Ethiopia, here I come! {Giveaway!}

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I’ve had a serious “thing” for Africa for as long as I can remember. I’m absolutely fascinated with the country, the people, the culture, the animals, basically everything about it. I’ve been wanting to visit for years and for a while, when I was still doing the whole pre-med thing in college, I was toying with the idea of living there for a few months and volunteering at a clinic. I literally just can’t get Africa out of my head. My mom even lived in South Africa for a while when she was in high school and has yet to take me back to any of her reunions. Rude. Just kidding mom, I know you’ll take me next year 🙂

I think you get the picture. I just feel this strong connection to Africa and I’d love to visit and learn.  This dream became a reality when I met Barrett a few months ago at Big Traveling Potluck when he invited me to come on a trip to Ethiopia, I literally freaked out and signed myself up on the spot .

{Fast forward a few months….}


In less than a week (we leave on Friday),  I’ll be hitting the skies and flying over to Ethiopia with a few other fantastic bloggers, Mocha Club and fashionABLE to kick start our blogABLE trip!

So what on earth am I doing there? For starters I’m there to learn, to share, to help and then bring back all these amazing  stories and spread the word! Here’s the deal….

About Mocha Club:
Mocha Club is a community giving up the cost of a few mochas a month to fund development projects in Africa. Committed to locally developed projects where the community identifies the needs and the response, Mocha Club’s end goal is to always create real, sustainable solutions. They work in 5 main project areas: Clean Water, Healthcare, Orphan Care, Education, & Economic Freedom.

About fashionABLE:
The fashionABLE mission is to create sustainable business for Africans so they aren’t dependent upon charity, but instead earn the dignity of a job. Born out of Mocha Club’s Economic Freedom project, they offer opportunity to everyone, with a primary focus on empowering women. When fashionABLE invests in a woman, statistics demonstrate that she will have a life changing impact on her family and community… and herself. fashionABLE provides sustainable business opportunities, like making these amazing scarves, to exploited and vulnerable women in Africa.

About blogABLE:
blogABLE is a collaborative effort of fashionABLE and the Mocha Club to take a group of bloggers to see their work in Ethiopia. In early august, the team will travel to Addis Ababa and Nazaret, Ethiopia to spend time with the women both companies work with. Lacking meaningful resources and a sense of hope, many women in Ethiopia resort to prostitution as a means of supporting themselves & their families. They are often desperate to leave the sex industry but remain trapped by a lack of opportunity and rehabilitative support. Through our visits and storytelling, we hope to engage and educate our followers on what is being done to bring hope through creating jobs and sustainable business here.

It’s going to be a pretty life changing experience and I can’t wait to come back and share all the stories from the women we meet in Ethiopia.

So, with all that said, I’m pumped. Pumped actually doesn’t even begin to describe it. I literally cannot even wait to get over there and learn. And what’s a trip without a healthy dose of sharing on social media? You guys can follow along on instagram, facebook and twitter!  I’ll do my best to post as many updates as I can on the blog in my free time. Woot woot, Africa here I come!


In honor of traveling to see the work first-hand, I’m giving away 2 amazing fashionABLE products (both made by the women I’m about to meet!): the Meseret scarf (perfect for these warmer months – I’m obsessed with every scarf but this one is particularly amazing) and the brand new Tigist leather clutch! One lucky winner will get both products!!

Congratulations to Kate on winning the scarf and the clutch 🙂

blogABLE giveaway items

Here’s how to enter:



  1. Travel light and pack layers. While I am not sure of the weather there, it is always best as I have learned from visiting my daughter in California, to do the layers!

    Please have a safe and wonderful trip, bringing back many of your fabulous recipes and stories.

    Also, please enter me in the contest.

    Safe travels-


  2. I followed everything! When we have travelled out of country, we always pack a few outfits and some necessities in our carry on just in case they lose our luggage.

    1. I would be so bummed if they lost my luggage – I think I’m going to carry on the whole way just to be safe 🙂

  3. Is there a website where these items can be purchased? I love giving gifts made by women struggling to support their families.
    I’d like to add these items to my list.
    Thank You

  4. Done!
    Roll the clothes, for sure
    Also bring the worlds biggest purse and carryon. I put my shoes in the carryon if they don’t fit in the luggage.
    Snacks are a must. Veggies, fruit, nuts, granola bars, anything that is packaged well and then you don’t have to worry about starving on the plane if the food is bad.
    bring extra batteries for everything you own. try also finding a battery powered charger for your phone, camera, mp3, whatever needs a plug to charge. and bring extra batteries for the charger. I found that plugs aren’t always accessible.

  5. I’ve followed all. Travel tip- once you are done with the airport, ditch your watch and enjoy every moment!!!!

  6. I’m following all. You are going to have a most amazing experience! I agree with Ruth, ditch the watch! My best travel tip is to pack old bras, panties, sox, etc and leave behind as you go. It will free up space for future purchases, and give you a great excuse tour chase new when you return home. Safe travels!

  7. I have followed all. My best traveling tips are: pack your clothes in gallon (or larger) ziploc bags -squeeze all the air out-you will be amazed at how much more you can fit in your suitcase; bring an inflatable neck pillow- that way it won’t take up much space when you aren’t using it; bring a large scarf for the plane ride to use as a blanket, shawl, head covering to keep out the light, or cover your face if those around you have distinct odors lol; and bring healthy snacks because airplane food is awful. Have a great trip!!

  8. Bring some melatonin, it is safe and natural. When it is time to sleep, it makes the shift to a different time zone possible!

  9. I make a list of what I need to pack days ahead of time and check it off when I pack it. I am a snacker so I pack lots of snacks and drinks. And I always pack a wet washcloth in a baggie and have lots of hand wipes with me.

  10. I support fair trade in Africa and around the world, so will be looking forward to reading all about your visit. It’s at quite high altitude, so take something light and warm.

  11. Gaby, have an amazing trip! I can’t wait to see the pics. What you and the rest of the blogging team is doing is incredible. Travel safe.

  12. I liked and followed! My husband and I love to travel and I guess I’d say the best tip is that you won’t end up wearing the majority of the clothes you pack, so pack light and only what’s necessary! I like to plan out my outfits ahead of time to save space 🙂

  13. How wonderful, I’m so jealous. I look forward to your account of your trip.

    Gaby, I did it all, all the following that is! I am @AnnaZed on Twitter, Margot Core on fb and Pinterest and @margotcore on Instagram.

    My important Tip: Bring some Ibuprophen or Motrin and if you are a person who’s not used to being on her feet for 8 to 10 hours a day (which face it is most of us) take some BEFORE you go on the massive walking tour (like with breakfast) and it will help immeasurably with soreness or avoiding getting sore altogether. I read this from a doctor in the New York Times and it is true.

  14. I followed all. Have a safe trip. My best packing tip is to roll everything tight so that you can fit more in.

  15. Following all of the above! And yes, to the clothes-rolling! I like to pack lightly, relying on layers rather than bulky items. 🙂

  16. Have done lots of traveling over the years…so I advise you to underpack. Wear things more than once; only you will care! And, with extra room in your suitcase, you can bring a few goodies home. Also, sometimes you might be required to walk or even climb up a steep incline carrying your suitcase…maybe for a long time. A lighter suitcase is much easier to carry. Oh, yes, I’ve “liked” or am “following” everything you listed, and I hope you have a wonderful trip! 🙂

  17. my best travel tip is to look at what you might be interested in seeing or checking out before you go so if you have a lull in your travels, you have some ideas of where things are and things you want to see once you’ve done the “touristy” things 🙂 I always have a couple neat places to eat or little museums or statues or art to track down thats in a park or something like that or some item that I want to find for a souvenir whether it be fabric, buttons or ceramic dishware 🙂

  18. Pack very lightly, with one color scheme that you can mix, match & layer. It is so much easier to have less stuff. Bring your favorite body mist to always smell good!

  19. Done!

    Pack Dramamine for any motion sickness you might have during plane or car rides! It’s a life saver!

  20. I’m following all three sites on facebook. Top travel tip after logging over a million miles (literally) on Delta… Do some homework to figure out what time it will be at your location when you land, so you can adjust your sleep schedule accordingly on the plane. Ie, don’t make my mistake and sleep for the last ten hours of a flight to the Middle East which arrives at 10pm and then expect to fall asleep when you get to the hotel. Have fun on your trip!

  21. i follow everything!
    my traveling style is probably horrible for international traveling, because my motto is that you can never pack too much 🙂

  22. I’m following all on Twitter. My best tips: Bring the inflatable neck pillow and a good book to get you through the flight, and then be prepared to go with the flow…this is Africa. Don’t take more than you can carry on – you can always do laundry along the way. If you do check luggage, do not leave any electronics in your bag, and a lock is not a bad idea.

  23. Gaby, I love that you are doing this trip, what an experience. I have been looking for something such as this where I could feel like I am giving back. My god-daughter’s brother did a project at school with KIVA last year, and it made such an impact on him. It was amazing to see the excitement he got from helping a woman in need. Definitely heading over to follow the group – cannot wait to see your posts!

  24. Just wanted to mention to all those clothes rollers out there that there’s a technique we use in the Army called “ranger rolling.” You can see a video about rolling a t-shirt here:

    When I pack up my deployment bag or duffle, I also throw these items into gallon sized freezer bags and squeeze out the air. It’s a great space-saver and helps keep things organized. You can separate things into outfits that way and quickly grab each outfit.

  25. I always make sure to pack at least one thing with me that makes me feel cozy and at home. if I have room for a pillow, I bring mine. if I have limited space, my favourite travel-sized candle. you know, for the nights when you just want your own bed. 🙂

    [i followed everyone everywhere!]

  26. Done!
    There’s always a time when I’m traveling where I get a little homesick and a little exhausted from new surroundings. My tip is that when this happens, I think about how much I was looking forward to the trip and planning for it. It will be over in a blink so enjoy the present. 🙂

  27. Have a wonderful trip! Just found your blog and loved your recipe for the roasted red pepper pasta we had for dinner tonight. Travel tips…bring a little pack of tissues (or three) for TP shortages, ear plugs, socks for the plane, a big light shawl to use for just about anything – scarf, light wrap, blanket. I’m following everything. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Heather 🙂 And I’m so glad you loved the red pepper pasta – it’s one of my favorites!!

  28. Congrats, I hope your trip is everything you want it to be. One thing to keep in mind, though- I hate to be a stickler for details, and I’m sure it was just an oversight in the 2nd sentence- but Africa is a continent, not a country. Safe travels!

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