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What It's Like to Travel the World as a Woman of Color

It is 2021 but yeah, some people still treat you depends on your color, gender, and ethnicity. In case you are wondering, here is how it is like to travel as a black woman.

Karen Cruz
Karen Cruz

For other people, traveling can be simple and straightforward. They select a place to visit, book their tickets, pack their things, and get on a plane and off they go. Sounds fun and exciting, right? But for black women, it is never easy. Traveling alone as a woman can be difficult and dangerous. Just imagine how hard it is to travel alone as a woman of color. Things can get a whole lot worse. Solo-traveling, or solo-backpacking as they call it, has become more common, diversity has reached many places in the world. The only sad thing is, there are still people who do not treat diversity fairly. It is 2021 but yeah, some people still treat you depends on your color, gender, and ethnicity.

In case you are wondering, here is how it is like to travel as a black woman.

Considering an area's racial climate.

Most people plan around geography, cost, and meals when they travel. But black women include researching the racial climate when they are planning their trip. They find out the number of black people living in the place they want to visit and look for some black women's experiences with the countries they want to go to. If most black women have not been welcomed or they have been treated unpleasantly in a certain place, then that is something a black woman will definitely think about. Everyone wants to be treated nicely when traveling so it is best to know first if the place you want to visit has friendly and hospitable residents.

People will be constantly asking where you are from.

If you have traveled to other countries, you have probably experienced being asked about many things by the locals such as where you are from (like what part of Africa you are from!) and where you are heading to. It is just so tiring and annoying to be asked where you are from and when you answer that you are from the United States, they will even ask your real origin. Like can't black women be from the states?

You will experience more racism in the U.S.

Yes, that is true. Racism may not be unique in the United States, but black women travelers have experienced more racism and microaggressive behavior in the U.S. than any other country they have visited. How saddening.

You may feel like you are on display and that is totally uncomfortable.

Imagine yourself being in a place with many people but you are the only one of your identifying race. Yep, that can make you a magnet for unwanted attention. There are some countries where you may feel like you are an attraction and people will try to grab at your hair, stare at you, and take pictures without your permission. But there are also countries with respectful and friendly people, so do not be afraid to do what you love and explore the world.

If the thought of traveling to another country brings you anxiety because you know that you will not be with people who look like you, then you should start visiting places in the United States with a large number of black people. Diverse countries can equal comfort. So, it is recommended to start traveling to a nearby city or a country with a large black population.

Traveling to countries where there might not be an abundance of people who look like you can be intimidating. But that will remind you to always look out for your own. Remember, it is okay to say no when people ask to take photos with you and it is okay if you do not share physical similarities with other people. Do not let these things stop you from going to places.

If you want to get more beauty advice, some hair care tips for dark-skinned women, travel inspirations, food tips, and literally anything that is helpful for people of color, be sure to check out Black Lifestyle.