Posted: 5/31/16 | may 31st, 2016

This month’s interview comes from Alex, a 29-year-old black traveler from northern California. When he approached me earlier this year to do an interview and told his story and the barriers — racial and non-racial — he faced before and on the road, I knew he had to be featured here.

As a white Western guy, my experience is vastly different than many others. I don’t face many of the prejudices others might and, while this site is called “Nomadic Matt,” I view it as a resource for all travelers — and the only way to do that is to bring in added voices like Alex. So, today, without further ado, here is Alex!

Nomadic Matt: Hi Alex! Bine ati venit! tell everyone about yourself.
Alex: I am a 29 year old from northern California. I grew up in a city near San Francisco called Alameda. After finishing college in Arizona, I moved back to the Bay area and worked in SF before quitting my job to travel the world. 

I know the decision shocked my mom and many of my friends, but I know it was a necessary experience for me to embrace at this time in my life.

What inspired your trip?
The short answer is that I wanted to see the world. The more nuanced answer is that I wanted to see it through my own lens. With the wonders of the world wide web, we are inundated with information and imagery of people and places from around the world. I needed to see what the world was like through my eyes, through my own conversations with people in such places, and through my personal experience of growth and change in traveling to these places.

After reading so many backpacking blogs, I got inspired and knew I needed to do this. My original intention was to travel for six months but 11 months later, I’m still going!

How are you funding this trip?
I worked in finance for five years. I had been saving for travel since I started working. once I made the decision to do this trip, I started making the appropriate sacrifices to increase my travel fund (like skipping smaller trips with friends and cutting out expensive dinners and large bar tabs).

After reading different travel blogs and your book how to travel the world on $50 a Day, I was able to save $25,000 USD for a year of travel.

To make that happen, I began automatically depositing money from my paycheck every two weeks. I reduced my spending on the non-essentials, as well. For example eating out less, canceling services I rarely used, and skipping smaller vacations.

As time came closer to leave, I made money selling furniture and other items from my apartment. Also, the last benefit check from work helped a bit as well. In all, it took a little over a year to save up enough money for this trip.

I had friends telling me they could never afford to do what I am doing but would spend $400 USD/month on organized cycling classes and $500 USD/weekend on drinks. saving the money needed for a trip like this wasn’t easy and required many sacrifices. However, I knew traveling was the ultimate goal and this was a part of the process to accomplish that goal.

Do you have any specific advice for people saving for their trip?
My advice and something that helped greatly was to look at a breakdown of my spending over a 3 month period. Your bank or credit card company usually provides this information free or you can do it yourself. identify what is consuming the largest portion of your income and figure out ways you can reduce it.

Why don’t you think more people of color travel? You said in your original email that your friends and family said you were being “too white” by doing this. 
The “you’re acting white” comment is one I’ve heard all my life. When I showed an interest in my education and a career in finance, I was acting “white.” When I went against the norm by quitting my job to travel I was acting “white.”

Honestly, it’s all quite confusing and makes trying to be yourself that much more difficult. In regards to traveling abroad, people view it as representing a certain amount of privilege that is not generally associated with minorities.

But again, this is about priorities, and if traveling is a priority you can find a way to do it without being a member of the upper-class elite.

I think another reason why people of color don’t travel as much is a lack of exposure. Without close friends and family who have or do travel, how might someone know that this is something to do?

Or that it is even worth doing?

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that people of color do not travel at all. That’s certainly not the case as I traveled quite frequently as a child with my family. However, I’d label this type of traveling as vacationing — and it was always to familiar places.

Where I see a lack of minority travelers is to those unfamiliar places like Southeast Asia. 

In my opinion, Southeast Asia is a perfect place for people of any color and any budget. Yet I mostly see white travelers here. De ce este asta?

Many minorities my age in the U.S. come from families where their parents and grandparents did not have an opportunity to go explore the world. Instead, they were likely fighting for their civil rights and equality (which was a more pressing priority). many were also recent immigrants to the U.S. and focused on creating a new life in an unfamiliar country.

So I think, due to a lack of exposure in minority communities, this idea of traveling the world isn’t as prevalent. The idea of traveling abroad became associated with white people and privilege.

Although at times it doesn’t seem like it, the opportunity for minorities to travel and explore is now much greater. We should take advantage of the sacrifices made by the generations before us.

How do you think that opinion can change? Do you think it ever will? 
I think the opinion will change with time and an effort to educate minority youth about traveling and its accessibility. It is encouraging to see organizations and individuals trying to help push this effort along. With the emergence of social media, everyone can now share their travel experiences with a wider group of individuals.

Maybe an Instagram picture of the beautiful beaches in Thailand inspires a young person of color to work towards one day visiting, no matter the hurdles in their way. I know for myself it has opened my eyes and mind to hundreds of places I want to visit.

Have you faced any racism while traveling? how do you deal with it?
I thought I would encounter racism on a greater level traveling through Europe and Asia than what I’ve experienced at home.

But in my 9 months of traveling to big cities, small cities, urban and rural areas I can not think of one time I’ve experienced any deliberate racism. There were a couple of incidents of ignorance but not what I would consider racism.

I do have one interesting story I’ll share from when I was in this small town on the border of Montenegro. based on the looks of curiosity I received, I’m fairly certain I was the first black person to travel through this town in a long time. As I made my way to the bus stop, I had a brief encounter with what I would guess were late-teenaged boys.

As I was standing at the crosswalk they slowly drove by with their rap music turned up and yelled out the window “What’s up my n*gga?” accompanied by a peace sign gesture. having heard the word “n*gger” shouted from a car before, my guard went up immediately. but then I saw the look on the young boys’ faces. They were smiling as if they had encountered someone famous.

At that moment I realized they must have assumed this was an appropriate way of greeting a black male. I simply laughed while shaking my head. These kids were repeating what they were being fed through music and movies as being cool, likely not knowing the origin or meaning of the word they used. I only wish I could have used this as an opportunity to teach them the reality of that word and its connotations, but this was not a hate crime.

If anyone was treating me differently for being black, I was oblivious to it. at times I feel like I’m more likely to be treated differently for being American versus anything else. I’ve come to learn that most travelers are extremely open-minded and interested in learning about the places they travel as well as the people they meet along the way. You would be surprised how many other travelers express their curiosity and concerns with me about the lack of minority travelers.

What advice do you have for other travelers of color worried about racism when they travel?
Racism is ubiquitous.  If you are going to put yourself in a setting of “others” you will experience “othering” — this is what humans have done for our entire existence. But I think one important piece of advice is that you can’t confuse racism and ignorance. 

It is likely you will travel to places that are incredibly homogeneous so meeting or seeing a minority like yourself may be a first for them. Take this as an opportunity to teach someone about you and your culture. A smile and quick chat can go a long way in learning about our differences but even more so our similarities as humans.

If you do find yourself in a situation where you feel that you’re being treated differently due to the color of your skin, I’d suggest politely walking away. Don’t allow racism or discrimination to “win” by provoking a negative reaction from you and possibly ruining your adventure. The world is full of fantastic and accepting people and I have faith that if you get out there on the road you’ll find them!

What was the moment you were like “Wow! I’m really doing this! This trip is real life!”?
Those moments happen so frequently. From the first train ride in Europe, staring out the window as I traveled from Stockholm to Copenhagen, envisioning the journey ahead of me, all the way to sitting on top of a pagoda in Myanmar watching as the sun rose, casting light onto an fantastic moment.

This trip has been the beExperiență din viața mea de până acum și mă asigur să reflectez și să fiu recunoscător pentru toate momentele fantastice deseori.

OK, să schimbăm angrenajele și să vorbim despre partea practică a călătoriei. Cum îți faci banii să dureze pe drum? Care sunt unele dintre cele mai bune sfaturi ale tale?
Cel mai important sfat pentru mulțimea de rucsac este să vă controlați cheltuielile pentru alcool, deoarece aceste beri se adaugă rapid. Întrebați -vă unde se află cele mai bune ore fericite și băuturi speciale.

Dacă sunteți cu un grup mare, încercați să vă negociați propria afacere cu privire la băuturi. Mai bine, du -te să cumperi alcool din magazin, apuca un difuzor pentru a cânta muzică și a bea afară undeva. Acestea tind să fie unele dintre cele mai bune și mai ieftine nopți!

Dacă ați putea da trei sfaturi unui nou călător, care ar fi?
Sunt unul dintre acei oameni care se bucură de planificare și cercetare înainte de a pleca spre undeva nou. Cu toate acestea, nu vă planificați excesiv călătoria. Lasă un mic spațiu pentru spontaneitate. Cu siguranță veți întâlni niște oameni mișto sau pe cineva special și doriți să continuați să călătoriți cu ei.

Este greu de făcut dacă aveți întreaga călătorie în prealabil.

Pune -ți telefonul, zâmbește și spune salut cuiva nou. Promit că interacțiunea va fi mai interesantă decât orice citiți pe Facebook.

Găsiți o activitate la care să participați, care vă ajută să depășiți o teamă. Apa deschisă mă sperie și, pentru a mă confrunta cu frica din cap, am plecat scufundând. De asemenea, alegeți o activitate care vă provoacă mental și fizic. Am urcat pe cei peste 5000 de pași până în vârful vârfului Adams din Sri Lanka. A fost una dintre cele mai răsplătitoare experiențe ale călătoriei mele.

În cele din urmă, găsiți o modalitate de a da înapoi în timp ce călătoriți. Voluntariatul, donarea și turismul responsabil sunt câteva dintre modalitățile de a ajuta la susținerea comunităților locale prin care călătoriți și de a avea impact.

Acest interviu nu este o discuție finală despre rasism și călătorii. Este perspectiva unei persoane. Întrucât acesta este un subiect despre care am întrebat adesea, am vrut să împărtășesc povestea și perspectiva lui Alex în această privință. Știu că acesta poate fi un subiect pasionat, dar vă rugăm să păstrați toate comentariile civile și respectuoase.

Cum să călătorești lumea cu 50 de dolari pe zi

Ghidul meu cel mai vândut de broșură din New York Times pentru călătoriile mondiale vă va învăța cum să stăpâniți arta călătoriei, astfel încât să ieșiți de pe calea bătută, să economisiți bani și să aveți o experiență de călătorie mai profundă. Ghidul dvs. de planificare A -Z pe care BBC l -a numit „Biblia pentru călătorii cu buget”.

Faceți clic aici pentru a afla mai multe și începeți să o citiți astăzi!

Rezervați -vă călătoria: sfaturi și trucuri logistice
Rezervați -vă zborul
Găsiți un zbor ieftin folosind Skyscanner. Este motorul meu de căutare preferat, deoarece caută site -uri web și companii aeriene de pe glob, astfel încât să știți întotdeauna că nu este lăsată nicio piatră neîngrijită.

Rezervați -vă cazarea
Vă puteți rezerva pensiunea cu Hostelworld. Dacă doriți să rămâneți în altă parte decât o pensiune, utilizați Booking.com, deoarece acestea returnează în mod constant cele mai ieftine tarife pentru casele de oaspeți și hoteluri.

Nu uitați de asigurarea de călătorie
Asigurarea de călătorie vă va proteja împotriva bolilor, a vătămării, a furtului și a anulării. Este o protecție cuprinzătoare în cazul în care orice nu merge bine. Nu plec niciodată într -o călătorie fără ea, așa cum a trebuit să o folosesc de mai multe ori în trecut. Companiile mele preferate care oferă cel mai bun serviciu și valoare sunt:

Safetywing (cel mai bun pentru toată lumea)

Asigurați -mi călătoria (pentru cei de peste 70 de ani)

MedJet (pentru acoperire suplimentară de evacuare)

Sunteți gata să vă rezervați călătoria?
Consultați pagina mea de resurse pentru cele mai bune companii pe care să le utilizați atunci când călătoriți. Enistând toate cele pe care le folosesc când călătoresc. Sunt cei mai buni din clasă și nu puteți greși folosindu -le în călătoria dvs.

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