Black women “getting their swirl on” when traveling abroad—are you one of them?

April 5, 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 (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 from 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 versus 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.”

Imagine that!

Folan also writes about BlackGirlTravel.com, a tour company started by Southern California-based Fleacé Weaver that takes large groups of African-American women on trips to the French Riviera, Spain, Dubai, and beyond. Its signature tour is “Bella Italia,” which has for the past four years has taken “Bellas” (the female travelers) around Italy, where the ladies receive much love. (Which of us globetrotters hasn’t heard the line that Italian men LOVE black women?)

Says Weaver in Folan’s book: “Italian men are very affectionate, very aggressive. They love women of all nationalities and for black American women, it can be overwhelming. Black women aren’t used to the level of attention they get from the men in Italy. In a way, that’s kind of sad. But it’s also why the ladies have such a good time. It’s fun when 50 or so black American women descend on a popular club in Rome and find themselves to be quite literally the ‘bellas’ of the evening.”

I’ve written in this blog about a romantic encounter with a Frenchman in the South of France, being asked out by a young Italian after dining at his restaurant, and generally being treated as a fascinating creature by men of various backgrounds when traveling solo around the world. And of course, there are other tales. The point is, many times African-American women feel more love from men abroad than we get here at home. Perhaps guys in other countries and cultures see us as exotic and different; perhaps they’ve seen Hollywood films, heard rap songs and buy into stereotypes of black women as hypersexed and easy. Who knows? But many genuinely find us attractive—natural hair, mocha skin, and all. And what woman doesn’t want to feel adored and appreciated for who she is?

But at the end of the day, as Folan writes (and we all know), “regardless of race or nationality, all men are men.” Lord knows they ALL come with baggage and hang-ups and issues, as do we. Still, there’s something to be said for keeping our minds open when on the road. Folan wraps up her global chapter this way: “… For what we spend in shoes, we could have an experience that completely changes the way we see ourselves and what we know about the wide world. So start putting your shoe money aside, ladies, and go, woman, go!”

I’d love to hear about YOUR experiences. Do you find that when you travel abroad, you’re approached by men of different ethnic backgrounds? Are you more open to dating across cultures when you’re on the road than you are at home? And have your experiences with men of other races and national backgrounds shaped your perceptions about black women’s beauty and desirability? Do share!

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73 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Frenchie  |  April 5, 2010 at 5:36 am

    In my travels, I’ve also found that black women are lusted after and hold a certain mystique in the minds of non-black men. This can be a positive thing because it opens doors for you to explore yourself and other cultures from a new perspective or it can be a negative thing leaving you feeling like the “other”, the Exotic, only good for her sexual prowess.

    Because I grew up in diverse Miami and come from a Haitian background, I never felt hindered about dating outside of my race or ethnicity. Thus, Im open to dating abroad and in the US as long as the person isn’t only interested in my skin or what he’s seen in misogynistic rap videos. In Rome, I met an Italian soldier who was obsessed with staring at my skin in the moonlight. At first, it seemed romantic but after a while I felt like a specimen under a microscope. I’m so much more than my skintone.

    In Rome, Seoul, Paris, and even here in Cairo, for example, I’ve been surprised at how unabashedly black women are pursued. I don’t think my perception of black women’s beauty and desirability has changed though. I always knew we were beautiful and desirable. after all, humanity originated from us lol

    http://blackincairo.blogspot.com

  • 2. Nicole  |  April 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Maureen,

    Jay posted your Q&A on his Facebook page, and I thought your tips were so helpful! Had to come over to check out your blog.

    I traveled abroad for the first time last year to Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam, and I loved it! I’m open to IR relationships, but I didn’t get a lot of play from European men (except a few construction workers in Père Lachaise Cemetery who called “Chocolat!” as I walked past. LOL). But I was also going through a period where I was feeling uncomfortable about my weight, so I may have been transmitting that lack of confidence.

    I’m planning a trip to Sydney — solo — and if the opportunity presents itself, I will definitely get my swirl on! :-)

  • 3. 4/6/2010 Update « M&hellip  |  April 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm

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  • 4. urbantravelgirl  |  April 6, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Nicole, thanks SO much for visiting! (MUCH love to http://www.JayTravels.net for featuring me in its Traveler Spotlight!) Yes, keep your mind open. Often I find that when I’m abroad I’m much more relaxed and a lot less “tightly wound” than I am in the States. That subconsciously makes you more attractive, I believe. Have a ball in Sydney!

    Maureen

  • 5. urbantravelgirl  |  April 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Frenchie,
    AMEN to everything you said!! But I do think it’s fascinating for sisters to travel to other countries and discover the reception we get from men of other cultures. If nothing else, it’s a great ego boost — especially when we sometimes feel invisible back home!

    Maureen

  • 6. 4/7/2010 Update « M&hellip  |  April 6, 2010 at 11:34 pm

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  • 7. 4/8/2010 Update « M&hellip  |  April 7, 2010 at 10:28 pm

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  • 8. Black Women in Europe  |  April 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Great that you picked up Karyn’s book. And excellent post. Keep up the good work!

  • 9. XaiXai  |  April 9, 2010 at 2:37 am

    I only date European men now, was a rainbow dater before that. The first time I went to Scandinavia (1990) the men actually scared me! I’d always heard that Nordics were very reserved. Well…. not so much, had men getting out of cars to tell me I’m beautiful, men singing ‘please don’t go’ after I decided to leave a club populated with what I thought were shy men. Had a man actually growl at me and pick me up and put me on his shoulder saying he was being a traditional viking ?? My sis went over first for a 2 wk vacation and never returned to the US. She met her husband the first week she was there! What is so compelling is that these men would find petite, curvy, toffee colored me attractive in the midst of all the tall nordic blond girls. Not to mention that these were the handsomest white men I’d ever seen. So black women, know that what the black male takes for granted is cherished by other men. Don’t waste the pretty, travel far and wide.

  • 10. Velour  |  April 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Nice article. :) I’m glad I discovered this blog yesterday.

    I agree that every black woman should get out there and travel. Many men overseas adore the beauty of a black woman and love to show it…so everyone wins. ;-)

  • 11. urbantravelgirl  |  April 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Hey, Black Women in Europe –
    So glad you visited my blog! Keep up YOUR great work, and hope to join you ladies (permanently) on the continent some day!

    Maureen

  • 12. urbantravelgirl  |  April 10, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    XaiXai,
    I LOVE your comment, “Don’t waste the pretty.” (I haven’t heard that phrase in ages.) The point is that SO many men around the world genuinely find black women, in ALL our diversity, attractive. And that’s not always the message we received at “home” in the States.

    Good for you and your sis for being open-minded and realizing that we can find happiness in many places on the globe, not just in America.

    Maureen

  • 13. urbantravelgirl  |  April 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Velour,
    Thanks for visitng my blog and echoing the sentiment that we sisters need to get out there and experience the world. You never know where your prince might be, waiting just for you!

    Maureen

  • 14. Kiratiana  |  April 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I wish I could speak from experience on this topic, but I really can’t (though I wish I could). My question for you is where can we find European men in the States? Any tips…cause I CERTAINLY don’t want to “waste my pretty….”

  • 15. urbantravelgirl  |  April 14, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Hey there, Kiratiana — long time no talk!

    I’ve met European guys in the States different ways — by frequenting ethnic restaurants where they may work as waiters or bartenders; by joining organizations like Chicago Sister Cities (there are nearly 30 different ones) … and I suppose by going to events held by groups like EuroCircle. Not that you’ll always meet DATES per se, but you’ll at least be in the company of such men.

    I can say from experience that Euro guys in the States can be some of the nuttiest characters out there… just like regular American men. All I can do, my dear, is wish you “Bonne Chance” — worst case, at least you’ll meet some interesting, well-traveled man who’s worth chatting with over a glass of wine!

    Maureen

  • 16. Renee  |  April 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Something significant has happened in the past, say, ten years. Black women are becoming more willing to date men outside of their race. I’ve had friends who swore to be ‘faithful’ to the brothers until they were called home to Jesus. Some of these same friends are now willing to admit that the idea is not so far fetched because they are tired of being alone.

    I do think it’s sad that some black women have to cross an ocean to feel valued, appreciated and sexy. I’m sure most of them would love to settle down with a black man, but they realize that they should place more value on the man rather than what race he happens to belong to.

    The truth of the matter is that I don’t believe that God meant for us to associate only with people who ‘look’ like us. I think you find love where you find it. You search for love in places where you probably never thought that you would (have to). I think it’s important to be open to the possibilities and to not ‘block your blessings’. I think it’s wiser to seek out a companion who values and treasures you than to stick to some arbitrary variable like his skin color. Character matters most.

    BTW, I don’t buy into the ‘love knows no color’ bandwagon. Unless you are blind, you are aware of a person’s race and those beautiful differences should be acknowledged, it just shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

  • 17. urbantravelgirl  |  April 15, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Renee,
    AMEN three times to everything you said!! And I totally agree — people who say “they don’t see color” are just trying to be PC. There is NOTHING wrong with seeing and acknowledging another person’s racial differences. But I’m with you: it shouldn’t be a deal breaker if all the other “right stuff” is there.

    Maureen

  • 18. Betty Chambers  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I think I’ll echo what someone said above, you are so relaxed and happy when you travel you really start to glow. From then on, you are looking at men and smiling.

    Here in the states, we know that smiling at the wrong men can get you in a world of hurt and trouble. The stress and misery here is joy stealing.

    It looks like Scandinavia is my next travel stop….

  • 19. urbantravelgirl  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Betty, I agree completely! One reason we ARE so attractive to others when we’re traveling “on holiday” is because we’re not weighed down by the stress of everyday life which — let’s face it — isn’t cute.

    Have a FAB time in Scandinavia! You’ll have to let us know how it goes — and if your relaxed glow draws men to you like moths to a flame! :-)

    Maureen

  • 20. Do You Swirl Abroad?: The&hellip  |  April 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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  • 21. urbantravelgirl  |  April 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Kiratiana, you’re the best — thanks SO much for sharing this post with your Kiratianatravels.com blog readers!! Always good to generate discussion on topics like this.

    Ciao for now,
    Maureen

  • 22. Denise Jacobs  |  April 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Great article! I do agree that travel opens you up in so many ways, including being more attractive overall and potentially noticing people that you would not have noticed before. It has happened to me on several occasions, and so now I come to expect it that I will get extra attention while abroad.

    Years ago, I spent a year abroad in France, and ironically enough (and quite counter to my expectations), I dated more men of color there than I did to while I was in the US previous to that. Because of that experience and some earlier ones, I have developed a distinct weakness for European men in general, irrespective of race. I absolutely love the worldliness, the multilingualism, the level of education, culture and intellect, and gentlemanly-ness that so many of them have. These qualities will always win my heart over no matter where I am and who possesses them.

    The truth of the matter is that I have always been and will always be “an equal opportunity employer” when it comes to dating. In the past, I have various phases of being attracted to mostly caucasian men, being more focused on black men, and being into brown men (of all ethnicities). However, at this point in my life, I am a romance opportunist: whoever shows up and fits with my personality, likes, dislikes, with whom I get along well and am attracted to wins! And at 6’1, I am *far* more focused on man’s height than his “race”.

    So, in response to the question of whether I get my swirl on when I am abroad, my answer is: when *don’t* I get my swirl on? Abroad, at home, or wherever! :) I don’t know who I will end up with in this lifetime, but whoever he is and whereever he is from, for me, he will need to possess the qualities I listed above — that’s the most important: that we fit each other. And if he happens not to be brown, so be it. Vive la Swirl!

  • 23. Oneika/Nikita  |  April 21, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Yes, I most definitely do get my swirl on! But not intentionally. I, as the other poster said, am definitely an “equal opportunity” dater- I don’t discriminate. For years now I have dated non-black men alongside Black men. Nobody can ever figure out the common thread between my “pursuits”: the current love in my life is a golden-haired German while my last beau was a Jamaican with deep-chocolate skin and long dreadlocks! You like who you like… :-)

    I grew in up Toronto, Canada, which is a fairly multi-cultural city so I have always been used to co-existing with and befriending people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds than I. I dated interracially as far back as high school, but my eyes were definitely opened to “what was out there” when I first moved to France in 2003. The Frenchies did not hesitate to holla at the sisters! Hang-ups over skin and eye colour and hair length and texture didn’t exist over there- my chocolate, short, “nappy-haired” self got just as much play as anyone else.

    Like yet another poster said, I find that I am very much attracted to European boys, who typically tend to be well-travelled, adventurous, and multi-lingual (a HUGE plus for a polyglot like myself who adores learning new languages)! When I lived in Mexico, I fell in love with Latin American culture and language, so it followed that I fell in love in few times with the Latin lotarios as well! Now that I’m in Hong Kong, I see quite a number of handsome Asians, but I have not (yet) had the opportunity to “sample”… ;-)

    I know that I have gotten some flack from the brothers and sisters for my seemingly “quirky” dating history but at the end of the day, you really just have to “do you” and worry about making yourself happy. I not concerned with being “down” and not going to wait for my “Black prince” to come along… A prince of any colour will do, thank you very much!

    There is also so much to learn and explore when you “get your swirl on” and that’s what life is all about, no? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and comes in all sizes, shapes, and colours.

    Oneika (aka Nikita the Traveller)

  • 24. urbantravelgirl  |  April 21, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Ciao, Denise –
    I’m with you on the European man (REGARDLESS of race) front. They really do seem to have a worldliness and curiosity about them that I rarely find in American men, unless they’ve lived abroad for a long period of time. I think the European educational system also helps produce guys who are not so singularly focused, but who understand history and art and international relations and other topics that unfortunately American schools gloss over, if they include them at all.

    But I’m ALSO with you that whatever guy ends up lucky enough to have you needs to possess these qualities. No sense for settlingfor anything less than what you want and deserve.

    Good luck on the quest for a fabulous TALL man, whatever his race!

    Maureen

  • 25. urbantravelgirl  |  April 21, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Ciao, Nikita the Traveller — great to have you visit again! (OK, everybody, check out her FAB blog: http://oneika-the-traveller.blogspot.com/).

    It seems like you Canadians have a much healthier relationship to issues relating to race, in general. Not that Canada doesn’t have its history and issues, but the discourse just seems to be much more open and positive. Unfortunately, we Americans often are poisoned by the United States’ uniquely abusive and terrible history when it comes to race relations, and that colors (LITERALLY) nearly every interaction we have with others, whether in the States or abroad.

    But thanks so much for sharing your great story and experience, and for keeping your mind open about love and where you might possibly find it. Just the fact that you’re dating a blond German in Hong Kong demonstrates that fact! Have fun, and safe travels. Will be checking in to see where you’re off to next and what adventures await!

    Maureen

  • 26. Urban Travel Girl »&hellip  |  April 22, 2010 at 7:40 am

    [...] wrote recently about sisters “getting their swirl on” when traveling abroad, and have been fascinated by your thoughts (merci beaucoup for sharing!). One [...]

  • 27. vonnie  |  April 28, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I can not WAIT to go back to Europe now that I am of age. I’m now 24 and it was a decade ago when I traveled there, so I was only 14. My mind/heart has always been open to interracial dating, doesn’t matter to me what race someone is, and I particularly like the way that many black women have said that European men have treated them. I dated a Greek guy for a bit and he was so handsome, polite, cool, and nice. It was short lived because I moved back across the country for school and we just floated apart, but I liked the way he was! I need to live abroad certainly, taking up residence in Italy, Greece, and Spain.

  • 28. urbantravelgirl  |  April 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Vonnie, good for you for having an open mind and being willing to give a guy a chance, regardless of his race. Goodness knows I’ve dated enough losers of various backgrounds — but you never know when The One might come along in a package that doesn’t look exactly like yours. And that’s perfectly fine. And I’m often partial to European men in general, regardless of race, because they often are so well-traveled and cosmopolitan and interested in IDEAS. A cute face is nice, but in my opinion there’s no turn-on like a well-developed mind.

    Have a FAB time in Europe once you get back there!!

    Maureen

  • 29. Jan  |  May 8, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Hi I am traveling to Europe (England, Belgium and Paris) this fall and would like some advice on specific places to go to meet great European men. I went there years ago and I was sooo young. I got hit on by the men but I was not open at the time. However, I am now!

    Thanks for your input…

  • 30. Dani  |  May 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Well geez XaiXai. I need whatever you have to rub off on me. Maybe then I can get one of those Southern Europeans.

  • 31. urbantravelgirl  |  May 8, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Bonsoir, Jan –
    Yes, being open is a lovely thing! That doesn’t mean being EASY, but friendly. I’m always amazed at generally how much safer large European cities are than American ones. As long as you keep your wits about you and your eyes open, you should be quite safe. Just be open to the attention you receive — and even if you don’t choose to accept any invitations but casually flirt, you’ll still have a great time.

    You’ll have to write back and let us know how your fall trip goes, now that you’re going with an “open” mind!

    Maureen

  • 32. Kim Witherspoon  |  May 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Maureen,
    I can’t tell you happy I am to have discovered your blog while doing some research on Blacks in Paris. Reading what you and the other ladies have had to say certainly made my day.

    I’ve always believed that when it comes to men, racial variety is definitely the spice of life. During the earliest of my dating years, I always managed to shock my Mom (Lord, love her) by bringing guys home from races other than African American. I’ve traveld abroad a lot, with groups and independently and agree with you all. We are much appreciated outside of the US.

    I’m planning my second trip to Tuscany this year and I’m hoping to really immerse myself in the culture and the people. My plan is to explore Florence and it’s possiblities for long term residency. Gettin’ my swirl on, would be icing on the cake!!

  • 33. urbantravelgirl  |  May 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Ciao, Kim –
    I’m jealous of your trip to Tuscany!! (Have you seen the new movie “Letters to Juliet,” which takes place both in Verona and the Tuscan countryside? If you see that, you’ll NEVER want to go home!)

    So glad you’re enjoying the blog! What inspires me most is (virtually) meeting like-minded sisters like you. And you’re so right — variety is the spice of life, whether you’re talking travel, men, or cuisine. I know my parents think I’m nuts, too, but we are who we are. And it never ceases to amaze me how, as you point out, we black women are SO much appreciated once we leave our home countries.

    I’m headed to Latin America next month, and I’ll have to report back on the reception “down south.” Should be interesting, if nothing else!

    Buon viaggio,
    Maureen/Marina :-)

  • 34. Kim  |  May 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Ciao Maureen,
    Ok, I just came in from seeing Letters to Juliet. I swear I love ALL things Italian!!! What a great movie. I am such a romantic. I believe in love at first sight and soul-mates. This is not to say that I can’t recognize a fantasy when I see one, though. And, wonder of wonders, did I not see a Sista in the flick, poolside at their hotel in Siena!? At first I couldn’t believe my eyes, then she flashed on the screen a second time with a guy. I couldn’t quite make out his nationality. Sadly enough, she was the only Black American female (if that), in the picture. Well, at least she was being portrayed as swirling with somebody!! How appropos to the discussions in your blog.

    Don’t be jealous, come with us! The group will be small and there’s plenty of room for more. Where in L. America are you going?

  • 35. Donna  |  May 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Maureen,

    I have been crazy busy so I missed the initial discussion but I wanted to weigh in. I am married to a Black British man and I think that Black European men are overlooked as a viable option when traveling abroad. I wonder if that’s because many of us in America fail to consider that Black Europeans actually exist.

    I know that when I travel to the UK with my husband, I get lots of second looks, welcoming smiles from Black British men while visiting the Brixton Market. It could be that upon hearing my accent, these men think I’m exotic because I’m an American or they could just be blown away by my widow’s peak hairline and gap between my teeth (hee hee).

    I’ve found that Black British men are definitely different than brothas here in the U.S. I think one big difference is that Black British people period are in much smaller numbers which forces them to be adept at moving between their African/Afro-Caribbean culture and mainstream British culture. Their educational system is vastly different so they get exposure to different races and cultures early on which opens them up to interracial dating in ways that aren’t common here.

    Being married to a Black Brit allows me to have the “best of both worlds” so to speak. I have a man who is worldly and cultured, educated and open-minded while at the same time, he understands my struggle with race here in the US. His being Black doesn’t mean he’s any less sophisticated and open to new experiences.

    Now I know that we often see Black Europeans dating and marrying interracially but I wonder if because all Europeans are more open to race than here in the U.S., if what is attracting Black Europeans to non-Black Europeans isn’t simply a matter of race but also a matter of culture. I think African American women might find that Black European men would love and appreciate them as well. I’d encourage sistas to also visit Black ethnic enclaves when traveling to parts of Europe. Don’t forget the Black European brothas while being “down with the swirl” on your next trip abroad.

  • 36. Barbie doll  |  May 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Hi, I just found this page quite recently and boy do I love reading the comments. Picture me, a mere New Yorker in her early twenties, stuck in a traditional household, but educated nonetheless; while all of this beautiful love is occuring overseas for women like me. Gosh, I love this. And I love the comments, especially one that was made by Ms. Renee last month. I do find it a bit confusing to deny that I do love my crush’s off white skin color next to my chestnut brown, along with his blue eyes- just because I want to deny something for some insecure folks. We need to just not make it a big deal. Boy, can’t I wait to travel! Even if my crush and I do become a couple, we can travel together and I can watch his cheeks get a red each time a guy compliments me!lol jk. I just love that we are opening ourselves to oppurtunities that were once hidden from us. I do not put down anyone, I just enjoy people being closer to others and not being so seperate. Besides, if nothing else drives you,realize that: everyone else is doing it, so why cant you?! haha!

  • 37. urbantravelgirl  |  June 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Donna,
    You make GREAT points here!!! I totally agree that black European men have it going on, too. They’ve got that sophisticated, smart, worldly vibe — and their amazing accents are another huge bonus!! I love to find “the folks” when I go to Paris, London, Rome, and other cities with communities of color. Even though you’re obviously an outsider, it’s always fascinating to see where and how we live on the other side of the world.

    I’d love to hear from others of you out there who’ve traveled within Europe — do you find your African-American self getting hit on by black European brothers? Now that I think of it, I don’t recall so much getting “hit on,” but definitely being chatted up respectfully and acknowledged. That’s a lot more than we can say about what often happens here in the States!

    Maureen

  • 38. urbantravelgirl  |  June 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Ciao, Kim –
    I’m definitely planning a post here on “Letters to Juliet,” one of the prettiest and most romantic films in a LONG time (and I’m not a big believer in happy endings, all my hopeful comments to the rest of y’all notwithstanding). I’ll bet trips to Italy get booked like MAD by women after they see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside and the beauty in Italian towns like Verona.

    And YES — a sister as an extra!! What a huge bonus, and obviously a big deal to most black women who’ve seen the film (even a short flash onscreen made us take notice, because we almost NEVER see ourselves in films like these). What a shame that in 2010 the mere brief presence of a sister at an upscale Tuscan resort is a big deal.

    To answer your Latin America question, I’m headed to Mexico and Colombia for work early this summer — and can’t wait!!

    Maureen
    Maureen

  • 39. BlackGirlTravel.com  |  June 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Great posting and discussion! Is it okay for us to post a link to your blog on our site and Facebook group?

  • 40. urbantravelgirl  |  June 13, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Ciao, BlackGirlTravel (and Fleace’)! It is MORE than OK for you to post a link to my blog — I’d be honored!!

    Wishing you ladies “buon viaggio” on your travels to Italia this year!!

    Marina

  • 41. negritalinda  |  August 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    Hello All! I just want to add a bit about my exp. abroad. Every time I go abroad, I feel so much love from the men. Almost too much! All skin tones, white, black and in-between. I never feel disrespected or like its just for sex (although, what man Dosent have sex on the brain?? Exactly, mostly all).

    There were times when I was out dancing and two to three men were begging me to dance at the same time! It was a bit overwelming at times… But I LOVED it! I was with a large group and was the only black girl, so they could have chosen the white girls, but nope! Just me! : )

    Out on the street, on the bus, just walking.. it didnt matter. The men always showed me love.period. Enjoy ladies! : )

    I think we I’m ready to settle down, I’m looking abroad : )

  • 42. urbantravelgirl  |  August 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Ciao, Linda — and glad to hear you’ve received MUCH love when abroad! But just curious … where is it that you’ve traveled when you got all this attention? Many of us will be eagerly booking trips to the places YOU went! LOL

    Maureen

  • 43. Sarah Dee  |  August 31, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I love this post and the discussion! I was totally oblivious towards the appreciation of Black women abroad until I visited Turkey this past May. Not more than 10 minutes would go by when a different guy approached me. Now when it comes to men I am overly cautious because here in America I’m approached in all kinds of disrespectful ways. However, most of the Turkish men that approached me were extremely respectful and SO ROMANTIC! I did have one instance where I was alone in a shop in the Grand Bazzar with a very persistent man, but other than that it was a blast. They don’t even call us black they say “Chocolat” haha. Ever since I’ve been back I’ve endlessly encouraged every bw to go to Turkey, because it has seriously opened me up to so many different options now! I have such a new level of confidence in my color, and every Black woman deserves to feel what I felt.

  • 44. Gilma Neuhoff  |  October 31, 2010 at 6:14 am

    This site seems to recieve a great deal of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It gives a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something real or substantial to give info on is the most important factor.

  • 45. Maurice  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Not surprised by the comments here…Lol and I’m probably the only black male to respond here. I always wondered what took black-american women so long to realize how much they’re loved abroad. I love black women and understand how challenging it can be in the states. Although, I believe there’s a big difference between white men here in the states versus white men across the Atlantic.

    I tell my female friends to expand their borders abroad and that brotha you fall in love with could be a white chocolate brotha…so go ahead! I’m not mad at you. If it takes going overseas to find love…you better catch the 1st plane out.

  • 46. urbantravelgirl  |  February 3, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Ciao, Maurice — and SO glad you visited to share your male perspective!!! You sound like quite a gem yourself!

    How cool of you to recognize that sometimes sisters need to expand their horizons to find their Prince Charming — whatever his color, ethnicity or national origin.

    Thanks for keeping it real — and here’s wishing YOU plenty of happy travels of your own!

    Maureen

  • 47. Maurice  |  February 6, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Hola Maureen,

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m only a gem because of the black women who raised me as best as they could and the black men who mentor me now.

    I’ve lived in Germany through the military so I saw 1st hand how many German men go crazy for sisters, especially the dark-skin ones.

    Also, I just can’t stand the bashing back and forth between black men and black women….does no good and I haven’t read anything like that here. I believe some black women need to stop listening to some of their girlfriends and family members about that ” you better not date some white dude or whatever.”

    In my opinion, one of the keys would be to ensure that person’s motives are correct and we just have to use some common sense and trust our gut feelings when seeking or found by someone. One of my closest friends was found by her husband, who just happen to be white and he’s like the best thing since cocoa butter in her life.

    p.s. Do you know of anyone who’s visited Greenland? I’m considering a visit because I keep see ads all over the place in Boston.

  • 48. urbantravelgirl  |  February 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hola, Maurice (and sorry for my tardy delay!) –

    Seriously… you need your own talk show!! How refreshing to meet a man (even virtually) who’s got your open perspective. And I agree that we need to stop all the bashing. If we can’t agree, we need to just “live and let live.”

    As for GREENLAND, no — of all the well-traveled folks I know, I’ve never met a soul who’s been to Greenland! Hey, UrbanTravelGirls — any of you know anyone you can refer to Mr. Maurice?

    Maureen

  • 49. Shaneice  |  February 21, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Hi Maureen!

    I was so glad to come across your blog on this subject because I too am an African American female who is about to venture into the land of the “unknown” for many of us…..international travel. I am 26 yrs old from the “deep south”, and I will be traveling to Turkey (Istanbul then Ankara) on March 4th to meet up with my Turkish guy friend and I am nervous as all heck! It’s so time consuming making sure I have all the things for my hair! LOL And my lotions, cause you know we got to keep the skin right :) I’ve never traveled over seas and I have been constantly researching to try to make sure about the culture and appropriate dress during this time of year, even though my friend is an excellent source of reference ;-) He went to college here in the States and knows what things would totally clash over there. He also informed me that I may get several stares but it’s mainly because I will be like the first black person some Turkish people have ever seen in their lives, other than on T.V. LOL! And also bcz he thinks I’m so pretty :) I use to not date outside my race and be loyal to the “brothas”, but they venture out and date whomever they please. So why should we be confined to a box? I’m thinking like they do now: If you’re fine, you can have some of my time! Ha! I don’t care what color he is, just as long as he is kind, loving, respectful, great sense of humor….and oh yeah, cute :) My friend is all of these things and then some.

    Any way, he has soooo many activities lined up for us that I know my time there will be awesome, including meeting his family and close friends, and also taking me to every mall in the city (totally right up my alley since the US dollar is worth more than the Turkish Lira LOL) He insists on paying for EVERYTHING while I’m there. He says if I were to pay for just a cup of coffee for myself would shame and embarrass him, which I must say is new to a sista like me! Goodness! For real? Lol It’s their culture to treat ladies like princesses there. We could use A LOT of that over here!

    Thanks Maureen for giving ladies like me a place to share on your wonderful blog. Please wish me luck. I hope to share with u of a great experience when I return :)

  • 50. urbantravelgirl  |  February 21, 2011 at 6:14 am

    Hey there, Shaneice — thanks SO much for finding UrbanTravelGirl.com and for your thoughts!

    I’m SO jealous of your FABULOUS-sounding trip!!! I know you’re going to have a ball in both Istanbul and Ankara! I visited both a few years ago for work and wished I could have stayed longer. I found the people wonderfully friendly, and your friend is right — if you get any stares, it’ll be because you MIGHT be the only black person folks have ever seen except on TV! When in Turkey, I also traveled to a remote town in eastern Turkey for a school visit, and the kids and parents wanted to take pictures with me, and not so much with the others in my group… I’m SURE it’s because I was so different and probably WAS the only black person they’d ever seen up close. But they were the kindest people ever.

    I can’t wait to hear about your trip when you get back. Would you honor us UrbanTravelGirls by writing a guest post? It would be great to read a different perspective from a sista making her first trip overseas — and to such a fascinatingly different culture. Let me know, and safe travels!!!

    Maureen

    p.s. Your Turkish “guy friend” sounds like a gem. Think he’s got a few single cousins or brothers you can bring back? :-)

  • 51. Shaneice  |  February 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Hey Maureen

    It would indeed be an honor and MY pleasure to post an account of my experiences during my upcoming trip……grateful to you for the invite! Thank you! It’s also reassuring to hear of your travels to Turkey and how I’m likely to be received by the people there.

    And you know what? I often tell my friend that he is a rare gem that I have found. He doesn’t have any brothers that are of legal age LOL But I’ll look for you on the cousin front for some potential prospects :)

    Hope to get back with you soon :)

  • 52. urbantravelgirl  |  February 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Teşekkür ederim (Thank you), Shaneice!!

    You know, I’d FORGOTTEN that I’ve visited Turkey briefly during a cruise ship stop a couple years ago (we docked in the city of Kusadasi, on our way to the biblical city of Ephesus). That, however brief, was also a neat experience! It was RIGHT after the 2008 U.S. presidential election, so the merchants who’d try to get us to buy stuff would shout, “Obama! Obama!” when they saw us black American tourists walk by. It was a beautiful thing!

    But YES — I’m sure your friend has PLENTY of cousins, so share the wealth when you get back!

    BTW… when IS your trip? I’m going to remind you about sharing your experiences with us!!

    Maureen

  • 53. Shaneice  |  February 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    The trip is set for March 4th, so in approximately 11 days—-YAY!!! SO incredibly excited to be having this experience. I’ve got the passport ready in hand and bags semi-packed (because I keep adding and removing stuff daily LOL) I’m ready to board this flight and go!

    Of course my family is worried bcz no one in the family has ever traveled abroad, but to quote Jill Scott, I am going to start “living my life like it’s golden”, and what better way to start doing it than with a fine educated cutie (my “guy friend”) who will be my own PERSONAL tour guide, chauffeur, translator etc. in an exotic country—–he is such an amazing, beautiful human being on the inside as well as out :) So Maureen, if his cousins are ANYTHING like he is—–you have struck GOLD! I’ll go through a screening process for you of course, gotta weed out the crazies you know! LOL

    Can’t wait to come back with a new view of the world with fresh eyes and give my perspective of it!

    Thanx Maureen :)

    —-Shaneice

  • 54. Maurice  |  February 21, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Hey Shaneice,

    I’ve never been to Turkey and hopefully you have a wonderful time. Just be cautious not overly while there. Make sure to learn some basic Turkish words and phrases it will go a looong way…trust me. Also get an understanding of local customs and interactions with the Turkish culture, especially with western women. A good place to start would be visiting your local Turkish Consulate office in your area if there’s one…an abundance of info and you can ask questions.

    Enjoy each other’s company but set boundaries with the brotha. If you go out to drink do not leave it unattended. As far as the stares, well it’s true we as black people get them or will get them from my experiences in traveling overseas. As you and Maureen mentioned its due to the media and what they see on tv but it will be up to you to prove those perceptions/beliefs are false. I dealt with that foolish perception in Japan of all places but It is what it is. I still had a good time there and I’m sure Turkey will be the same with the people, different places, and esp., the food….take plenty of pictures!

    Have fun!
    Maurice

  • 55. Shaneice  |  February 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hey Maurice !

    Thanks a lot for all of your great advice. I found it to be very helpful. I have been trying to learn some of the commonly used words and phrases in Turkish that I deem to be the most important and useful. I have also found out through this process however, that Turkish is a very difficult language to learn! But I am still trying though. :)

    And I plan on having a wonderful time, taking tons of pics and sampling all the Turkish cuisine possible :)

    Thanx again Maurice

    —-Shaneice

  • 56. Stephanie  |  April 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Hello All! I am so happy to have discovered this blog! I have recently returned from Istanbul, Turkey. I found the people to be very hospitable and generous. The men would scream, “Michelle Obama” everywhere I went. I found it both hilarious and flattering. At first, I was a little disturbed by all of the staring. No one was rude, just very curious. There were plenty of school children on field trips to local museums. So many of them seemed fascinated by me. I appreciated that most people I encountered spoke decent English. My Turkish is horrible. However, no one made me feel bad about it. They seemed pleased that I even made an attempt at the language. Interestingly, both Turkish men and women never hesitated to comment on my beauty. Sarah Dee, a previous commenter is absolutely right by saying that “every black women deserves to feel” appreciated in this way. Needless to say, I was all smiles in Istanbul! Oh, and like Shaneice I have an amazing Turkish guy friend. I refer to him as my “Turkish Delight”. ;)

  • 57. urbantravelgirl  |  April 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Hello, Stephanie — and thanks for visiting my blog!! You and Shaneice are REALLY making me want to book my next trip to Istanbul. I’ve only spent a couple days there, but always knew it was a place I wanted to return for a much longer time.

    LOVE that everyone called you “Michelle Obama” — how charming!! I think I need a “Turkish Delight” of my own. LOL!!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Maureen

  • 58. buhle  |  April 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Hey Maureen
    it excites me to hear u speak aboit your “turkish delight”. I just had to mention that I too have a very very nice young educated man that i’m speaking to. I’m planning on travelling to ankara in december.it will be winter ,so there will be lots of cosying up :))) i never thought to date outside of my race or culture or religion,but so far so good. Before he knew me he saw my pics and decided to comment on them. we became friends but there was too much sexual tension that became something more. He loves me,he tells me everday (seni seviyorum) and i can confidently say that this is the best relationship ive been in EVER!! ive been learning basic turkish and his learning my native language too.he is too sexy and just like your guy ,mine is also planning a week long trip around his country.i’m so so excited.i support IRs.

  • 59. urbantravelgirl  |  May 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Ciao, Buhle –
    Actually, it’s not ME who has a “Turkish Delight” — UrbanTravelGirl readers Shaneice and Stephanie are the ones with the sexy Turkish sweethearts!! But I’m glad for all THREE of you, that you’ve fallen for men who’ve fallen first for YOU — who worship you as the Nubian goddesses you are! :-) That’s all ANY of us can ask for, right?

    Enjoy your trip to Ankara!! I’ve only been there once, but it seemed like a cool city and is one I’d love to visit again. Travel safely, and have a great time with your guy!!

    Cheers,
    Maureen

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  • 69. STILLBLCK!  |  October 31, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Fascinating blog! I just Told a friend to move for work because black BRIGHT, CLEVER, AND ASSERTIVE women get labeled here …ARROGANT (replacing- bright), UNPRODUCTIVE and LOUD (clever), ASSERTIVE (pushy and rude)..UNPRODUCTIVE and LOUD (clever), ASSERTIVE (pushy and rude)…sorry , but WE WON’T LET ANYONE BEAT UP OR DOWN on us.But , I have realized, to soften our Queen tone, we have tried to become more inviting; which has invited the worst demons to take their stabs. sorry , but WE WON’T LET ANYONE BEAT UP OR DOWN on us.But , I have realized, to soften our Queen tone, we have tried to become more inviting; which has invited the worst demons to take their ever waiting STAB for the kill on us – sighting us as GHETTO, LOUD, AND UNKEPT! Futher from the truth if you ask me…we scream something alright….POWER! It sees us coming.EVERY SINGLING ,BLACK MOTHER RAISING Kids, has raised some kind of super kid! Period. But instead they get the brainwashed world of hate…And dumbasses BELIEVE IT!….personally, I DONT WANT TO DATE, NOR MARRY ANYONE THAT STUPID! Its like, Real – death by any means to get rid of us females. Why? Because we haven’t fallen into place like most! LEARN YOUR PLACE! Right! God lord!
    For culture That desire to be equal with whom seem to have it all…really, do they? Why do they fight so hard to keep us back and down? “YOU CAN’T, BUT WE CAN”…AND WHY DO THEY CARE SO MUCH!?

    I believe Racism is about CONTROL! Really,, why hate Obama so much! Great family man ( there hasnt been a real family feel in the White House Since the KENNEDY’S) and he is an HONEST MAN….ITS JEALOUSLY if you ask me.
    KEEP IN MIND -HOW MANY RACES FOLLOW US, DESPITE MANY THAT HATE AND DISLIKE Regarding BLACKS!

    TRULY! Not spewing hate or any anger! Just my observation. My love life, jobs, friends..all suffer because people the need to blame someone, and black women are at the bottom of that indian totem poll.great excuse.WHO WILL DEFEND THEM? YOU (black female) DONT EXIST HERE! Really, not!

    I have had Asian guys when in highschool, and latin guys when in college look at me like their wifey. But some white chick stuck their big ass head in. And they guy thought…” WOW, two girls”. Lost interest when i notice guys can be that kitten to the moving light on the wall, and then that ball of strings rolls into him. MOST NEED TO GROW UP FIRST!
    Getting to the point…
    Men of all walks ask me out. SUCCESSFUL AND CHARMING, sweet, and CHARMING (CLEVER) and penniless(as long as we have respect I PAY THEM LOVE); and Its always the women ( usally) WHITE and Asian (and even east Indian – they’re rough. The whole family of women will attack if he is white.they are golden ticket i guess..on my base,He just needs to be on their radar and its on, no matter if he’s interested.sorry, but ,i have done this too many times), and some latinas( if all is sucessful.most can be just sneaky about it.SORRRY! I have seen the worst) but mainly MOST WHITE$( no matter what their standing is) They feel ENTITLE! The catch is their’s. And men in the USA think its a sexy game on – who will win? NOT TRUE FEELINGS AND LOVE ANYMORE, WELL, NOT FOR MOST.
    and these women Will say the most and do the most unspeakable behind my back to get him away.its awful…example:had a client ( i freelanced with),who i adored until she she went mental on me. She found out the designer ( GORGEOUS SWEDISH, EX-MALE MODEL) who showed a line in her studio ,asked me out within weeks of meeting me (which another guy who freelanced there matched us up.trying to help me forget the SOCIOPATH that lied to be with me…a real one too) .anywho,I had no idea she had been waiting for him to be freed from his girlfriend of 3year.had to take her to court to get the money she owed me, and lied to me telling me the clients didnt like me anymore.

    Bad behavior, It happens to most women others feel they need a leg up on… I just couldn’t and still can’t get why one day it was good with us and then the next he is distant…sorry this reads Arrogant. Just trying to get to the point. I dont think people understand that our culture, no matter how tormented it has been, OUR FAMILIES TAUGHT AND RAISED THEIR FEMALES TO BE PROUD- that means respect ones self. Giving our beauty up like GIRLS GONE WILD and porn ( thank god THEY DONT WANT US.) ITS DISGUSTING… what white women allow to happen to them these days, Trust me, They are losin too.but they come full force when they see the best of the men they want coming to us for Long term relationships… but this crap we face is pitiful! No more ooooollllld men looking for their 3rd wind after 90years of marriage and after 10wives, and they’re not looking to go through Ever again…BUT I DONT MIND TAKING A MISTRESS AND A BROWN COOKIE!

    STEP OFF!

  • 70. STILLBLCK!  |  October 31, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Forgive the typos. Wrote that long ass comment on my tablet. But I hope you got my point.

  • 71. Laura  |  May 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Don’t be fooled about Europe sisters the same things in America can also be found in Europe . Join social clubs , groups , gym,. Europe is under cover for the negative , please if you come to find love come with an open mind . I men have their issues anywhere ,. Be aware

  • 72. Johanna  |  June 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Hi i am so happy i found this blog i was in istanbul ,Turkey last week , and the attention me and my friend received from the Turkish men was shocking. We are to young 21 year old black females , who were stopped in the street by men to say how beautiful we were , when we went to reina at famous nightclub in istanbul all the were asking for our numbers , buying us drinks and asking us to dance. Me and my friend did not expect this at all we did not know that turkish men like black women. But the shocking thing that is was not only turkish men it was also men from other countries such as ,london, suadi arabia ,america , we are from london . To be honest it was nice to feel so loved , as black men don’t show they type of love to black women . I would say more black women should go to Turkey , this also happen to me and my friend when we went to Dubai.

  • 73. autumn  |  August 8, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Getting their swirl on? WTF… I swear Blacks as a whole make up the most stupid phrases and words. This is coming from a Black person…. Sista, I am a Queen (so I guess with all the queens in the black community, we must have some REAL leaders), Fleek, Crunk. smh We are a joke sadly on the world stage… things need to change.

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