What I love about social media and how I've chosen to use it is that it allows me to connect and engage with people from the around the world through the sharing of stories and experiences be they good, bad, ugly, or shocking. I take great pleasure in reading comments, questions, and simple greetings that hit my inbox and never shy away from sharing my opinions and truths. If I've taken the liberty to opine on a subject know that it's for one of two reasons, A) I once lived within the chapters of its book, or B) I've walked through said chapters with someone else and saw, first hand, the experience, effects, aftermath, and/or toll of that chapter. In that, I never opine from a seat of judgment but speak from the pages within the book of my own life instead. Now that we've gotten THAT out of the way, let's dive into question that this particular post addresses.
"DO YOU HAVE A SUGAR DADDY?"
Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mamas, and advocacy for securing them have become an actual thing in real life and in the digital space, and so, I wasn't surprised to have received inquiries about whether someone else finances my travels.
I travel A LOT (okay, A WHOLE LOT), and I recognize that by many people's standards being "gone" for an average of 6 months for fun--not work--isn't "normal". I also well understand why my lifestyle, as seen on social media, would inspire curiosities about the logistics of maintaining it. However, I had never received so many direct messages about sugar daddies and whether I finance my own trips until last month (February) after I returned to Europe after just having returned to the U.S. from a 3-week trip around Southeast Asia. When I opened my Instagram inbox to the 5th message about whether I had a benefactor, I smiled as I thought about the blessing that is financing myself. :)
The short answer to the question of whether I have a "sugar daddy"--someone who lavishes someone else with gifts in various forms in exchange for their company or sexual favors--is NO. While some have no reservations about accepting gifts, airplane tickets, getaways, etc, from someone else, I take GREAT PRIDE in being able to say that *I* handle, hold down, and finance EVERY thing that concerns me--obligations, bills, travel expenses, indulgences, or whatever it is--and that I'm able to do so because I WORKED my ass off for it and am very strategic about the "how" and the "why" of my pursuits. No sugar daddies, no parental help, nothing. By my own logic, if *I*, Jasmine, can not pay for it then *I*, Jasmine, have no business pursuing it...whatever the it is.
Travel is my passion, my heart beats for it, and I have been immensely blessed to be able to do it as frequently as I do, and therefore, regard the ability and freedom to "just" go as a gift from above. With that in mind, I refuse to be indebted to anyone for the sake of my passion and would never taint that by prostituting the gift of my company, my time, or my body..in essence, myself...for its maintenance. In my opinion, entertaining Sugar Daddies or Sugar Mamas is a form of prostitution as both usually require their "recipients" to be engaged and present on some level regardless of whether the interest is mutual. Additionally, NEVER will a man be tied to the memory of any of my travel experiences. Jasmine will owe no one ANYTHING.
Having The Time to Travel: Thankfully, I formerly worked for a firm who advocated that employees take the time to explore their passions beyond the confines of Corporate America, and thus, provided ample time allowances to do so. I started at my former employer with 15 days of vacation time, 10 days of wellness-time, 3 personal days, a few 4 day holidays, and the option to purchase 2 additional weeks of PTO. Ya'll, that's a total of 9 weeks of time away from the office. NINE!!!!! On top of that, I took a 3 month wellness leave (medically mandated and federally protected) during 2017......and received 100% of my salary the entire time I was out. I'm not telling you to play the system but what I am advising is making use of the benefits that are available to you should you need them!
I realize having that much time off is dream for most, but even if your company doesn't offer as much time, use your vacation days in conjunction with holidays and weekends! As for wellness leaves, look at your company's policies to determine whether you can take those at a paid percentage.
Having The Resources to Travel: Listen, if it has nothing to do with what I'm passionate about, I'm frugal...not because I have to be but because I'm simply not interested enough to spend or invest money on it. When it comes to enriching experiences or travel, I usually spare no expense. My vehicle is paid for, I'm only financially responsible for myself, and I don't have expenses beyond housing, cellphone, groceries, internet, and fitness. If possible, eliminate ALL unnecessary bills; IF you're receiving pay increases in the form of bonuses, PLEASE remember: Increases in salary are nice as long as you're not increasing your debt.
Whether you believe in utilizing Sugar Daddies or not, my hope is that you live life to the fullest without feeling guilty about enjoying it or feeling indebted to any mere mortal. Until next time! :)