Meet Metanoya Z. Webb aka Globetrotting Stiletto bka Smiley Face Wanderlust. She is the founder/creator of Globetrotting Stiletto Inc. and the head-heel-in-charge of GlobestrottingStiletto.com. A bonafide traveler Metanoya has lived in Costa Rica, Belize and London, and has been traveling for as far back as she can remember.
Soul Society 101: Hey Metanoya! Tell us a little about what you do for a living.
Metanoya: I'm the former deputy fashion editor of styleblazer.com, writer and on-camera host at BET.com and former editor at Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan Magazines. I've worked in publishing and digital media for over a decade (Instyle, essence, Glam.com, The Source, etc.) and have finally decided to give my brand my undivided attention and I'm loving it!
Soul Society 101: Fully in support of doing your own thing. Do you always wear stilettos when you travel or is that just a name?
Metanoya: That's a great question. Nope, Globetrotting Stiletto is NOT just a name, it's a true representation of who I am and what I love to do: Trot around the globe in a sick pair of stilettos. I always travel with heels, multiple pairs, and almost always wear them. Of course I'm not trekking through the jungles of Costa Rica in 5 inch Jimmy Choos, but typically drinks, dinner and dancing follow a full day of adventure, that's when I whip out my good shoes.
Also, globetrotting stiletto is a mindset and lifestyle. We tend to be stylish jet-setters who are committed to travel. We go because we have to. We need to see, feel, taste, touch, immerse ourselves in culture, scour the globe for inspiration, treasures that exist outside the confines of our everyday lives. We value time and live in the moment because we know tomorrow is not promised.
Soul Society 101: Ok shoe expert, who is your favorite shoe designer?
Metanoya: Hmm, favorite shoe designer, can I choose more than one? LOL. My feet are slender so I tend to gravitate towards a clean silhouette. Love Jimmy Choo, I'm convinced that he designs shoes with my foot in mind. I also adore Giuseppe Zanotti, Pierre Hardy, Stuart Weitzman, he always gets the simple shoe right and adidas, I'm a throwback Samba head. The black and white soccer kicks with the gum bottom, I've owned like 10 pairs. Been rocking em since JHS. Oh, Miu Miu and Sophia Webster do a good shoe too.
Soul Society 101: Is your work related to your travel at all? Or has travel been mostly for pleasure?
Metanoya: My work is related to my travel. I was lucky to have the opportunity to travel on my very first job out of college (Howard University). I was the Assistant to the EIC at the source magazine and the reggae columnist. In that role I traveled to Jamaica, St. Lucia and a slew of other Caribbean Islands to cover concerts and events, interview artist, etc. After the source the travel continued, I traveled in my deputy fashion editor role at Moguldom and now am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to travel for globetrottingstiletto.com. I was on a plane or train, at least once a month, every month, this year. And 2014 isn't over yet. There may be a press trip of two on the horizon before the close of the year ;-)
Soul Society 101: When did you first gain interest in travel?
Metanoya: I first gained a serious interest in travel with I was a teenager and went on a missionary trip to Louisa, an all black village in Puerto Rico, with my church. I'd traveled extensively before then, but this was the first time that I took a trip without family and really got a chance to submerge myself in another culture. It was a transformative experience, it changed my perspective on the importance of travel.
Also, my mom is my real introduction to travel. That woman has been more places than me, and I get around, lol. She always encouraged me to GO! Always. I adore her for that, so many parents prohibit their children from living and accessing their best life, not mommy. When I'm stressed out or just having a moment, she'll say, 'baby, go do what you love to do, travel.'
Soul Society 101: What was the first stamp in your passport?
Metanoya: Jamaica! My family is from Jamaica. The pilgrimage back home was inevitable. When I first went I don't think I even needed a passport, back then you could travel with your birth certificate, lol. Then came London, Italy, Spain, Paris and Greece. It's fair to conclude, at this point, I'm addicted.
Soul Society 101: What has your favorite travel destination been so far and why did you love it?
Metanoya: So, like I mentioned earlier, I lived in Costa Rica, London and Belize. The living abroad experience overall is phenomenal. You're actually there long enough to move like a local. It doesn't feel like vacation, it's sort of like a cultural awakening, humbling experience. I'm a strong advocate of being a well-rounded citizen of the world, I think it makes for a better person, with much more depth and interesting stories to tell.
Croatia, this past summer, with my girls, was DOPE! One of my good friend's line sister's family is from Croatia, a small village in Istria called Nedescina. We rented an apartment, in the family village, surrounded by wine vineyards and the most beautiful terrain I've ever lived in. We drank the most delicious homegrown wine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, delivered in recycled 3 liter soda bottles, had family dinners, every night, God Father style, swam in the Adriatic sea at Rabac, a near by beach town, rolled around in a vintage drop-top caddi, and then stayed up, almost every night, braiding hair, playing cards and engaging in some serious girl talk til the wee hours of the morning. It was really a great trip. No egos, no divas, just a group of successful young professionals vacationing the way we deserve to. I can't wait for the next trip with that SAME group of women.
Soul Society 101: Have you ever done a solo trip and if so, what was that like for you?
Metanoya: Costa Rica, Belize and London were solo. I don't mind traveling alone. I'm protected by a higher being that has me wherever I go. Of course it's important to be cautious but more important than that, just be humble and real and courteous. Real recognize real. If someone speaks, be respectful and speak back. And case your environment... Mugging was a big deal in San Jose, Costa Rica while i was there, didn't mean I would't stay out after dark just meant I had to be more alert, not too flashy. Want to know a little secret, a smile from the heart can save you from a shitload of trouble. Leave that stuck up, I'm better than the next person tude in NYC, it's not necessary.
Soul Society 101: What's on your bucket list of places to go to in 2015?
Metanoya: Bali, Thailand, Maldives, Tulum, didn't get there when I was in the Riviera Maya a few weeks ago, the South of France, Switzerland and wherever else my PR folks invite me :) Oh, JA's the plan for New Year's Eve. And I need to get to the Motherland. What's been holding me back is time. The goal is to spend at least 2 months in a certain region of the continent when I do go.
Soul Society 101: What has been your biggest learning/takeway from your travels?
Metanoya: My biggest takeaway has been to travel as much as I can, for as long as I can, life is too short not to explore the world.
Soul Society 101: What's your thing with cupcakes?
Metanoya: I have a serious sweet-tooth and cupcakes are my fave. My dad is a pastry chef that may have something to do with it.
Earlier this year I executive produced and hosted my own web series, cupcakes and cafe with gts. The derivation of the title comes from my love of cupcakes and coffee, respectively, and most often enjoyed together. Essentially I wanted to sit down and have a comfortable, candid conversation with tastemakers in the lifestyle industry and chat about how travel influences their creativity and keeps them at the top of their game. Initially I thought the men would frown at the title, call it too feminine, but I had them eating cupcakes and sipping cafe too. And they loved it.
Soul Society 101: As a fellow Brooklynite, what are some of your favorite places to dine in BK?
Metanoya: I must admit, I'm a Queens gal who transplanted to BK, lol. But I'll rep it if you damn Brooklyn heads allow me to get away with it ;-). Love Walter's, Deniz on Fulton, the Italian restaurant on Vanderbilt between Dekalb and Willoughby they have the BEST shrimp parmesan and good pizza. Putnam's is cute too. Buff patty does a nice cornmeal porridge, for the mornings I'm too lazy to make it myself.
Soul Society 101: If there was one other place in the US or internationally where you could live parallel lives with your Brooklyn, NY life, where would it be?
Metanoya: Paris! I've been several times and will keep going back until i'm in a place financially to own a crib here and there. Paris is my City, there's a price-point for everybody and the literary scene is beyond inspiring. And the pastries, OMG, I live for the pastries. Shopping, partying, museum crawls. It's a walking city like NYC too, I love that about it. I'll stop here, I can go on and on and ON about Paris :). It's a sick obsession, I tell you. Jamaica too. Love my people. There's no place like home.