October has well and truly come…and virtually gone. But the importance of October for me is that its black history month and reflecting on the contributions black people from all walks of life have made to the world.
Last year for Black History Month (BHM), I wrote a piece on what it’s like to travel as a black person featuring black travellers. This was a bit discussion heavy as it delved into the harsh realities and experiences of black men and women travelling abroad.
This year I want a post that’s in a more positive light and showcases the best of black travel. It’d be very difficult to achieve that virtue of one black person, so decided to bring together black travel creatives to lend me a hand.
When travelling with someone compatibility and context is everything. Regardless if they are family friends or co-workers. Group travel can potentially make the difference between special life-long memories being formed and a relationship breaking down.
Describe The Ideal Travel Partner
For the former to happen, travel buddies need to have personalities and habits that compliment each other. So for our black travellers, who’s your ideal travel partner?
My ideal travel partner is someone who has plenty of energy! I love to do the most when travelling so ideally we should be able to keep up with eachother. They also have to enjoy trying new things (food, activities etc), be spontaneous but also appreciate when it’s good to be organised and have a positive mindset to deal with whatever mishaps might happens – Jess (@road2culturedom)
My ideal travel partner is someone who is fun, clean, not stingy with money and always down to have a photoshoot. – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
My ideal travel partner is someone that is easy going but also organised. I love someone that likes to plan ahead as it makes the trip a lot smoother. – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
Having a good travel buddy can be the difference between a serene, tranquil experience and a trip from hell – and is just as, or even more important as the destination itself. I can’t travel with anyone with a fear of heights, or a fear of getting out of their comfort zones.
Susan Jeffers wrote a book called “Feel the fear and do it anyway” and that resonates with me so strong. A good attitude goes along way and a good sense of direction. Finding someone who can capture great shots is always a bonus and definitely someone who doesn’t need babysitting. This also includes someone who I can be completely (and peacefully), silent around. Uncomfortable silences have no place in my travels.
A better word would perhaps be “Wanderer”. Someone open, questions everything and wants answers. Someone reflective, frugal, daring and adventurous with a bit of a humour. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
I wouldn’t say that I necessarily have an ideal travel parnter, I think it depends on the type of trip and the destination. But generally, I like to travel with fun, likeminded people, who love to explore a city and who are good at taking pictures lol – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
To be completely honest, I am my ideal travel partner. Solo travel for the win! However, if I had to choose another human, they’d need to be easy going and very spontaneous. They would need to be on the same wavelength as me with a lot of things such as budget, eating habits and sleeping patterns. They’d need to not cheap out when it comes to paying for experiences and also not complain when things don’t go exactly to plan – Montelle (@montzxo)
Image Credit: Montelle (IAMMONTELLE.co.uk)
[My ideal travel partner is a] Spontaneous person. Someone that’s ready to try new things and experience new adventure. – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
What Was Your Favourite Activity To Do Whilst On A Trip And Why?
A travel itinerary is what defines a trip from a practical sense. It’s also allows one’s trip to be as interpersonal and meaningful as possible. One may prefer to do adventure sports and have an itinerary full of activities. One may be sightseeing crazy and go to lots of museums. Another may just want to be in front of landmarks, take photos for social media and not be invtested in the historical and cultural significance of it. We all want our travel experience to be enjoyable so we’ll do things we naturaly enjoy doing.
So the next question was what was everyone’s favourite activity whilst on a trip and why?
I like any outdoor activities during the day like mountain climbing, horse riding, water sports, road trips.
At night: I have to go party, idc any music or atmosphere, I just want to enjoy like the locals. – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
Fave activity is that initial walk around you do when you get to a new place. This is the time to gather your bearings, speak to locals and see what’s out there..there’s always bound to be a surprise! Jess (@road2culturedom)
Haha. This one is easy! I love to eat (if that is an activity?). It depends on what country I am in. I mainly like to see what the countries activities are known for and then I pick which one is suited for me. Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
Definitely eating! I’m a huge foodie and I love discovering a different culture through its food – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
Sightseeing is always fun. Learning about the history of a place and speaking to locals – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
Image Credit: Jenna (@jennasworldview)
My favourite activities on a trip are food tours!! I love experiencing and connecting with new cultures through their food. Food tours are the easiest ways to learn about all of the popular and must-try dishes at that location. Food tours are also very affordable (sometimes even free!) – Montelle (@montzxo)
Something that involves a heart-throbbing, mind-racing, knees wobbling thrill. Something new, always. Once in a while, I do something that my heart says it cant do, and I show myself I can. Its my favourite thing to do – research and derive a new challenge. I set out to always try something new and challenge my own binding mental comfort zones and boundaries.
I love the sound of my heart racing, quite oddly. I have realized; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most. I also like to take walks and public transport if I’m alone in a country or take a stroll near a beach at night. Rooftop reads are also a thing. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Three Words To Describe Travelling
All that transcending energy, passion and aura we feel when we travel and explore the groud around us can be difficult to be summed up in just a few words. Three words to be precise! So this is the next one: three EXACT words to describe travelling.
Freeing, exciting and empowering – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
Adventure. Fernweh. Culture. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Educational. Empowering and Escaping – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
Liberating, Refreshing and Fun – Montelle (@montzxo)
Image Credit: Montelle (IAMMONTELLE.co.uk)
Never ending adventure! Jess (@road2culturedom)
Recuperation, Knowledge, Excitement Dave (@daveoutreach02)
Image Credit: Dave (@daveoutreach02)
Insightful, fulfilling and peaceful – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
What Or Who Was Your Biggest Inspiration When It Comes To Travelling?
There’s always that call to action for a traveller to start travelling and broading their horizons. For many black travellers education and inspiration is key attributes needed in their lives to thrive as a race and community. Basically slay.
To my fellow black travel creatives, what or who was your biggest inspiration that prompted you to start slaying this travel life? What was your call to action?
Matthew Ashimolowo – He gave one hour speech about finding what makes you happy and he mentioned travelling, I tried it once and I’ve never seen anything that makes me more excited since then – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
My mum has been a huge inspiration for me to travel. Even though we may not have been able to go on family holidays halfway across the world, she still worked hard to make sure we could see the world as much as we possibly could. Whether that was through day trips/staycations in England, day trips to European cities or a few “bigger” trip to places like Rome, Malta and Nigeria. – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
My travel inspiration started when I stumbled across an amazing network of female solo travellers by accident on Facebook. From then on I became obsessed with watching solo travel vlogs and discovering new travel bloggers on Instagram. If it wasn’t for me discovering this amazing network I would not have taken my first solo March 2018, and I wouldn’t be where I am today. – Montelle (@montzxo)
It might sound weird but I’ve become my own biggest inspiration to travel! I feel that I’m my best self when I do and I’ve learnt so much about my capabilities, interests and I wouldn’t ever want this learning to stop! – Jess (@road2culturedom)
I would say my biggest inspiration to travel came from my study exchange in Singapore. While I was there I travelled most of the South East Asian Countries and after living there for a semester, I was so keen to see what else the world had to offer. – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
I don’t like the feeling of being trapped or routine. Travelling allows me to be free and that’s what has inspired me to get out there. Plus, the black travel community is always inspiring me to book more flights. – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
From a young age, I felt a sense of being caged and trapped in a box. I’ve been so consumed in moments that felt like the world was ending, forgetting that the world still turns on its axis… and no matter how stressful or bad things get, you get to see another day. Many things make me love the notion of travelling. 2 of the strongest are the need to understand there’s a whole parallel reality out there, different to my own that people live and breathe in and call life. The other is the look on my grandma’s face, how her eyes light up as she tells the centuries worth of stories she has. I’d like to be the same someday. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Favourite Destination To Go To For A Romantic Trip Or Honeymoon
Carrying on the trend of positivity in this Q&A we all have that place in our hopes and dreams where we can escape to with a romantic partner and live happily ever after. The latter not quite of course but an ideal romantic place to visit for a couple’s getaway, particularly for a honeymoon. Well – what are those romantic places/ideal honeymoon destinations?
As cliche as it is, the Maldives. I just can’t get over how beautiful it is over there! However, I’ve recently become obsessed with Seychelles and the idea of having my honeymoon in Africa really appeals to me – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
I would love to spend my first romantic getaway on one of the beautiful Greek Islands. (And I know you’re probably thinking Santorini…Nope!) I’d visit Crete or Patmos – Montelle (@montzxo)
I would love to travel Haiti after I get married. I like the idea of escaping from reality and just enjoying the sun, sand and cocktails. – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
Mauritius & Bora Bora – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
I definitely want to get married and for a honeymoon destination, I would love to visit Bora Bora. That’s everyone’s choice I know but it looks so beautiful and I can’t imagine going there on any other setting. – Jess (@road2culturedom)
Hawaii, Kenya & Maldives. – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
Something in the middle of the ocean. Something far away from people. Something involving sunshine, no wifi and nature. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Favourite Food You’ve Discovered Whilst Travelling?
Many countries or national has it’s own national cuisine. Some travellers indulge themselves in a lot of the local food when trying to get that authentic, local’s experience. Rather than resorting to global, mainstream brands like your Maccy Ds (McDonalds) and Subbies (Subways). Food is one of the main things that gives a place its character and personality.
Time for everyone to get their savoury stomach or sweet tooth prepared for this question: your favourite food you’ve discovered whilst travelling?
Oh my gosh chicken and rice and stingray – In Singapore. When I lived out there I was constantly eating and these I must say where my favourite Asian dishes. I have many others but we may be here for a long time. (I have pictures if you would like to add to this) – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
One of my favourite foods that I’ve discovered while travelling is nasi goreng, Indonesian rice and chicken dish. It was without a doubt one of the best meals I’ve ever had. So much flavour and spice. I will definitely have to go back to that same restaurant one day! – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
MEXICAN! Mexicans have bagged the award for the best Red Snapper on the planet! (Well at least what I’ve tried). – Montelle (@montzxo)
Moroccan Tajine (Morocco), Greek Gyros (Athens & Cyprus), Huhnerschnitzel & potatoes salad (Vienna & Munich). These are some of favourite foods discovered whilst traveling, I love them Yum. – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
Gelato – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
Lomo saltado in Peru which is like a stir fry beef dish..it was so good! In fact, Peruvian food as a whole is incredible and that really surprised me. – Jess (@road2culturedom)
Nothing for me beats Barcelona’s Crema Catalana. Nothing in London comes close. Rotterdam’s “Kapsalon” is a close second – I’ve been to the same restaurant 19 times so far! Obsessed! The Fava I once had in Athens was incredibly creamy and like none I’ve ever had. These are my top 3. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
What’s the most meaningful lesson you’ve learnt as a passionate traveller?
There is always something to be learned in every new country that you visit. About yourself, about the place and even the people you meet on your travels. – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
Always be aware that not everyone is cut from the same cloth as you. There are people out in the world that see the world very differently to you and that can have a huge impact on your travels. Don’t ever let it though – continue to see the world and share your experiences as open and as transparent as possible. – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
I’ve learnt that people come and go and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Whilst travelling especially, you come across so many interesting and life-changing people who will come as quick as they go. I’ve learned to appreciate the time you have with people and be present in the moment. – Montelle (@montzxo)
The most meaningful lesson has been that the information you learn from locals is invaluable. It might sound obvious but no one knows a place better than those who live and breathe it so you’re doing a place an injustice if you don’t interact with the locals and take a piece of their experience home with you! – Jess (@road2culturedom)
Until now, three lessons keep repeating itself. Though every race, shape, gender, town and city I’ve encountered and explored… I’ve learned that human beings are grounded by the same principles and values. The core values are the same. This is all that matters.
The outside differences are there to learn from and celebrate without fear.
The second is that maaaaan, we are POWERFUL beyond measure. You never really know what you are capable of until you push your barriers of comfort, even its just a little bit each day.
The last is question everything until you understand it. Never just believe or accept because that is the way it’s done. Never let society, or other people determine how you should live your life. Only you know what is best for you. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Be nice and kind to everyone, you’ll always receive the same energy back
Ignore the stereotype, don’t listen to the media, GO OUT THERE AND SEE THE WORLD FOR YOURSELF. – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
One of the most meaningful lessons that I have learnt from travelling is to not underestimate myself. Setting myself the goal to visit 25 countries before I turned 25, seemed very unrealistic at the time. But guess who spent her 25th birthday in her 25th country?
Travel, especially solo travel, has taught me a lot about myself and it’s shown me so many times, that I am capable of a lot more than I ever could have imagined. – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
Share An Unconventional Travel Trip
And to finish off this post, share with us an unconventional travel tip not many know about?
Go on every trip with a fresh mindset even if you’ve been there before. You’ll experience it in a new way. – Jenna (@jennasworldview)
Always keep some currency of each country you visit – Dave (@daveoutreach02)
This may be old news to everyone but I’ve only just discovered this hack this year. If there’s no iron in your accommodation, use the hairdryer! – Montelle (@montzxo)
Good question I have shared this before but I don’t think many people have caught on. If you tap into my Instagram you would have seen that I share a travel tip to keep hold of your travel cards (where permitted). If you ever travel back to the country you will then be able to use the card again. When I went to Singapore I still had the same travel card I used as a study exchange student! I transferred the money I had to the new one ($28 Singapore dollars). This was great because the card was 6 years old! – Adebola (@mybreakingviews)
For me when researching a place,if you find that one activity that you really want to do/is notoriously popular, especially in peak time then by all means book it so you don’t miss out. But really, I would advise booking most things when you arrive, have had a chance to get tips from locals, your host, free walking tour etc as you’ll discover things you may not have known where available, off the beaten track activities and also importantly save money! – Jess (@road2culturedom)
My travel tip is to search for voucher codes when you are booking both flights and accommodation. This could end up saving you up to 15% off the actual price. – Debbie (@wanderlustcalls)
Best trick in the game. Mark your check-in baggage as ‘Fragile’ and you’ll get it first on the conveyor belt always, in the same condition you gave it to the staff. The other is using the USB port in the TV to charge my phone, camera and iPad. Sometimes, I forget the two-prong plug but this saver saves me some trouble. – Faisa (@_faysworld)
Image Credit: Montelle (IAMMONTELLE.co.uk)
For the serial black traveller like myself and everyone else on here, owning our passion, globetrotting and changing preconceptions for the better is one big way of doing BHM more service. Normally BHM is about acknowledging and celebrating past and current black history. But it also should be abou looking to the future, creating new history and letting our creativity and colour shine through.
What is it that makes you love travelling the way you do? Do you feel inspired by what you’ve seen on this post? Leave your comments below! Thanks so so much to all my fellow black creatives who got involved in this collab. Their social handles are linked below. Make sure you check them out!
Adebola – @mybreakingviews
Dave – @daveoutreach02
Debbie – @wanderlustcalls
Faisa – @_faysworld
Jenna – @jennasworldview
Jess – @road2culturedom
Montelle – @montzxo
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Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures