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Wanna know how I get Baby Ruth and myself through airport travel safely during Corvid19? Check out my latest vlog.
Everybody who was talking about Naomi Campbell, and that video where she is scrubbing down her first class seat, Auntie Naomi had it right. And I have been a diehard Naomi Campbell fan since I was yay high, since she was one of the original supermodels, love her. Love her vlogs, love her sass, and love the fact that she won’t take no shit. She will take her cell phone and boom, okay? Don’t play with Auntie Naomi. Auntie Naomi ain’t about getting sick and neither am I. So stay tuned. I’m going to give y’all some tips to travel like a germaphobe black mama with your baby, during COVID-19. What’s up y’all? It’s your girl Jackie O. Baby Ruth and I made it back to the U S of A and believe me guys, we are not here full time. I’m telling y’all, first things first; if people don’t start protecting themselves from COVID-19, Ruth and I are self-quarantining for 14 days. But just sitting on the front porch of my mama’s house here in Pittsburgh, PA, I’m like, “Where are y’all facemask people”? Be safe, just stay safe and welcome if this is your first time to my channel, I am Jackie O the OG, original black digital nomad and globetrotting mama.
I travel full time with my daughter Ruth who is almost two, she’ll be two on August 1. And my website and my page is devoted to helping black women embrace this lifestyle of traveling full time and or moving abroad. So if you’re interested, stay tuned. I give you tips, I give you advice. In this episode, I’m going to talk about a little bit about my journey back to the good old US of A. I am not here permanently guys. I’m just here to visit my mama for a couple months and then we are off again. And I’ll be announcing our next destination very soon. But I’m going to give you today five, yes guys, five tips to traveling like a germaphobe black mama during COVID-19 because I did it and I did it with a toddler. And so far, knock on wood, we have not had any COVID-19 symptoms. Obviously we could be asymptomatic, which is a reality. But so far, baby Ruth and I are feeling fine. We traveled through 1, 2, 3… 3, 4 airports because traveling now there aren’t as many flights. So we couldn’t get a direct flight into Pittsburgh. So we went from Guatemala City to Houston. Had to overnight in Houston where nobody in Texas is wearing a facemask. And then from there, we flew to Chicago and from Chicago, we flew to Godot, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So stay tuned guys, I’m going to spill some tea and give you the real deal.
So first off, guys, I’m going to tell you exactly how we got back to Pittsburgh because in Guatemala their borders are closed. This means you can leave the country if you can get a flight or you can make your way to the Mexico border. But once you leave, you cannot come back in unless you are a Guatemalan citizen which we are not. Even if you are a Guatemalan citizen, if you come back home, if you repatriate, you have to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. Ruth and I have made the decision coming back to the United States that we were… I mean I made the decision, Ruth is almost two, she didn’t make it herself; I did. That just for the safety of everybody around us that we are self-quarantining for 14 days. So we are in the house, on the porch. We’re not really socializing. Not that I won’t be socializing because I’m social distancing. But we’re not getting into contact with most people just because if for whatever reason, I was exposed to COVID-19 leaving Guatemala coming to the US. I ain’t trying to spread it to people here. Where we were in Guatemala as most of you guys know, there were zero cases of COVID-19. But, planes are still planes and their air is dirty. So it’s interesting guys because we had to get actually official permission from the city of San Pedro. And the only way we get that permission is for the US government. So the embassy to actually write us a letter asking the city of San Pedro to grant us permission to be able to leave San Pedro and go to Guatemala city, the airport there to catch a flight home.
Now, this was actually already a pre-arranged flight. But guess what guys, my flight got canceled and I needed to get home and I really was stressing whether to come back to United States or not, I was living a good life as you guys know. I was living, doing most in Guatemala. Ruth and I were safe and secure. Now, COVID-19 was knocking on the door because the city next to us which is called San Juan did have a couple of cases. But again, my city was on lockdown, no one was sick, no one was going anywhere. But it was fine. We went to the beach every day. As you guys know, we were chilling. But I am also very committed to making sure that Baby Ruth stays connected to her grandma. And, her grandma ain’t getting on a plane and traveling to Guatemala even if she could. So guess what that means? That means that a couple months each year, I got to come back to good old Pittsburgh, PA; the city I left for a reason. And make sure Baby Ruth gets to spend time with her grandma and that is so important to me. I had such a wonderful relationship with my grandma whose name was Ruth. And it is very important to me that Ruth has that same sort of relationship with her grandma.
So, they WhatsApp, they FaceTime each and every day. And they also spend time together during the summer. Now normally Ruth and her grandma would go to Vacation Bible School for a week, two weeks. I think Vacation Bible School is actually two weeks in the summer and just hangout and just go to Kennywood. If you don’t know Kennywood, it’s amusement park in southwestern Pennsylvania. But obviously, that isn’t possible during COVID-19. So now I just get to like, hang out in the house and work in the garden together, which is fine with me, because those moments for me are just as important for my daughter as her learning multiple languages, her crisscrossing the globe. She’s going to know her grandma, and I will make sure of it. So we’re here guys. And like I said, I’m really worried for the United States. I mean, just no one seems to be social distancing. At least when I was in Texas, because we had it overnight in Texas. So our flight was we had to take San Pedro to Guatemala City, which is about three and have hours. Ruth is starting to get carsick. She probably started getting carsick maybe about eight months ago. So if you guys wanted me to do a video on coping with a kid who gets carsick out medication in the future, happy to do that video. Just post in the comment box or if there’s anything like you’re interested in. you’re like “Jackie, I want to know about that. I don’t want to know about that”, just let me know. And I’m happy to do a video about it.
Sorry, I didn’t get the video out last week. I actually did. But then my computer fell and the screen broke and I lost everything and it’s just like, the devil is a liar. And I was like, “You know what, I’m just gonna get on or want to order a new MacBook Pro”, which I did. Apple was talking about. They were going to take two to three weeks to get like my custom because their shipment inventory was low. Couldn’t do that. I was like, “I need a laptop that I can get within 24 to 48 hours”. I actually talked to the business department for business accounts of apple. And, the guy made it happen. It wasn’t my custom, but it wasn’t the MacBook that is getting the job done. So I’m not going to complain. I think his name was Chuck. I’m not sure. I know he was based in Austin. So if you’re watching this Chuck, thank you very much. I’m recording this video and editing it on the MacBook Pro that you helped me order and get within 48 hours. So thank you.
So, Ruth and I had to drive three hours with a driver. Our driver in order to get out of San Pedro where we lived, had to have a medical exam, his temperature check, and also signed paperwork basically saying he wasn’t going to get out of the car anywhere because if he does, or if he doesn’t get back that same day, he’s not going to be allowed back in San Pedro. The city is shut down and even to get back, you still had to stop at the health center in the Central Institute. Which if you guys have seen videos where I talk about my house and you saw the scorpion video, I live actually fairly close to the center, the Health Center, which is in charge of all the anti-Corona fighting efforts within Sololá which is the equivalent of the municipality that San Pedro is located in. So he got all that done. I’m going to show you guys some of like the video of that happening of him getting stuff done and checked. I got one permission letter which my Spanish school San Pedro Spanish School, which is by far the best Spanish school in the whole entire universe. So if you are interested in learning Spanish, they do offer online courses. But I also recommend going there. The director came to the municipality building to make sure I didn’t have any issues. Like guys, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, everything is shut down, but he made his way to make sure that my daughter and I got home safely. Or, got back to the US safely because we don’t really have a home anymore. But I got to my mom’s house safely. Like he was very much like it didn’t matter that I’m not taking classes anymore because no one is.
It’s just important that any student who was a part of their community or family is safe and secure. So I’m so grateful for that. I will also put a link below of the San Pedro Spanish School. They are also doing a lot of efforts to feed hungry people in Guatemala right now, particularly in the San Pedro area, just because people are not working. People are going hungry. And there’s a whole campaign calling the white flag campaign where people particularly in the city of Guatemala, are flying white flags and it’s a symbol that someone in that home or everyone in that home is starving. Which is really sad when you think about lots of people work on the informal economy and now the informal economy is shut down. Now that a lot of expatriate so Guatemalans who are outside of Guatemala and send money back home, now a lot of that money has dried out because a lot of those people globally aren’t working. There are a lot of people who are in very, very dire situations within Guatemala as a whole. San Pedro is definitely not being as hit as hard as other places. But the reality is that they need help. So if you want to donate, I’ll put that link there too. I think I’ve done other videos with a link, I don’t know. That could have been the video that got destroyed, but I will put that link there. So yeah, feel the urge to give, give it guys. And, please don’t forget to like and subscribe. Like, I love having you. I love getting notified when you guys follow me. So thank you for following me. I appreciate you.
One of the things that people were most shocked about when we were traveling is that Ruth for the most part, will wear her face mask. And, every parent that we see at the airport, while social distancing would say, “Like, how do you do that? Like how do you get her to keep her mask on”? And guys, I’m telling you, we worked on it, we practice. So my number one tip for you or my first tip for you, is if you’re going to do a trip in the air or with a toddler, start practicing at home with that face mask. Let them see you wearing it, put it on, get one that’s really cool that’s made in colors and stuff that they like. And on top of that, start taking them outside in your yard, in your balcony if you have one with a protective plastic sun hat. And I will post it right here so you can see a picture of the one that Ruth has but this thing guys is golden. It’s like having one those personal protection devices around like their face, even if you can’t get them to wear the mask like you got to get them to do something. Now mostly airlines say that like young kids don’t have to wear like face masks because everybody else on the plane does. But you still want to just keep your kid as safe as you can and so I would even trump the prep your kid for flight by saying like if you don’t have to fly, don’t fly.
Flying is so much a part of our lives that even stopping for two or three months was difficult for me but obviously, I’m going to do the greater good. I am a public health professional by trade. So I am going to do what the medical folks say to keep myself safe and to keep the global community safe. And if you guys have seen some of my other videos I am particularly passionate about this when it comes to indigenous communities and making sure that they stay safe. Guys, can I give a massive shout out to each and every one of you all who have checked out my Etsy store? It’s called Ruth after my daughter’s. My Baby Ruth who that’s her first name, and my rest in peace baby Natalia, who was Natalia Xavier Ruth. And Ruth is Ruth Giselle Omodora. And of course my grandmother who was also Ruth, and then my middle name, Omosunbo. So, it’s Ruth Omosunbo and it is an Etsy store for woke folks. And you guys have been blowing it up. So thank you. I’m going to post the link down below but to everybody who has purchased a T shirt or a bag, you guys rock. I so appreciate you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Guys, my next tip is alcohol wipes like the same type they use when you go to the doctors and get a shot and they clean up your skin. Just purity alcohol wipes. Use those bad boys to wipe down anything before you touch it, after you touch it, just purity alcohol. It’s not hand sanitizer, it’s not nothing. Wipe off your seat, your complete seat and when you wipe off your seat like use a couple packs of these bad Boys, wipe off your dish tray, wipe off like the thing you push up and down, for your windows, wipe off any and everything like your seat. Just use like ten of those bad boys. They actually aren’t that expensive. At least they weren’t that expensive in Guatemala. For every product I list or talk about here that I think you have to have if you are going to travel during COVID-19, I will put an affiliate link to Amazon. So if you want to purchase it, but if you’re going to travel with kids, if you’re going to travel to COVID-19, have those alcohol wipes. They were a game changer for me. And it just kept everything like clean and you know, alcohol kills the hell out of like a lot of stuff. And you know, it’s just alcohol. So get like a pack, put them in your pocket and that’s my next tip.
Make sure you have pants and a shirt with a million pockets that either zip or button up. I prefer jackets and shirts and tops and bottoms that have pockets and zip up on travel day just because then I don’t have to worry about anything falling out. And, when I’m holding Ruth and I’m trying to open a pocket, if it’s a button, it can be a little difficult. I’m not that coordinated guys. I mean, I’m not a complete nincompoop but unbuttoning a shirt or pants and holding a baby takes coordination. And some days I don’t get it. But a zip, I can unzip and zip quite easily. So that is my next tip for you guys. Have pants that have zippers, have a shirt that has a zipper, have a jacket that has a zipper. And the more zippers the better guys. Not going to lie. The more zippers, the better because you can put some alcohol wipes in there. You can put a pen and if you’re a seasoned international traveler, always have a pen with you. Like always because filling out those immigration, entrance and exit forms, custom forms in various countries. You don’t want to touch the pen that everybody else has touched. And most the time the pen might not even be there. So pro tip have your own pen that you’re using.
If somebody asks to use it, just say like, “No”. Don’t feel sad about it. You probably won’t see them again ever. So that is your sanitary, relatively clean pen. So use it and when you’re done using it, get your alcohol wipes, wipe it off, and put it back to wherever you had and try to have a pen with a top or a pen like a retractable pen like this. So when you put it back in your pocket it doesn’t leak all over everything. But, I always have at least 1, 2, 3, 4 pens all over my person so that if I need to fill out those immigration forms both Ruth and myself when we’re going to a new country or fill out a visa application for a visa on arrival, I am all good. Some countries have it computerized but most don’t. So, have a pen. Just do it.
It’s not in my five but this thing right here, can you see it guys? You need this in your life. If you’re switching SIM cards which if you travel internationally if you travel full time, you need this. They actually sell on Amazon I’m gonna put a link. And it actually has about five or six different ones that you can use on various phones. Not that your phone will change but you may lose or break your phone because believe me that’s happened. So another pro tip that’s not a part of my five I’ve got it right here and getting off topic is always try to have like a cheap backup phone that is unlocked. So if it is your old iPhone, your old droid that you didn’t trade in, one of your friends’ old droids that you can just use just in case you lose your phone somewhere. And see this has this right here and just snap it onto something. This actually came with probably about five or six different ones but you take this you put it inside, pop it in here and you can easily pop your SIM card in and out which is necessary. I have a dual sim phone. One of the reason I got a dual sim phone is that I’m not only one SIM card it actually happened to take out and I have a dual sim. The reason I got the phone I got was just a new phone. It takes me forever to get a new phone I think this is like six years before I got a new phone. But it’s because it also has a memory card.
So it has dual sim and it has a memory card and I’ll put the link to this phone. It’s a Chinese phone. It’s not that expensive. If you travel full time. Yeah, iPhone 11 are great, I guess Samsung’s great but if you have $1,000 phone with you all the time, if something happens to or breaks multiple times, you will be in tears. This phone is I don’t know, like $200, $300 so yeah, if it breaks if it gets stolen, I’m not happy but I’m not like in the fetal position either if it goes missing. Guys, I’m giving you a lot of tips that I didn’t plan on giving. If you like these sort of videos where I am giving you tips, giving you advice, telling you how to travel better and practical tips, let me know in the comments section and I will do more of them. Like if there is a how to video that you’d like to see from me, let me know and I’ll get it done. I’ll get it. I’m trying to get my videos out every Sunday. This one’s a little late. But as you guys know, I had issues and I didn’t have a phone. Not a phone but I didn’t have a laptop so that posed a problem as well. But now I’m back on it. Yeah. And we’re going on tours.
Guys especially if you’re leaving from the US going somewhere else a hazmat suit and it’s possible for kids too. You can do some of these cheaper raincoats. I’m going to post it up here as well. So you can see a picture of what I’m talking about guys. But if you want to go hardcore, Auntie Naomi does it and I’m not opposed to doing it as well. A hazmat suit, they’re not that expensive, under USD $40 and I’m pretty sure the same amount for toddlers and children. I will post links below. And I will also a picture up here of what I’m talking about. But if you want to go all in guys, especially if you’re going to be on a plane, and you’ve wiped it down, but you want to be extra special like, I wear my hazmat suit, I don’t have like, “Do I want my lungs? Or do I want people to judge me at the airport”? I choose my lungs. What about you? Let me know. So guys, I hope this video was helpful for you.
We had an eventful two days, 48hours getting back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to spend some time with my mother but it was worth it. It is always worth it for Ruth to spend time with her grandma. And I could spend time with my mama because I only have one and I don’t know how long she’ll be on this earth but I am going to enjoy her while she is here. So let’s know what else you’d like to see me post about and I will make a video and put it online and maybe I’ll even give you a shout out in my video. Bye guys. I love you guys.
Hey black girl, hey. You good? Cuz I’m fabulous. I’m a digital nomad and my lifestyle allows my daughter and I to experience new places, culture, foods and people. Living abroad and or traveling full time is amazing. It is freedom. I can work from anywhere. I want more black women to experience this same sort of freedom. I help black women manifest their dreams of a life abroad or a full time travel. Are you ready for a life beyond your wildest dreams?
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I’m Jackie O., editor of the international travel and lifestyle blog, The Jackie O. Life, serial entrepreneur, globetrotting Mama, Black digital nomad and overall badass.
I’m a former attorney, technology executive and model turned digital content provider and travel and lifestyle consultant. I help Black women live magical lives all over the globe.
I’ve been featured in media outlets such as Travel Noire, American Express Essentials, Gorgeous Globe, Flourish in the Foreign, Sorella, BizBash and more. Originally from the United States, I currently travel the world full-time with my toddler daughter, Ruth