Travelers You Need To Know in 2018 + #WorkHardTravelWell 2017 Recap

The mantra Work Hard Travel Well was created in 2014 and initially used between myself and a few friends. The more I interacted on social media, the more I realized more people agreed with the mantra in lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some cool things that happened in 2017 with the Work Hard Travel Well Brand, #WorkHardTravelWell Travel Community and 9 travelers you need to follow for the new year!

  • More designs and accessories were added to The Work Hard Travel Well store was launched includes WHTW themed clothing, travel gear and other cool travel tees!#WorkHardTravelWell
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  • The Work Hard Travel Well Facebook group was created! Click to join the Work Hard Travel Well Squad.
  • People around the world use the hashtag on Social media to showcase their travels and related content. Travelers are featured on Instagram on:

Men Travel Well Monday-Created because men are often overlooked as world travelers but they are out there!

Work Hard Travel Well Wednesday

Travel Squad Thursday-Created to highlight group travel.

  • The Black Friday/Cyber Monday Portal was a hit. Here travelers could get direct access to flight, tour and packaged trip discounts! Although those deals have expired get access to savings you can use all year long!
  • Over 50K photos have been tagged with #WorkHardTravelWell on Instagram.
  • Top travel hacks and articles of 2017 were:

Funny Travel Memes

How To Save Money Beyond The Flight Deal-This article has the best travel hacks so you aren’t relying on just flight deals!

6 Lessons Travel Has Taught Me

How To Make Money With A Blog and Social Media

Misconceptions About Travel Bloggers

New Orleans Weekend Guide

  • The Work Hard Travel Well YouTube Channel hit 10K views and over 100 subscribers! Make sure you subscribe to a view more travel tips and a look into hot destinations around the world will be covered on our YouTube Channel. Subscribe to keep up with live and helpful on-demand videos!

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One thing that was introduced last year was to inspire and celebrate more dope travelers who exemplify #WorkHardTravelWell

Check out these dope creative travelers that exemplify #WorkHardTravelWell and FOLLOW them!

Maurice Burks

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and why? Thailand for the Thai New Year/Songkran water festival. It was my first time at a foreign festival or event. Nobody is a stranger during Songkran, and the main aim of everyone is just to have fun. It doesn’t matter if you are a local or a tourist, everyone celebrates together and there is not the slightest tinge of prejudice.

What are your travel goals for 2018?

To attend more world festivals in different countries. Events like Holi in India, or maybe La Tomatina in Spain. I really would love to visit Brazil during their Carnival, but their visa process is kinda crazy.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Patience. Things always don’t go as planned, but if you keep an opened mind you can make the best of any situation. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. The best things in life are on the other side of fear

Connect with Maurice:


Amanda Frankel

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and why? I took a Solo trip to India this past year that tested me in so many different ways. The culture is rich and vibrant. It was unlike any other place I’d been to. From the sites to the colors, to all the smells, I was left coming home with new outlooks on my ongoing thoughts about what being a privileged American really meant. I was tested in many ways between finding my way around through the slums of Dhavari to eating street food and getting Dheli Belly! The experience was nothing I’d imagine but everything I needed.

What are your travel goals for 2018? I’d like to spend time moving around Africa more, to Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Kenya, etc. I’d also like to conquer more of South America.

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

Due to the nature of my work being emotionally and mentally draining, I always make sure to have a good work/travel balance. Self-care is something I value a lot and traveling provides that for me.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Traveling solo has built my confidence level extremely high. It also tests me in uncomfortable situations where I am forced to make decisions and choices that allow me to grow to as a person, expand my knowledge, experiences, patience, and cultural competency.

Amanda works with women and children who have been abused, as well as incarcerated juveniles, providing trauma and substance abuse therapy and advocacy. Currently, she is in Zambia, Africa working with Child and Youth Care Workers to help implement programming to serve vulnerable and orphaned children. visit for more information.

Connect with Amanda:



Joel Coe

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and why? Of all my journeys in 2017, one of my favorite trips would be India. This was a 7-day excursion, consisting of my family and friends exploring several locations throughout the country. Since this was my first time traveling with a larger group, I was a little nervous, due to possible personality conflicts. However, the individuality of everyone involved only helped to elevate the experience. Our tour started in the heavily populated streets and marketplaces of New Delhi. Next, we toured the colorful city of Jaipur in traditional Indian attire. With their opulent castles, royal gardens and lavish textile garments, my group and I felt as if we had stepped into the past, and were transformed into members of Indian royalty. Next, we explored the culturally and historically rich land of Agra; home to one of the Seven Wonders Of The World, the Taj Mahal. Constructed of white marble draped in lush gardens and surrounded by crystal blue water, this structure was definitely a beauty, manifested. Our tour ended in the desert lands of Mandawar. With its picturesque sunsets, lavish architecture and flavorful Indian dishes, it was truly a relaxing destination to conclude our journey, before our return to the states. India, in and of itself is a land of living color. From food to architecture to clothing, color is essential in expressing all aspects of Indian culture.

This trip stands out the most for me because it was a remarkable adventure which allowed my travel companions and I to see wondrous sites, and partake of a rich and fascinating culture. Traveling with familiar faces also helped to make this journey more memorable for me, based on the experiences and laughs we shared, the memories we created and the bonds we strengthened. While the trip to India was an amazing experience, well worth the 17.5-hour flight it took to get there, being able to share in this adventure with other like-minded travelers made it that much more extraordinary.

What are your travel goals for 2018? Jordan & Egypt China & Japan Dubai Kenya & Tanzania, Cuba

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

Balancing work and travel is not easy, but if you work hard, it’s essential that you make time to reward yourself and prevent mental fatigue and physical exhaustion. For my family and I, that reward is traveling.

Connect with Joel:


Binja aka The Africancocktail

What was your favorite trip in 2017 and why?

My favorite trip in 2017 was to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. This was my favorite trip as the African in me always feels at home when on the continent. I attended a wedding and also got a chance to be a tourist! The markets, food and vibrancy of the people all made this trip one for the books for me. Not forgetting the crocodile farm and all the antics on that trip!

What are your travel goals for 2018? Heading to Morocco, Ghana and Portugal and leaving room for smaller trips within the United States and the Caribbean

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

I prioritize travel. Just as I do with my deadlines at work or personal projects, I schedule time for travel. I’ve realized that travel makes me a better worker. Being able to have my mind opened to new ways of thinking – like problem-solving during a trip – enables me to bring that creativity into my work, which makes me an even more productive worker. I absolutely value companies that encourage teams to take trips together! This is one of my dreams when I launch my own businesses.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Stay open! You can’t plan for everything. Always leave room for life to happen – that’s where the magic of travel takes place! Like when I randomly stumbled upon a festival on the beach in St. Maarten. It wasn’t planned but it was such a welcome addition to the trips festivities!

Binja works as a Health IT consultant. She is currently working on more blog posts for – a blog she co-founded with two amazing women. They are exploring more growth opportunities as an all-female run company and are looking into bringing more informative and exciting content for our readers. She is also launching Africancocktail ( – an innovation, style and travel blog that will be up and running in February 2018!





Kevin Frison

What was your favorite trip in 2017 and why?

My favorite trip of 2017 would have to be Thailand. One of the things that makes this an awesome destination is the fact that you can buy domestic and Asian international flights for really cheap there! You can literally fly to Vietnam for less than 70 USD. Furthermore, as most people already know, the food is amazing! You pay a tenth for authentic Thai food there vs. Over-priced and glorified Chinese food with peanuts over here in the states. I prefer a tropical climate and there was no shortage of sunlight in Thailand. Another unique aspect of Thailand is that you can experience city life, beach life, indigenous life and everything in between there. The Phi Phi islands are beautiful and the parties are TURNT. You’ve never experienced a party until you’ve been to a Full Moon Party.

What are your travel goals for 2018? I definitely want to visit The Maldives and Morocco.

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

Last year was unique in the sense that I strategically set up my schedule so that I could spend the latter half globetrotting. Right now, as a resident, my schedule isn’t the most travel conducive but I can still make it do what it does during my vacation time. I was fortunate enough to visit Cartagena, Colombia during my first vacation block this year! The way I see life, you’re not living if you’re not doing the things you love!

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Always be humble! Your opportunities for success increase when you are.

Kevin is a recent graduate from medical school and therefore a recently made doctor in NY! He is currently completing my preliminary at Montefiore and will be finishing residency at Mt. Sinai in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a focus on either sports medicine or traumatic brain injury. He is also a musician and has been playing the saxophone for 21 years. He is also a public/Motivational speaker for high school students and undergraduate pre-med students with an aim at providing mentorship and paying good blessings forward.

Connect with Kevin:


Jermaine Gause

What was your favorite trip in 2017 and why?

Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa – The vibrant street culture in Jo’burg, natural beauty and emerging food scene. The best part of the trip was being fortunate enough to get an after-hours wine tasting at Seven Sisters Vineyards, one of the few Black-owned vineyards in South Africa.

What are your travel goals for 2018? A trip to Colombia and Italy

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

I like to maintain balance by strategically using extending weekends or scheduling trip during slow times of the year. It also helps that I can get work done remotely.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Traveling has really given me the ability to see my daily “challenges” with greater perspective. Traveling has also caused me to have a greater appreciating of my culture. There are so many places around the world that admire Black American culture and contributions to society. We are not a small people, despite what some would want us to believe.

Jermaine is an Investment Manager for a boutique hotel brand.

Connect with Jermaine:



Janelle ‘JT’ Thompson

What was your favorite trip in 2017 and why?

St. Maarten/Martin has always been one of more favorite destinations; the people, the food, the history, the mix of cultures. My trip there in 2017 was even more memorable as it was a few months before the island was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Seeing photos post-hurricane was absolutely heartbreaking, comparing some with photos I had taken on my previous trips there. It was definitely an emotional look back at a special place that I had a connection with and I look forward to seeing the island rebuilt and flourish again.

What are your travel goals for 2018? Each year I try to visit at least two countries I have never been to.

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?

Having a steady job definitely helps when you’re a travel junkie, so it is important to be as committed to working as I am to travel. I am lucky that my job involves some traveling and try to either extend stays to see more of where I am visiting and/or include trips to other places at the end of work-related travel trips. I take full advantage of vacation time and plan trips then. It’s always good to get a change of scenery and come back to work rested and re-energized.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Traveling definitely teaches you to be patient (nothing like being stuck in long immigration lines or in a plane on a tarmac waiting for a gate to become available), but most of all, as a frequent solo traveler, it helps you to become more confident, outgoing and sociable. There’s always some opportunity to meet someone new, learn about their lives and experiences and open up your eyes to the world out there. You sometimes get the best travel and destination tips from

Janelle is the CEO for the Insurance Association of the Caribbean and spearheads a number of donations to local schools and children’s homes in Barbados. On a personal level, she donates clothing and school supplies to persons on the Caribbean affected by hurricanes in 2017. She also gives frequent monetary donations to Oxfam.

Connect with Janelle:


Joy Wahome

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and Why? I’d say my favorite trip was when I went to Greece last year. This was a very special one cause one, I got to fulfill and pay for my dream trip to Greece! I had always wanted to visit Greece since high school, I also got to explore this magnificent country with my one and only sister. We have so many memories to look back at and probably show our kids. It meant a lot to me to travel with my sister considering how traveling with a group of friends can be hectic, at least I’ve experienced that. Sadly

What are your travel goals for 2018? Traveling to Thailand with my Mum and sister!! I’ve come to learn, I enjoy more if I travel with immediate family.

How do you balance travel and your projects or business? Planning. Planning is the secret to everything. With a proper plan in place, it’s very easy to juggle both.

Joy currently works for a Digital Advertising agency. She is also actively engaged in charity works in her community such as building houses for the less privileged, donating food material, clothing, beddings etc. Joy is also a fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. You can check out my blog at

Connect with Joy:




Yusef Wateef

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and Why? I have moved to Sao Paulo Brazil! As an American, I can safely say that its a far more rich and vibrant country than we see on TV!

What are your travel goals for 2018? To explore the Amazon river in Brazil!

How do you balance travel and your projects or business? I never let myself get into debt and I network with travelers heavily to find out the best and most exciting places to visit so that I spend money wisely!

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Always be happy that people ask questions about my culture because it gives me the chance to be an ambassador and gateway into a lifestyle they have only seen on TV. I can shape their view of people like me forever, so it is my responsibility to make a positive first impression!

Yusef works hard to inform others on how to create and maintain a business.

Connect with Yusef:





Bonus: A not so shameless plug for me, the creator of the Work Hard Travel Well. I have enjoyed connecting with all of the travelers in the article and I am inspired! If you’re not already following, join our email list below and follow along on social media! Thanks

Kim Hawk

What was your favorite trip of 2017 and Why? Due to taking on a new job with limited vacation time, I did a lot of weekend trips. My favorite trip was to Orlando believe it or not for the Disney Food and Wine Festival plus a visit to Universal Resort. It was fun to revisit as an adult.

What are your travel goals for 2018? I would love to visit Niagara Falls, South Africa and return to Thailand!

How do you balance travel and your projects or business?  I always make time for it and be sure to have leisure time and not always be stuck in blogger mode while on vacation.

What is an important lesson you have you learned from your travels?

Make an adventure out of anything! Last year was the first time in 11 years that I was laid off so to speak. I lost my main consulting gig and returned back to Corporate America. Although I wanted to, I didn’t take extravagant trips. I used miles and points and took short affordable trips. Learn about the rest of my travel lessons here.

Kim is a sales account manager by day and a travel content creator in between.

Connect with Kim:






Be sure to connect and follow all of these travelers. What do you like most about Work Hard Travel Well? What do you want to see more of from the site in 2018? Comment below!

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A look at dope travelers of color who exemplify #WorkHardTravelWell!

Check out last year’s featured travelers!

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Kim H.

Kim H. is the creator and chief editor for Work Hard Travel Well. Born and raised in College Park, Ga. She is a true "FILA" :) and UGA Alumna. Go Dawgs!