who has an apartment in Cabo Verde. It's in, it's an island off of Africa. Cape Verde. So that's, that's the, that's the second option. The third option that I initially posted about was Portugal, because there's a large expat community, and in particular black expat community in Portugal. And then, For some reason, I feel like there was a fourth location. There was a I think there was a fourth location. So, so with all of those destinations, they're all a bit different. You would do your pros and cons and having [00:20:00] covered. Living expenses, of course that helps, but experiences you wanna have there. The climate San Miel in Mexico, I sometimes it's very windy or cold. It's not as hot as. Merita Mexico is, so the climates. And yeah, I think those are really good options. I, I'm so excited. I'm so excited. So yeah, so definitely have you back and you hit on some key things. Traveling as a single mom, like what is our escape plan, right? I'm always like, this is nice, but if we have to flee, like, you know, what should we be planning for? What things should we be on the lookout for if we're listening to local news and things like that? So if you're willing, I'd love to have you back. Yes. Have me back. And I even go further because when I was dealing with those migraines mm-hmm. , if I would've passed, My daughter would need to know what to do, like go to the front desk or you know that. So yes, definitely have me back. And I am working on this course workbook. I [00:21:00] wanted to be your one stop shop as a mom having all your bases covered. Oh, I love it. I love it. So jazz. Where can my listeners find you? You can find us on TikTok. We've been putting a lot of effort on TikTok at Black Expat. And Instagram, black expat mom. Well, Jas, thank you for coming to talk to me and I can't wait to have you back. All right. Thank you so much for having me. [00:22:00]

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