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Traveling While Black: What To Do When You’re Stared At Abroad

By Sharelle Burt

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No one likes being stared at. Some people consider it rude, though there are others who bask in the fact that people want to look at them. Turns out being stared at is a part of traveling while black.

Back in August, Travel Noire published an article about a young black man named Craig who after moving to Vietnam, noticed that he was constantly being stared at. “One of the biggest things I face being black and abroad, especially in Vietnam, is the staring,” Craig said. “There are not a lot of black people in Vietnam compared to Thailand and Malaysia, so people overly stare at you to a point it becomes uncomfortable.” So TN took to Twitter and wanted to hear from other readers about their experiences with people staring and boy, the responses were hilarious.

RELATED: The Black Expat: ‘I Moved To Vietnam With No Job Lined Up’

One follower reminisced on a time when she was treated like a celebrity when she was in Cuba, making her feel like she was Rihanna with red braids.

One of our followers said it depends on how black you are, saying, “the blacker the berry, the more stares you get.”

Another user didn’t take the stares as disrespect but used them to her advantage when her admirer bought her a drink.


Some responses weren’t so funny, though. They were actually downright racist. A reader shared a time when she was in an elevator, and a guy stared while saying racial slurs.

A lot of Twitter followers mentioned that regardless of what country they were in, residents constantly received compliments on their hair. Some also had to pull a Solange and tell them “don’t touch my hair.”

Another actually got a job braiding someone’s hair while in the mall.

Clearly, our beautiful skin draws stares no matter where we are.

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Sharelle Burt

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