Every year, at least once a year, between the months of June and July, I pick a date to travel with my family. Whether near or far, we go somewhere. We tend to travel domestic; I have 3 children and travel can get really expensive. Every few years we travel abroad, mainly to tropical weather. As a black family, we are always excited to see people like us walking the sandy beaches of their native islands as an everyday part of life.
But what if I told you that I personally know a large number of black families and individuals that have never set foot outside of their metropolitan area, let alone their zip code. I'm talking men and women in their 30s and 40s that haven't taken the time to explore the various things the world has to offer. Growing up, my parents loaded up the car every summer and we drove down to Florida. We couldn't afford much growing up, but my parents took whatever they could afford and got us a hotel room for a few nights on the coast.
Here's the thing, if we could take that same money we use to spend on Jordan's and Yeezy's or any other overpriced sneaker, then we would be able to afford to step outside of our comfort zone and see life outside of our geographical region. I know people that will save up to buy expensive clothes and shoes or an expensive weave, but won;t put up a dime to explore various parts of not only the world, but the rest of the country to say the least.
Seriously, think about it, the regions that occupy the most black ethnicities are tropical regions. I find it a little unsettling that a lot of black people refuse to visit countries where the natives look like them. Now I understand that not everyone can afford expensive vacations and such so I won't beat you up about it, however, the United States has some pretty cool beaches for those of us on a budget. I will tell you that many of the beaches in the U.S. have been taken over by white people. Beaches such as the Hamptons, American Beach (near Jacksonville, FL.), Sea Islands in S.C., Highland Beach, MD., Martha's Vineyard, and Manhattan Beach, CA., were all historically black beaches at some point in time. A with any other predominately black dwelling, gentrification takes over and blacks are forced out of the area to accommodate potential business investments such as high-end condos, shops, and other money making organizations.
While I understand that there isn't much to be done about the rapid redevelopment occurring in places that were once historically black areas, this shouldn't stop us from vacationing. Make no mistake, I am not recommending you always vacation at the beach, I simply used that to make a point. But what I would like to see black people do more of is travel in general. Spending less money on things of little value goes a long way. We as a people have got to start thinking differently and investing in opportunities and experiences. I know that certain circumstances prevent us from making moves here and there, however, I do stress the benefits and historical importance of travel. Let's take back our beaches and beautiful coastlines that were once our safe havens; our landings.
Let's try to travel more and live more. Do whatever you can when you can. If you are a frequent black traveler and feel entitled to share your experiences, please don't hesitate to chime in and comment. And as always, click on the links for more insight.