Black Travel Goals: Why This Couple Prioritizes Travel In Their Marriage
By Parker Diakite
When it comes to busy schedules, it’s hard to believe that Elsa M and her husband Kuti Mack have time to travel.
Elsa M is a TV Host for a daily midday Lifestyle Show on a local network affiliate based in the DMV and she is the host of a YouTube show-turned-podcast.
Working hard with their busy schedules is why the duo decides to play even harder. From Indonesia, France, Jamaica, and the Maldives, they have managed to explore nine countries together and currently deciding on the 10th destination.
In an interview with Travel Noire, the two discussed why couples should prioritize travel in their relationships:
Travel Noire: How long have you two been together? And how did you meet?
Kuti: We initially met at the Kentucky Derby and have been together almost 11 years to the day!
TN: What’s your favorite country so far and why?
Kuti: That’s a tough one because we’ve had uniquely touchstone experiences nearly everywhere we’ve been, so I’ll just go with one of the more recent countries as my favorite and say is Indonesia (Bali to be specific) because the people and culture were amazing, it’s majestically gorgeous, we had exquisite dining, and it’s on the other side of the planet!
Elsa: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I am big on being in remote places, surrounded by water, so islands are typically my favorite and our trip to the Maldives was really just perfect.[We had an] overwater villa in the middle of the Indian Ocean complete with glass floor so you could watch the ocean life even while inside, fresh tropical fruit and desserts on-demand, and healthy meals from some of the world’s best chefs. Plus, it was far away from everyone and everything.
Yes! Definitely the Maldives for me.
TN: What’s the best part about traveling together?
Kuti: The best part about traveling as a couple is creating and sharing specific moments for just the two of us: it’s one of the major components of our relationship’s success.
Elsa: I second that. “Quality Time” is my #1 Love Language and it gets no better than traveling together… no distractions, just us.
TN: Tell us about one of the most challenging times you’ve experienced during your travels and how you got through it?
Kuti: One of the most challenging times that we experienced during our travels was during our honeymoon in the Maldives when I ate an INSANELY hot pepper whole. I thought I might die in paradise just days after marrying the most incredible woman ever. God had other plans, though.
Elsa: Yo! For real, for real, I thought homeboy was a goner! lol! I can laugh now, but I really thought we were going to have to be airlifted out of there. The pepper was native to the Maldives (and thus foreign to us) and the chef put it on the plate whole so it just looked just like a cherry tomato. He popped it in his mouth whole and a second later, it was like an explosion in his chest. He excused himself from the table for what seemed like forever, and while he was gone, I mentioned the ordeal to the waiter and his eyes got as big as saucers.
Apparently, that pepper was supposed to be diced and added to food sparingly. A whole one like my husband ate was reserved for making an entire meal! He was a legend amongst the staff after that. I am sure they still tell the tale. lol!
TN: What countries are next for you all?
Elsa: I have been wanting to go to Iceland since I was in college to see the Northern Lights and experience the volcanic springs. I also have a girlfriend who is living in Shanghai, China for the next few years as well, so I want to get there and visit while I know someone there who can give us a local’s take on what and where to go.
Next, though, will be Ethiopia, I think. I am overdue to go back (my father is from Addis Ababa) and so much has changed since last I was there. I miss it.
Kuti: The world’s a big place and we’re trying to see all of it, so the list is long. We’re both first-generation descendants of the African continent, so Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa are surely on deck to visit amongst a long list of nations.
TN: Lastly, what advice would you give traveling couples?
Kuti: My advice to traveling couples is to do it early and as often as situation permits. Make sure to include activities that each of you is into both individually and as a couple so that you’re guaranteed to attempt something both in and possibly slightly out of your comfort zone, but most importantly will experience together on purpose.
Elsa: If travel is important to you as a couple, make it a priority. The memories made on these trips last for a lifetime and help couples bond and strengthen those bonds year after year, trip after trip.