Conscious Traveler’s Guide- Part 2

By S. Christopher Emerson

And of course, my most recent trip to Jamaica, which was INCREDIBLE, by the way would inspire a bit more conscious advice… No need in squandering the experience just on myself.

In travelling with others, and in the midst of resort guests, you can get lots of material (that I’ll send out over several installments).

But it always troubles me to travel to other places, particularly outside of the US, and see Black folks mistreating local Black and Brown folks, or rather, assuming the “Ugly American” stereotype. You know… arrogant, loud, eternally dissatisfied, and operating with the unrealistic expectation that America will be waiting on them hand and foot on their vacation.

So I’ve compiled just a few bullet points to help Black folks get the most out of their overseas experience.

  1. Keep in mind that WHEREVER you are, some White colonizers PROBABLY got there before you and commodified the land’s natural resources and turned people’s homes into a tourist attraction.
  2. To answer your question: Yes, the local people are talking about you in their language assuming that you can’t understand them, especially if they’re working and you’re on some arrogant, touristy BS. You do the same thing when you’re at home and you see somebody who ain’t from around there.
  3. It’s a different country, yo. It’s not gonna be like Memphis in May. People do things differently in different places. That’s what makes travelling so awesome; you get to experience different cultures. Soak it in and enjoy it; it ain’t gonna kill you. But be careful with your foods. Lol.
  4. Remember, the people working to make your stay great are probably disenfranchised more than you. So be kind.

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