Blog Entries

OneBrownGirl Has Moved...


I have come to love adore this blog and all that it has represented since I started reluctantly blogging as a compliment to my empowerment t-shirts so long ago. 

It has come so far. 

I have come so far.

But it's time for a change.

I will ALWAYS be One Brown Girl. Always. There are some things, you just can't change. *wink*

But now, you can just call me Tracey. =)

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OneBrownGirl in Paris: Five Year Birthday Soirée

I just got to Paris. I think it's Wednesday already. I left on Monday morning from San Francisco and arrived on Tuesday morning...which was yesterday, right?  It's 4am now. I fell asleep after I went to the local market (it was daylight then) just to make sure I had food in the apartment. I figured I would be hungry whenever I woke up. I was right as evidenced by the baguette crumbs all over my face. I'm so tired right now. Giddy and tired. Jet lag ain't no joke.

Paris is one of my favorite places. Not my favorite in the whole world, mind you, but definitely in the higher part of my Top 5. I feel inspired here. I have had epiphanies here, remarkable dreams here, made new discoveries here, and had really good food here. About an hour ago, I got this really bright idea to have a party here. OMG. A party in Paris! I even trip myself out sometimes, but how cool is that??! #inspired


Next year, OBG Adventures (aka OneBrownGirl in Paris) will celebrate its fifth year of bringing small groups of (grown) women to Paris so that they might get a slice of Parisian life. For some of these women, they are getting their very first passport and it is their first trip outside of the United States. For others, it is merely their first trip to Paris. Either way, I enjoy being a part of it all and setting them up in their own Paris apartments, etc., and I'm going to have a party to celebrate. In Paris. *eye twinkle*

And while OBG in Paris' Five Year Birthday Soirée won't go down until November 2014, I pulled some party photos from the Web (Flickr, Pinterest and Tumblr) that might give you an indication of my personal party style. I'm not promising to replicate these images, but I'm hoping you'll be there so you can see for yourself. (And yes, this is what people do at 4am when they can't sleep.) Catch ya later... #timeforanap


*La Fin*

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OBG Adventures Teen Travel Abroad 2015


OMG. I am so excited. Just so, so excited. *twirling*

I'm meeting with the owner of the house pictured while I'm in Paris in a few months. We're going to have a café and finalize lease terms for a July 2015 stay. *twirl* *twirl* This will be the house for 2 sessions of 8 girls and 2 staff at OBG Adventures Teen Travel Abroad Trip to (Paris 2015). *twirl* Have a look. 

1 of the 4 bedrooms
1 of the 4 bedrooms

How do you like the digs?!  Fabulous, right?  4 bedrooms and 2 full baths in the XVIIIe arrondissement. I can't wait to check out the neighborhood more closely and report back from my upcoming stay.

And while the 2015 Paris House is fabulous, I think the 2014 OBG Paris House is pretty fabulous too. But with plans to take more than 6 girls to Paris in 2015, we're going to need more room. =)  Registration for Paris 2015 opens January 2014. As of this writing, there is one space available for Paris 2014. There were two, but Shannon has boldly claimed one of them. =)

Paris anyone? #backtowork
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Dreaming of Paris


I advocate for kids with passports and youth travel. 

On the not-for-profit side, I am the Executive Director of The Passport Party Project, a global awareness initiative that gifts underserved girls (11-15) with their very first passports and encourages responsive and responsible travel. 

On the business side, I'm plotting a Teen Travel Summit & Extravaganza Weekend and am the Executive Director of a Teen Travel Abroad program for tw/een girls (12-17) nationwide. Next summer, a small group of lucky girls are going to Paris.  The summer after that, more small groups of tw/een girls will go to Paris as well. Growth is imminent. 

Just this week, I made a decision.  I have decided to keep one slot open for a deserving girl from a low-income family to attend my Teen Travel Abroad Trip to Paris. That means that starting now, and every year going forward, one girl from The Passport Party Project will be empowered by The OBG Family through donations and thoughtful giving. 

14 year old Shannon wants to go to Paris in the summer of 2014 and she's willing to put in the work to go. That makes me want to help her. 

If you believe in the power a passport and can spare just a few dollars to help this delightful hard-working (3.2 GPA) 9th grader get to the City of Light, then you will be contributing to her path to global citizenship. 

"No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline." -- Kofi Annan, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner 

I hope you can help. Click below to read Shannon's story; and big or small, let's help make her dreams of Paris come true. She's a good kid...  

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Travelanthropy: People Who Travel Good (Part 3)


"Travelanthropy: People Who Travel Good"

is an ongoing series about travelers who give...


Meet Jennifer.

 Jennifer James (far left) in Ethiopia visiting health workers at a rural health post.
Name: Jennifer James
Age: 38
State: North Carolina
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Age When You Got Your First Passport: 35
Languages: English and just enough French and Chinese to get by.

Bio:  Jennifer James is the founder and CEO of Mom Bloggers Club, one of the largest social networks for moms who blog at over 19,000 registered users and Social Good Moms, the leading site for moms who use social media and blogging for good. Jennifer has been featured in Philanthropy, Forbes, Brandweek,, the New York Times, AOL and on NPR’s All Things Considered. She was recently named a Fast Company Most Generous Social Media Maven, a Top Blogger Changing the World by as well as a Blogger Out to Change the World by Water for People. She currently serves on the ONE Moms Advisory Council. 

Tell us about your last volunteer experience:  I just returned from Delhi, India where I visited Social Good Moms' partners Save the Children, WaterAid, and Pratham’s work in the field. It was a fantastic trip. I was able to observe each of the NGO’s work helping Delhi's poorest firsthand. I saw the triumphs and learned about their acute challenges. It's a never-ending journey of working in partnership with others and scaling up to help those in abject poverty.

Tell us about your first volunteer experience (travel or otherwise):  My very first volunteer experience was with the Red Cross during junior high and high school. I loved every minute of helping people give blood to help others in need, even those who were giving blood for their own operations. 

Jennifer James visiting Protsahan, a NGO school for at-risk girls in a Delhi slum.
Tell us about your next travel volunteer experience: While it's not a volunteer trip per se I will be traveling to Zambia in a few days with John Hopkins' International ReportingProject. I will join nine other new media journalists to learn more about HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB in the country. I am really looking forward to visiting another African country, but also seeing how differently the country deals with global development and communicable disease. 

Best and worst thing about volunteer travel: I haven't had any bad experiences with volunteer travel. Knock on wood. The best thing about volunteer travel is learning along the way and meeting wonderful people. The relationships you forge are worth every bit of volunteer travel. 

Advice for those that want to travel + giveIf you want to travel and give back, just do it! Determine to go off the beaten path of traditional tourist circles and have an open mind. Most importantly: make sure to coordinate everything well in advance of arriving in the country and get recommendations from people about their volunteer experiences there. That may mean a lot of Net scouring. Do your homework before you leave home!

Why you travel + giveI travel and give back because it's a really great way to get to know a country. Plus, it's a part of the work I do as the Founder and CEO of Social Good Moms. I love getting to know those who help and those are being helped. 

Your favorite travel quote“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

Meet Nadia.

Nadia Jones in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti during her second #Bloggers4Haiti press trip.
Name: Nadia Jones           
Age: 30s
City/State: Jacksonville, Florida         
Occupation: Niche Parent Conference Founder/Social Media Strategist
Age When You Got Your First Passport: 3
Languages: Proficient in Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole

Blog:  Justice Jonesie and The Niche Mommy

Bio: Nadia, known affectionately as Justice Jonesie by her blogging friends, is a savvy mom to three that loves to share her passion for motherhood, fitness, traveling, and food. A veteran blogger and social media enthusiast, Jonesie started blogging over six years ago at her first, an award winning about “three mothers that happen to be lawyers too.” Of both Haitian and Latina descent, she was named a top Latina blogger by LATISM and invited to Washington D.C. for a special, White House Retreat.

Tell us about your last volunteer experience: I went on the #Bloggers4Haiti trip to help raise awareness about sustainable economic programs for Haitian artisans.

Tell us about your first volunteer experience (travel or otherwise): I volunteered at a high risk elementary school after school program. I helped middle school children complete homework assignments and school projects. It was eye opening to see the impact that a lack of decent education had on these children, right here in America.
Nadia with Danica Kombol visiting the women of OFEDA in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Tell us about your next travel volunteer experience: I will return to Haiti with #Bloggers4Haiti.

Best and worst thing about volunteer travel: Worst thing is that due to travel expenses you can only go a few times a year which never seems enough. Best thing is that you are making a difference.

Advice for those that want to travel + give: You can apply for a grant to help offset expenses. Friends are a great resource for helping to raise money or provide donations.

Why you travel + give: I feel it’s my duty to give back and give in some way. When you see how the rest of the world lives, you realize you are fortunate and have really won the lottery of life.   When you do volunteer travel, you realize things such as there are millions of people with no access to clean water. When you travel to make change, you become aware of alarming stats such as millions of people live with no access to clean water.

Your favorite travel quote“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb


“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” 

Click here to read Travelanthropy: People Who Travel Good (Part 1)
Click here to read Travelanthropy: People Who Travel Good (Part 2)
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Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!

Looking For A Speaker to Chat With Your Youth Group About The World of Travel? Book Tracey today!
Please send inquiries to Complimentary passport photos for all of the kids in your group! Photo: Paris, France (2012)

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