I recently took a trip to Italy and enjoyed travelling around Tuscany and had a fantastic time. The food, culture, scenery – really beautiful. There’s something about travelling that’s good for relaxation and just provides new head space. That chance to eat and sleep at leisure, put your problems to one side and think – just priceless. I came home feeling rested and refreshed 🙂
Black people must travel and show the world that our black faces belong in all of the world’s spaces too. We deserve and are entitled to be served in restaurants, to stay in the finest hotels and enjoy different cultures.
I’ve travelled in the past on my own – sometimes you can’t spend your time waiting for friends, family or for when the ‘right’ man will appear; you just have to pack your bags and go! So, I’m not afraid to enjoy my own company but this time I decided to do a group tour of Tuscany. Being able to see how modern life continues among some of the oldest cities in the world (Lucca, Sienna, Volterra and Florence) was so interesting.
Travelling while thinking about racism
I’m aware that travelling at times is still difficult for black people; fears of racism and how we’ll be treated when we step off the plane are often at the forefront of our minds. Especially when we’re travelling to countries that haven’t been known to welcome a black face. Or the news headlines that tell us that they want to keep black people out. When you’re a women who wants to travel alone too, this can be a scary prospect.
It’s dealing with the feelings of being a black woman travelling alone that I’ve had to manage and have learnt to be strong about. I’ve found that carefully thinking about where I want to go, my reasons for travelling – even the area I’m going to are all important points to consider. Thinking about the rewards from the trip – learning about a new culture, meeting new people, boosting my confidence – are all good reasons for us women to take a trip.
We are doing something our parents (and fore-parents) couldn’t do – travel with freedom of choice and liberty.
Making a black face unwelcome
No I don’t ignore the news or tv reports of where there are large groups of racists who do not want us in their country. I’m very aware that Italy has a racist ‘far right’ movement and any black football players have suffered racist monkey chants on the pitch.
So why would I visit this country? I decided not to believe that every Italian person is racist but to use this opportunity to learn more about the culture and see a chunk of a country I’ve wanted to visit since I was 7 years old. I’ve had situations when I’ve gone to a town/hotel in the UK and other white guests stare and gave me that “what are you doing her look?” So, we also have plenty of racists here at home – no country is perfect.
Representing our race abroad
I also feel very strongly that black people must travel and show the world that our black faces belong in all of the world’s spaces too. We deserve and are entitled to be served in restaurants, to stay in the finest hotels and enjoy different cultures.
Yes sometimes when I’m travelling at home and abroad, I feel the burden that I’m carrying my race too. I’m there to represent, to show that we are decent people too. To show white people and other races that any negative stereo-types they have encountered about us are not true. To show that when we black people need to be served, we should receive a quality service. Our black money is just as good as white people’s money.
A trip abroad or just to the next town?
I know that getting on a plane isn’t always easy; sometimes it could mean taking a trip to a town nearby or a day trip to somewhere new. Perhaps your budget won’t stretch to a hotel, so you’ll stay in hostels. But no matter where you decide to go, my advice is to do your research, make your plans and don’t miss the opportunity to go because no-one wants to go with you. Find a way to make it happen, even if it means travelling alone. Remember we are doing something our parents (and fore-parents) couldn’t do – travel with freedom of choice and liberty.
Take a look at some of my holiday snaps below – it makes me smile just looking at them and let me know where your next trip will be (at home or abroad) drop me a line below to let me know where you’re planning to go. Buon Viaggio 🙂