How to Make Your First Trip a Success

BWWM on Beach, BWWM on Vacation, Black Woman White Man, Interracial Couple, S.C. Rhyne, Beautiful Black Woman, The Reporter and The Girl

Not saying that you’re planning a romantic topless day at the beach, but you love spending time with your significant other and are thinking about going on your first trip together to take your relationship to the next level. But how do you know when is the right time? Where should you stay, and what activities should you plan? These questions are important to answer when planning your first trip together, since it might determine how you work out as a couple. Consider the following tips to make your first trip a success:

When Is the Right Time?

There aren’t any set rules on when to plan your first trip. It may be right for you after two months of dating, or it may be after a year. Traveling together tests your relationship. If you go too early, you may not have a mature enough relationship to know how to compromise with each other or when to take a break. On the other hand, you may find spending extended time together reveals how much you have in common. Have an open and honest discussion about whether you’re ready to take this step.

Where Should You Go?

Discuss places you both want to go and compromise on a location that includes both of your interests. For instance, you should decide if you want an adventure-packed vacation or a relaxing stay at the beach. Also talk about whether you want to do a road trip or fly to your destination and how long your trip should last. For a first trip, you may want to limit it to a few days since you aren’t sure what to expect.

What Should You Do?

Shaking things up on a trip may help you connect with your significant other in new ways. Try to do activities you don’t ordinarily experience to help learn new things about your significant other. Think out of the box and find new activities, such as zip lining over the ocean, enjoying a couples massage or hiking on more difficult trails. Watching a Broadway show in New York City is a perfect nightcap after dinner. Consider building in some time for going solo or spontaneity since over planning might make things a little too hectic or stressful. And of course, a chance to light that fire of passion.

Should You Talk About Money?

Before you plan the details of your trip, decide how you are going to pay for it. Discuss if one person is responsible for all of the costs or if you want to divide it 50-50. Talking about money issues and concerns is best done ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it during your trip. After all, you don’t want to be squabbling about the tab at the restaurant or arguing about who is responsible for the hotel stay.

What If Plans Don’t Go as You Hoped?

Sometimes the best plans fall apart on a trip. But these situations might offer a sneak peek on how your significant other deals with unexpected issues and his or her ability to adjust quickly. Witnessing this behavior may either strengthen your relationship or make you think twice about vacationing together. Try to remember you are on the same team and enjoy what is, instead of what isn’t. Flexibility and learning to adapt makes a great impression on your honey and leaves the door open for more romance.

So tell me about your first trip as a couple on Facebook, G+, or tweet me @ReporterandGirl

Life is Funny

So I started a part time job with a higher education corporation that contracts with various colleges and universities around the country to help with administrative and some customer service issues. I do get to wear a nice little headset when I start reaching out to students and parents in a few weeks; but for now I’m just online.

But I sure as heck will deliver great customer service as shown in the meme above!

I’m now in the private sector and able to set my own hours and flexibility as needed so I can still get my graduate school applications in and explore any other career opportunities. I have also joined associations so I can network and make connections in the field of work that I aspire to be in. Not too mention, most importantly make time for you guys in blog-land!

It has dawn on me that this summer, I will turn 29 and the blog will turn three this Fall. So much has happened since I started this website. Well, I have had three jobs, published a novel, and have come to terms with the realities of my life. My twenties are behind me as of September, I’ll only have one more year to fuck things up before I need to “settle”. Hence, my rash decision to…well read about it here.

I have been thinking a lot about what this last year will mean for me, and that’s why I have been looking for work (before I had quit) and then decided to complete my education and return for a graduate degree.

One of the positive things about this milestone, is that I am now beyond the stage where symptoms for most mental illnesses, such as Schizophrenia or Bi-Polar Disorder has passed. Thus, I can say to a degree of certainty that I am not mentally ill!

You see? I’m always looking at the bright side of things, even during lousy times.

I also have some exciting news, The Reporter and The Girl e-book is now available through Amazon, if you have a kindle. It was always available as an e-book, but as part of this select program it can be read for free through Kindle Unlimited or Prime. I am currently a few chapters in of the second book…it will definitely be a different perspective/voice from the first with some hot scenes. I just so happened to be reminiscing over the weekend about Jon and Sabrien and came across this Youtube video:

Ah, the memories…I am not currently working with an artist to do a corresponding vlog, but I may look into some of the free comic strips services so I continue this multidimensional platform. If anyone has made their own comic strip online and can recommend a site, please let me know!

That’s all my news for now. Hopefully, in terms of education, I’ll have some big news soon. But in the meantime as long as I have my health, then all is sunny in…New York City!

So how do you stay positive when things aren’t going so smooth? Share your tips at,

@ReporterandGirl on twitter

Facebook or G+

7 Cheap Dates for Newlyweds

interracial couple embracing, couple hugging, S.C. Rhyne

If your date night budget has shrunk after marriage, don’t fret — there are plenty of ways to get some quality time with your honey, even on a tight budget. Here are a few low-cost or free date ideas for newlyweds:

Rent Bikes and Ride Around The City

Many cities offer bikeshare programs that give locals and out-of-towners access to bicycles as a way to “green up” transportation. Take advantage of the low-cost rental and take a ride around the city. You can go in the morning to get some fresh air or take a romantic ride at sunset.

Bike share programs like Seattle’s Pronto or Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare offer city dwellers access to shared bikes for just $85 annually. Other programs like Phoenix, Arizona’s Grid Bikes cost just $79 per year, or you could opt to pay an hourly fee for a one-time ride. Check out what your city offers online.

Go to a Sports Game

We’re not talking about seeing a professional sports game, instead, go see a minor league team, or even a high school team play ball. At the game, buy a bag of popcorn or a hotdog and test your luck by purchasing a raffle ticket–you might leave with a big prize. Admission is generally cheap, if not free, which makes this date idea a winner.

Turn Your Backyard Into a Playground

You don’t have to leave your house to have a good time, just transform your backyard into a poolside playground and lounge the day away. Inflate a few floating pool lounges and toss them into the pool, mix up some margaritas and slather on the sunscreen and you’re all set to enjoy this low-cost date.

Go Thrift Shopping

Visit the local flea market or thrift shop to find vintage furnishings and decorations for your new home together. Make a date out of it and work together to haggle with the vendors. Couples can take this time to learn about your spouse’s design preferences and style. And by purchasing something that could use a little refurbishing, like a chair that needs to be reupholstered, for example, the two of you could get your hands dirty and work together to bring it back to life.

Take a Hike

Adventurous couples looking to test their limits and explore new places can take a hike together. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, choose a trail with beautiful views and take the time on the trail to talk. The peaceful setting provides a wonderful opportunity to not only get in touch with nature but your partner as well.

Support Your Favorite Cause and Volunteer Together

If helping others is second nature to both you and your partner, give back to your community by volunteering together. Use a website like VolunteerMatch.com to find a cause and opportunities nearby. From working with animals to lending your skills to a non-profit, Volunteer Match offers hundreds of unique volunteer opportunities that can help to strengthen the community and your bond with your partner.

See a Movie In the Park

Many neighborhoods host a movie night in the local park during the summer months. Bring a blanket and some traditional movie munchies like Junior Mints or M&Ms and cozy up to your hubby. This date is free and it’s a great way to meet your neighbors if you’re new to the community.

Do you have any ideas for a great but yet inexpensive way to spend time together? Tell me about it on Facebook, twitter, or Google!

The Inbetween Stage

life stages, transition stages, S.C Rhyne, The Reporter and The Girl, life paths diagram

So a couple weeks into my funemployment, things are not so fun anymore. I am officially an applicant to my first choice university and this week I will bang out another application as well as look for a potential supervisor at a couple of other schools.

Applying to doctorate programs is much more than filling out an application. I have to write 2,000-4,000 words (not including bibliography) research proposals for each program. But before I can do that, I have to informally reach out to a professor and see if they have any interest in the topic that I am proposing. If not, then I might as well move onto the next school. One program that I started looking into last Wednesday has over 100 professors in their political science department! Luckily, I have until September to apply for that one.

As I bang out these applications, I am now in the “waiting stage”. Waiting for an acknowledgement, waiting for an interview, waiting for a letter, waiting to exhale. And this is the stage where I start to contemplate my decisions and how irrational I may have been to do this.

Meanwhile, the start-up for a part time job is coming slow. I did the training and now I’m waiting for the HR stuff to come through. Hopefully by next week I can start. I also hope to start writing chapters to my sequel in July!! I had already started on a couple, but I want to wait until I have a fair amount before I start posting weekly! I’m also reading a whole lot more smut, so my creative juices are flowing…no, not those juices — at least not yet!

I have also made an effort to “get out more”. I recently attended a masquerade event held by Seeking Arrangement at Stage 48 in midtown. I was disappointed by this event. It was promoted as way for members of the site to meet in person, but it seemed like everyone there had already came with a “friend”. Or maybe there was an imbalance of more women than men–good for him but not for me.

Also, Stage 48 is a club open to the public, but it seemed like they opened the party to the public too. A couple of guys that I danced with didn’t even know that this was a private (paid) event. They just saw the lights, heard the music and paid the cover charge to come in. I wouldn’t recommend another one of their events.

Now, what have I learned in the last few weeks? I definitely have been happier, less stress and dreaming bigger. All this has made me realize how soul-crushing my last job was. Strange, because it didn’t start out that way…but somewhere along, it became apparent that I was devolving. So leaving is a huge plus, and I feel more creative and inspired, and did I mention happier? I’m still worried that my plans may not pan-out. Getting into a school will be tough, so I have to prepare myself for some rejection while staying positive for an acceptance.

I know that it will take time (like 3-4 months before I know for sure where I’m going), so patience and engaging hobbies are the way to go.

So are you in a transition point in your life? How are you dealing with transitioning and what are your dreams for the next step?

Tell me @ReporterandGirl

Facebook or GPlus

Romance on the Road: The First Road Trip as a Couple

couple driving, road trip, adventure in love,S.C Rhyne

You’ve experienced the first date, the first kiss and now, it’s time for your first road trip. Road trips are an adventurous and exciting way to travel and explore with your significant other. You want to ensure that the special memories you’re making are full of joy and not clouded by stress or conflict. Take some time to consider the various factors involved with your expedition, keeping in mind any potential clashes of preference you and your honey might have, so you can be prepped for a worry-free, fun, unforgettable trip.

The Route

If you’re hoping to keep your road trip spontaneous and flexible, jot down a skeleton route plan of the roads you’ll be taking. Checking road and weather conditions before you embark is wise, as you don’t want to be stalled in traffic or held up by road construction. One thing you shouldn’t leave up to chance is where you’ll be making pit stops for fuel. Plan to stop for gas about every 200 miles, depending on the gas mileage and tank size of your car, so you can ensure your safety. Gasbuddy.com will provide you with the cheapest stations to fill up, wherever you are. A real damper on the trip would be running out of gas in a no-cell-service area where the nearest town is hundreds of miles away! Just a little prep will allow you to have the fun and surprising experience you’re looking for.

Food

Car snacks can be a lifesaver when you are both hungry and frustrated, in search for your next meal. You don’t want to become a hangry (hungry/angry) monster around your new love, which can happen to the best of us. Non-perishable goodies like trail mix, energy bars, meat or vegetarian jerky, and water are great staples to always have stocked in the car. To prevent any squabbles over what kind of meal you’ll be eating, plan to alternate who chooses the restaurant and type of cuisine you eat. Even if you both feel like you’re very easy-going when it comes to food, it is great to give the other person control and maybe they’ll even introduce you to your new favorite food.

Lodging

You can either set up your lodging prior to taking your trip or sort it out, day of. If you don’t want to restrict yourself to a timetable with a concrete destination, bring along a tent for camping. Practice setting up the tent, before you leave for your trip, so the two of you aren’t in a frustrating situation of pitching a complicated tent in the dark. If you’re hoping to find cheap lodging, do some research before you leave to determine what towns have better bargains than others.

Activities

Engage with your significant other in new and exciting ways through activities that are specifically related to the culture or region you are visiting. Visit local visitor centers to see what the town and surrounding area has to offer. To get the real down-low on what to do, ask the locals — stopping by a cafe or bar and picking your server’s brain could give you some great ideas. This road trip is an opportunity for the two of you to learn more about each other and will likely reveal many things you may or may not have in common. You should each take turns planning an activity for the two of you to do — whether it’s surfing in the Pacific Ocean for the first time, or visiting a beautiful vineyard with out-of-this-world wines — so you can share your passions with one another. Remember to approach the activities with an open mind and be prepared to go out of your comfort zone — it’s all about sharing, supporting and compromising. If you are eager and open to trying new things, you’re bound to have an incredibly fun and unforgettable time!

So tell me about a road trip you took with your partner!

@ReporterandGirl or on Facebook