Saolo travel is liberating and resilient, giving you the chance to press the restart button or take a break to get in touch with yourself. You can go home with a deeper understanding of the place and its people, as well as a deeper understanding of who you are – and I know from experience how valuable it is I will.
At the age of 21, I left London and traveled around the world alone for over a year. I recently lost most of my dad and my identity, and travel was the medium I chose to repair myself. I shook in Rio de Janeiro’s samba, ate the appetizing street food of Vietnam and Mexico, wandered through the ancient metropolis of Morocco, and spent a few days in a fleeting romantic encounter divided by language but united by desire. I lost a few nights.
I swam with seals in the Galapagos Islands, walked with white rhinos in Zimbabwe, tanned in Manhattan (I don’t know how it happened), became debilitating food poisoning in Nicaragua, and was about to be arrested in Cuba. I did.
Spending my time (and most of my money) on a long solo trip is the best decision I have ever made. It helped me glue my pieces together, influenced my writing and reminded me of my place in a vibrant global diaspora. It was also a ridiculous amount of fun.
I’ve heard many black women protest why we shouldn’t travel alone, the terrible things that might happen to us, and what we might lose by leaving home. And I hesitate. You may feel awkward or unwelcome on the road. But most of the time, traveling alone gave me more than was robbed. And it has always reminded me of my power in a world that helps me feel small and helpless as a black woman.
For too long, black women have been taught how to live. We are forced to be in an unbuilt space for comfort, so we absorb harmful myths about our bodies and say, “No, I can’t do that.” Or “No, I don’t belong here.” We have been denied being the author of the travel story and turn our backs or go home when we demand more in our spare time. I was told to go home.
But what if you ignore the negators and stereotypes? What if instead of waiting for permission or allowing fear to make your decision, you tell yourself, “Yeah, it’s time for me to go”? I’m sure you have the time of your life.
For black women, traveling alone has deep political and personal implications. For centuries, the movement of the blackbody has been tightly controlled. During the cruel period of colonial expansion, blacks were forcibly removed from African and Caribbean countries and shipped around the world for economic development in white European countries. The blackbody is merely a tool for the production of capitalists, a means to an end, and therefore access to our leisure trips has been denied.
Black women’s body movements have been (and still are) cracked down. In times of bondage, we endured, but couldn’t travel freely or for fun. Such a concept would have been in direct contradiction with colonial rule. And for a long time since the end of this period, black women have inherited a legacy of narrow, biased assumptions about our bodies that affect us today.
Neoliberal capitalism and structural discrimination continue to burden black women more than many other groups. The system we navigate to is contaminated with white supremacy and has never been designed for our self-discovery or joy. Opting out of this oppressive system through a natural rest or leisure trip is actually quite revolutionary. Therefore, the travel of black women can be seen as a parable of radical acts, tools of rebellion, and liberation that allows us to redefine our position in the world.
Traveling by blacks and women is to overturn and overcome the legacy of movement disorders. It is to dispel the myths that come from the history of restricted movement. That is to say, “See you!” In a lifetime of setbacks and struggles. Well, that may sound like a heavy burden to one person, and I don’t mean that the road to racial equality depends on your decision to visit Venice on the weekends. Think of it as another motivation to book a trip.
Of course, the coronavirus makes us all rethink the purpose and joy behind traveling alone. You may feel lonely and more comfortable, and the idea of traveling alone may seem a bit more appealing. Or maybe you’ve worked too hard at home, left your office, and now your freedom of place is no longer restricted to freelancers, and you’ve realized that your life as a digital nomad is well within reach. ..
Black women who travel the world freely and for joy certainly break the boundaries-what we do well in the post-covid world when extreme planning is suddenly essential for safety. If possible, it will be even more so. And with the more urgent global discourse on the resurrection of the Black Lives Matter movement and the treatment of the blackbody, it’s exciting (very predictive) to add your experience to the discourse that has now soaked into revolutionary history. It’s time (if not impossible).
The Black Travel movement began in 2013 as a social media-led conversation focused on increasing the visibility of unconventional adventurers.Since then, it has become mainstream with black-owned brands such as: Travel Noir, We also go, Taste Makers Africa And Nomad Travel Tribe Offering hand-picked content, ambitious travel, and heritage tourism, it sits at the table with a story-centric focus for black consumers and travel providers.
Spending leisure time alone is a privilege that more black women can enjoy in recent years. We travel for fun, freedom, and food for escapism, excitement, and unlimited joy. We travel because we are fortunate enough to be able to step into places that our parents couldn’t, realize their ancestors’ dreams and intentions, and ultimately become part of a free-moving generation. ..
We travel to build our personal identity, especially where it is considered taboo to be an unaccompanied colored woman. And we understand the responsibilities and consciousness associated with our movement better than in most cases. We travel for ourselves first and foremost, but our journey has the potential to rebuke stereotypes, break the mold, take root, foster inclusiveness and give back.We travel Because I canAnd there is good reason in itself.
This is an edited excerpt from Black Girls Take World, Published by Hardy Grant, Travel Guide for Black Women by Georgina Lawton
Why Black Women Traveling Alone is a Radical Act | Traveling Alone
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