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My Caribbean glow in Rome, Italy

Updated: 4 days ago


Fashion of the night is Banana Republic's blue and white dress
Thank you Banana Republic for this gorgeous dress

Picture photographed by @sue_b_honey05

Earrings from unknown boutique

Dress by Banana Republic

Emi left the nest

Port-au-Prince, Haiti 2000 - Most nights were quiet. Here and there I’d hear the neighbor’s babel or faint gunshots, celebratory or nefarious, I never knew. I don't seek that type of thrill. Either way, leaving my city in Haiti was welcomed with innocent arms. It wasn’t long before those arms spread into wings that sent me drifting in a hot air balloon in Luxor, Egypt, scuba diving the Florida reefs, admiring the Grampians in Melbourne, Australia and eating my way through Rome, Italy. Alright, that last one was more gluttonous than adventurous but, roll with me here…


Rome: first look

Crowded Roma Termini
Crowded Roma Termini

Exiting the Roma Termini Train Station, there was an air of intimacy between Rome and me. It's like I felt its pulse and the pulse was vibrant. In general, when I arrive to a new destination, my excitement, however bursting, doesn’t render me oblivious. I remain alert to residents and visitors alike, tracking glances, tones, and that fidgety guy who’s always in the back. But Rome wrapped its essence all around me like an unexpected warm embrace from the stranger you’ve been eyeing at the local coffee shop. Under the polluted air, I strolled to Hotel Della Conciliazione, dragging my medium luggage and carry-on onto uneven cobble stone.

Entrance of Hotel Della Conciliazione
Entrance of Hotel Della Conciliazione

The cobblestone streets felt like a never-ending maze. I hated every second of dragging that luggage; the 16.5 minutes felt like hours. Sweaty, exhausted and ready to just drop that load, I kept pressing/dragging forward. I observed the varieties of Roman litter and the different colorations of urine on the streets, missing cobblestones, and almost getting hit by multiple cars as I didn’t realize where the sidewalks ended and streets began – you’ll hear similar tales of me almost getting hit by cars when I visited London, England and Bangkok, Thailand. All that, and yet Rome disarmed me. I didn’t resist either...

Finally, I made it to my hotel feeling relieved but also determined to make the most of my time in this incredible city. After quickly freshening up, I grabbed my camera and stepped out the door. The streets were alive as locals and tourists all blended together in a harmonious fashion, but there was one thing that stood out — me. With my brown skin, big hair, bold lips and colorful clothes, it was hard to not draw attention no matter where I went. I basked in the feeling of bringing exoticism to the locals. It was exhilarating. I strutted down the streets like they were runways, proud of my unique beauty and unapologetic for allowing the world to see it. Despite being tired from lugging around my luggage all day, I felt exuberant!

The excitement was special and palpable. It wasn’t about the next person. It was each individual celebrating their moments.

In truth, I journeyed to Rome, expecting nothing other than pasta but I was determined to create opportunities for my own becoming. Everywhere I went, I met people and exchanged stories with them. Some were locals who had lived in Rome for years, some were tourists like me, but we all shared an underlying sense of gratefulness in our connection.

Walked through the Piazza della Trinita di Monti

Trevi Fountain

This is my second time seeing it and I still don't get it. And the tourists don't help.

It's no secret that this ancient city is renowned for its breathtaking sights and sounds, boasting some of the most impressive architecture and monuments from thousands of years of history.

Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain

But, let's not complicate this: it's a fountain. Yes, it's unique and... it's a fountain. It's nice. I couldn't get a fantastic shot in the busy crowd but I managed to put aside my judgement on tourist behavior and began to enjoy the diversity instead. So, when you find yourself there, embrace those characteristics and use them to your advantage, like how the Trevi fountain is unique and mesmerizing in its own way. I used to bring with me a great amount of anxiety everywhere I go but there was something special about observing how each person expresses their boldness to take their shot so they can tell their own story later. The excitement was special and palpable. It wasn’t about the next person. It was each individual celebrating their moments. My beautiful lesson there was: just as the fountain attracts crowds with its charm, I too can attract others by being confident in my own skin.

So, my dear reader, with this new-found knowledge, let me remind you to celebrate your beauty, passions, talents, and skills with the same fervor as tourists flocking to the Trevi fountain in Rome. Don't waste time with anxiety or comparing yourself to others or trying to fit into a certain mold. Just like the coins tossed into that iconic fountain, let your unique qualities be a wish for great things to come in your life. And who knows? Maybe one day you'll find yourself standing at the Trevi fountain, feeling beautiful and full of love, knowing that you have embraced all that makes you unique. I saw my glow through their foreign lenses and tongues, through strangers who reflected my wonders back to me in their language and needed no translation. I am grateful.

Let's head back to the Hotel and walk through the Colona

Look at this ceiling! Don’t comment on my photography skills - focus on the architecture.

That was a beautiful walkthrough!

Look up when you walkthrough the Colona
Look up when you walkthrough the Colona

Next stop, an almost hidden secret: Museum Leonardo Da Vinci Experience

As we were walking along we discovered the Museum Leonardo Da Vinci. It was inexpensive, 12 euros. Inside felt very cozy yet it was packed with Da Vinci's work and inventions. I encourage you to give it a visit. I enjoyed the interactive part of the walkthrough where you can try and touch some of the "machines".

Quick fact: there are no restrooms in that museum. That was a bummer because I desperately needed one!

Visit the Museo Leonardo Da Vinci

Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City

Photography of the columns of Saint Peter's Square
Columns of Saint Peter's Square

The crowded streets, busy piazzas, not to mention the chaotic traffic can make it challenging to snap a good picture. But fear not, fellow travelers! With a little bit of patience and a keen eye, beauty can be found in abundance in the Eternal City. I’m proud to say I took these pictures with Sue’s guidance.

Photography of the columns of Saint Peter's Square
Columns of Saint Peter's Square

Even in the historic Vatican City, known for its grandeur and opulence, the true beauty lies in the emotions evoked by the art and architecture that surrounds us.

Outside the Colosseum

Visiting Rome had a different purpose from my other travels. I don’t know why I was so happy to be there honestly. I travel a lot for leisure and for work. Maybe it was the attention I was getting, or maybe it was the self-validation I was seeking prior… I don’t know. The flirts weren't all that was hinting at the fact that I am more than I thought. I think at some point I had a realization that I am important.

Also, I did not stay in the long lines to go in the Colosseum. Nerp!

Beautiful black woman at the Colosseum
A new painting for my wall!

Picture photographed by @sue_b_honey05

Earrings by @capim_doro, Capim d'Oro

Dress by Banana Republic

Purse: Aldo

Sandals: Unknown boutique

Park Campo Marzio

That means taking time to relax and recharge your batteries - something that the locals know all too well. You'll find them lounging in Piazza del Popolo.

Beautiful black woman at the Park Campo Marzio
Big hair and I do care because you can't see my face

Let's be thankful for the beauty and diversity that surrounds us wherever we go. Whether it's the people we meet, the cultures we encounter, or the landscapes we explore, there's always something to marvel at. So, take a deep breath and appreciate the air you breathe each day. It's a reminder of everything beautiful and amazing in this world, including yourself.

I wondered as I watched tourists snapped pictures with their phones making different silly faces. Are they ever going to print those pictures? Will they ever go up on a gallery wall to be admired? As the sun began to set, I saw an elderly couple with two younger companions quietly settle into a spot and wait for the perfect shot without saying a word. I admired their patience and kindness. As I watched the sun go down behind the hills, my heart filled with joy knowing that this moment will be forever etched in my memory as one of my most cherished experiences.

My stay came to an end, I walked through the streets feeling a sense of belonging that I hadn't felt anywhere else before.

Beautiful black woman in Rome Italy
Thank you, Sue for this amazing shot!

Picture photographed by @sue_b_honey05

Necklace and earrings by @capim_doro, Capim d'Oro

Bracelet by @jewelrybyaris, by Aris

Dress by Banana Republic


The breathtaking pictures were photographed by my friend, my creative counsel, my unlicensed and not available for hire faux-therapist,  @sue_b_honey05, Sue. I love you, boo. Bisoux!


Hey, tell me how was your visit to Rome?



To achieve bouncing curls, I use:

Shea Moisture 100% VIRGIN COCONUT OIL DAILY HYDRATION SHAMPOO w/ coconut milk & Acacia Senegal


Kinky - Curly KNOT TODAY™ Natural Leave in / Detangler

Kinky - Curly ORIGINAL CURLING CUSTARD™ Natural Styling Gel

Hair Style:

My hair was shaped by Anthony Dickey, Owner of Hair Rules.

Hair Rules Salon NY

828 9th Avenue, Suite 1, New York, New York, 10019


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