black / girl / abroad

Trip planning, and surfacing from the ether …

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Yeah so, I’m terrible at the discipline required to regularly follow up to post things. I was always a horrible journaler for this reason. Such is life. Can’t apologize about it, I am who I am. I’m out there BEING. Ya know?

Anyhoo, the last major trip was to AFRICA in March 2016 and it was AMAZING and I have tons of photos, and nope, I have not gotten around to sharing my experiences. I need to, if only for my own failing memory when dementia sets in but in the meantime, I should get moving on new trips planned before I get behind even further.

But what’s next?!

DEZALB / Pixabay

The Dominican Republic

 

Going for a friend’s wedding vow renewal! Excited about this, however I’ve got to be totally honest that this is the sort of trip that goes against my philosophy on travel, but there is room for all sorts of travel in life, ya know? Basically, we’re staying on an all-inclusive resort, doing not much of anything but wandering, tipping, eating, drinking. Yes, you can do excursions but doing anything on a resort or around a resort is, to me, fundamentally not even visiting a country. So yes, there will be a stamp on my passport, but, no, I’m not really visiting the Dominican Republic. Not the real deal.

But, it’s a good chance to get a vibe and see if I want to go back. My dad has a lady friend who’s originally from there. She lives in Florida now, but he visits her in the DR and I think if I get a good vibe on this trip around I might take advantage of said connections to get the inside track / a free stay someday. FTW!

fercho112 / Pixabay

Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

Now THIS … this was my big international trip for 2017, given that it’s been over a year since my last one I have been venomously cranky underneath my smiley face. Why? I have been indoctrinated into the addictive dopamine power of immersing myself in new places and worlds, and if you’re a creative type or love things like reading or movies, you do this already and this is that on like, steroids. When you are standing on the other side of the world, THAT. THAT FEELING. Fear, trepidation, excitement, hope, like, all the things — it’s like, so much wonder and so many unknowns and DISCOVERY … life IS discovery. Living IS discovery … new people, places, things, food, weather, customs, language, all of it. There is NO other drug like it, and it is a healthy powerful, life-enriching drug that makes you a better person, a stronger person, a wiser and smarter and more intuitive and more empathetic person. It, ideally, brings out the best of who you are.

And when I am NOT doing that, I am miserable. Or, surviving is the best way to put it. I totally understand why my dad can never stay put in one country for very long, there is too much to see, and too little time, and he’s getting older. I totally get why he’s addicted to it and is a gypsy. Doesn’t bode well for at-home relationships and connections but, I get it.

Anyhoo, the next big trip, with my traveling buddy J, is to ARGENTINA! He’s already been which makes this a bit easier, he has a sense of what’s up. Rented an Airbnb on the southwest edge of Palermo, and have a local friend from my Google days to show us around. She lives within a 15 min walk I think, so we’re set up for even more success!

I have a long list of stuff to research and book. TANGO. OMG, tango. It was always my dream to learn and then show up in Buenos Aires and then sidle in a slinky dress into some sexy joint and have some handsome man grab me in his arms and spin me around and like BOOM. The movie reel of the mind. But, yeah, I did a half-assed attempt at ballroom dancing in my 20s and was like, sure, I’ll get around to that, and then never did.

So THIS trip … will be more like, touristy tango, but that’s OK. I can still learn and enjoy watching the legit local dancers do their thing and be awed IN PERSON. Not TV, or local amateurs, no no, THE REAL DEAL. There are apparently versions where you can watch a show and dinner and be fancy, and then like, the late night joint where the locals are all sweaty and are dancing for themselves and doing dance-offs. Like Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, but not in Cuba. And with tango. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, shaddup.

Cezzare / Pixabay

Egypt / Dubai / Morocco

 

So I have a couple black lady friends where we’ve been talking about going on trips and it just wasn’t happening but one went to Cuba (SEE THE THEME?) and then I got all jealous of her Instagram posts so I was like, LET’S GO ON A TRIP and she was like, “I got one booked for Egypt, you down? It’s in like two months.” And I was like, “Oh shit. That’s hella soon. You ferreal. But you throw that travel gauntlet down like that, when I initiated this challenge, shit, I’mma pick it up, IT IS ON.”

So, then of course, if you’re travelling to Egypt and your dad lives in Dubai and you’ve always wanted to go to Morocco and you talked your Dad into going with you to Morocco — why not add on some countries? It’ll be the end of the year anyway, work will be slower!

I’d backed off Morocco prior b/c of drams in the region (attacks on tourists, etc) but always felt if I could get my dad to go with me, things would probably be easier. Ironically, while it won’t help you in America at all, black male backup in MEA (Middle East and Africa) is good, especially if he’s a relative, when traveling as a woman, but especially a black woman,  because everyone will assume you’re Arab and maybe even Muslim and shouldn’t be travelling alone like an American woman of loose morals. Obvi if you’re dressing all crazy or a typical loud American then of course they will know otherwise, but if you’re under the radar, generally quiet, dress conservatively (not too much skin showing) they will have no reason to think you’re not one of them until they engage with you in a direct conversation. This helps you avoid getting caught up in dangerous situations / attract unwanted attention given the climate right now.

I am full of some trepidation. We’ll get into that in another post. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime kinda thing, and life is short.

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