I’m excited for you to read about Michelle, one of my Nomadness friends who is as adventurous as she is beautiful. She’s a shining example of what Black women are in America and the exact opposite of the stereotypes we see. She is the epitome of Black Girl Magic.
Approximately how many trips do you take a year?
- It really varies year to year, depending on what all I have going on in my life at the time. This year has been by far the most traveled year for me because my schedule has been more flexible. I’m currently at over 30 trips, 10 of which are visits to various countries.
Did you travel with your family when you were a child?
- No, this is one of the main reasons I travel as much as I do as an adult.
When did you start traveling and why do you love it so much?
- I didn’t take my first flight until high school and my first trip out the country was when I was in college.
What is your occupation and how much time do you get off a year?
- Entrepreneur full time, which is a recent change for me, so my vacation time is limitless.
When you worked full time, what was your job and how much time did you get off?
- I was a Sr. Marketing Manager for a major Class I railroad. I received 4 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of sick time.
You recently made the leap to become an entrepreneur, did you love for travel have anything to do with this change?
- Overall I appreciate the flexibility and freedom my life has now. Of course being able to travel whenever is a benefit, but just a small part of my decision in not wanting to return back to Corporate America.
You fly first and business class often, have you had any issues with racism while flying?
- I have, but nothing major. One time I was boarding a flight and said excuse me to a woman to get through for boarding. Her response was, “They aren’t boarding for coach yet.” As if it wasn’t possible for me to be seated in first class. I sashayed right past her and made sure to make eye contact with her, sipping on my mimosa as she boarded and walked past to her seat in economy.
What trips have you taken this year?
- Ohhhhhh chile, way toooo many! I have been to many places domestically, but foreign countries include: Brazil, Haiti, Mexico, Belize,Tanzania, Kenya, UAE, Egypt, Turks and Caicos and Canada.
What is it about traveling that you love so much?
- Learning about new cultures. Traveling allows me to connect the dots to things that are misconceptions in my mind. I also love showing others that yes, African American women do and can travel. I’m constantly getting starred at when I travel, that simply tells me that the world needs to see more brown faces.
Do you travel alone?
- Domestically, yes, internationally I have yet to take a solo trip.
Have you ever made a big travel mistake? How did you handle it?
- I purchased a round trip ticket and decided to leave two days earlier than originally planned. It was cheaper for me to purchase a brand new one way ticket vs making changes and paying the many fees required to change a ticket. What I forgot to do, only because I didn’t realize it, was to call the airline and inform them I wasn’t going to use my original outbound ticket. When I didn’t show up for my original flight, the airline cancelled my return. I had no idea until I tried to check in the day before my return flight and couldn’t. It was a mess!
When you travel to different countries, do you feel safe?
- I do, the only time I question my safety is when I was in Rio for this past New Year and our group was in the middle of a shootout between the police and the drug lords.
Did the shootout in Rio make you have doubts about traveling internationally? What would you say to those who think it’s too dangerous to travel outside of their country?
- Absolutely not, that shootout could have happened in my neighborhood. I am aware that the US has its own share of crime, racism, terrorist attacks, etc., it has just about prepared me to face any situation I could encounter while traveling. I refuse to live my life being scared to venture out far from home. Our mind will allow us to be hostages in our own pool of fear if we allow it.
Is there anything you always do in each city you visit?
- I try to make a point to visit the areas where the locals are, getting an organic experience is very important to me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to travel but thinks they can’t?
- My advice would be never say you can’t do anything, it starts with changing your mindset. You have to make traveling a priority like you do anything else in your life, after all, we make time and find money for the things that are important to us. Lastly, YOLO, love life to the fullest with little to no regrets!