Soul Society 101
A travel blogger shares moments and lessons from the trip of a lifetime.
I’ve been to over 20 countries in my lifetime, a vast majority of which I visited in the last five years. I’ve seen the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, explored old cities in Europe and even feasted my eyes on the ancient temples of Asia. But my number one travel goal has always been to visit Africa.
As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, New York with Grenadian and Jamaican parents, it was very clear to see the African influence in Caribbean culture. From our clothing to our music to our accents to our food and most obviously our physical features. Later on in life I also realized the connections between African and Black American culture. It fascinated me. We, the African diaspora around the world, were and are still so connected to Africa, but most of us have never had the opportunity to go back. Sad and fascinating. I wanted to know more.
In college I was two courses shy of a minor in African studies. I wanted to learn all the things that our traditional education from pre-school through high-school never taught us. I needed a different perspective on Blackness. Education helped a lot, but travel has always been the best teacher. I knew I had to go.
Although my desire to visit Africa was very specific, I’ve been open to what region I would visit. Very aware that Africa is a continent with 54 countries, with over 3,000 tribes that speak over 2,000 languages, I was pretty much down to experience any of it. Perhaps I was so open because the idea of visiting Africa seemed so far-fetched for most of my life that I would gladly accept anything. Whether because of flight costs or the perceived difference in our societal structures, it just didn’t seem attainable. Nonetheless, Africa, any part of it, remained #travelgoals.
Fast forward to the Spring 2015 – I got wind of two major flight deals from one of my favorite travel discount sites to Johannesburg, South Africa. The flight was under $500 which is unreal for New York to anywhere in Africa, so I knew that I had no choice but to book. Within 10 minutes I had adjusted some funds in my bank accounts and booked. I couldn’t believe it! For the next 8 months, just about everyone that I spoke to was bombarded with my excitement of going to South Africa, a country with such a unique history and some of the most modern, metropolitan cities in Africa.
Fast-forward to February 2016 and my fiancée and I were boarding the long (but worth it) flight to South Africa, where we would spend three days in Johannesburg, three days in Cape Town and one day in a Safari.
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