Design Your Life

Traveler Of The Week: Travel Helped Kristabel Recognize Her Privileges 

By Travel Noire


Travel Noire has always been devoted to showcasing black travelers that inspire others to see more of the world. London-born Kristabel (@iamkristabel) shares how traveling the world helped her to explore with awareness and appreciate her privileges.   


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


Kristabel: I’m from London, born and bred! I briefly lived in Nottingham for University plus I interned in New York for 6 months.


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


Kristabel: When I went backpacking by myself for six weeks, it really changed my perspective. I met such a mixture of people and really got out of my comfort zone. I vowed to really get to grips with the culture on all my future trips.



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


Kristabel: Since Europe is on my doorstep, it’s quite easy to head to Portugal for the amazing seafood and Germany for the quaint architecture. I also love Asia; navigating the street food in Vietnam was one of my favorite experiences and the hawker centers of Singapore are so cheap. Jamaica will always have a special place in my heart because of family, plus I only feel like I’m getting to grips with it as an adult.


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


Kristabel: I’ve created a packing list in Excel with different categories and I swear by it for every trip now. Download your airline’s apps so that you can check in as soon as it’s available and choose your seat. Scour Instagram to check out photogenic places by looking at local hashtags such as #igerslondon or #visitlondon. Save any locations and plot in a Google map.



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


Kristabel: It definitely makes me grateful for the things I have, such as a British passport and not having to go through extreme hardship. I am also more aware of the effects of colonization and strive to give an honest, informed perspective in my blog posts.


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


Kristabel: Definitely the Black Radical Women exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. I was in tears as so much of what they were protesting over in the 60s is still relevant today. There is a massive issue with representation when it comes to the creative industries. I studied art at school and had no black female artists to look up to. I hope that social media will change this.



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


Kristabel: Nars Velvet Matte Skin tint because it’s great for hotter climates and has SPF.


Travel Noire: Where are you off to next?


Kristabel: Hopefully Spain, Paris and Grenada!

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