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The Travel Seven: LaToya Joy Westbrooks

LaToya Joy Westbrooks
Home City/Country: Harlem, NY / USA
Occupation: CEO & Founder at Westbrooks Consulting Group
Website/Social: Project JetAway
Passport Stamps Include: International: The Bahamas, Canada, Cayman Islands, England, France, Italy, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). Domestic: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas , Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

1. My best travel memory so far is… Was a trip to Memphis, Tennessee in 2009 for my family reunion. This trip was the most memorable because it was my great-grandmother’s dying wish to bring the entire family back together again. I met relatives I’ve never met before or hadn’t seen in years. It taught me to value the time we spend on this earth with family and good friends and not to let too much time pass without spending quality time together.

2. My favorite hotel & why… I am in love with chic, luxury hotels. The Sofitel So in Bangkok, Thailand by far has been the best hotel experience I’ve had. As soon as I walked in I was served tea, a warm cloth to wipe my hands and an inviting smile from all the staff present. I also enjoy hotels with nice amenities and The Sofitel So aimed to please with a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking Bangkok’s skyline.

3. My must-haves on any flight are… I must have my headphones, listening to good music and watching movies is a necessity during a long flight. Secondly, a change of clothes packed in my carry-on is a must. During a trip to Paris my luggage was lost for 2 days. I arrived too late to go shopping and that was the day I learned to always pack a change of clothes (including underwear) for all international trips. Lastly, a snack because paying those airport prices for a bag of M&M’s or chips is crazy.

4. When I’m on the road, I absolutely hate… Planning every second of my trip once I arrive. I used to be an event planner so I’m really good at pre-planning. I create lists, emails with links and pictures. However, once I’m there I don’t want to plan a thing. I just want to go with the flow during the entire trip.

5. My dream destination or vacation is… A trip to Africa…Ghana to be exact! I cannot wait to make a trip to the motherland. I cannot wait to experience such rich traditions and culture and to see people like me as the majority for once in my life. Another reason Africa is my dream destination is because I want to share my experience with others here in the U.S. You have no idea how many African and Caribbean Americans are either afraid or have no desire to travel there. I hope by travelling there I can change their minds.

6. The three things I can’t travel without are… 1) My pashmina scarf that serves as a cover if it starts to rain or if I’m cold. 2) My cell phone because I’m attached to it and it can be used for everything! I love taking pictures, recording my adventures and writing down my thoughts. 3) My favorite pair of black pumps… I just never know what may pop up during a trip so I’m always prepared.

7. The top lesson I’ve learned while traveling is… I learned how to be gentle with myself. I think that sometimes we get caught up on where we are in life and where we would like to be and forget how to just be. It’s ok to be still. Being still doesn’t mean you’re lazy. It’s good for the spirit and gives me a chance to come back refreshed and filled with new ideas upon my return home.

Already on your second or third passport? Join the Travel Seven and submit your answers here. Once we review and approve we will feature your profile on Parlour. | #travelfly

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