Reflection

5 Ways Travel Makes Black Women Happier

By Rachel George

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As a kid, I’d often stare out the window on family road trips. Something about the scenery of another place gave me a level of happiness only so many knew. But never in a million years did I think I’d grow up traveling to places like China and Cuba, with a thirst for experiencing other cultures and walks of life. I also never imagined I’d run into other black women who felt the same. It’s only right I share my experiences with the world, more importantly, other black women, to find their own happiness within.

Here are 5 ways travel makes black women happier.

Traveling fills a void I never even knew existed.

There’s a whole other world on other continent, country and even in different states. It’s nothing like you’re used to but it shouldn’t be. I always want to travel to places that are the complete opposite of my normal comfort zone. The level of happiness I obtain after eating food, I have never tried before or having adventures I have never done before, like climbing the stairs to the top of the Big Buddha in Hong Kong, is an unexplainable feeling and something I strive for during every trip.

It fuels our curiosity.

It is no secret that Black women are intuitive, curious creatures, therefore, being in various spaces that allows our Curious George bug to flourish is important. Two years ago, Dominique Price began answering her curious travel bug, taking annual trips to Africa. “As a black woman, traveling makes me happy because I can be curious and adventurous in a new space. I am free to be me, learn something new, eat new foods, enjoy the culture and people,” she said. “No restrictions, no judgment, all love and fun from all walks of life. I’m just another person enjoying the world, one place at a time.”

It sets us apart from the very limitations placed upon us.

Singer J’Nique Nicole began spreading her black girl magic after college, realizing just how many opportunities she was missing out on. She went from being a visitor to a permanent resident in Tokyo in less than a year, wanting to further her music career. “Travel enriches my life. You know in America it can feel like there’s a glass ceiling for us (black women) at times but going to places and opening your mind up to different cultures can really make you see that we can do anything anywhere,” she said. “I feel like that’s what Japan has done for me. Although I still have fears and reservations about venturing out, I do have way more confidence to go for my dreams than I did when I was living in America.” Since J’Nique she has toured on stages all over Asia and currently working on her self-produced debut album. Go off, sis.

Black women need spaces to escape.

The impeccable tales of black women are habitual stories of strength, dedication and being able to wear multiple hats. Feeling like the weight of society is upon you. Sometimes when doing so, we forget ourselves in the process. Caring for others, forgetting we need to be cared for too. Graduating senior Tianna E.juggles many hats, building her brand as a rising publicist in the Atlanta metro area, managing the school’s radio station and working her way through school. Her idea of escaping is studying abroad in Jamaica. “Sometimes you need to get away and most of the time we get away while learning about another country and their culture,” she said.

@misstiannae in Jamaica

Travel keeps us grounded and at peace.

When Nashville native Jaquish Brown isn’t doing her daughter’s hair every morning or making her son’s favorite snack after school, she works as a ome health aide, providing personal care for patients in need. She finds her peace visiting friends and family in other states such as New York, Atlanta or even back in her hometown in Kentucky. “My family is my peace and when I get the chance to visit them, it serves as a reminder of why I do what I do. As Black women, sometimes, we forget that we are the foundation of our families and if we aren’t at peace, nothing will be.”

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