• S.E.L

Surviving Cancer, A Teenager, Dog, And An Addiction To Traveling The World

Updated: Nov 10, 2019

by Sarah Hickman Foltz

Paris, France October 2018

Sasha Ebony Love needed some time to cry and grapple with her new reality of a cancer diagnosis in 2009.

She was stunned and confused. But who is ever ready for such news? She does not like mentioning that she has cancer, because she can't stand the pity looks. "That , awww, you poor thing" me crazy" she says. " I don't want to be known for having cancer however I have a responsibility to other survivors". She has Multiple Myeloma (in the Leukemia family) with no cure. She has come to terms with her health and lives a more than normal life. She focuses on the present and doing things she love. She has a beautiful daughter, Sache Ebony Love, to dote on and love. Not to mention her pampered pooch Paris. Paris accompanies Sasha on all out of the country .

She is now freelancer in the field of Social Media Marketing and Human Resources in a vibrant and busy city of Atlanta. She has friends, wine and laughter to fill her days. But she’s always had a desire to travel; she had pushed it to the back of her mind. “My family didn’t travel, but I was born with wanderlust in my heart,” she said.

“My diagnosis sparked my travel. It ignited me. Travel was something I’d always thought I would do once I’d achieved my career goals. It was something distant to look forward to. But I might not have tomorrow. It’s got to be today,” Sasha said.

She had moved to Atlanta before her diagnosis. She had landed an incredible job, and was excited and ready. It was a full-time job, 40 hours a week. With the news of her cancer, she began to realize that she was too physically exhausted to have such a demanding schedule. “I was so disappointed. I moved for this job. But I had a daughter to take care of. I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself.” She networked with her contacts and associates to find clients of her own. She soon had enough clients to live comfortably. Sasha remembers, “At the beginning, I was so mad. I felt like my education had been wasted. But soon I started to see that it wasn’t.” And her thoughts of travel were not wasted or distant, either.

She made her first international trip to London and Paris in 2016. “I love Europe,” she said. She is enchanted with the architecture, the history, the daily routines of people. “I love all things British. I love having a proper tea on Sundays. And the cucumber sandwiches…they are delicious,” she said.

She passed her days in corner cafes and museums. She never had a rigid itinerary. “I would just wake up, walk and get lost. There is something amazing around every corner.”

Traveling that first year I had a trip every month, it left her feeling depleted and with a cold. “I had back to back trips. I couldn’t get well,” Sasha remembers. So she started taking more precautions. “I started wearing a mask on the planes. I started carrying a small spray bottle with bleach and water to wipe things around me down.

She enjoyed her adventures. She loved sharing her stories and experiences in conversation. She found people asking her not only how she managed to travel with cancer, but how could she afford it? The hotels, the airfare, the money for food?

“Most people assume you have to spend a lot of money to travel. "Its affordable with hard word,” Sasha said.

She often plans her trips around cheap airfares that she finds on google flights. She really started thinking about how many people really believed traveling was too expensive, too cost prohibitive for the everyday person. “I wanted to share my love of travel with as many people as I could. I also want to show other woman with cancer that life is not over. I would like them to see what I am doing and become inspired to do the same. Travel is possible for everyone,” she said.

Sasha also wanted to share her photos and memories with her daughter. “So I started my travel blog" I then became "Girl With A Passport". She had found the perfect platform to archive her photos, stories, anecdotes and travel hacks with anyone who wanted to learn about travel. Her beloved daughter Sache would have access to her mom’s face and stories any time. “I really want my daughter to explore my blog when she get older. I want her to understand my passion and determination. I want her to be proud and inspired, “ Sasha said.

She returned to Paris in 2018. She brought her faithful canine companion, Paris, named for Sasha’s beloved city. She roamed the city of Paris for weeks learning about champagne, wine, fashion honey and cheese. She adores going to out-of-the-way places. “There’s adventure everywhere, around every corner,” she said. She looks for places frequented more by locals than tourists. That’s how she feels she gets to really feel the vibes and rhythm of each place she visits.

She plans on exploring a six-month stint in various countries in central and South America with Job Tripping. “I would be able to work remotely,” she said.

The program she is considering finds shared work spaces and apartments for their travelers.

She would really like to expand what her blog to other woman with cancer. Woman who are trying to make sense of it all and feel like they can't go on. Show them that they are strong, it will get better and its so much life left to live. She aspires to connect with a travel agent or agency who can plan vacation packages so women who follow her can come together to travel. She is even trying to get a hosting/ mentor program started. Its basically women in the group getting to know each other. Then visiting each other and you can host each other In different countries around the world.

She found more adventure in Copenhagen, Sweden, Hawaii, Norway, Italy, Canada and Puerto Rico in the last couple of years.

Sasha usually travels solo and really loves it, but would like to bring like-minded adventurous women together to enjoy trips and make memories.

She encourages her readers and offers travel hacks to everyone. She loves finding a bargain on flights, so she always invites anyone who finds a good deal to share it in her travel group. She has recently started hearing from sponsors who are talking to her about promoting their products, places, trademarks and ideas. “I can’t wait to see what happens next,” she said. She never thought she would have made it this far. Doctors gave her 7 years to lives 10 years ago. She is still traveling the world with her best friend Paris. "I was just a silly girl with cancer and a dream of seeing the world." She has to look back sometimes herself to remember how she made it happen.


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