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?
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