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Black in America vs. Black and Abroad

Whenever I mention my next country or city I want to visit, my family and maybe a few friends seem confused and ask why in the world would I want to travel to a particular place. This was especially common when I visited Iceland and Thailand. Some people find it odd that with all the terrorism going around that I want to travel.  One family member said to me, "I wouldn't want to be a target in another country." My response, "I am already a target in my own country." Their response? Silence. It's true as a black female I have to worry about discrimination on the job, being pulled over by the cops, make sure I don't do anything that can be seen as a threat. Will someone want to cause harm simply because they don't like my skin color or religion? It's a lot. I can still remember my trip to Thailand in June of 2015. I woke up one morning and since I was 11 hrs ahead of my home I caught up on all of social media and I just remember seeing tons of tweets about the horrific murders of the Charleston 9. image After reading more I learned about the disgusting shooter who claimed the lives of churchgoers. My stomach was in knots the whole day. As we toured the city of Phuket and beyond, Asians followed us around to take photos. After a while it was frustrating when we started saying no to pics and they would force themselves. Then I thought wow back in the U.S I could be followed around a store or recieve less than adequate service. Here in Thailand I'm a "celebrity." image  

Dubai

I was in Dubai a full day and didn't notice anything to unusual. I visited during Ramadan so there was no eating or drinking during the day. I had to eat in a separate area in the mall. I received a few odd stares but for the most part I felt safe in Dubai. image

Caribbean

Visiting the Caribbean I fit right in. There are traces of black culture throughout the Caribbean. A lot of times I'm mistaken for a local in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos maybe a little Dominican depending on my hairstyle (aye papi) until I open my mouth. :)  

Iceland

There were not many black locals or tourists during our visit. However when we visited a local restaurant that turned into a club called Prikid the locals were friendly. The common thread was our love for Hip Hop. The most current music played and local Icelandic artists performed. It's amazing to travel and see that music is the uniting factor.

Italy

I read mixed reviews on racism in Italy against black people. The more I read the more it seemed to be maybe not as bad as it used to be or more towards Africans? I only noticed a lot of local men were rude during our visit. I was more taken aback of the military force on every corner even in subway tunnels with machine guns. image I compare all these places to note it's not as bad as people think. I compare my experiences abroad to back home where our men are killed by Police, when pulled over for a traffic stop can be fatal and injustice goes without repercussions.  As someone who has an insatiable desire to travel the world, I can't let fear dictate my plans. As a Black American I worry more about living and surviving as a Black person in America than about the places I visit. It's exhausting! I really have considered looking into becoming an expat. For now I will continue to choose faith over fear and believe that God will allow me to have a safe trip. Please stop asking me why do I want to go out of the country when I feel like an "alien" in my own! image   What have you experienced? Comment below!

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