Principles for Power Players

Hi All!

I am so excited to share that I am in the October issue of ESSENCE magazine with Michelle Obama on the cover!!  It is such an honor to be featured in the article “The 10 Principles of Power.”  With a mention on page 18, the interview lists me 4th on page 137 under the caption regarding Power Players “Chart Their Own Course.”  WOW!! I am still in awe.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Inspiration:  “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.  If you can dream it, you can make it so.”

Be Blessed Beyond Measure!

~A

Got Passport??

Could it be? Me…in Israel? While walking the halls of my college campus many years ago, I came across a flyer on the bulletin board – Israel!! Wow!! It sure would be nice to go there. As an enthusiast of comparative religions and myself a Christian, I got excited at the mere thought.  But who was I kidding.  I was already working full-time, going to school at night, and the deposit deadline was drawing near.  How could I afford it? So the idea flew out my mind just as quickly as it entered.

Later that night, just talking about the day’s events with my brother, Kevin, I just casually mentioned that the school was sponsoring a trip to Israel that sounded interesting. He just said out the blue, “Why don’t you ask me for the money?” That thought never even occurred to me. I was surprised, shocked, and elated at the same time. Could he really be offering to give me some money for a trip?? So, I asked. He then responded “Sure, I’ll go to the ATM and get it for you.” It was that easy.

After securing the “gift” from my brother, the next step was to contact the trip sponsor to reserve my spot.  To my surprise, she stated that there was some scholarship money available. I quickly responded, “Where do I apply and what do I have to do?” She then said, get your passport!!!

At this point, I was still unsure about how I was going to pay for the whole trip. But with faith and perseverance, I continued on.  I took my passport photos, completed my passport application, and turned in my essay in hopes of getting a scholarship. Then, the waiting began.

After a couple of weeks, I checked the mail. My passport had arrived!! Woo Hoo!! I quietly prayed in my heart “if the scholarship notification is in this bunch of mail, I know it is God telling me that this trip is for me and He heard my prayer.” As quickly as I pondered that in my heart, I quickly forgot about it. It was just a farfetched thought.   Junk mail, pizza coupons, sale papers…hmmm, that is until I reached the last letter – the award letter.  I got the scholarship!!!

That was over 14 years ago. Little did I know at the time, that my passport would open up the opportunity for me to fall in love with traveling and experience the beauty of God’s creation first hand.  In fact, it has opened the door for me to visit and explore well over 30 countries and 140 destinations.  Many of which I have experienced in the last 2 years on a sabbatical. Yes, my love affair with travel led me to quit my corporate job to see the world and learn new activities.

I have climbed the Great Wall in China, narrowly escaped the earthquake in Japan, watched beautiful sunsets over the Grand Cayman islands, snorkeled near the Twin Peaks in St. Lucia, been surprised with flowers from an admirer in Italy, cruised the Alaska’s Inside Passage to beautiful British Colombia.  I have also traveled to Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Austria, Greece, Colombia, Nicaragua, Germany, Panama, France, Switzerland, and many other amazing destinations.  All because I took a step of faith, got my passport, and stepped out.

Travel has been a glorious adventure and experience that has shaped my well-being and inspired me to be a participant in life, not just a spectator.  Thinking about the thrill of getting my first passport reminded me about the Passport Party Project.  The Passport Party Project will gift 100 girls with their first passport within the next 18 months.  Just think what a passport will do for these young ladies.  A greater world view, an opportunity to marvel at cultures, and the chance to see amazing landscapes – the possibilities are endless.

By the way, I’ve visited Israel twice so far!  Where will your dreams take you?

Inspiration: The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine

Be Blessed!

~A

Hi All!

Most of you are aware of the changes going on in my life.  My Daddy passed away recently and my family has been adjusting to life without him.  With that said, I have a new house guest — my Mom! I am so excited to have her living with me.  So, after a long day of moving, I settled down to watch tv to ”decompress” and an old favorite was on, Mahogany starring Diana Ross.

The movie opened in 1975 and is about Tracy’s (Ms. Ross) journey from the slums of Chicago to fulfilling her dreams of becoming a World Class Fashion Designer.  From secretary to being a model, her step of faith leads her to Rome.  Oh, I just love the 70′s fashion, style, and of course ROMA!!  Check it out and let me know what you think?

Dreams & Destinations: Diana Ross in Mahogany (1975).

 

A single journey can change the course of a life.  Where will your dreams take you? 

Peace & Blessings!

~A

 

thumbs up

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

In life we loved you dearly… in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

In life we loved you dearly… in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.

For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories.  Your love is still our guide.

And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.

But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Love and miss you dearly Daddy.

~Angie

Have you heard about the Freedom Riders?  In spite of threats, imprisonment, and beatings, groups of courageous Americans journeyed through the South on buses in effort to segregate the South in 1961.  I must say that I was totally unaware of this important part of our American history.  

Taking a deeper look into the people and the times, award winning film maker Stanley Nelson’s powerful documentary airs on American Experience May 16th on PBS.  Students have also been invited to “Get on the Bus” to retrace the journeys and to blog about the experience. 

In a special event held at Houston PBS studios, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Nelson and hearing from a panel of original Houston Freedom Riders.  The Houston Defender newspaper was also on hand covering the event.  Click here and you will see a familiar face – http://www.defendernetwork.com/freedom-riders/.

“We were past fear.  If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop.”   ~ Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland.

DSC_5309

Hi All!

Years ago,  I made a pledge to celebrate my birthday by traveling.  This year was no different.  In fact, it was definitely a stellar year with stellar destinations…A 12 day cruise to China, Russia, and Japan!!  So, follow along as we  journey through this cruise of a lifetime!

SabbaticalScape…Shanghai

The trip started off jetsetting on my birthday from Houston to Newark and then onward to Shanghai.  Once in Shanghai, we had the opportunity to explore the city until….we spotted KFC!! I was indeed hungry but didn’t have any Yuans/RMBs . Surely, KFC would accept a credit card – NOT.  The journey to the ATM began.  Actually, it wasn’t hard to find.  We got our money and our original recipe.  Ok, I know I broke my rule of no local food chains while traveling, but I needed a quick fix.  By the way, KFC Original recipe never tasted so good.

We spent the next day checking out Shanghai…Actually, we spent it shopping.   At every turn we made, there was someone saying “hey lady” and indicating us to follow.  They then proceeded to say those trigger key words – Prada, Louie, and my personal favorite Chanel!!  Those were probably the only English words they knew.  But, it was enough for my aunt.  With my swift take it or we leave negotiation skills, she bought several bags for really cheap.  Me?  Ok, they almost got me.  That bag was cute!!  But I prefer genuine vs. genuine fake!!

Party over here!!

Aboard the beautiful Ocean Princess, the fun began.  I was invited to coveted private tours, exclusive parties and even got to celebrate my birthday at the Captain’s table for dinner.  I met many wonderful travelers, and not to mention the crew and staff were absolutely wonderful!  I even tried karaoke for the first time – twice! 

To add to the life on board experience, I am always ready for an adventure.  One of my friends tried to coax me into getting in the hot tub in SIBERIA!!!  I seriously considered it, but a quick look at the ice blocks in the ocean and my frost biten fingers turned me away from that experience.  But, hats (and coats, and gloves) off to Ross.  He did it!  He got in the hot tub on the main deck in the freezing cold weather.

Beijing – My Great Wall of Freedom!

There is a saying that “you are not a hero until you climb the Great Wall” (Chairman Mao).  With Shanghai behind us, Beijing was where my heart was set.  On cruises, I never take the offered tours as they can be a pricey and plus you have to get up at dark:thirty to participate!!  But this time was different.  Since we were actually 2 – 3 hours from the Great Wall and the tour included lunch, it was well worth every penny.  Plus, there was no way I was going to chance missing the boat in the middle of no where.

To see the architectural grandeur of the Great Wall was everything I expected and more.  It was one of those surreal moments where you just have to stop and be in awe at every step you take. Granted, there are a lot of steps!  Uneven, loose, and very steep steps on the wall.  Our visit turned out to be at the right time. Since it was winter, the crowds were gone and the air was nice, but crispy cold.  There were remnants of snow still nestled to the side of the stairways.  Oh, contrary to popular belief, you can’t see the Great Wall from space with the naked eye.

Most of you know that I am a native Houstonian.  Meaning that cold to us is either going skiing or a few days of 280 weather.  But nothing could have prepared me for Dalian, China.  Disembarking the ship, snow and ice were everywhere.  The shuttle bus dropped us off at department store and from there I scouted out the town.  This was truly cold…I fell down on the ice-covered sidewalks several times.  After exploring, the cold got a bit too much for me. So, I just decided to go shopping instead.  Click on the pictures to see what I mean.

 

Siberia – What do you mean we are going to Siberia?  Check back for the rest of the story!!

Where Will Your Dreams Take You?

I won!!  In a contest sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, I won a spot as a face on their billboard campaign.  Woo Hoo!!Since one of the billboards is located in Conroe, we had to take a roadtrip to see it.  Click the photo to see me in action!!

 

Inspiration – “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear” - Anthony Robbins

Be blessed!

~A

Check one off the Life List!

The other day I did something that I never thought I would actually muster up the courage to do. After many flights and fantasizing about how cool it would be to fly a plane, I got the opportunity to do it!!

After a safety check and review, I climbed aboard the Cessna 172 eager for adventure.  As co-pilot with my trainer and pilot Thad, I maneuvered the craft over the skies of west Houston overlooking downtown and Williams Tower. Although I was nervous, Thad was actually comfortable as I took control…Okay, it was only for about 15 minutes, but it was exhilarating!! As I check this adventure off my Life List, I am actually considering getting my pilot’s license in the future.

Has anyone else had flight lessons or earned their license? Let me hear about your experience.

Also, I was so excited to be featured as a case study earlier this year on the Vagabonding website.  Here is the link in case you missed it http://www.vagablogging.net/vagabonding-case-study-angela-petitt.html.

 Keep checking in…Always more to come!

Inspiration – Don’t wait to realize you shouldn’t have waited!

Angie in Cozumel

Hi All!

 This year has gone by so fast. The past few days I have been reminiscing about past journeys and adventures. In addition, I have been really inspired by so many people on Twitter and Facebook who are going after their dreams. Next year will be even better!!  Oh, did you get a chance to see  my feature in the Houston Chronicle
 or on the Career Break Secrets website?  It is still hard to believe that it has been 15 months and counting since I left corporate.  Be safe tonight and enjoy bringing in the New Year!!

Next SabbaticalScape – China, Japan, Russia…and a job?

Step it up & Do things differently! Stretch out of your comfort zone, commit yourself to God, read your bible daily, make godly choices instead of just good choices, step out on faith, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Leave the nonsense in the past and move forward seeking God first and all things will be added unto you ( Matt 6:33).

Happy New Year & Happy Travels!

Peace & Blessings.

~A

Colombia DSC_0398 (2)

Reprinted from 11/3/2010  http://www.lostgirlsworld.com/2010/11/8915/

 

This week’s Lost Girl, Angela Petitt, an IT professional and native Houstonian, who decided to take a step of faith by resigning her corporate position during the recession to go on sabbatical. Her sabbatical travels have led her to amazing destinations such as Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Colombia, and Panama.

With a desire to serve, Ms. Petitt has been involved with projects such as volunteer mission trips, faith based outreach, and mentoring at a juvenile delinquent center. In addition, she was recently presented with the 2009 WHS Wall of Honor Service and Leadership award by her alma mater. Follow Angela’s adventures on her blog www.sabbaticalscapes.com.

*****
“Are you crazy?”

“How can you afford that?”

“What do you mean you want to quit?”

“We are in a recession!!”

“Did you win the lottery?”

Those were the reactions I got when I mentioned my plans to my family and friends.  Although they meant well, I felt that there was more to life than a winning corporate existence.  My response to them was “If not now, when?”   I knew that even with a successful career in technology and an MBA, I wanted more…I wanted freedom!  A week later, I was on a plane bound for Italy.

Making the decision to opt-out of corporate America for a while was the first step in my journey. The notion of quitting was several years in the making, being fueled more and more every time I went on vacation.  (Be warned – This is the main symptom of Lost Girl-itis.) When I came to the realization that I really wanted to see the world and was ready to move beyond the cubicle, I knew it was time to make a change.

At mid-career, I wanted my sabbatical to be different.  I did not want to sell anything to make it happen. Plus, I wanted my sabbatical to be a true rest from the ordinary and an escape to the extraordinary. For me, that meant living life to the fullest and making time to do the things that I enjoy.

With a mix of land trips and cruises every month or so, I was able to see amazing destinations.  My sabbatical has given me many memories such as cave diving and giving a little girl my watch (you should have seen her smile) in Punta Cana, staring in amazement at the pyramids of Giza, standing thigh high  by the Sphinx – while getting caught in a sandstorm,  getting rained on in the Costa Rican rainforest,  glaring into the mouth of a steamy volcano in Nicaragua, hiking to waterfalls in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque with my precious Mother,  playing with monkeys in Roatan, zip lining in Cabo, sipping apple tea while overlooking the Mediterranean in Turkey, dancing at Music on the Rocks in Positano, marveling at the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens, eating everything in sight aboard cruise ships (I love desserts!), walking in the steps of Jesus in Israel, and many other exciting adventures.

In addition to traveling, I have continued to volunteer at church and have had the opportunity to learn golf, horseback riding, and photography. I even realized that it is a welcomed treat just to enjoy a lazy day, okay a lazy week, at home on the couch.
Last August 2009 when I took a step of faith by resigning my position to go on sabbatical, I really had no idea how things would transpire.

Of course being single with a mortgage and supporting my college–age nephew, everyone thought I was crazy – especially during the recession.  But, I have no regrets. Since starting my journey, I have grown in courage, confidence, and wisdom. More importantly, I have come to understand my God given uniqueness and that life is truly precious and too short to waste.

Furthermore, my time away has instilled in me the renewed desire not to merely survive, but to authentically thrive!  I am now working on my doctorate degree and looking to re-enter Corporate America.

So have faith and step into your dreams.  There is more out there. Fabulous after 40, or any age, is definitely a beautiful thing…Enjoy the journey

« Previous PageNext Page »