Being first generation American with parents both of Caribbean descent, culture and travel is something I've loved for as long as I can remember.
I can think back to one my first trips to my father's native country Jamaica and being instantly mesmerized as soon as I got off the plane. From the exquisite food, therapeutic music, and overall aura of the people, I quickly realized that experiencing life outside of your everyday routine was probably the best gift I could ever reward myself with. And so I did.
From that first experience almost two decades ago, I've grown an even deeper appreciation for culture and travel and now as a black woman who has witnessed the conditions of what it is to be black in America, I now see why traveling isn't just leisure, but a necessity. Traveling changes perspectives, keeps you open-minded and most importantly keeps you constantly learning. After years of black people being judged inaccurately, travel allows us an opportunity to live our truth.
We are complex, courageous, and cultured people and we owe it to ourselves to show society just that. Read on for seven more reasons why black travel is so important.
Black Travel Breaks The Black Stereotype
It's no secret that many people of this world have preconceived notions on what it is to be a black American. Some create these notions off things they may have heard in the past and others form opinions from the portrayal on TV. However, often times these same stereotypes are far from accurate and every time we immerse ourselves into a new culture or a new part of the world to who we are, we challenge those falsities. . From the way we talk, dress, and interact in their native land, we are responsible for portraying our authentic black selves and not the one society has broadcasted for us.
Black Travel Enhances Your Cultural Perspective
Most people who choose not to travel live a very comfortable and consistent life. Some might have lived in their childhood homes their entire lives and only interacted with the same people from their hometown schools. But while that may lead comfortable lives , comfortable isn't always what we need. Traveling breaks the necessary comfort zones and pushes us to enhance our cultural perspective. It shows us new languages, introduces us to new delicacies, and reminds us that our everyday black culture is not the only one that exists. Understanding other cultures makes us more well-rounded individuals and allows us to understand and interact with others in the real world effectively.
Black Travel Creates Self-Awareness
Getting caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle of life is a common narrative to many Americans. While common, that doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. We get lost in our daily grind and forget to reflect on ourselves, our lives, and what we want out of it. Traveling allows for time of self-reflection. It's a time to be fully present and aware and distance ourselves from our normal chaotic life. Taking the necessary time away from your normal routine is good for your mental space and allows a moment for clarity.
Black Travel Challenges All Your Insecurities
Fear has been a common reason to discouraging the black travel experience. Whether it be fear of flying, fear of the unknown, or fear of t stepping out of your natural habitat altogether, fear is a one of the reason that stops us from experiencing the world. . But if anything, that same fear should encourage us to do it even more. Traveling challenges all fears and insecurities you might have. That same timid uncertainty you feel while asking a stranger for directions, or maneuvering your way through a foreign city is the feeling of growth; and that growth is so necessary.
Black Travel Educates You On A Global Perspective
If you live in America, I'm sure you have realized just how self-centered this nation can sometimes be. We often speak on the issues that are happening internally, forgetting that there is a world outside of us with many people suffering and in need of desperate help. While we have our own problems and suffering in the U.S, that doesn't take away from the fact that this is still a first world country and our problems pale in comparison to some of the challenges and strife other nations endure. When you travel, you get to see first hand the conditions of how people are living and not the conditions society allows you to see. These travel experiences can teach you empathy, and educates you on a world you never even thought of.
Black Travel Is A Productive Outlet
While some of us live to work, others work to live; and the ones that work to live are usually the travelers. Working hard to be financially stable enough that you could afford to treat yourself to a new experience is truly a blessing. While some spend their hard-earned money on short-term pleasures, traveling is a positive investment that will benefit your life. It can teach you a new language, ignite new passion for a personal goal, or even give you some calm much-needed stress release. Either way, it's money well spent.
Black Travel Creates Memories To Last A Lifetime
Outside of all that travel can teach you, it is still a life-changing experience with loads of fun and tons of memories. From eating new foods, meeting new people, and experiencing a whole new life momentarily, travel is something you'll always remember. You may forget many things on your travel journey, or even lose a few souvenirs along the way, but the memories you've made will surely last a lifetime.
What does black travel mean to you?
Featured image by Getty Images
- Welcome to BlackTravel.com – Black Travel ›
- For us, by us: 5 black-owned travel groups you should know about ... ›
- Black Travel Hackers - Because Travel can Almost Always be Free ›
- The Black Travel Club ›
- Black Travel | HuffPost ›
- 5 Best Black Travel Sites | How We Buy Black ›
- Black Travel -- has the industry ignored people of color? - CNN ›
- Here's why, as a black woman, it's been so important for me to travel ... ›
- Black Travel Sites to Follow | GoAbroad.com ›
- Traveling As Woman of Colour | 8 black female traveller share all ›
- 11 Black Travel Bloggers You Should Know — WILL DRINK FOR ... ›
- Why Traveling Is Important ›
Ashley McDonough is a writer and producer in New York City. When she's not busy writing or producing culturally conscious content, she is patiently waiting for Oprah and Stedman to adopt her. Keep up with her journey via social @Ashley_Milani or check out her work on www.AshleyMcDonough.org.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images