Myself a travel bug, I enjoy living vicariously through the travels of others, Grace Anderson being one of my favorites. When ever I tune into Facebook, I see yet another exotic location Grace has found herself in. When I grow up, I would love to be like Grace.
How is it traveling as an African American woman to some of the remote locations you have visited?
I think the most powerful experience of being a Black woman who has visited various remote places, is that I never thought that traveling for leisure was something that was in my grasp. There was a moment, as I drove across the Arctic Circle, that I had to stop and say, “What is life” aloud. I mean, sincerely, I’ve been incredibly fortunate in having opportunities align for me in unimaginable ways.
Just standing in a place where you don’t see anyone or anything, for as far as the eyes can see, is incredibly humbling and definitely puts you in your place.
You seem to find peace in your travels, why is travel so important to you?
I’ve been diagnosed with incurable wanderlust. My curiosity and desire to learn as much as I can about people and how they exist in the world, makes traveling essential to what I define as happiness for myself.
From living in North Dakota, to horseback riding with gauchos in Patagonia , meeting natives that reside above the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories, I’ve been able to make sincere and life confirming connections.
The connections that I seek to make in the places I’ve traveled, have proven powerful on my level of consciousness about the greater world. For example, a few weeks after traveling to Chile, I saw on the news that there was a volcano erupting in one of the cities I have traveled to. Prior to visiting, I most likely would have paid it little attention, but since I had walked those streets and had looked into the eyes of people affected, I felt connected to the place and developed a deep concern for the people there.
What advice would you offer to other African Americans who are hesitant in traveling because they fear running into matters of discrimination?
I think the best advice I can give, is to not let the fear of discrimination stop you from traveling. If we, as Black people, let that stop us, then we’d never go anywhere because discrimination is in every walk of life for us. It’s been wonderful to come to the point of realizing that the world is mine for the seeing, and I wont’ let anything stop me from exploring and venturing out into it. I think once you come to that realization, nothing will stop you.
Where is your ultimate travel destination you long to visit and why?
My ultimate travel destination would be to Southeast Asia (particularly Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia). I’m incredibly intrigued by the people there and the culture that exist. The Festival of Lights in Thailand is definitely something that I wish to see. Also, the landscape there is ridiculously beautiful and diverse in its offerings. I have a feeling that once I make that trip, it’ll be hard to convince me to come back.