Category Archives: Introduction

Introduction to The Black Gringa

And She’s Back


It’s hard to believe that 18 months have gone by since my last post….life intervened in interesting and circuitous ways.  But alas, I’m here, happy, healthy, and excited to start talking again.   I often say that time is  like holding water in your hand, no matter how hard you try, it continues to move on.

So where have I been and what have I been doing over that last almost two years….

  • Sojourn to Turkey
  • Romance in Quebec
  • Theatrical debut
  • Non-Profit Consulting
  • Webmaster for a nationally and internationally renowned non-profit
  • Child in Senegal, West Africa for months
  • Child in College in New York (hallelujah)
  • The birth of my first nephew….I’m such a proud aunty
  • Homeschool
  • Volunteering
  • New Business Ventures
  • Life and Love

Yes – I think that about sums it up.   I’ve spent the last few months busy and slightly distracted, but constantly saying to myself, “I have to get back to the blog”. Ever the procrastinator, I am finally sitting myself down to write.

So to pick up where I left off in 2012 – I had planned to leave for Cuba with my daughter, on  one-way tickets for 2 months, then possibly do Ecuador, Panama, or Costa Rica from there.  Housing in Cuba was set, as were private tutors in chess and Spanish for the little one.  Our Cuban friends/family were waiting for us, we had our gifts all packed. And we were ready.  I had closed my business earlier in the month, tied up all lose ends and made sure that I would have access to my money.   The last piece of the puzzle was to drive to my mom in Georgia, see my sisters in Virginia, then my daughter in New York, before we were off for the flight.

With this great plan in mind, I donated or sold all of our belongings, except those that would go to my sister which I put in storage, my apartment was leased to a new tenant and I impatiently waited for June 4, 2012 to arrive, when we’d catch that glorious flight from Toronto and start off on a new adventure.

God/fate/ life….just laugh in the face of the best laid plans.  As a parting activity, we went to spend a final day volunteering at an urban farm.  The director asked my daughter a simple question, “Will you be part of our summer program this year?” That led to a discussion regarding us permanently leaving the city and them begging me to stay to work with them and their founder as the organization transitioned through a period of growth.   Don’t ask me why….. I had 2 non-refundable one-way tickets from Canada to Cuba,  I would have no apartment within a week, I had no furnishings, no winter wear , and no reason to think delaying my plans would be a good idea……but I said yes, and I did.

Six months later…after having been an interim webmaster, trainer of best practices for USDA small farm harvesting and warehousing practices, IT guru and jack-of-all trades extraordinaire— I finally said good-bye, left the city and instead of Cuba went on a 3-week sabbatical to Turkey.

I came back after Turkey (which was amazing) and started a new phase of my life with the love of my life.  It turns out that cupid/fate/life and God had a plan for me all along and whatever made me delay the Cuba trip…it was the best decision I could have ever made.    Now I get to travel the world not just with the kids, but with my life partner….and he gets to have unexpected and pseudo exotic adventures with me.   We’re all pretty happy.

So now, while I continue to sing the praises of travel and living abroad, I am also about finding the treasures in your backyard, the joys that make life rich and delightful, and living life to the fullest…cause life is too short not to be happy and follow your dreams.

Welcome and I look forward to sharing the new adventures.

Interactive Vlogs – Video Logs


In the spirit of making this blog and website, as interesting, interactive, and utilitarian as is reasonable, given our staff of 1.5, we have now added a Video feature to our site.   These videos are from our various journeys over the years and are meant to add another layer to our journey of discovery.

The Video tab is located in the menu bar above or click the word video. All videos are categorized by country, where applicable.

I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to your comments.

Welcome to The Black Gringa


Welcome to The Black Gringa – a blog that specifically speaks to the international living and traveling.

The goal of this blog is to chronicle our travel experiences and introduce new communities for living and retirement that you may have thought about…but never seriously considered.  As I have considered relocating outside of the United States, I  often do Google searches, read blogs and articles, see beautiful pictures of exotic and far off places – but there is always something invariably missing.   What is the experience of African-Americans in that community?

My contention is that the experience for African-Americans living and traveling abroad is the same as it is for any American – interesting, exciting and engaging.  People around the world are kind, generous, gracious and warm.  Most of the time.  On occasion they can be rude and you may be refused service as my mother was in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  However, as with here in the US, for every bad apple there are a million good ones.  And the good ones are what we want to share with you.

This blog is meant to inspire you to think beyond your national borders and to help you create the life you have always dreamed of.  This blog will hopefully push you to be more adventurous and fearless in your daily living and  planning for the future.

Yes you can live in luxury on your monthly social security or pension check, in a place that is beautiful and peaceful, with the perfect weather and surrounded by the activities and types of friends you would have had at home.  We will show you how.

This blog will include regularly updated videos, pictures and audio that will present new cities and the communities we find in them. We will also talk about the cost of living and the transitions people make from living in the US to international living.

Let’s start living the lives we have always dreamt of and let’s begin that journey today!

First stop – Ecuador, South America