I like pushing the envelope. It’s just what my curiosity does to me. It’s a curse, perhaps at times, but when it comes to travel, however, I find it as a true blessing. It was no surprise, then, when planning my trip to Georgia that I wanted to squeeze in a day-trip to South Carolina. Now, I knew my days were tight, so I made sure to make this destination worth it. Cue in Beaufort, SC, a little city that opened my heart and mind through its history.

As a NYC resident, I wanted to explore more of a southern coastal city (can you blame me?)  and so when I saw Beaufort featured in the New York Times (and then after I booked my trip saw it featured in Southern Living and Vogue,) well, you know I just had to check what this city was all about.With a population of about 13,000 (and it being the second-oldest city in South Carolina), I must say, I felt pretty close to everyone I encountered and felt the history instantaneously upon my arrival.

I partnered with the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce to plan my trip and when I asked:
“What’s the best way to see the city?”
“Via a walking tour,” is what they non-hesitantly replied.

So, my husband and I got in the car, waved ‘bye’ to Savannah for the day and headed up north about 1.5 hours.

When we arrived to the visitor’s center in Beaufort, we were happily greeted and given recommendations of where to eat and what to check out. Never be shy about asking locals – they are the best source of information!

We started our day with lunch at Plums. Real talk: I have been having SO much delicious butter (and shrimp!) down south that I opted for a refreshing chicken salad – oh, and some oysters on the side, of course to change things up a little bit and give my body a bit of a break. As we entered the restaurant, we requested outdoor seating and were escorted to the back, right by the Waterfront Park, a wonderful spot for people-watching and seeing boats pass you by. Interestingly enough, every couple of minutes during our conversation, we’d have to stop talking because we had fighter jets fly over us; turns out, we were right near Parris Island, a Marine Corps Air Station. How cool, because you never see those jets flying around in NYC!

After lunch, we went on our walking tour of Beaufort where I walked amongst some of the most beautiful Antebellum houses I have ever seen, built on what used to be plantation fields and learned that they were used during the war. Today, many of the homes are residential and used for films! There were so many movie references while on the tour, I wish I was a big movie person to understand; but it was okay, I understood the history and, honestly, just walking along the streets filled with oak trees, Spanish moss, birds chirping, carriage steps and imaging myself back in the 1700s was just incredible.

Friends, look at the following photos and imagine yourself hearing horseshoes and standing in front of these beautiful homes while feeling the slight breeze on your cheek.  We walked around the city for about two to three hours. All worth it. So in love:

After our super informative tour, shopping was obviously next on the list. I sometimes wish I had a cute little beach home that I could decorate à la plage. But, who says that daydreaming is a bad thing?  Even if it’s to go inside and imagine the décor I’d put into my beach home, I have a wonderful time just strolling around, touching every piece of glass, opening up and flipping the pages of freshly printed coffee table books, and sniffing every candle my nose can handle.  At this point, my husband was outside sitting on a bench waiting for me as he turned to his phone and flipped through who-knows-what. Either way, I stayed inside the store and kept exploring. Scout Southern Market was such a great find! They have such wonderful things inside that are one-of-a-kind and I poo-poo on myself for not buying the beautiful blue & white porcelain dish I kept going back to!  Lucky for me, they deliver.  I’ll be adding that to my to-do list ;).

As we know, shopping works up an appetite (yes, yes it does, ladies ;)) and I was craving something sweet. I recalled the gelato sign we passed by earlier in the day and headed back to Common Ground Marketplace Café where I indulged in a wonderful lemon sorbet. As a lactose-intolerant soul, I highly appreciate when places that carry gelato also carry sorbet. It was the perfect treat after walking around for hours under the sun.

After our little snack, we sat by the Waterfront Park on its swings for a while and enjoyed the beautiful waterside view. We made our way through some more cute shops and pondered about how great our day was, how much we learned and which restaurant would be our last stop for dinner (we love to eat, don’t judge ;)).

We ended up crossing over a little bridge and (per a local’s strong recommendation- I mentioned I loved locals, ya?) headed on over to the Dockside Restaurant for dinner. I KNOW.  I know.  I said I wasn’t going to have any more shrimp. But… it was strongly recommended… and how could I not? ;).

As we finished up our dinner, we packed ourselves back into the car and headed back down to Georgia. Our day in Beaufort was as beautiful as its homes, its nature, its water, its friendly people and, most of all, its rooted history (for the history buffs, check more out here). In a city that I knew nothing about, I walked out knowing so much and banked the trip in my memory, so happy I fed my curious mind.



Dress: Revolve | Shoes: Nine West | Watch: Fossil | Sunglasses: Shein

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Brooklyn native, Latina, and founder of Enlightened by Bravery, an adventure/travel and wellness blog that focuses on drawing inspiration from adventures around the world back into your life // iPhoneographer // Francophile

This post has 5 Comments

  1. I live in Chattanooga, TN and Beaufort is about a 6 hr drive. I live it there so much. It started with the first time I went camping at Hunting Island State Park. I fell in love with the low country and its charm. Then I spent a few days in Beaufort and absolutely fell in love with that sweet town. I hope to one day be lucky enough to live there. It’s me happy place!! Glad you got to discover it.

    1. Hi Julie! Wow, camping down there must have been phenomenal! Thank you for sharing with me your wonderful memories and travels to the Beaufort area. I am so happy I went to discover such a great place that has touched many people, locals and tourists alike! Cheers! 🙂

  2. Great write-up of my home… Don’t forget to get some chocolates from the Chocolate Tree. NONE better world-wide. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the tip, Will! Next time I’m around I will be sure to stop by- I’m always on the hunt for the best dark chocolate there is! Cheers!

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2018: Goodbye NYC, Hello New Zealand!

…and I don’t mean it just as a vacation. Family & friends, it is with great excitement and joy that we share with you all that we are leaving everything we know about NYC behind and heading off on an adventure abroad for the year!

We are moving to New Zealand!!

There have been so many factors that played into our decision: one of them was attending a Tony Robbins seminar (that post coming next!), another was experiencing the beautiful culture in Denmark last summer (gosh, I love that bicycle life), and another was that, frankly, I have been left feeling a little uninspired by NYC lately. Nothing against the concrete jungle, but maybe that’s my problem: too much concrete.

I don’t know if I ever shared this, but there were two times in my life that I literally sobbed on the plane as we took off: once was when I wheeled up from France after studying abroad there (oh, the tears!), and second was when we left Denmark (how could I live without all the pastries and that bike life?!). I started noticing a pattern and it drew up a concern for me: why was I crying so hard? And what was it about those countries that made me want to stay forever?

In my efforts to understand myself, it was clear that those other places (and travel in general), always filled a void of unpredictability, new adventures and new customs/cultures. When I landed, it was like a game of strategy in which you must survive, learn the rules and get excited about all the different things happening around you. I know NYC is a giant melting pot, but having been born and raised here, it all has just started to feel and become a little, well, predictable. I already know we are all celebrating the fourth of July no matter what state in the country I am in. And while I love traveling around the country (the USA is beautiful), I am seeking something more.

It occured to me that in order for me to continue to grow, continue to be inspired and continue to love deeper, I need to get out. NYC, USA, it’s not you, it’s me; we need a break. You will always be my home, but I feel that distance will make the heart grow fonder. You give such great opportunities that I have yet to be thankful for. The opportunities are endless and you can be whoever you want to be; yet, I’m not grabbing anything by the horns.

So why New Zealand? Well, why the heck not?!




If you haven’t already, I suggest reading my first post about this and how my fear developed, which can be found here.

Bringing Me Closer to Flying:
Now, I just need to start off by saying how proud I am of myself. If anyone who has a fear of flying and still gets on a plane and is reading this, you should be proud of yourself.  And for those that are not yet ready, but want to one day be ready, you are also included in this ‘proud’ category.

When I suddenly became afraid of flying, I didn’t know what to think. But what I did know was that one day I would go back to soaring in the air.

As I mentioned in my prior post about this, my grandfather passed away and I missed his funeral because it involved me traveling down to the Caribbean and I just couldn’t bring myself to fly. Ever since that day, I became pretty sad and beat myself up.  However, I knew that my family would all go down there after one year and have a special memorial ceremony for him and visit his tomb.  And for this, I knew I just had to go.

So within the year leading up, I did my homework and I learned that my personal fear of flying could be overcome with just two things: listening to yourself and confidence.

Listening to Yourself:
I knew I was afraid to fly, but I didn’t exactly know of what.  And that’s when I had to really have a one-on-one with myself and ponder about it for a while.  I imagined myself going through the process of purchasing a ticket, getting to the airport, boarding the plane, being in the air, landing, being at my destination, and then doing it all over again for a return back home. And with all of these steps in mind, I took a piece of paper and wrote down my thoughts and fears.  My list included “anxious waiting for flight to board, no doctors on plane, no oxygen, being stuck in the air with the plane not being able to come down to ‘safe’ land quickly or pause for a second for me to recollect myself, turbulence, and being stuck abroad knowing that I needed to do it again.”

So I took this list and stared it down.  There it was.  All of my fears about this whole flying process on a sheet of paper.  I reread it and added things here and there in a different color. I elaborated more as to what I was afraid of, but it was all secondary.  And fine, I let it all out.  And it felt great.  But what I was really focused on was what I wrote initially and the keywords that stood out: “waiting,” “no oxygen,” “safe on land,” “turbulence,” and “do it again.”  And that’s what I was afraid of.  in a nutshell, but clear as day.

My doctor mentioned that I could be given an anxiety pill, perhaps take a sleeping pill, or drink a glass of wine to calm down my nerves.  But I didn’t want to take that route. Personally, I just wanted to get to the root of how I was so capable of flying with no problems before and why my flying habits took a sudden turn.

So I took my list and, within the year, decided to educate myself.  I decided to build my confidence.  Because we fear things when we don’t feel capable of succeeding, correct?  We may have a fear or anxiety because we don’t know what’s going on and we are fearing for the worst, right?  Well, that’s what I think, at least.  And so, I took this notion and embarked on my own journey of becoming confident and learning more about myself in the process.

At my own pace and with a calm, cool and collected mind, I took each keyword and focused on educating myself.

Sure, this could give nerves to anyone!  But I just needed to learn that I had to remain present and breathe through any sort of anxiousness that would arrive.  Waiting made me feel nervous because I didn’t know what was going to happen to me in the near future.  And that was the problem.  I was so focused on the future that I was forgetting about the present.  Attending yoga classes regularly (at least two times a week) gave me the confidence to take what was happening now and just ride through it, like a wave.  Breathing exercises became my best friend and this was all useful to me all throughout my flying experience.

In the meantime before the flight, I browsed around the shops and had a nice breakfast with other travelers around me.  My flight was called to board and off I went into the plane 🙂

food ii loren

No Oxygen
I legit thought that I would run out of oxygen on the plane.  How could so many people breathe in air, release carbon dioxide, and just be stuck in this thing we call a ‘plane’ that uses recycled air anyway?  For sure I thought it was going to run out of it.  And that scared me.  When I had my panic attack, I kept screaming ‘oxygen’! But, that was all because my breaths were so short that obviously I wasn’t getting enough into my body unless I calmed down and started taking some nice, long deep breaths.

So, instead of knowing that the answer it out there and choosing to not seek it out (the Internet is chock full of studies and information, people!), I went the other route and decided to read up on it.  And, interestingly enough, I read up on it a lot.  And as it turns out, the way that the air is regulated and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide available, are actually healthy and falls within standards.  If for some reason the pressure of the plane drops, you are given oxygen masks to off-set the deliverance of oxygen floating around the plane and, instead, delivered to you directly.

For more information on the subject, I would suggest taking a peek at this document on the quality of air in the cabin.

Safe on Land
For some reason, I thought that being in the air was where I would be most at risk of an accident happening.  Sure there may be things that go wrong, but if the engine goes off, just know that pilots are trained to land safely when this happens during their training.  And sure, there are many things we see in the news.  But just know that there are millions of flights that happen yearly. And you’re not the only on in the air.  Click here to see what is currently flying above your head and in your country right now!  See all those white planes?  Yup, happening now.  LIVE. You’re not the only one.  Now imagine how many cars there are… at least double that on the roads!  Such a busy, busy world we live in :).

Another thing that made me think that I would be safer on land was the fact that I could go home.  But then it occurred to me: I could panic on the plane throughout a flight, get off of it, go back through security, through customs, into a taxi to my destination only to go back and through the same thing… or… I could try to be brave and just enjoy my flight.  And enjoy the growth that is happening within me.  I needed to not run away and be confident.. so that’s what I am going to do!

Ah, that fear that the plane is going to just spin out of control because it is shaking a bit (or a lot).  You know, to be honest, this really scared me, but when I got on the flight back in November, I was actually really looking forward to it!  And I actually quite enjoyed the turbulence! (Cue the people shaking their heads and calling me ‘crazy’.  It’s okay, my mom thought I was crazy, too).  But in all honesty, I was totally OK with it because I did my homework.  I read on what turbulence really is.  I YouTubed it to death.  And I learned.


I always think of the skies as Jell-O now.  I cannot succeed in finding the clip, but when I do I will post it here!  But the general concept is to imagine a mold of Jello that contains a little plane you are pushing through.  Now, if you pat the top of the Jello mold, you are causing ‘turbulence’, but notice that the plane isn’t falling and crashing.  The plane decreases about 20-30ft to avoid the wind coming at it at the speed it is at, but the plane doesn’t fall.  It’s molded into the air so well, that it’s almost comforting.  This helped ease my tension on the subject.

But seriously, just go online and Google or YouTube the heck out it.  It is definitely scary at first to learn about these things, but it came more as a comfort to me the more I learned about it.  Check out this retired pilot here in the meantime :).

Do It Again
After doing my homework, it didn’t matter to me as much anymore of me fearing the fact that I had to do it again. Pushing something away and avoiding it sometimes makes things worse, as it is being suppressed and only being fed into what you are trying to forget about. So, on that note, I knew that in order for me to be more comfortable with it, I had to do it again.  So looked forward to doing it again.  You get better at doing things the more you practice, right?  A round-trip flight seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to get practice.

After spending a year of researching/educating myself, doing yoga, and imagining myself getting on the plane, I am happy to say that I made it on my flight two months ago and had no panic attack.  Was I nervous? Yes, of course, a bit.  But was I going to back down and let this thing hold me down for the rest of my life?  No way.  To some people, flying and traveling is not their priority in life, and that’s OK!  It doesn’t have to be.  But for me, I felt that this was something that really meant a lot to me and I was going to put in the work so that I could become confident and capable of soaring through the skies.

I made it to my grandfather’s one-year memorial mass down in the Caribbean and I know deep in my heart that he is watching above proud of me.  Can I say that I have absolutely no fear anymore?  Maybe not.  Like I said, it’s all about practicing what you fear.  And, let’s be real, a plane ticket isn’t exactly a commodity, so it won’t happen very often.  However, when it does, I know that I am confident I can go through the flight.  I started small (a 3 1/2 hour flight) and, to be honest, I want to travel far, but those are 8+ hours of being up in the air.  Yet, I know that if I put my mind to it and not only listen to myself, but really give myself reasons to be confident, that I could totally do it.

I want to travel to Europe and South America very soon, but one step at a time, right? 🙂

Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to leave your comments below!

Wishing you an easier flight with the confidence you build within yourself and a bravery that may enlighten you to become more fearless that will allow you to do more beautiful things that matter to you.

Knowledge is power,


Disclaimer: I am not a professional in any way on this subject and I shouldn’t be a substitute to any doctor, etc. etc., so please consult with your doctor if you are thinking of trying anything. But, for me, being knowledgeable in the areas that scared me the most was what gave me confidence and what brought me to being able to get on a flight. Disclosure