Author Archives: Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Visiting Cuba: My First Impressions

dsc_5226-2

Like most who return from a first-time trip to Cuba, I’ve struggled to write about it.

I’ve struggled even as the cultural visitor that I was, on a people-to-people tour. In essence, a tourist like everyone else.

The truth is that I had no plan to post anything on my blog at all, because this wasn’t for work for a change. It was for cultural and educational purposes–I’d always wanted to visit Cuba and understand it. It’s also a neighboring country to the Dominican Republic, and yes, I did need to know a little of it from that standpoint. But I wasn’t on assignment, and I wasn’t there as a travel journalist… although, it’s always hard to put that hat away.

I’ve received numerous messages asking me about my impressions or perspective of Cuba. The most recent question was: tell me in one word, did you love it?

After I answered, I began to wonder–how much can one judge anyway after 11 days in Cuba, across several regions? Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t favor writing about a place after a short stay. That’s why most of my writing sticks to my expert destinations.

But that’s the thing. There are times I traveled on press trips for a short time, and came back enchanted (the reverse is also true). I spent a week in Martinique and returned with plenty of positive impressions. Four days Continue reading »

Announcing Sun & Stilettos Trips: Custom-Crafted Cultural Tours to the Caribbean

If you are on my mailing list, you’ve already received this thrilling piece of news.

 

I am excited to announce the first Sun & Stilettos custom-crafted, cultural trip to the Caribbean: Discovering The Dominican Republic, March 4-11, 2017. When I first sent a newsletter update yesterday, there were 10 spots available on this women-only tour kicking off in six months. Now there are 9!

 

Registration now continues on a first-come, first-served basis–don’t miss out on your spot, and consider this ultimate cultural adventure you can take with a friend or family member.

 

This dream of creating my own custom-crafted, culture trips to my favorite region in the world–the Caribbean–was born in 2009, while I was in Jamaica working remotely with a creative coach. She was the first to have the vision for me and planted the seed. Seven years later, I feel 100% confident in my niche–showing others the kind of Caribbean few get to see or know how to find, from my years of living, working, and traveling in the region. And putting your travel dollars where it counts, as much as possible.


 

I hope you enjoy the new website for Sun & Stilettos Trips. Read about how my tours differ from other offerings to the Caribbean. You’ll also find all the details about the first trip to the Dominican Republic, from the draft itinerary to pricing and how to register and save your spot.

 

And to thank you for your support, here’s the offer for my blog readers and social media friends:  the next 4 people who sign up for the trip (with a deposit) will receive $50 discount and a free copy of my brand new Moon Dominican Republic travel guidebook, releasing in November 2016.

 

Please feel free share the above flyer/image and the SunandStilettosTrips website with your circles, and thanks in advance for your support.  Be sure to check out the itinerary on this trip to the Dominican Republic–it’s going to be a really great time!