Archives – April, 2010
One of the coolest things about engaging in the blogosphere is the chance to trade thoughts, ideas and experiences with fellow black female bloggers, those of us for whom international travel isn’t a luxury, but a mindset and a lifestyle. Since I launched UrbanTravelGirl back in December 2008 from my rented flat in the south of France, I’ve loved perusing other sisters’ blogs, finding commonalities in our unique, yet shared, overseas adventures.
We blog about keeping our hair hooked up in foreign countries; struggling to learn new languages; what it’s like “traveling while black” outside America. And of COURSE, we get into the “man thing.” Which leads to today’s thought.
I wrote recently about sisters “getting their swirl on” when traveling abroad, and have been fascinated by your thoughts (“merci beaucoup” for sharing!). One of my favorite and most thought-provoking fellow bloggers, American Black Chick in Europe (http://americanblackchickinlondon.blogspot.com/) recently wrote, “Why Am I in Europe?” (http://americanblackchickinlondon.blogspot.com/2010/04/why-am-i-in-europe.html), where she shared her reasons for studying and living on the continent (she first was in London, and now is in Toulouse, France). But some disgruntled reader, going off-topic and complaining about some of the “Hot Man Candy of the Week” photos she occasionally posts, said: “Yes, there are white guys in the USA. Would US black chick feel as free to lust after them or even date them in the USA? You will probably say yes, but we all know the racial dynamics of the USA….”
Continue April 22, 2010
I recently discovered a super-cool Web site, JayTravels.net (http://www.jaytravels.net/), written by a globe-trotting African-American man whose travel tag line is “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!” I am SO with him on that. Jay hooked me up this week and featured me in his “Traveler Spotlight” (www.bit.ly/dffuB2). Please check it out, as I reminisce about previous international trips, reveal my travel “Bucket List,” and share my philosophy on travel’s life-changing possibilities.
All this walking down memory lane makes me want to buy a plane ticket to someplace fabulous RIGHT NOW!
GRAZIE MILLE, MERCI BEAUCOUP, et MUCHAS GRACIAS, Jay!
Continue April 6, 2010
Just last week, I picked up a provocative new book: Don’t Bring Home a White Boy: And Other Notions That Keep Black Women from Dating Out (http://www.karynlanghorne.com/)(Gallery Books, $24.99) by Karyn Langhorne Folan. A sister who’s a Harvard Law School grad, former law professor and novelist, Folan plays off the unspoken admonition many of black women have received for generations. The author herself is married to a white American man, and in her book includes real-life anecdotes with black and white men and women as she explores the “notions” that keep interracial dating off the table for many sisters.
But what interested me most is her last chapter: “It’s the Same Story Around the World.” Here, she writes how “Traveling the world—and meeting men from other countries and cultures—can offer American black women a new view of themselves as desirable.” She shares the stories of sisters who’ve lived in Europe, who talk about the very different dynamics of interracial relationships on that continent and in the States.
Many mention feeling attractive, desired, and appreciated FOR their blackness, rather than in spite of it. Some talk about feeling “freer” to be themselves, both personally and in relationships, when they are abroad. And, as Black Women in Europe blog and social network founder Adrianne George reports: “I want black women to know that, in the wider world, we are perceived as smart, hardworking and talented. In short, the world thinks you’re awesome.”
Continue April 5, 2010