Discover life as a Black female traveller and why it is important for all of us regardless of our race to stop and listen.
Everyone has different travel experiences, and your identity (i.e. race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender etc) very much influences that. Time and time again I have found it frustratingly trying to find any travel blogs that talks about race. This is probably due to the fact that there are so little people of colour traveling, nevertheless travel blogs run by women of colour. However I had the wonderful opportunity to reach out to 8 fierce black female traveller who are conquering the world, one country at a time.
Curated by Melissandre
Full of Wanderlust?
Join Us – GoWonder Family
Alexxa Walker from RAWTRVL
“Traveling as a woman of colour is a unique experience for me because I am both Black and Asian brought up in a predominantly White society. I tend to get a lot of stares and a lot of questions, but I also get a lot of love wherever I go. It has made me stronger, more open and more accepting of myself and the woman that I’ve become.
I started blogging to not only share my experiences, but mostly to share the stories of people I’ve either been inspired by or met on the way as a reaction to the lack of stories I found of minorities given the mic of mass media. It was about letting people know that they are not alone, that there are people of every colour doing exceptional things around the world. It just takes a bit of traveling to meet them.”
Jessica from Catch Me If You Can
“Traveling as a black woman with very dark skin and short hair can be stressful if you allow the stares to frustrate you and ruin your trip, but I accepted that I am a pioneer and that in many places in the world they have never seen anyone that looks like me (and there are cultural differences regarding staring), I realized that it is a privilege to be able to show the world the beauty of an African woman.”
Tamaya Walker McClendon founder of Sisters and Suitcases
“Being able to travel as black women has allowed me to connect with myself while taking my soul and mind on a trip. Travel has broaden my horizons and any limitation or confinement that was unconsciously place upon me has been lifted and shattered. I can’t say enough how travel has changed my life. I see travel as a vessel to transformation. When you travel with intention it begins the process of new beginnings, mine started last year when I left my career in Education to start Sisters and Suitcases. ”
Vivienne Dovi founder of Melanin Travel
“For me, to travel solo as a black woman is a challenging but liberating experience. One major advantage is that while I am learning about other cultures for the first time, I get to reciprocate in ways that locals aren’t expecting. I ultimately set the tone on what it means to be a black woman, the challenges we face, and the cultural exchange is often profound. I leave countries knowing that I’ve left an impact on the people I connect with. While travelling as a black woman can sometimes leave me frustrated, it adds to my character and allows me to grow into an even better black woman. So go out and explore – you won’t regret it.”
Briana Phillips from TheBaldBabe.com
“I started my personal blog shortly after arriving in Madrid, Spain in September of 2016 and for me this blog meant so much! Not only was I starting something that I’d wanted to do for so long and continued to put off but I did it a time when things were equal parts falling apart and coming together. The name comes from my coming to terms with losing all my hair to alopecia, an autoimmune disease that cause partial or complete hair loss, and finally finding beauty in myself again. The timing of my temporary move to Madrid couldn’t have been more opportune. I could get lost in a new country, submerge myself in a new culture and reinvent myself simultaneously; something I was in desperate need of. There weren’t many people who looked like me in Madrid.
There weren’t a lot of Black women is what I’m saying.
In a sense, it was my duty to represent Black American women, as I was the first that many people I encountered had ever known. I made it my priority to represent all the Black women who came before me and sacrificed their lives so that one day, a little Black girl from Cleveland, Ohio could move abroad and move about as freely as the next girl. So I did that. I went to as many cities in Spain as I could and experienced all the things that a Black girl isn’t expected to. Most commonly I was mistaken for being African, Senegalese or Ghanaian to be exact; what a compliment. I could ramble on for pages and pages but that’s not what I was asked to do, so I’ll end by saying in one word how being a Black woman abroad made me feel. Powerful.”
Jasmine Jefferson from JAIOLOGIE
“Within the last 2 years, I’ve been bitten by the traveling bug. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to see different people, taste a variety of scrumptious food, and experience amazing cultures. I had no idea that traveling as a black woman was going to be such an out of this world experience. I am a black woman with fairly dark skin and big, kinky hair which is the first thing that catches most attention especially in areas where black people like myself aren’t prevalent. I’m constantly asked and told how “deep” my skin is, how beautiful I am, and how soft my hair must be (after being stared at deeply and asking to touch my hair).
Initially I was confused how I should I feel about being gazed at so often, but quickly appreciated the admiration of my physical appearance. It’s definitely a great conversation piece that usually opens opportunities to learn and experience more. Traveling while black is an exchange of appreciation and admiration that I’ve grown to love every time I step off the plane to my new designation.
As I appreciate each location, in return, I gain a layer of self appreciation from contact from locals. It’s a beautiful exchange that I look forward to every chance I can.”
Alexandra from TravelbittenLex
“As the increase in black travel rises so does curiosity received from Natives in far off places. My experience while traveling as a black woman varies based on region. In some places in Europe I would get stares, some not so welcoming like when I visited my birth country of Germany, and other stares were accompanied by a “You’re a Goddess” compliments in Greece. Then we have Asians who love to take pictures both discreetly and boldly because they’ve never seen a black person up close to the Central Americans who are sweet as can be since some of them look like us. Regardless of the outcome I travel proudly as a woman of colour. The fact that I can travel and spread my wings leaves me empowered and inspired by each culture I come across. I may be an anomaly to some but travel is normalcy for my soul. So I wander forever more!”
Briona Lamback from @YouMeLunch
Don’t invade my personal space. My blackness is not yours. Don’t assume that I won’t mind being the test subject of your stupidity and lack of empathy for others.This definitely sums up how I feel about traveling as a black women with natural hair.
I wrote a piece about this previously on my personal blog: “Don’t Touch My Hair: Being Black While Traveling”
More about Briona:
That’s all from our 8 Black Female Traveller. Any questions? Leave it in the comment box below!
Read our most popular posts
12 clever beach essentials recommended by female travellers
Can’t get enough of us? Follow for daily updates!
GOWONDER – WOMEN TRAVEL!