travel

Travel Shaming is the New Black

June 28, 2017



Travel shame is real! People are really out here judging others based on the places they choose to travel.

For the first time in my life, I experienced travel guilt. I'm taking my fifth trip to Europe soon and I have yet to visit the Mother Land. What's worse is I have a few more trips planned this year and Africa is nowhere near the top of the list. Admittedly, I went through a moment of travel guilt for that.

Maybe it's the fact that I've recently been in contact with a group of travel snobs that had me feeling like I was being irresponsible and denying my "African roots" by not visiting Africa. People who know me know that I have the means to travel anywhere I want. They're beginning to question my loyalty to the Black race because I choose to spend my travel dollars on European and Asian continents.

People are taking this traveling thing way too seriously.

If a Black person chooses to go to Europe instead of Africa, that makes them less "Black"? That's ridiculous! What about all the White people in America who choose to travel to Africa? Does that make them less White? Of course not. Nobody would dare to question the reason why a White person would choose to travel to Africa instead of Europe. Sadly, the only people I see pointing the finger at Blacks for not traveling to Africa is, you guessed it, other Blacks.

But, I get it. It's Africa. Africa's the Mother Land. It's the Mecca, the place where all of humanity has its roots; and, the place where Black people were violently taken away from their original homes, countries, and culture. As soon as a Black person is financially enabled to return "home", they should, right? Sounds fabulous. Just one question: where exactly is "home" for Blacks? The majority of us don't know where we originated and assuming that traveling to some random country in Africa literally means going back "home" is just ignorant and self-deceptive.

The pressure from Africans on African Americans to tirelessly attempt to discover "where we're from" is unnecessary and damaging to our relationships.

Don't get me wrong, I have an interest in traveling to Africa. I'll go to the pyramids in Giza, I'll stroll the beautiful beaches of Cape Town and experience the vibrant culture in Johannesburg. But, what I will not do is travel to Africa and act like I had a huge epiphany and awakening about myself and my roots. That type of drama is only good for YouTube videos and Morgan Freeman movies.

Travel snobs, please spare me with the conscious, "I'm more Blacker and deeper than you because I travel to Africa" talk. Let's just agree to be our authentic selves. Travel and let travel.

And, to all the people out there who have traveled to Africa and are frowning down upon those of us who have not, get over yourselves. You're no Blacker (or better) than the sister who chooses to travel to Thailand to get a taste of Asian culture or the brother who likes to spend his birthdays partying with beautiful women in the Dominican Republic.

There's too  much division in Black communities already. Let's not further divide ourselves based on where and how we choose to travel.

And, as for me, I've come to the conclusion that I'll travel to Africa when I feel like it. But, for now, I'm going to keep travelling to everywhere else on my bucket list. Because, after all, that's what I work so damn hard for: to live my life the way I want to live it and go wherever I want to go. Pay attention, travel snobs. My travel destinations aren't about you. They're all about me.

With love,

Quan Lanae Green

P.S. I just started my new YouTube channel! I'll be sharing travel vlogs and interviews with interesting people around the world. It's going to be fabulous! Click on the link and subscribe!

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52 comments

  1. "Chick done returned to America with a Nigerian accent and everything!"
    Lmao this line had me. They won't let me go to England for this very reason. I'll come back sounding like Monie Love.

    Xoxo,


    Shahidah
    www.blackgirlslearnlanguages.co

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    1. Lol! I'm glad you get my sense of humor. You're my people. 😘

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  2. Go where you want your money to take you! I wouldn't worry too much about all these keyboard hustlers that probably can't make it happen for themselves.

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    1. Exactly, sis. Thanks for visiting my blog. ❤

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  3. Yayyyy πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ Live your own life my darling. Ignore the foolish naysayers and the oppressive and sexist 'keepers of the blackness'. You don't have to be a darn race warrior if you don't want to just because you're a black lady. I mean the sheer nerve of those people who just up and assume that you will be or that you should be??.....

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    1. Wow. Words well written - especially that part about not having to be a race warrior. 😘❤

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  4. This was a great post! Everyone can't understand it because they lack identity and are insecure with who they are. They are still trying to find themselves while others of us already know who we are. I don't have to force my way into a culture because some random test purporting to be an accurate representation of my blood lineage tells me where "my peoples" come from. True history is passed down. Travel the world in every way you see fit! <3

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    1. Amen, sis. When you already know who you are, you don't have to travel to Africa looking for it.

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  5. I agree with you in entirety in this blog. I do still plan of traveling to Africa, but to say that one should travel to Africa just to find their roots will be hard to do when you don't even know where to start.

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  6. I think you should know that if you travel to Egypt,there will be some of us telling you that Egypt doesn`t count.Because it`s in the Middle East(That`s right,people don`t know their geography).I was even told by someone who has never traveled that seeing Africa while being in the military doesn`t count.

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    1. Wow. The nerve of some people. Lol!

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    2. Egypt is NOT in the Middle East. It is a part of Africa. You don't know your geography. Wow! Matter of fact, their is not such Continent as Middle East! Thank YOU!

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  7. Do you!!! You're paying for the trips to see what YOU want to see!!!!! Good on you...............

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  8. Young lady thank you for your views. I feel the same way, but you said it better.

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    1. Thank you. And thank you for your comment. ❤

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  9. Welcome to Tanzania to see the beauty of the country
    See more at dahliatours.com

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    1. Will absolutely visit Tanzania. Does your company partner with travel bloggers and influencers?

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  10. African-American people have a mixed bloodline of some 40-50 West and central African ethnic groups. Therefore, traveling anywhere in West Africa first will be a great starting point. Ghana,in my opinion, should be the first place you go as it is the doorway to Africa for many of us who have returned. Ghana is peaceful and there are already 5000 African-Americans who are currently living there. Be sure to take a trip to Elmina and Cape Coast when and if you go. Travelling to Africa is different. It will impact your life in profound ways that Europe can't.

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    1. I'm sure it will. Looking forward to it. That's why I travel in the first place.

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    2. Yes, that is important in travel. That there is an experience that impact your life like no other.

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  11. Very hilarious article!�� Travel where you please...Im a stickler for Europe, but that's just me! However, when you do get around to visiting the Motherland,visit Zambia! Check it out at www.visitzambia.co.zm
    Don't go to find "You" go to explore and enjoy! P.S The Victoria falls, one of the seven wonders of the world is a must see!As we locals say, "Mwaiseni!" Meaning, welcome!

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  12. Welcome to Africa, but not just as a "visiting your roots thing", but in the same way you visit Europe and the rest. There's a lot more to see and do. You'll also find the "fish and chips" here, along with subway, dominos, etc. Please push it up your list. Thanks

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    1. Thank you Roseline. Visit because it is just as beautiful (more) as any other continent.

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  13. Shouldve started off with this with 1 statement...."are yall paying for any of my trips?"

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  14. I feel that you should travel where you want to. Not going to Africa does not mean that you're less black. Many of us (like me for instance) cannot afford to travel very much at all, let alone Africa. Being one who truly loves genealogy, I recently had my DNA done and found my greatest % of African ancestry was in Mali. I would love to travel to Mali, but probably won't during my lifetime. To me that has nothing to do with how I view my African ancestry. Neither does having 25% British ancestry and not travelin there will take away any of that part of my heritage. LOL. I guess what I'm trying to say is, travel where you feel the need to travel. Be thankful that you can. Me? If the opportunity occurs, I would take that trip to Mali. I would also like to visit Ghana as I have friends that I care for very much who are from there. Yes, I'm a sentimentalist. Wishing you safe and enjoyable travels.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Praying that one day you will be able to visit Mali. When you do, please come back and tell me all about it. #WithLove

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  15. If you happen to come to Africa, well, enjoy as much as you can! If you don't happen to come to Africa then no big deal.

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    1. Guuurrl, Black and Brown people are every-damn-where on this planet! our African Ancestors where no more landbound than europeans in ancient times, just less greedy and bloodthirsty!

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  16. You are so right. Traveling to Africa is a choice and should be regarded as is any other trip. Yes Africa contains our history, a very rich history of which I am immensely proud and happy to call my roots and to have had the honor to see first hand, but as you suggest, it is not our home... Yes, you should see it, especially Egypt. ALL Black folks should see Egypt. But at the end of the day, we are Americans of African descent. Sadly most who travel to Africa seeking something more than a really good vacation in countries with people who look like and for the most part can relate to you, will eventually be deeply disappointed if they are looking to find some other place where you are welcomed and that you can call home. While such may be true for some, I dare say that for more, that is not the experience... So travel my Sistah. There are Black folks everywhere. Meet them too but do get to Africa in your time. It is a beautiful continent that filled with treasure, refined treasures that sparkle and dazzle and who look like us... I have traveled to five countries on the continent, all but one for extensive stays of 30 days to 6 months. Wonderful experiences, now I am ready to move on... Choice is a beautiful thing. I'm Just Sayin'... Safe & Happy Travels!!!

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  17. I so feel you on this article. Every time I leave the country, someone is asking me if I'm going or if I've ever been to Africa. When I say no, they clutch their pearls and say "Oh My!" PLEASE! Them pearls never left the state they live in. Just stay out of my way and let me travel. Well....unless they are paying for my trip fully...I'll oblige.

    Travel well my sister friend! Travel well!

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    1. Right?! Lol! Thanks for your comment. Safe and happy travels to you. ❤

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  18. Thank you so much for your article. I totally agree with you, I don't think visiting Africa, no matter the country, contributes to your "blackness". Also it's funny to me how people say they feel like they are "back home" when they visit any African country. I just visited Ghana, my first time ever. And although it was a wonderful experience, I wouldn't say I had some sort of enlightenment or felt "more black" because of it!!

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing. It's always been funny to me about how people will visit an African country and say they feel like they are home or that it somehow contributes their their "blackness". I just visited Ghana for the first time (my hubby is Ghanaian) and although it was a beautiful experience that I will never forget, it wasn't this feeling or enlightenment nor did it contribute to my "blackness". You should travel to any country you see fit!! You go girl!!

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  20. Girl! I love this post. I love your sense of humor and your honesty. More importantly, I'm so glad you are doing what you want and not letting others opinions guilt you. Keep doing you!

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  21. The shaming is real. GTFOH with that shit. Glad you wrote this, there is too much group think in our community. Just because you like the European nation and havent traveled to Africa doesnt mean there is any oppression, self hatred, etc. I've visited both, and I dont recall while I was enjoying my wine, architecture, and culture feeling oppressed that I was in France. Keep on.

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  22. Even though they deny it, Dominicans are black descendants of slaves. Shake the genealogy tree of a black descendant of slaves, more than likely you will find a white person. So maybe some black people are traveling to the "land of their ancestors", no matter if the travel to Europe or Africa.

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  23. Well said! I can relate. When I had to explain to a few friends that also live abroad that despite its flaws, I am far more American (100%!) than African (0%!), they looked at me like I had somehow *betrayed* them.

    I just subscribed t your website and I will be looking forward to the new posts. I would enjoy your opinion on this: https://yusefwateef.com/2016/01/16/i-broke-my-hyphen-a-long-time-ago/

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  24. Haha what a great read and very funny too. I love american humour. I am from the uk. I know where i am originally from but i just dont have much interest to go there. I also am told i am not british even though i was born in the uk and lived my whole life. I identify with being british with african parents. But apparently because i dont claim i am african it means im not black. Haha oh well. Keep travelling ... i plan to do the same! Thanks for sharing. I just had a wonderful expereince in greece that i have put on my blog www.ontheothersideofdepression.com .. check it out ;)

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  25. Thank you for your honesty. Of course everyone has a freedom of choice where they travel to, however as the second biggest continent in the world with 54 countries, I cannot understand that as a travel writer, why would Africa be way down or not even on your bucket list? Africa is so vibrant and rich in culture. I have introduced hundreds of people to Africa and for some it is life changing; I hope you one day get to go.

    Hook me up if you want ever want an introduction.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wura1219VMI

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  26. Africa is beautiful and sure they could do with the tourism

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  27. I've been travelling for years and have had the same discussion as to why i haven't been to Africa. My answers were simple. 1) UnGodly expensive flights. Waiting for those flights prices to be more 'earthly' 2) Saving the best for last.

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  28. Sooo f***in true! I retweeted!

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