My Favorite Stories From 2021

I spent a few days in Puerto Rico scoping out the hotels and restaurants for Culture Trip.

It’s been quite a year, and I’ve been looking forward to sitting down and looking back on what I’ve done and the things I’ve gotten to write about. This year I did a lot more traveling, both locally and internationally, and I broke into some new publications like Teen Vogue, AFAR, Culture Trip, Cosmopolitan, and The Washington Post. While I’m immensely proud of all of my writing, I wanted to pick three stories from each of my three niches.

It was hard to choose, but here are some of my favorite stories from 2021.

Travel Writing

Beyond Beaches: The Best Places to Hike in Antigua – After staying close to home for most of 2020, I flew to Antigua, and it was my first trip out of the country in over a year. It was an amazing trip, and I wrote about hiking in Antigua, and the resort I stayed at arranged a hike up Mount Obama (which was quite an adventure). This story was published in Travel Noire, which was also where I got my first travel byline back in 2019.

Exploring the Other Side of Haiti – This piece was so special to me because I wrote about my home country, and I was honored to write for AFAR, one of my dream publications. It’s been an eventful year in Haiti. Between the presidential assassination and the earthquake, it seemed like nothing but dire news. I was approached to write an essay about the cultural highlights of Haiti, and I loved being able to share another side of Haiti beyond the tragic headlines.

Returning to Business Travel – Safely – I never thought that 2021 would bring my first cover story. This was another piece that I was asked to write, and my reported story of returning to business travel resulted in a cover story for Diversity Woman.

Culture Writing

Stacey Abrams Shares Lessons of Perseverance in New Children’s Book – Hands down, this was one of my favorite interviews. I really love doing interviews, and Stacey Abrams offered a master class on grace and poise. She made sure she was pronouncing my name right before we started the interview, and she paused thoughtfully before answering every question, and every word felt deliberate. Though I know Abrams is a skilled public speaker, it was special to witness in person.

Asha Bromfield on “Hurricane Summer”, Representation, and “Riverdale” – One of my goals when I started freelancing was to write for Teen Vogue. I’ve always admired their ability to cover important political and social topics for young readers. I was elated when this interview was commissioned and interviewing Bromfield felt like talking to a familiar friend. Also, Bromfield’s YA novel about a young Jamaican teen trying to figure things out was a refreshing read.

Zakiya Dalila Harris Talks Her Debut Novel “The Other Black Girl” and the Cost of Being Authentic at Work – I’ve been reading Cosmo for years (their astrology predictions are so spot on), and early in the year I pitched this interview about The Other Black Girl, a fascinating novel about being Black at work. Harris was a joy to interview, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming Hulu series based on the novel.

Home + Finance

Easy Home Hacks to Help You Fight SAD and Kick the Winter Blues – This year, I also made my Washington Post debut. It was surreal seeing my name online and in print. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I know what it’s like to experience months on end of rainy, gloomy weather, and I loved being able to explore the issue of seasonal depression and talk to the experts about how to make this time of year a little easier.

These People Actually Used Astrology to Help Them Buy a Home – For this story, I was able to combine two of my favorite things – astrology and real estate. I pitched this story to my editor knowing that this was something that I really wanted to cover, and it was a fun story to write. I talked to tarot readers, numerologists, and astrologers about how they bought a home, and it was one of my favorite stories of the year.

After years of banks overcharging and undervaluing Black customers, “banking Black” is gaining popularity as an effective way to fight systematic racism. – I wrote this piece as a part of Business Insider’s Wealth Gap series, and it was eye-opening to research and report on how banks have contributed to the wealth gap in America and how Black-owned banks are aiming to close that gap by giving Black Americans access to business and personal loans. Personal finance is one of my favorite things to write about because personal finance is often a look into human behavior.

So there it is! This year, I wrote so many articles that I’m proud of. For 2022, I’m looking forward to more traveling – I have my eye on a few Caribbean islands – and I’d love to continue interviewing authors and entertainers. I also have a very short list of dream publications that I have yet to write for. As always, thanks for following along with me, and if you haven’t already, keep up with my latest on Twitter and Instagram.

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