As I'm writing this I am currently feeling every emotion possible. I am less than two weeks away from hosting my first travel event and I'm nervous, y'all. Since realizing that I wanted to try to make change in the way black people see themselves in the travel space, I've been on a crazy journey of what to do and how to do it. Building in the digital realm is cool but nothing beats offline experiences. As humans, we naturally want to connect with other beings. As black folks, we want to connect and have a damn good time doing it.
It's long been an idea of mine to bring travelers into a space to learn from one another, keke and cackle, eat and meet like-minded folks. We can't save everybody. At the end of it all, there's always going to be someone who thinks traveling is 'white people stuff' and that they don't need to go anywhere outside of the U.S. This way of thinking is toxic, so why not create an offline space for people to find the very opposite.
I cannot lie and say that I have not been inspired by the likes of Nomadness Tribe, Travel Noire or Tastemakers Africa. We're all striving to let the world know (because we've been aware) that black people do travel. I hope that through You Me Travel Co's curated itineraries (designed with black travelers in mind), travel meet ups, events and experiences, I'll be able to inspire black people to see more than what we're used to.
Enter: More Than Miami. A punchy way of saying, black people aren't just partying on South Beach for every vacation. We're pushing the needle further than Vegas and all-inclusives in Jamaica. We are seeing the world and the world is seeing us. This event isn't just for people already jet setting, it's for novice travelers who want to get out there but are constantly being hit over the head with the following black travel myths:
1. Black people don't do _____(insert activity that is proclaimed to be white people stuff).
2. "Be careful over there. You know it was a girl who went over there and didn't come back." This one is usually said by your granny or an auntie. They're concerned and that's fine but don't let it stop you.
3. The world is crazy. You'll be safer at home. We all know this one is a lie, especially in our current political climate. You're not 'safe' anywhere so get comfortable with the unknown.
4. You'll go when you retire or turn 30/40 (insert milestone that's not guaranteed you'll reach) etc.
I'm working to banish all of these stereotypes while educating black millennials about the opportunities with traveling. Also while just juggling life, relationships, career and what I'm going to eat for dinner.
More Than Miami is going down Sunday, March 4th 2018 4 PM - 7 PM in Baltimore, MD (my hometown) at a lovely black-owned vintage furniture showroom, Cedar & Cotton. Hopefully, in the future this will grow into a bigger idea. For now, I am choosing to bloom where I was planted. I'm nervous AF.