Travel, my home.
I travel in search of home.
I travel to better understand the hidden parts of myself - the parts you can only discover by encountering someone, something, and some place different than you. I travel to reassure myself that I’m not as odd as I think I am - I mean, how else can you find friends all over the globe? For me, travel is intimate. It is an intentional surrender that started from the time I arrived on this planet called Earth.
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida with a deep sense of who I was in the world, yet no one to reflect and affirm the sense of freedom I felt within myself. Often confronted with others’ projections of me as a Black woman from the South, I sought refuge and affirmation in the stories, histories and cultures of other people, in other places.
I traveled through books, and my favorite travel series “Rick Steve’s Europe”. I loved how he filmed Europe, through “the backdoor”, and showed us non-touristic places, historical touch points, and cultural idiosyncrasies through a relational lens. I knew I needed to see the world. I recognized how much I didn’t know, how much I wasn’t taught, and I wanted to explore all of it - especially those places I hadn’t heard of before.
I’m an artist - entrepreneur who hasn’t yet made a life for herself, but after immersing myself in 10 countries to date, I am not the same “broken” little girl who left Florida at 18. I’m not the same confused 20 year old who couldn’t choose a career. I’m not the over-achiever or perfectionist who couldn’t accept herself as she was. I am no longer the woman who validates her self-worth through the attention of her romantic companions.
No, now I am clear why I am here - and I have the people and places I’ve met along the way to thank for that. It’s a beautiful thing to trust and make yourself vulnerable to others, and to have them reflect your humanity back to you.
I want to reflect for little Black girls what’s possible when you trust yourself, open up to others, and seek your own definition of self. I want these little Black girls to know that there is no place that they cannot go, no place they do not belong, and that others have gone before them to positively impact places we’d never thought about belonging to. Let us free ourselves through beauty, relationship, exploration and personal story, and discover what it means to be human from the perspectives of one Black woman, making friends with the Northern lands.
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