How One Man Is Helping Black Travelers See More Of Africa
By DeAnna Taylor
“Traveling back to Africa, especially West Africa, to connect with our ancestors is important for growth,” Rondel Holder of Soul Society 101 told Travel Noire.
Originally from Brooklyn, Rondel is now making it his mission to help other Black travelers within the Diaspora to see the continent of Africa at least once in their lifetime.
Since he was young, he’s had an interest in learning about other cultures. Once he became older and ventured beyond the Caribbean, he realized that seeing the world was better than any textbook he could open.
In 2012, he created the platform Soul Society 101 to give Black travelers a safe space to talk about their travel experiences around the world.
“We aren’t always given the chance to tell our experiences directly,” Rondel said. “I wanted a platform where we could feel comfortable doing so.”
To help aid in bringing more info to the travelers on his platform, Rondel took his first trip to the continent of Africa in 2016. Before that, he could find little to no information on traveling to certain countries in Africa and he wanted to help connect the dots.
He also took an ancestry DNA test and has decided to trace his lineage and document it via a docuseries titled “Heritage Journey.” In this series, he explores the history of countries in his lineage while sitting down with other creatives on the ground for an open dialogue on pressing issues surrounding the relationship between locals and Black Americans.
“For me, it’s been healing. It’s been a great immersive experience.”
This is a self-funded project, so Rondel will document and release content as he is able to travel to the actual countries. The latest episode releasing this month will focus on Ghana with an episode from Congo to follow in March.
To help other Black travelers throughout the Diaspora make their way to Africa, Rondel started a concierge service called Global Royalty. This venture is an extension of Soul Society 101 and was created to make it as easy as possible for those wanting to get to Africa, get there with no excuses or obstacles.
He curates trips for solo travelers, groups, couples and even honeymooners. No matter your interest, Rondel has contacts and connections on the ground to help plan a memorable journey.
“I want to eliminate the fear and misconceptions,” Rondel explained. “There’s been so many lies told to us that has created fear around visiting. But, it’s time to break that curse. The same people who instilled the fear are the same ones on the plane heading to Africa. If you just open up your mind to the experience you will have a great time.”
To keep up with Soul Society 101, you can follow them on Instagram: @soulsociety. If you need help with planning your trip to Africa, check out Global Royalty’s website: www.weareglobalroyalty.com. To follow Rondel’s next adventure find him at: @kingronthedon.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.