Close your eyes and imagine yourself anywhere in the world and be specific. Inhale the essence of that place and allow your mind to wander. Where on earth would you go?
I have traveled to every state except for Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. I got my first apartment and second car in the United Kingdom when I was barely 20 years old. I have traveled to more than 30 countries and every year around the same time I get the intense desire to pack up and move to a new city anywhere in the world. I am a free spirit. I will probably never really have roots in the true American sense of things because I don’t believe we as people were meant to live that way. Even Jesus was a wanderer! I enjoy meeting new people, trying new things, tasting new foods and just sitting in the middle of a new culture and embracing it for what it is. Travel reminds me to keep my life in perspective. I’m just a small little person in a sea of billions. I often feel as if I haven’t accomplished enough, I haven’t learned enough or that I am wasting time. But when I travel and allow my mind to just be at ease with humanity and culture my mind is wide open to the experiences and I can’t learn those things in a classroom.
One of the best things you can do for yourself, your future and even your children (future children) is to travel. It simply makes you better. One of the most profound things to ever happen to me was on a beautiful overcast day in Cambridge, England. I was walking out of a local shop with a friend and I heard Gods voice clearly. I stopped my friend right in the middle of the cobblestone road, sat our shopping bags down, grabbed her hands and I said to her, “Look at where we are, look at who are, look at where we came from,” as I pointed in the direction I assumed America to be. She smiled at me and said in her Georgia twang, “Imagine us, two country girls living in Europe”. At the moment all I felt was gratitude. We both laughed and just cherished the moment of being young, black and living out the dreams of our ancestors and even our living relatives. On my walks through the streets of Thessaloniki, Greece or any other European city it’s rare to see Americans who looked like me. I’ve met many tourists from all over the globe of all ages but I’ve never met another black American who wasn’t traveling with me and I’d love to meet you out there!
A lot of women my age spend money frivolously on designer clothing, shoes, expensive hair and things that depreciate but I invest in my mind and invaluable experiences. I like to spoil myself and enjoy the fruits of my labor as well but not at the cost of my only vacation being Vegas, LA (my home), NYC or Miami in one hotel room with all my friends. The world is so much bigger and the United States alone has some beautiful cities worth visiting that aren’t overrun with people on memorial day and labor day weekends. Here’s a free gem: A pair of Christian Loubutin’s So Kate cost $675 plus tax. A flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam costs $798 roundtrip with tax. Which one is the better investment to you?
- Invaluable Travel website for people of color: Travel Noire
- The best flights are here: SkyScanner
- Cheapest Cities in Europe to Fly Into: The Price of Travel
- Flying Within Europe: Ryan Air
So….where to next?