2017 updates, announcements, and changes!

BY ONEIKA RAYMOND

A few big announcements about all the exciting stuff on the horizon in 2017!

Where did the time go?!  It’s already March (yes, MARCH) and the days and weeks seem to be galloping by so fast that I can barely keep up. Does time feel like it’s flying by for you, or is it just me? I can’t believe the first quarter of 2017 is nearly over!

At any rate, I’m long overdue for a personal update on here and I’ve got loads of announcements and other news I’d like to share. I typically do an update of sorts at the very top of the year (see my announcements for 2015 here and 2016 here), but seeing as how, nearly 75 days into 2017, I’m only just getting around to writing this, it’s safe to say that I’ve been slacking. Oops.

Anyway, no more blathering on. Here are some of the awesome things I’m up to this year, as well as things I hope to achieve in the coming months.

Big news: I’m on TV!

This is surely old news for my community of loyal followers on Facebook and Instagram. However, for those who don’t, I’m excited to announce that I’ve snagged my first paying recurring TV gig! I’m now the on-air travel expert on “Your Morning”, CTV Canada’s nationally broadcast breakfast television show.  I’ll be on once a month sharing my travel tips and stories– I’ve been on the show three times already and my next appearance will be March 22nd.  You may recall that one of my goals last year was to do more on-camera work, so scoring this opportunity is a HUGE deal.  Blessed ain’t the word, y’all– I truly feel like I’ve found my calling with live television. Peep my latest segment below.

Writing and Partnerships

If that news wasn’t exciting enough, I’ve continued to make gains in other areas of the industry, establishing relationships with major brands and stretching myself creatively.  There are many partnerships in the works, but I don’t want to bore you, so here are a few of the most notable:

I started writing for the print edition of Ebony Magazine, a hallmark publication for African-Americans, and one I have read personally for years.  I can’t tell you what it means to see my byline in a publication that holds so much weight in my community. All the feels.  What’s more, a recent highlight was interviewing hip hop mogul Jermaine Dupri over the phone for an article! Huge thanks are due to my friend Dani (luxury travel guru over at Hotel Whisperer and also Senior Lifestyle Editor at Ebony) for giving me this amazing opportunity. I have articles appearing in the February, March, and April/May issues, so if you come across a copy, look for me in there!

I partnered with Lonely Planet in late 2016 on a few social media projects and writing projects; I’ll continue to work with them this year.  My stories from Oman and Ethiopia appeared on the LP website back in January and I have a major video project coming up with them I can’t wait to share with you in the coming months! As is the case with Ebony, I have read and admired their guides for years, so it’s awesome to work with them in this capacity. 

A few of my Lonely Planet guides (and passports) over the years

I’m heading back to Germany this spring to produce a video series for the German National Tourism Organization! While my travels around the country have pretty much been limited to Liebling’s hometown of Berlin, this project will take me to four new cities (Bremerhaven, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Kassel).  As this is a collaboration with the Canadian branch of the tourism office, the content I’m tasked with producing will have a particular focus on the links between Germany and Canada, my home country.  The timing really couldn’t be better, however, for all this is happening just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations on July 1st!

Speaking engagements and appearances

I’m totally levelling up in this area as well.  Here’s some of what I’ve been up to:

-In January, I appeared on a panel at Happy Black Woman‘s Black of Women Power Summit alongside actress Kim Coles (yes, THE Kim Coles of Living Single fame)! We shared tips for  how to increase your online influence and I loved engaging with the crowd on a topic I’m so passionate about.

-On April 22nd, I’ll give the keynote address at the Women In Travel Summit (WITS) taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  If you’ve followed this blog over the last couple of years, you’ll notice that a lot more of my writing is geared towards female travellers (and in particular female travellers of colour), a demographic I hold dear.  For this reason, I was thrilled to be approached to keynote at this conference.  For more info and tickets click here.

I’ll be a guest facilitator at Hey Dip Your Toes In’s Creative Entrepreneur Retreat in Portugal!  You know when you just click with someone and seek out any and all opportunities to collaborate?  Such is the case with me and Eulanda, one half of HDYTI (hubby Omo makes up the other half).  We met up in London last year, completely hit it off, and have been looking for ways to work together ever since.  For this reason, I jumped at their invitation to run a workshop at their upcoming retreat, which will be taking place on the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira this May 10 through 14! For more info on the courses being offered (as well as how to join us!) click here.

I’m presenting at BlogHer 2017!  BlogHer is one of the largest and most popular conferences for female online creators so this is a huge deal.  I was just added to a panel called “You CAN Travel the World Right Now, Regardless of Your Circumstances”, and can’t wait to share my tips and tricks for seeing the world with the audience. Very thankful for the opportunity. More details as I get ’em!

Other awesome news

I’ve been doing loads of collaborations and press features. Here are a few:

-Last December I wrote a few articles for Essence Magazine, then did a travel Q&A on their Facebook Live stream. In January I talked travel on an episode of Huffington Post’s BV Breakdown, which is broadcast live from the Black Voices Facebook page.

-In January I was profiled by the Canadian Press in an article that was subsequently syndicated on news platforms across the country including The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.  

-In February I made a brief appearance in The Root’s video series for Black History Month and was interviewed about travelling and relationships for Soul Society’s podcast.

-Just yesterday I was featured in an article on AT&T’s website! In it, I share my pick for where to go on Spring Break.

 

-Just last week my travel writing was not only the subject of a book chapter by historian and university professor Dr. Karen Flynn, but presented during her keynote address at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s recent Women’s and Gender History Symposium. (I know, I can’t believe it either. I’m blown away.)

-I’m running again.  After doing all the training for a marathon last year and having to pull out due to injury, my knee has finally healed enough again to do a few races.  I’ve been consistently running up to 5 miles two to three times a week and will run the Shape Half Marathon in New York City on April 30th! Hoping to run the full NYC Marathon in 2018!

-While I’m slowing down my travels to some degree (2016 was fun, but INSANE– I travelled to 27 countries and was barely ever home!) I’m in the process of lining up some pretty cool trips.  I just booked a ticket to Haiti and couldn’t be more pumped about it!

2017 is going to be a great year + blog changes

If the first 2.5 months are any indication, 2017 is going to be one for the record books.  I’m feeling rejuvenated and excited for what’s to come. 

With that said, I’m hoping to make some minor tweaks to the blog to better reflect where I’m at these days.  Lately, I’ve felt a yearning to get back to my blog roots– writing that was more frequent, more personal, and less commercial.  In short, I miss the days when my blog was more of a diary of my life overseas and not a business! 

IMG_7944

That’s not to say that sponsored content and listicles won’t have a place on here (after all, a girl’s gotta eat + drive traffic somehow!) but that does mean that you can expect a more frequent posting schedule that will incorporate more lifestyle content (I’m thinking of bringing back my travel fashion and style series), random musings and observations, and local NYC content.  And I’m thinking of doing a very minor blog redesign to better showcase this new direction– stay tuned for that as well!

So here’s to hard work, continued success, and awesome experiences in 2017.  I really hope that you’ll continue to follow me on this journey because it’ll be one of the most exciting yet!

What do you have on tap for 2017?  What are some of your goals? And what type of content would you like to see (more of) on the blog?

SHARING IS CARING

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

92 Comments

  • That’s so amazing! I am very happy for you! Your 2016 did seem a bit harried, I was wondering if you were sleeping at all. But the upcoming year looks to be so bright you’ll have to wear shades! Can’t wait to see all the things that you get into. And I am also excited that you are going to Haiti since I am a proud to be of Haitian descent and I haven’t been in over four years. Go you!

    Reply
    • Girlllll 2016 was so busy! It was electrifying but utterly exhausting. I am trying to focus on spending more time at home and with the people I love. But also still want to explore, work on great projects, and connect with others! It’s all about striking a fine balance and I’m still learning how to do that. Anyway, thanks so much for your support and sak pase?! Can’t wait to discover Haiti in all its splendor.

      Reply
  • Congrats Oneika! You’re doing SO well – and you reserve every bit of success for all the hard work you put in!

    Reply
  • Congrats on all these successes– that’s awesome. I look forward to reading more of your musings and lifestyle posts. I would love to hear some NY stories!

    Reply
  • You are absolutely amazing! You deserve every ounce of the success you are experiencing. I love reading about your travels and you have given me so many new places to add to my list. Keep on inspiring us! 🙂

    Reply
  • Yay!!! Congratulations. I look forward to seeing what 2017 holds. I’m certainly inspired.

    Reply
  • Oneika you’re such a role model. So proud of you. My family and I live in Sicily and are going to Venice in about two weeks, then Berlin in May, and probably Paris in July. I have a quick trip to Malta in June sometime. The rest of the year is up in the air; maybe European Christmas markets or the States.

    Reply
  • Wow, congratulations! You really deserve it. You’re truly an inspiration to the rest of us.

    Reply
  • Amazing Oneika!! I just watched the TV segment and wow – you really are a natural. Even though I knew some of the tips and websites you discussed I was still engaged and interested in everything you had to say throughout the entire clip. Can’t wait to see more!

    Reply
  • So happy for you. You work so hard and deserve all of this plus more!

    Reply
  • Congrats on all your accomplishments!!! It’s so awesome to hear that you are making strides 🙂
    Looking forward to more personal posts!!

    Reply
  • This is FANTASTIC!!!! Congratulations! I love how you’re doing so many things, in so many places! Absolutely fabulous chica! Can’t wait to read all about your new successes and hopefully, catch you on CTV via my firestick or while I’m visiting Canada! I applaud you lady, I really do! #Blackgirlmagicallupinhere

    Reply
  • This all sounds so amazing and exciting. I’m so happy for you and love your spirit! Keep rising to the top. Much love to you chica!

    Reply
  • Huge congratulations on all of your success. You’re such a great resource to female travelers and I’m very appreciative of all the great information you provide. I always search your blog for tips when I’m headed to a new destination. Thanks for what you do.

    Reply
  • Big tings ah gwan gyal, big up yuself. I was having breakfast on a recent hotel stay in Ottawa and caught your feature on CTV I just about wanted to scream and shout, there’s Oneika, she’s on tv. So glad to see and hear you’re doing well. Keep working hard gurl.

    Reply
  • Wow! I’ve got goosebumps reading all this good news. You make us all so proud Oneika. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Hi my friend! I wish to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost
    all important infos. I’d like to look more posts like this .

    Reply
  • I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem.

    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.

    I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

    Reply
  • Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all.
    However think of if you added some great
    visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips,
    this blog could definitely be one of the greatest in its field.
    Terrific blog!

    Reply
  • I think that is one of the so much significant information for me.
    And i’m happy reading your article. But want to statement
    on some general issues, The site style is wonderful,
    the articles is in reality excellent : D. Just right activity, cheers

    Reply
  • Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back often!|

    Reply
  • These are in fact fantastic ideas in about blogging.

    You have touched some fastidious things here. Any way keep
    up wrinting.

    Reply
  • Very good info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon).
    I’ve book-marked it for later!

    Reply
  • Somebody essentially assist to make severely posts I’d state.
    That is the first time I frequented your web page and up to
    now? I amazed with the research you made to make this actual post incredible.
    Excellent task!

    Reply
  • I was wondering if you ever considered changing the
    layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to
    say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    Reply
  • We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content available for you?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write concerning here.

    Again, awesome weblog!

    Reply
  • Thanks for every other excellent article. Where else may just
    anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.

    Reply
  • An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little
    homework on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due
    to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to
    discuss this issue here on your website.

    Reply
  • This paragraph provides clear idea for the new
    viewers of blogging, that actually how to do blogging and site-building.

    Reply
  • It’s awesome designed for me to have a web page, which is beneficial in support of my knowledge.
    thanks admin

    Reply
  • I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I’m quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    Reply
  • Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to
    safeguard against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  • After exploring a few of the blog posts on your web site,
    I truly like your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon.
    Please visit my web site too and let me know your opinion.

    Reply
  • Hey fantastic blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a large amount of work?
    I’ve virtually no understanding of programming but I had
    been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways,
    if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.

    I understand this is off topic nevertheless I just had to ask.
    Kudos!

    Reply
  • Hi there, all the time i used to check webpage posts here early in the
    daylight, because i enjoy to gain knowledge of more and more.

    Reply
  • Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb
    blog!

    Reply
  • Superb post however , I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  • Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished
    to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope
    you write again very soon!

    Reply
  • Excellent weblog here! Also your web site quite a bit up fast!

    What host are you the use of? Can I am getting your affiliate link in your host?
    I want my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Reply
  • I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    Reply
  • It’s remarkable in support of me to have a site, which is helpful in favor of my knowledge.
    thanks admin

    Reply
  • I read this article completely regarding the
    difference of hottest and preceding technologies, it’s remarkable article.

    Reply
  • Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and
    i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

    Reply
  • I all the time used to read paragraph in news papers but now
    as I am a user of internet thus from now I am using
    net for articles, thanks to web.

    Reply
  • Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content.
    Please let me know. Cheers

    Reply
  • Good post however I was wanting to know if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very
    grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Bless you!

    Reply
  • Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  • The Lakers make 49.6 of their shots from the field this season,which is 3.eight percentage points larger than the Grizzlies have permitted to their opponents (45.8).

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.