I Ditched My Favorite Travel Insurance For Start-up Company Faye

Did you know, that 44% of current [travel insurance] claims are related to in-trip flight trouble, including delays, cancellations, unexpected forms and delays at security? It’s honestly not hard to believe. In fact, yesterday, tracking app, Flight Aware shared that over 7,000 flights were delayed. Think about the news stories you’ve seen all summer of passengers stranded at the airport for days due to travel interruptions. (By the way, check out this article; “How to Get Flight Vouchers“). When you are booking a trip, it’s so easy to hit “decline” for the additional $20 or $30 to insure your travels, thinking it can’t make that much difference, but let me be the first to assure you…it absolutely does. Travel insurance works pretty similar to other insurance policies we have, essentially we’re paying for a just in case. I am a huge advocate for travel insurance because in my experience, it’s been worth it every time.

Image from Faye’s Website

What Does Insurance Cover?

It’s all in what you need. Some policies are buildable, which means you can add or remove what you need based on your specific travel needs. While the options that pop up at the end of your flight or hotel bookings are great, Personally, I opt to be covered for any and every possible situation: flight delays or cancellations, baggage loss or damage, hotel flops, emergency medical coverage, theft or rental car accidents…even people backing out of the group trips or for one off events like concerts! Typically, I have insured my spontaneous adventures with Allianz. But as more and more travel plans are getting interrupted, the claim processing times have significantly increased. I do not like that. For an upcoming trip to Colombia, I ditched my favorite and trusted insurance provider (Allianz) and decided to insure through a new start-up company, Faye. These newbies comprised of travel and insurance experts are rapidly making their mark in the industry with their $8M seed funding in TechCrunch & being named by Fodor as one of the must-download apps of 2022.

Meet The New Kids On The Block

Image Provided by Faye

Why Faye? For starters, I’m an elder millennial, which means I like having things at my fingertips. I want and need to be able to access what I need, whenever or wherever I need it. Faye is a 100% digital, consumer-centric travel insurance for Americans that protects travelers’ entire journey while providing a modern, digital and positive user experience. If that isn’t cool enough for you, keep reading. Secondly, 9 to 5 business hours just do not cut it for me when I’m traveling because emergencies can arise any time of day or night. Faye’s whole-trip travel protection offers 24/7 customer assistance designed to care for travelers through every step of their journey from takeoff to check-out! Talk about support!

The third reason I like Faye, is because the process is simple and straightforward. There were no pesky pop-ups, confusing industry jargon or gimmicks. The entire process took less than 10 minutes. I provided the details such as name, date of birth and ages of travelers, as well as dates and destinations of travel and wallah…three of us were covered for 13 days of travel for around $350. So needless to say, the fourth reason I am a fan of Faye is because coverage is affordable.

Please note: if you would like to add on medical coverage and have pre-existing conditions, your policy must be purchased at least 14 days prior to your departure.

Image provided by Faye

So, What Does Faye Cover?

You are actually covered for more than you think. Jeff Rolander, Director of Claims (who previously managed the claims department at Allianz for several decades), notes that many travelers are unaware of common travel scenarios in which they qualify for a reimbursement. While these are specific to what Faye may cover, ask your travel insurance provider if your coverage includes these scenarios:

  1. Activities you’ve already paid for but can no longer attend: Purchased show tickets, a tour, or pre-paid for wine-tasting but can no longer attend because you fall ill, contract COVID-19, or a travel provider goes bankrupt? You can be reimbursed for up to 100% of non-refundable trip costs, including tickets and activities.
  2. Common flight and luggage snafus, like missed connections: You can receive $200 for common trip inconveniences and delays, such as lost or delayed baggage of 6 hours or more, flight delays of 6 hours or more, or canceled flights. When it comes to trip delays, you can be covered for up to $300/day in additional expenses like food and hotels if your trip is delayed by six hours or more.
  3. Its hurricane season – national disaster evacuation: Traveling during hurricane season can present some hurdles when leaving the states. Not to mention, we’re seeing a significant number of bookings for Thailand and the Philippines this summer, which is Typhoon season. Check with your travel insurer about the hurricane coverage they offer – not all are the same. Ask if your provider covers cancellations due to mandatory evacuation as well as when your destination becomes uninhabitable. Faye covers this and in extreme situations, our international plan covers up to $100K in expenses if you require transportation from a place of danger to a place of safety, including during a Level 4 hurricane.
  4. Rental property lockout: If the keys to your vacation rental property are lost, stolen or damaged, resulting in the inability to access the property for 3 hours or more, you can be reimbursed for $200. 
  5. Accidental/unintentional vacation rental damage: Spill wine on the carpet, accidentally break a lamp or stove catches fires when cooking? You can be covered for up to $3K in repairs and replacement costs.
File a claim in-app, on the go and receive reimbursements quickly when eligible.

In Conclusion

Of course, I am hoping that my trip will happen without a hitch but having travel insurance with Faye has added an additional level of security to my travel plans. However, I can not imagine such great customer service not delivering every step of the way.

You can get Faye for your next adventure by visiting their website or downloading their user friendly app in the App Store or Google Play store.

Happy Travels!

Let’s Talk About PCOS

Sometime in the fall of 2016, I went to urgent care because something didn’t feel right. I was was feeling crampy, nauseated and a lot of other things. After asking me some “standard” questions, the nurse practitioner announced, “You have PCOS, I’ll give you a prescription for metformin.”

From what I can recall, she didn’t give much detail other than, “you’re overweight so this is why your period is late.” and I was left to my own devices to figure out what the hell this thing was. I was never asked about the excessive body hair (ya girl has shaved at a stop light before on the way to an event because a full mustache appeared seemingly overnight), diet, hair thinning, or even actually tested for anything. How you could be diagnosed with something without any tests was beyond me. Anytime I’ve mentioned PCOS at a doctor’s appointment after that, I was only asked “Are you taking birth control?” or it was passed off as, “Oh, that’s pretty common.” Not a single health care provider seemed to care enough to ask further questions, provide guidance or be sure I was properly educated on PCOS. Even when the answer to being on birth control was no. Actually, I took Metformin for about 2 or 3 weeks and quit taking it because my body just could not adjust to it at all. It made me feel worse and created quite a few disruptions to my day. September is recognized as PCOS Awareness Month and as a teal cystar, I thought it would be a great time to share a bit of my journey.

What Exactly is PCOS?

PCOS also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a hormonal disorder affecting women in their reproductive years. While the exact cause is unknown, PCOS can cause prolonged or infrequent menstrual cycles in addition to an overproduction of male hormone levels. Other common symptoms of PCOS is acne, skin tags, infertility and insulin resistance. While there is no cure, it is treatable and some people have credited lifestyle changes to the erasure of symptoms.

Debunking The Myths & Misconceptions

Tianna Trinidad, (RN, BSN, MHL ) PCOS Hormone Health Coach and Founder of Love Served Warm

There are many things surrounding PCOS that I still do not understand, even 6 years after diagnosis, in fact, the more I research the more I see that myself and others still are left in the dark with unanswered questions. I had the opportunity to chat with Tianna Trinidad; a PCOS Hormone Health Coach to get answers on some of the common questions surrounding the diagnosis, symptoms and treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

What are some common misconceptions around PCOS? 

Some of the biggest misconceptions with PCOS is that it only affects women who are overweight. Another common misconception about PCOS is that it is necessary to have cysts on your ovary to be diagnosed.

Many women are unaware that there is more than one kind of PCOS, what are the types?

There are four different kinds of PCOS. The first is inflammatory. This is caused by chronic inflammation in the body. Next is adrenal fatigue. This is when a women has only elevated DHEAS but normal testosterone and androstenedione levels. The third kind of PCOS is post pill. We see this when someone has the symptoms of PCOS, but they do not have insulin resistance and have a history of birth control use, Lastly, is insulin resistance, it accounts for 70% of PCOS cases and caused by high levels of insulin

How is PCOS diagnosed? Does diagnosis vary based on type?

Experts believe 1 in 5 women (others say 1 in 10) are effected by this disorder. PCOS is diagnosed when women present with two or more of the following symptoms: Irregular periods, increased Androgen (male hormones) or cysts on the ovaries (diagnosed by ultrasound).
PCOS diagnosis can vary by type because women who do not present with the most common form of PCOS; insulin resistance can face some barriers to getting diagnosed due to lack of knowledge surrounding PCOS in the medical field.

It is common for providers to prescribe birth control or metformin as a treatment for PCOS, are there alternative treatment options?

Birth control and Metformin are the most commonly prescribed treatments for women with PCOS. Unfortunately women are not educated on other treatment options that pose the same or have reported better results in managing their PCOS. Alternative treatments include focusing on dietary and lifestyle changes that aim to decrease inflammation and balance hormones. 

Do you believe this disorder affects mental health?

Yes, it is reported that up to 60% of women with PCOS suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Why did you decide to specialize in this particular disorder? 

I decided to specialize in helping women with PCOS after losing my first pregnancy at six months due to hormonal imbalances. I fell apart, and as a medical health professional I couldn’t find the resources or help to bridge that gap in healing and lack of education. So I set out to become the solution. I wanted to create something where I could serve love to women on a similar journey as me.   

PCOS seems to trigger two areas the most, weight loss and pregnancy. Can those with PCOS achieve weight loss goals or have healthy pregnancies? 

PCOS two most triggered areas are no more than the common problems women experience with PCOS, however it in no way describes their fate. Weight gain is a consequence of metabolic dysfunction. Think of a broken AC thermostat that is unable to regulate the temperature of the home. With PCOS women have trouble regulating their weight because their thermostat, aka their hormones are imbalanced. Once the hormonal imbalances are corrected, the weight gain will subside.
As far as pregnancies for women with PCOS, it is very possible. The first step is to ensure that the woman is experiencing healthy ovulation monthly. If she isn’t, which is the case with many women with PCOS, then the next step would be to get to the source of inflammation and the cause of the cessation of ovulation.

What kind of screenings or tests should women be asking their doctors for?

While there is no specific test for the diagnosis of PCOS, women should be aware of the common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances so that they can advocate for themselves at the doctors office. Women should be requesting insulin resistance blood tests, as insulin resistance drives 70% of PCOS cases and is rarely checked by most physicians. Most doctors never go past checking blood sugar levels, when it goes so much deeper. 

For more information on PCOS including resources, please visit the PCOS Awareness Association as well as Tianna’s website; Love Served Warm. You can also find her on Instagram where she shares tips for advocacy, awareness videos and host educational lives.

When Your Tired is Tired

I’m fucking tired, to be quite honest. And the word tired doesn’t even seem strong enough to adequately describe how I feel.

The Erasure of History

I can recall standing up with my peers and reciting the pledge of allegiance every morning throughout grade school. I can recall the start of sporting events having someone sing the National Anthem. We learned about the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation and other “influential” moments in history that shaped this country. And in these recitals, songs and teachings, we were academically brainwashed by a white curriculum to believe that America was the greatest country. That we were the land of milk and honey. The true standard of living was being an American because of all the opportunities and advancements other countries couldn’t create for their citizens.

“Land of the Free”

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Preamble to The Declaration of Independence

Yet here we are, two hundred and forty four years after this document was signed and the general disdain for black life and rights in “the land of the free” is prevalent. he abolition of slavery, the erasure of segregation and the amendments to the constitution…we still see the disdain. We see it through the micro-aggression when white people clutch their purses or lock their doors when we walk by. We see it in the workplace when we are described as articulate or one of the good ones whilst simultaneously asked to style our natural hair in a professional and aesthetically pleasing way. We see it in the education of our black children. We see it in the hardship black businesses have in securing pandemic relief funds. We see it in childbirth, where black mothers are more likely to die than their white counterparts. We see it in healthcare with the medical biases of doctors inserting their prejudices with over the health of black patients. We see it in the harsh sentences of black people when whites have committed heavier or the same crimes–and we see it in everyday activities that result in the death of another unarmed black man, woman or child. Somehow, a group of people comprising barely 13% of the United States population are seen as the biggest threat just from the color of our skin. So perhaps the word I’m looking for here is, enervate: to feel drained of energy or vitality: weakened.

I’m drained of energy because I have to worry about things that white people have the privilege to do freely. Seldom, do I carry a purse into a store otherwise to the loss prevention team who are trained to believe that all black people are thieves, I’m subject to being stopped for shoplifting. I use an umbrella instead of wearing a hoodie to protect myself from the rain otherwise I could be racially profiled. I don’t leave my house without some form of ID so if my body is found, I won’t be tossed aside as Jane Doe left in the street. I pray for the black men in my life more than I pray for myself because I want them to arrive home safely so their children won’t know the pain of being raised without them. I survey an event to determine if it’s a safe space for a black person because more often than not we’re made to feel as if we don’t belong or inherently become the go to person for all thing culturally related.

I’m drained of energy because when the world sees me, they don’t see my education, awards, volunteerism, career or leadership. They don’t see my worldly experiences. They don’t see my talent. They don’t see that I’m a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, godmother, loved one or friend. They see a black person and a threat. And nothing I can ever amount to, do or be in this world would ever save my life when face to face with a racist. Speaking candidly, what I’ve done or accomplished in this world shouldn’t be a prerequisite to racial encounters. The fact that I am human should be the only qualifier to morality and common decency.

I’m drained of energy because I have to constantly have conversations with my nieces and nephews about encountering police. My youngest niece is just over a year old. She’s vibrant and full of personality. There is an unnerving and looming heartache in knowing that inevitably, one day soon she’ll be stripped and robbed of her innocence because black children don’t have the privilege of being sheltered from racism. How do you prepare a child to venture into the world without your protection whilst simultaneously educating them that the world hates them just because of the color of their skin? I hear the pain in their voices when they feel the blunt of racism in everyday situations. Despite being the best providers, leaders and parents from the moment our children are born they are given a cross to bear that we can never take from them. Immediately, they have unnecessary pressure to “better than them” because we don’t have equal playing fields. How do you groom a black child to be a protector when there’s no one to protect them in the presence of white supremacist disguised as law enforcement, teachers, coaches and neighbors? When talking to them about their goals and aspirations, we have to ask them if they know what to do in a racially charged situations so they can have the best chances of coming home rather than become another trending hashtag on Twitter. That’s the value of black life in this country it seems, a fucking hashtag.

I’m drained of energy because I have grieved the loss of hundreds upon hundreds of black people that I have never met. 9-1-1 has become a personal customer service hotline for the theatrical distress of white nuisances pretending to be top flight security. We’ve witnessed families torn apart at the hands of racism. And like clockwork we’ve seen murderer after murderer walk free. Yet we’re still expected to have faith in those obligated to fulfill the law from blue badges to judges. On every side, as a black person in this county we are failed because we refuse sit silently. We refuse to “shuck’n’jive” and refuse to accept that this will always be a way of life.

No Justice, No Peace

I won’t be linking any videos or articles because we’ve witnessed, watched and heard enough black deaths. What the world is seeing unfold these past few weeks in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the Minnesota Riots is the straw that broke the camel’s back. You name it, we’ve tried it: complying with police, peaceful protest, voting, rallies, kneeling during the National Anthem, forums, sign petitions, running for public office and not a damn thing has changed. However, criminal white men like Dylan Roof are treated with respect, honor and dignity when being arrested. The key word here is arrested because police encounters for black people are often met with public humiliation and brutality proceeding death. We as a black community are enervated. Enervated because the very people who want to maintain all lives matter, have no respect for ours.

It Ain’t Over Bitch

Creator: KENA BETANCUR, KENA BETANCUR | Credit: AFP – Getty Images

After the death of Philando Castille, when I was blogging on “The Fat Girls Life” I wrote a piece called “The Second Wind” In that article, I shared the following:

If you’ve ever watched a boxing match or fight, there’s a point where one of the fighters may become visibly tired. Their opponents seem to be gaining on them. Their punches may slow down. Their feet may stumble backwards struggling to maintain balance. They may even miss a few punches. As the clock is winding down, it seems as if the opponent will get the victory. All of sudden, the energy is back. Their energy is renewed. They are focused on the end goal: winning the fight. That’s where we stand as Black Americans. We’re tired but we’ll continue to fight for what’s right. We’ll continue to use our platforms, influence and voices to be the change we want to see in the world. We’ll continue to demand justice. We’ll continue to educate. We will continue to support each other. We will continue to lead by example.

Racism isn’t new, it’s being recorded and televised on the six o’clock news for millions to see. In the midst of a global health pandemic, in which African Americans are at a greater risk of contracting, we’ve had to risks our lives to attend protests about the injustices continually unfolding. While the general sentiment shared in the aforementioned quote is the same, I believe we are far past education and leading by example. Despite the popular Martin Luther King Jr quotes white people use to ease their guilt, much like the scriptures to do the same let us not forget that “peaceful” Martin also said that riots are the voice of the unheard. The same peaceful Martin, they killed by the way. Undoubtedly, property casualties and loss of jobs are unfortunate but if all this shit needs to be burned down before we have accountability and dismantle a system that was never intended to protect black people…let it fucking burn.

A protester runs in front of the burning Third Precinct building of the Minneapolis Police Department on Thursday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 382 days. The Greensboro Sit-Ins lasted 6 months. The Freedom Rides lasted 7 months. The Birmingham Movement lasted 37 days. Keep your foot on the gas, it’s far from over.

Self-Care is The Best Care

If you follow me on any of my social media, then you know that self care is my jam. With the past year of events, this month which is recognized as #MinorityMentalHealthAwareness is a good time to tap into what self care really looks like.

What Does Self-Care Even Mean?

When you think about self-care, what comes to mind? The majority of people who has answered this question for me, give answers like a relaxing bubble bath, having a spa day, or buying themselves a little treat. All of these things are great, but, self-care extends into other parts of our lives as well. 

Are you taking care of yourself financially, physically, emotionally and mentally as well? Are you checking those bad habits? Are you disassociating with toxic people? All of these things work together as a demonstration of how we love ourselves because when we master these skills, we won’t accept anything that prevents us from showing up as the best version of ourselves in these areas.

Allow Me To Introduce…She Matters!

So, imagine my surprise when I found “She Matters by Boxed In” a Black and woman owned small business that curates self care boxes catering to every aspect of who we are!

She Matters by Boxed In May Box

I was immediately drawn to these subscription boxes because they are unlike anything I have ever seen before. The boxes are curated with the help of therapist , mental health advocates, financial experts, nutritionist fitness gurus and other industry professionals alike that create the ultimate experience for growth, relaxation and inspiration. Every month is true treat indeed!

What I also enjoy about this company, is their Instagram page that chocked full of helpful information on mental health, self care and the benefits of prioritizing both. These gems of hints, tips and tricks can also be found on their self-care blog!

Informative Carousel from She Matters Instagram

Who is She Matters?

The woman behind She Matters is Alicia Walton, who started her business just last September! Yes, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, sis launched a business! We stan. The inspiration behind Alicia’s business came from her own journey to find ways to prioritize self-care in her day to day life.

Alicia Walton, creator of She Matters by Boxed In
Tap In

I’ve received several boxes and have truly enjoyed each one. The contents of each box varies month to month of course but every time feels like Christmas! In other words, sis don’t miss! Whether you’re struggling with self-care or looking for ways to elevate your self-care practices/routine, this is the box for you! There is an option to subscribe monthly or make a one time purchase. Plus, there’s two box types (standard vs. deluxe) to fit any budget. Oh, and if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll receive 10% off your first order!

New Year, New Me?

Here we are.

January 1, 2021. 

Day one of the next 365 days.

There’s a swarm of social media posts sharing goals, aspirations and resolutions for the New Year and while they’re certainly inspirational…it’s not something that I will be participating in.

For starters, it’s hard to create a list of goals because I am constantly working on myself and mostly anything that could be a goal, is something that my adult ass should be doing anyway. 

However, last year, one of my Instagram followers (Ashley Amber Photography) posted a list of words to pick from to carry us into 2020. The three words that I chose were intent, consistency and finish. With the dumpster fire we just escaped, it goes without saying that I waivered shortly into the new year. No worries, I was still that bitch, ok?

Photo provided by Happiness is Homemade via Pinterest

In keeping that new tradition going, my word for 2021 is “love”. I want to speak more from a place of love. I want to move in love. And I want to extend more love, freely. After all, there’s a whole painful tattoo across my shoulder blade dedicated to a scripture (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) that speaks of love. I should be striving to exemplify it, right?

Reflecting on the interactions and relationships this past year, I realized that I was the one giving life to a lot of dead situations. It was me being the bigger person after a disagreement. It was me inviting people to do things. It was me sending random and/or celebratory gifts to people just because I was thinking of them. It was me initiating conversations. Some of the people I was holding on to showed me on more than one occasion with their insouciant miens that unless I had something to offer, my presence wasn’t needed. So to the nearest exit they went. And by nearest exit, I mean text thread deleted, photos cleared from iCloud, number blocked and access to me…REVOKED. And while I understand that life was beyond words last year, this isn’t a new experience for me with people like this.

With that in mind, I have decided that I was deserving of the same kind of energy and love that I consistently extend to others. Part of letting love carry me through this year (and beyond) means not accepting anything less than what I want from anyone; be it romantic partners, friendships or relatives. We are all deserving of reciprocation, support, and love from the people we allow into our spaces. Anything other than is exhaustive both mentally and emotionally. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I will no longer water myself down. In fact, I will no longer be breaking myself down into bite size pieces to make myself easier to digest. They can choke. 

Here’s to 2021…may it be a year of love.