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Traveler Of The Week: How Danai Uses Travel To Escape The Familiar

By Travel Noire

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Travel Noire has always been about showcasing black travelers that inspire others to see more of the world. Danai Mushayandebvu (@dnizzler) shares how travel has helped her live a life that’s far from ordinary.  

Travel Noire: Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?

Danai: Originally from and born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Botswana; currently live in Toronto.

Travel Noire: When did traveling become more than a hobby for you? 

Danai: At the age of 9 when I went on my first trip without my parents/family to South Africa. I was hooked!

Travel Noire: What are your favorite domestic destinations and why? 

Danai: Brooklyn, NY because no matter the time of year, your budget, whether you fly solo or roll with a crew, it’s new, fun, fresh and electric every single time.

Travel Noire: What are your favorite destinations to travel abroad and why? 

Danai: I like to go to cities within countries that were once colonized and now are free. I’m fascinated by how the local cuisine of a city and it’s art and architecture are a direct reflection of the history of how the city came to be, and make it a point to go on a local tour that focuses on these three aspects in particular.

Travel Noire: What are your top three travel secrets that black travelers should know? 

Danai: There is never a perfect time to travel (surprise!) so just book the trip, already.

Live like a local and you’ll be doing it right. So while all-inclusives and pre-planned tours are awesome, you get the most genuine and authentic experience using resources like Instagram to find out how to live like locals do.

The travel bug is very VERY real.

Travel Noire: How did traveling change your perspective on life? 

Danai: It’s just like the Confucius quote, “No matter where you go, there you are.” Traveling isn’t a means of running away or escaping or being hedonistic as it is often portrayed, but rather a means to reflect on oneself and recalibrate. Every time I travel I mean more about myself, the things I love, the things I’m learning now to make peace with, and especially the ways in which I want to grow. It’s by stepping out and away from what is familiar that all that *is* familiar in my life is put into perspective — what is important and what is not, and it’s the coolest gift of all.

Travel Noire: What has been your most inspiring travel moment? 

Danai: I signed up to bungee jump with a group of friends while on vacation in South Korea. I was petrified and anyone who was there that day can retell the story of how dramatic I was. But somehow despite this, I mustered the nerve to do it anyway. I had a moment as I was going down where I realized that much of life is like that: sometimes you’re full of fear, but you just have to find the courage within yourself do it anyway. And every so often, the scariest things turn out to be the most fun. So close your eyes, take a breath, jump and enjoy the free fall.

Travel Noire: What’s one item that you always have in your carry-on?

Danai: A journal.

Travel Noire: Where are you off to next?

Danai: Sri Lanka 🇱🇰

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