Kalin’s Chronicles: Cruising the Caribbean

oasis of the sea One of my favorite ways to travel is by cruise ship. It’s a wonderful way to see several countries on one trip without having to repack, because the ship is like a floating hotel. And it’s also a great way to celebrate your 40th birthday!

My most fascinating and unique cruise was to Antarctica – which is a totally different type of cruise experience that I’ll discuss in a future post. However, most of my cruising has been through the Caribbean. Some of the lines I’ve cruised on include: Princess, Carnival, Costa, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. In fact, I helped my brother celebrate his 40th birthday on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cancun, Mexico. A few months ago, Royal Caribbean launched its newest megaship, Oasis of the Seas the world’s largest cruise ship (pictured left) with 16 decks and 2,700 staterooms.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Visiting Women Warriors

rosa20parks1 With 10 days left in Black History Month, I thought I’d discuss a destination associated with Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks.  I had the pleasure of meeting her years ago, while on assignment for CNN. I interviewed her in Montgomery, Alabama during the 40th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When I imagined her saying “NO!” as she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger in 1955, I thought she’d have this big, powerful voice. However when I met her, she was extremely soft-spoken. It confirmed to me that you don’t have to scream to leave your mark in this world.

After interviewing Ms. Parks about her role in the Civil Rights Movement, I was able to tour the actual bus where, at 42, she made her powerful stand by staying seated. I can’t begin to tell you the emotions I felt sitting in the actual seat where Parks sat. A few years later, I traveled to Montgomery again to tour the new Rosa Parks Museum. It’s constructed on the site of the old Empire Theatre where the bus was stopped when Parks was arrested. The museum takes visitors back to the Jim Crow era with interactive exhibits that include: a replica of the bus Parks sat on, original photos of Parks being arrested and finger-printed, and film of church meetings planning the boycott. For more information visit the Rosa Parks Museum website.

And for more female inspiration during your travels, visit monuments and museums to the following women warriors…

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Going Underground at Bed & Breakfasts

j0399692 When I first stayed at a Bed and Breakfast years ago, I didn’t appreciate it – there was no phone in my room, no TV, and no entertainment. At the time, I preferred the variety and amenities of a hotel. Since then, I’ve stayed at several B&B’s and really enjoy the unique experience of each one. And these days they have modern amenities like Wifi. B&B’s are also a wonderfully romantic getaway, so Valentine’s weekend is a great time to plan a visit.

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Introducing our very own Multicultural Travel Maven

kalincapetown Editor’s Note: My biggest and most exciting plan for celebrating forty? Travel, travel, travel! Many of you share those plans even beyond your 40th birthday. You’re planning on expanding your horizons and embarking on new adventures, and travel is one of the best ways to do that. That’s why I’ve tapped Kalin Thomas, a friend and travel expert, to become Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. This former CNN travel correspondent has visited six continents – including Antarctica, and owns her own multimedia company.  In her recurring column, Kalin’s Chronicles: Tips & Tales from The Multicultural Maven, Kalin will help us all experience travel with new eyes. (Image: Kalin in South Africa)

An introduction from the maven herself – Hello you 40 and fabulous women! I’m excited to be a part of this blog and want to give you a little background on myself. My love for travel started with family road trips when I was about six years old. My parents would pack up the car with suitcases and sandwiches while my sister, brother, and I would pile in for our annual summer trip. We’d make the two- to three-hour trip north in my father’s ’65 mustang from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlantic City, New Jersey. This was in the days before casinos, when it was still a family destination. Continue reading Introducing our very own Multicultural Travel Maven