Like many English Teacher’s in Korea, I managed to take what days off I have in the summer and go somewhere new. A country or continent that I have never been too. For me that choice was Lisbon. Plus it was cheaper and not a tourist trap like Rome or Paris. And for the past few days, I have enjoyed myself. Seeing some of the sights, discovering restaurants that you don’t see on the tourist spots(which are cheaper and delicious btw). Unfortunately, as I walk around the city my heart sank as I see no one like me.
What I mean is, I don’t see any black tourists walking around. Especially black travelers from the states. I’m sure there are, but not as much. This also occurred when I went to Kota Kinabalu for Chinese New Year. I have read other black bloggers as to why people of color don’t travel, but I have a theory that no one ever talks about. I’m not adding money as a reason why. Yes we all got bills to pay, but like any purchase. Its up to the person and whats their priority.
Afraid To Go
Like many Americans, I let the media brainwash me to believe America is the safest place on Earth. That other countries are crazy and if you go there, something bad could happen. And also Hollywood help escalate that fear. Whenever you turn on the news, its always something negative and depressing. This made me believe I should stay in the States. Another point to the fear factor is the fear of racism. Now this can be a good reason to avoid certain countries. But lets be real. The USA is the still the most racist country for people of color. And that is not changing anytime soon. Especially if the police aren’t held accountable. But that’s another rant for another time. I’m not the only one whose Googled “is(insert country) racist to black people”. But as I came to learn, the people are like my own country. You got the good and you have the old racist seniors.
When it comes to places in Asia, the locals are not racist. They’re just curious since they never have seen a black person up close. This happens in Korea all the time. Yes the stares can be uncomfortable, but I can look the other way. My next point could possibly be the major reason(besides being broke) as to why people of color don’t travel.
Don’t Know Anyone
This is one idea as to why people of color don’t travel. I read various black travel blogs and I have not seen this theory mentioned. Ask yourself this, do you know anyone who has traveled or worked abroad that was not in the military? Or if they have, was it on a cruise ship or to a tourist trap like Paris, Hawaii, London, or Puerto Rico? Mind you these places are fine to visit if its on the travel list. Me personally, I can not think of anyone who does not fit this criteria. Outside of family members who served or one of my aunts who went on a cruise ship, that’s all who comes to mind. Heck I only knew a few people who studied abroad while in college. And they was white. Out of all the people I went to college with and studied abroad for a semester, they were Caucasian. Not one bortha or sista studied in Europe, Asia, or South America. Or this could mean I need to expand my circle or something…..meh
This is why we need more black travelers. To encourage their friends, families, or anyone who reads their blogs or mine. To go out and see the world. To tell their stories about what they seen. What they experienced. Stories that can not be told by staying locked in the American bubble. While there is an increase of black travelers, we need more. To show the world that people of color are not what they see in the media. To let them see with their own eyes. If I can encourage one person to stop wishing they could travel and achieve their goal. Then I can say mission accomplished.
Buy what do you guys think? Why don’t we see more black people traveling? Lets talk about it in the comments.