A majority of my posts offer tips that can be used by men and women of all races. While I focus on solo travel for all women, I wanted to spend Black History Month talking a bit about my experiences as a black girl traveling, who primarily and almost exclusively travels solo. Here are a few reasons why more women, especially black women, should get out there and travel solo.
Representation is so incredibly important. It’s so important to be seen and heard, and solo travel is no different. There isn’t an abundance of black women who are getting the credit that they deserve. Black women who travel, and especially do solo travel, are out there. I want to grow this community as large as it possibly can be.
Seeing other black women who are living their best lives on the beach, and under the Eiffle Tower, and in front of the Opera House in Sydney is one of the main reasons why I wanted to travel myself. It’s important to see a visual representation of possibility. I cover the importance of community below.
Black Dollars Carry a lot of Weight:
It is important for women to speak not only with their words but also with their actions. The black community has a large amount of resources and there is a huge movement to be more conscience of what people do with their money. I have learned that it is important to not only invest in myself, but I also invest in my community.
When I am traveling I always try to support black owned businesses. I will try to support their business and promote them on social media. There are groups like Travel Noir that are also spotlighting black owned businesses and you can find them in every state.
When I am traveling, not only am I looking for black owned businesses but female owned businesses. I am seeking out any business that is supportive of the various minority communities that are available. I want to put my money where my mouth is. My travel is an extension of my advocacy and I am proud of that.
Solo Travel is a Confidence Builder:
Shit happens. There are days where the news, and the coworkers, and the overall stresses of life just feel like too much. I have found that experiencing other cultures and having a trip to look forward to is a great way to relieve stress and has given me a great level of confidence in myself.
I have missed a train in Italy. One night I was harassed by a Belgium guy in Greece. I successfully lived in Europe for 19 straight days, and I have survived. Not only did I survive but I used my own skills to be able to figure out what needed to be done.
So many people have approached me to say that they would love to travel but they were too scared to venture out on their own. There are so many opportunities that I would have missed out on if I didn’t take the chance to see the world on my own.
Sometimes it was the little things. I stopped walking with my head down. I speak more confidently and have learned to ask for what I want. Solo travel has taught me how to have a goal, plan for the goal, and achieve the goal even if I have to do it on my own. Solo travel has added so much to my life and most of that is from the confidence I have gained for my own abilities.
An educational Tool:
The world has a lot that can be explored by those who are seeking. The thing about it is that you can’t really learn about the world from a textbook or a tv show. Not only have I learned about other people but I have learned about other cultures in a way that I wan’t anticipating.
Have you ever had greek yogurt in Greece? Have you ever had to figure out a train schedule in another language? Can you say that you have ever been able to carry on a small conversation because of new words that you been able to learn? These are all experiences that I have been able to gain through my solo travel.
I have also been able to learn more about America. Especially in the current political climate, it is so easy to judge people and see the worst in others but I have met some of the most amazing people on my travels. I have learned new words, recipes, and been able to see some of the world’s most treasured architecture up close.
Helps You Build a Network:
If you are like me then you have a small circle. Through the years, my travel tribe has been my family and support system. I have found people in book clubs, facebook groups, and out on different trips. There are several ways that I have used solo travel to build a network.
One of the main ways that I have been able to build my network is through house sitting. There are several sites where you can watch a house and explore a new city. One of my house sits in Austin is the reason that I started this blog. Another one of my house sits in Galveston gave me the idea to apply to my current job. One of my house sits gave me almost 2 weeks in the Colorado mountains.
Building my travel tribe includes a trip that I am taking with a new friend to Hawaii. I have several facebook groups that I am a part of that are a constant source of inspiration and support. They give me ideas for new destinations, budget tips, and an abundance of inspiration for the blog.
That’s it folks. A few reasons why it is so important for black women to engage in solo travel. Travel in general. Really, just get out there!