Admit it. We’ve all dreamed of having our 15 minutes a fame. Some of us may have had the opportunity to do so. For those who know me, I’ve always had a bit of hippie in my blood. A true dare-devil in a sense. I made a promise to myself that I would take my FIRST (not only) backpacking trip through a foreign country before I turned 30. Little did I know that this foreign country would turn into 8 countries through Africa. Below is a snippet from my experience earlier this year…
I must admit, I feel like a backpacker celebrity. Not really, but on days that you’re bored it’s good to pretend and create a world of fame. Something I used to do as a child, and something I appear to still do as an adult. So far, I have been the only Black backpacker in Africa. I have come across a couple of young Black ladies who were studying abroad in Cape Town as part of a 2-week college program. I considered that to be an awesome experience and wished that was something I was blessed to do while receiving my undergrad. Besides this encounter, I was the only Black backpacker bold enough to travel Africa from south the north using public transportation and immersing myself in the culture. Many people were in awe and sheer amazement when they found out about the journey I was taking, alone. Many told me how they commend me for my bravery and wanted to follow along on this journey through facebook or a blog, if I had one. People shook my hand and offered me praise. Some even bragged to their friends about me. I met two cousins from Europe in Johannesburg who apparently knew of me before I even offered them my name. “You’re the one who is traveling from Cape to Cairo. Oh my gosh that’s amazing,” They exclaimed before I even knew their names. I shyly responded with a smile, “yep, that’s me.”
I will never forget, while sitting at the pool in Zambia, a white American who had been living and traveling Africa for 25 years told me that I was the first Black American he had ever seen. He reassured me that he meant no disrespect. None was taken. It’s the reality of things and the reason why I’m here. Not many Black Americans care to travel to Africa, let alone view Africa as the ultimate vacation destination. Maybe many Blacks do desire to come to Africa, just haven’t done so yet. Either way, not many Black Americans come to Africa, period. When I come across native Africans and see and hear the shock in the eyes and voice when they call me “a black American,” I ask them if I’m the first Black American they’ve seen. All except for one has said yes. I’m not saying that no Black americans have been to Africa, There’s many tourist attractions and activities to experience in Africa. There’s Safaris, white sandy beaches, mountains, and white water rafting in Africa amongst much history with the opportunity to visit the pyramids. Outside of the tourist attractions, theres the real Africa. The part where you immerse yourself in the culture and get the real experience of Africa and how the people live on the day to day basis. For this reason, I decided that I wanted to experience this style of travel. Far from a vacation, I call this, the journey
Live happy and inspired!
(Photo By Me)