My Minimalist Summer 2018: Southern Charm
After getting back to the states and dealing with my pop pop's passing, the fallout from an ended relationship, and just life changes in general, I was more than ready to get on the road again! I kicked off my summer by visiting friend and BM team member Kenya.
Kenya lives in one of my favorite cities, Charleston, SC and it had been six years since the last time I visited the city. The whole experience was cool and unsettling (more on that later) and I got to do something I've never done before, ride a train! I've traveled by car, plane, and bus before, but I've never taken the train. I also haven't traveled (long distance) by boat yet either.
I really enjoyed my train ride. It was spacious, serene, and cheap. The ride going down was a little long at 10 hours, but that can be improved in the future.
The first couple of days there Kenya and I explored downtown Charleston and then we got on the road. Our idea was to spend time seeing parts of Charleston that were new to me, visiting Savannah because neither of us had been there in a while and going to Atlanta to meet up with our BM fam there, but we had no plans set in stone, but to enjoy ourselves. We even got to meet a BM community member who took our Black & Minimalist ecourse! Meeting up with our BM community was really life-giving for us and solidified the direction we are headed in for the next couple of years.
So on our way to Savannah, we stumbled upon Oyotunji African Village. If you don't know, Oyotunji is a sovereign African village near Yemassee, SC, founded in 1970. I knew about Oyotunji, but never thought we'd drive right past it! We decided to stop and see what it was all about and that's when things started buzzing, spiritually speaking. The vibe we got was welcoming and intriguing. The visit got us thinking about what it would be like to live in a village of our own. They also informed us they were having their Egungun Festival the next day. The egun are our ancestors.
We journeyed on to Savannah and without a plan, decided to visit Sankofa House that I had heard about on Instagram. We didn't know exactly what the Sankofa House was, but with just an address and good vibe, Spirit led us right to where we needed to be. They were actually about to close when we arrived, but ended up staying open to chat with us for two hours! When I say the vibe was strong, I mean it! We even went back the next day to take an offering for their kindness and we returned to Oyotunji for the festival. Those 24 hours in particular really made me realize that I needed a spiritual reset and that it was time to listen and answer the call of my ancestors so I can live my best life.
After our spiritual intermission, we continued on to Atlanta. It was actually my first time visiting Atlanta. We had a meetup at the Soul Vegetarian restaurant in SW Atlanta, attended Spiritual Homegirl Maria's meetup at Chattahoochee Nature Center, and then visited Little Five Points. It definitely an enlightening experience moving about in a predominantly black city. I like the vibe of Atlanta, but the only thing that turned me off was how spread out it is. If I didn't need a car to live there, I would definitely consider it.
The rest of my time in Charleston was spent exploring. We went to the beach, Riverwalk along Cooper's River, Hampton Park where the first Memorial Day celebration was held on May 1, 1864. We visited the riverfront and saw Gasden's Wharf where many of our ancestors first stepped foot on this land and helped clean out some weeds at Fresh Future Farm in North Charleston. My last day was spent helping Kenya declutter her apartment and we celebrated with ice cream.
On my way back up the coast, I stopped and spent the weekend with my sister in Norfolk. It was really chill and I got to sleep in her RV for my first tiny home experience. I also got to meet up with an OG black minimalist, India.
All in all, I must say it was a great way to kick off my summer. Next up, I'm visiting DC so stay on the lookout for me!