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The Travel Seven: Cynthia Bailey

Name: Cynthia Bailey
City/Country: Atlanta, GA USA
Occupation: Model, Real Housewives of Atlanta reality tv star, CEO of the Bailey Agency, Mother and Wife
Website/Links: CynthiaBailey.com, @CynthiaBailey10
Passport Stamps: Too many to count, I have 15 in my newest one, and I have two or three  old ones that are full.

1. My Best Travel Memory So Far: Australia, I was there for a month and a half. Before I had a child, got married and became a reality star, I would treat myself to a soul searching journey every year. I’d go away for at least a month and always alone. In Australia, I stayed in an apartment where I knew no one. It was amazing to learn about different cultures, it was crazy to feel so alone. But I got the chance to embrace a whole other culture, and I learned about and became a huge fan of Aboriginal art. Visiting Australia showed me that I could expand alone, by yourself you’re much more open.

2. Favorite Hotel & Why: When I was younger I could sleep anywhere, but I’m older now and terrified of germs. I need clean sheets, and a clean bathroom. I’m going to need at least a four star hotel, so internationally I generally can work it out at a Four Seasons. In the states, I can work it out at a W Hotel.

3. My Must-haves On Any Flight Are: My Bible, I don’t travel anywhere without it. A great book and magazines, I love to read. My cellphone, lip balm and a moisturizer, if the flight is anything over five hours. Comfortable clothes — I do not fly pretty, I fly comfy — and a first class seat. I can work it in coach, but I’d rather not. I’m also serious about my food, I bring my own in my little tupperware. It’s a little embarrassing sometimes to whip out my mother’s soul food, I don’t want collard greens smelling up the first class, but I try to eat it as quickly as I can. If Peter makes me something, I bring Jamaican food too. I also never travel without my Uggs and a really warm poncho.

4. When I’m On The Road, I Absolutely Hate: If the plane is too cold, I always politely ask the staff to turn down the air. I don’t like airplane blankets and pillows — germs! — and I hate if my flight is delayed. Also, I don’t like it if the person beside me on the airplane is a chatty Susan. I don’t mind polite conversation, but talking me all the way from Atlanta to Australia? Please respect my personal space. If I feel like chatting, I’ll let you know but if I cover my head with a blanket, please don’t talk.

5. My Dream Destination or Vacation: Bali, and I want to stay at the Four Seasons! I’d also like to revisit places like Paris or Milan where I went when I was younger and on a budget. Financially I’m in  much different place now and I might be able to see it differently since I’m wouldn’t be working but just exploring. Travelling is my passion, it’s the one thing that I really want to do with my family. My husband Peter and I look forward to taking a couple vacations each year, one with the kids and one for just us. Selfishly, I also want to go away by myself or on a girls trip.

6. The Three Things I Can’t Travel Without: I’m an over-packer. I need plenty of jackets and coats, there’s nothing fun about being being cold. Depending where I’m going with my daughter, and while I’m usually good about new culture experiences with food, I’m sometimes the parent that brings Jiffy peanut butter if I want to make her a sandwich. I need comfortable shoes, like flip flops, Uggs or sneakers because I like to explore. I’m not trying to be in the Bahamas struggling in heels.

7. Top Lesson Learned While Traveling: To be open and respectful. When I travelled to Morocco, the women had a certain attire, so I didn’t wear booty shorts with shirts with my breasts out. I did my research before I left and dressed similar to the women there, with a turban and long skirts.

+ 1. How did you join the Global Language Project? One of my best friends, Kithe Brewster introduced me to Angela Jackson, the head of the project. I just thought it was a wonderful idea because language is such a great tool when you’re learning other cultures. Kithe is a celebrity stylist who’s fluent in French and he’s lived everywhere. I’ve always loved that he could go to all of these places and embrace the culture. I don’t speak another language though I could get around in Paris when I worked there as a model. But I always think about how if I was fluent, I’d have stronger business relationships there. One of my regrets is that I didn’t learn another language but that can still change.

+ 2. At 46 years old, do you have any advice on aging gracefully and well?
I turned 46 in February, and if I could tell you what I did, I’d be rich. It’s genetics, my family ages well too. Blame it on the cheekbones, they keep everything where it needs to be. I think I’m representing the 40s very well. Now it’s about being healthier because when I travel and I’m looking for food, I will eat a snickers and keep it moving. I really don’t work out, I’m sorry to say. But Peter and I have started walking together because he just turned 52. We might not look it, but our knees hurt and I can’t see the restaurant menus anymore without glasses! We’re definitely aging, and no matter how good you look on the outside, if you feel bad on the inside, it won’t matter.

Catch Cynthia Bailey this Thursday as she hosts the second annual “My Dream Speaks” Global Language Project benefit reception and awards ceremony at New York City’s Times Center. The non-profit, which teaches children foreign languages through cultural education, will honor the Morrison & Forester law firm and feature a special performances by Les Nubians. Get your tickets here today! 

Already on your second or third passport? Join the Travel Seven and submit your answers today to travel@parlourmagazine.com—if we like them we will post on here on Parlour!

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