In this episode, you'll hear from Violet Dennis who is the co-owner of So Flo Luxury travel agency based in Miami, Florida. She shares her journey of living with chronic pain after a car accident that has led to a 40-year-plus search for answers and support. Violet also shares different tips on how to advocate for yourself preparing to travel and while traveling. She also shares some tips on how to travel on a budget locally.
In this Episode:
Tips on how to advocate for yourself traveling and doing it on a budget locally.
The Mental Health affects of managing chronic pain and fatigue undiagnosed for 40+ years.
What it's like when family members don't believe your pain.
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Violet is a black woman with chronic pain and fatigue-fighting for her life against a system that doesn't believe her. In this episode, you will learn:
"I just felt like maybe not waking up would be better than having to feel what I'm feeling and nobody understanding what I'm going through."
Violet Dennis is the co-founder of a black-owned luxury travel agency based in Miami, Florida. She is also a chronic illness warrior who has been on a 20+ year journey to get answers and treatment for her conditions. Despite all of the challenges she's faced, Violet has remained hopeful and has even started advocating for others with mental health issues.
This is Violet's story...
Violet Dennis is excited to be on the show because she loves Violet's bright soul. Violet and her husband started a black home travel agency in Miami, Florida seven months ago. One of the things they do is network with different black and brown business owners. Violet's health journey started over 20 years ago when she was in a car accident. She was ignored by doctors and told it was in her head. She has extreme chronic fatigue and her pain is intolerable. She has depression and has suicidal thoughts. She is part of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition.
[00:00:00] - Violet Dennis and her husband started a black home travel agency based in Miami, Florida. She used to work as an independent home base agent in Virginia. But she moved to Florida and a friend from Virginia convinced her to start the business. She is going to appear on the show.
[00:02:46] - When she dropped out of the workforce, she lost half of her income. She got married at 35 and had a miracle baby at 36. Her mother and father died a year after she moved to Virginia. Now she's starting her own business and hopes it will help her and her family get back on their feet.
[00:06:27] - She suffers from extreme chronic fatigue. Her health journey started in her early 20s after a car accident. After she met her husband, she lost feeling in the left side of her body. She is still being diagnosed at 45 and doesn't have an actual treatment plan.
[00:16:49] - There are many women who are going through hard physical times that are taxing on their mind. The world expects women to put on their big paint and just do right and be, especially women of color. But it doesn't mean that what they're going through is any less significant to their mental health. There's an underlying shaming that happens with people even if they believe you. But they also feel it can't be that bad.
[00:22:05] - In her previous job, she was treated badly at work. Now she works as a host agency, helping people to work remotely from home. She learned from her experience that some people are going to have to work harder than others. She also learned that minority people get passed up for opportunities.
[00:30:34] - There is a movement within the travel and tourism industry to try to diversify and bring inclusion into the midst. Less than 3% of the marketing and advertising is directed towards minority travelers or disabled travelers. Target was one of the first retailers to include Ableism as part of their advertising and marketing.
[00:38:51] - She advises people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to prepare in advance using a mobility cart or a wheelchair and to use a white glove service.
[00:44:28] - Instead of paying $200 a night for a luxury hotel or resort, you can get a resort day pass online starting from $25 and up for access to swimming pool. Get rent a cabana, go to restaurants or utilize the spa, and you have your day away from home. You can take your spouse, take your kids, take yourself by yourself, or take your girls. Whoever you want to take with you. You don't have to stay at home. The mobility card is available to the elderly community.
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Violet B is the former producer and host for the original Holy Jamz Show and FuZion Zone Radio internet talk shows. She hosted the shows first with DJ Lyfe (Virginia Beach, VA), and then with her business partner, Carlos G (Southern Pines, NC). Guest hosts would later include Comedian Quincy Carr (Hampton Roads, VA) and Ms. Anonymous (NC) on their Friday Nite Fire show line-up. The shows consisted of regular interviews with guest artists, groups and industry vets. Violet eventually went off air because of mounting undiagnosed chronic health conditions that she began suffering from. She recently returned to social media making a come back in her own unique way. Together, Violet and her husband Jerron, started one of the few Black-owned luxury travel agencies in the United States during the worldwide Covid-19 Pandemic. As new travel agency owners they have been working on building a strong foundation that will help them to eventually grow and expand in the near future. Violet is also an ordained minister through her former covering, Freedom In Christ Church, that was located in Virginia Beach, VA. She, her husband Jerron and their youngest son, AJ, currently resides in Miami, FL (Violet's Hometown) after relocating from Hampton Roads, VA. Their eldest son TJ is currently serving in the US Army and resides in VA with his wife, 4 children and fur babies.