Benvenuto! Bienvenue! Welcome!

August 11, 2014

mj_new-fb-profile-pic_july-2016-2
Salut,
and welcome to UrbanTravelGirl, a blog featuring my thoughts on black women living globally through international travel. I’m a passionate believer in the ability of travel to not only transform the way we see the world, but ourselves.  As an African-American woman, I’ve developed an even stronger sense of who I am by visiting nearly 35 countries and territories — and by living outside the United States. I spent nearly one year working as a freelance writer in Florence, Italy and in 2012 lived in the charming French village of Samois-sur-Seine, an hour south of Paris.  I don’t believe in letting other folks define ME — and you shouldn’t, either!

I hope to spark conversation among African-American women who love (or WANT) to travel abroad, who are never happier than when we’re in new and challenging foreign environments. I want to hear your comments about my trips – and I want to hear about yours. Wondering whether it’s cool to travel solo to Paris, or how you’d be received as a black woman in Rome? Put it out here and we UrbanTravelGirls will jump in and give you the scoop. Looking for some fab, locals-only restaurants and boutiquesin Florence, Barcelona or Buenos Aires? I’ll dish about it and hope other chicas visiting here will also share.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, hit the road, discover your own global bliss — and let’s chat about it!

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130 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Monetta  |  December 30, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Reenie, Cool blog!! I like your picture and the XL glass of vino on your “Who IS She” page … how is your current travel adventure going??!!!

  • 2. Monsieur David P.  |  December 31, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Bonsoir Reenie,

    Very nice blog! I hope you’re enjoying great food and wine! I will talk with you soon. Take care.

  • 3. Ricki Stevenson, Black Paris Tours  |  January 15, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Cou cou Mo!

    I love this blog and the fact that you are inviting other women to tell their stories, share their experiences!

    You’re challenging folks to get past their perceptions…sometimes based on what they’ve “heard” …and get out in the world to see and experience what’s really going on!

    Like Michelle Obama, I am proud to be an American today and I’m urging Americans to get out into the world to test this feeling while President Obama is in office. YOU WILL BE HAPPILY SURPRISED!

    Find budget priced trips to the places you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Forget the high priced big chain hotels for the moment and look for the clean, charming, inexpensive hotels with staff who cater to you and know the city!

    See the top tourist attractions, but get off the beaten path and find the “hood” and our history wherever you go!

    Black Paris Tours will be happy to help you if you’re coming this way anytime soon!
    http://www.tomtmusic.com/id24.htm
    You all have fun out there!

  • 4. Avis W.  |  February 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Travel opens doors and breaks down all kinds of barriers. Thanks for being its voice and speaking to independent women looking to broaden their horizons! I can’t wait for your next adventure ;-)

  • 5. Lynne Jordan  |  February 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Congrats on your blog! I took a trip to amsterdam (my favorite city) alone and had a blast!! One day Imust try a country where English is not so prevalent…

  • 6. Lynne Jordan  |  February 26, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Congrats on your blog! I traveled to amsterdam alone last January. It was fabulous! I blogged about the entire trip. I must travel to a country where English is not so prevalent…EEK! That will be a challenge.

  • 7. urbantravelgirl  |  February 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Lynne, SO glad to hear you’re also a believer in solo travel! You meet more people; you’re more open — and locals always feel freer to approach you and include you in their lives when you’re flying solo. Good for you… now, we’ve got to get you to a country where you’ll be language-challenged. Always a good excuse for making eye contact with a handsome stranger! :-)

    Maureen

  • 8. Lynne Jordan  |  February 27, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    OOOH… sounds like a plan! You sound experienced in that game. LOL

  • 9. Sprite  |  May 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Loved the article in the Chicago Tribune~I too enjoy traveling alone…good for you!

    Enjoy!
    Peace and Smiles,
    Sprite

  • 10. urbantravelgirl  |  May 1, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Bonjour, Sprite — thanks so much for reading my Tribune article and visiting this blog! Traveling solo ROCKS, doesn’t it? In fact, I’m in the south of France now “on holiday” by myself. Always an adventure!

    Maureen

  • 11. Cheryl Petratos  |  May 1, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    Loved your article! I also went to Italy in 2008 solo and loved it! I went on an escorted tour, but when I wanted company I had it and when I didn’t I had solitude! I made friends that I still talk to and I have a pic of myself at that same spot in Florence!
    Now, I am trying to get my pennies together to go to Spain and Greece….SOLO~!!

    Pax.
    Cheryl

  • 12. urbantravelgirl  |  May 2, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Ciao, Cheryl! Yes, I agree that Italy is a WONDERFUL place for women to start their solo travels. The people are friendly, the men are solicitious :-), and the culture is so open. I’ll bet you find Spain just as neat for a solo traveler… but since I’ve only been to Greece briefly on a couple of cruise stops, I don’t know. But the Greek people are also very friendly and open, so I’ll bet you’ll be fine. Plus, a smile opens doors everywhere… especially for women! “Buen viaje” when you get those pennies together and take that trip!

    Maureen

  • 13. Cheryl Petratos  |  May 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I know exactly what you mean about the men in Italy! yum!yum! it can only get better right?!

    I’m Greek and African-American so I can hardly wait to get to Greece! Can you believe my Greek cousin found me on facebook?! This should be quite an experience! Stay tuned!
    Chery

    PS….I’m am patiently going to wait for a book from you! I know it would be great!

  • 14. urbantravelgirl  |  May 4, 2009 at 1:35 am

    How TOTALLY cool is it that you’ve got cousins in Greece — and that one tracked you down? You’ll have the COMPLETE hookup once you get there. Please take good notes… and save a Greek cutie for me! LOL

    My mom and I stopped at a couple Greek ports during a cruise in November and I fell in love with Santorini. It’s DEFINITELY on the must-return list.

    And yes, I DO plan to write that book someday… I shall certainly keep you posted on what and when! :-)

  • 15. planetnomad  |  May 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Hi! Found your blog through Wacky Mommy (aka Nancy…we went to college together). I love to travel too, although I usually drag my husband and kids along. (For one, their French is better than ours. For two, so is their Arabic and Spanish.) I’m going to subscribe and look forward to hearing about your latest travels.

  • 16. urbantravelgirl  |  May 13, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Dear PlanetNomad,
    I’m so glad you found my blog — and through that precious WackyMommy, no less! LOL I’ve got to figure out the “subscription” thing, but it’s on my list… in the meantime, PLEASE check back! I’ve been promising my friends that more stories and photos from the French Riviera are on the way!

    And good for you and your husband for hitting the road with your kids. Not sure how old they are, but what a precious and valuable gift to pass along, yes?

  • 17. Neisha  |  May 13, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Maureen! I’m loving your blog and living vicariously. Although, I’m happy to report that our kid has enough frequent flyer miles to get at least monthly credit card offers at age 8. Keep up the travel and the writing and I’ll be following along!

  • 18. UrbanTravelGirl  |  May 14, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Hey there, Neisha — so glad you checked out my blog! And I’m also thrilled to hear your son is already a world traveler… wish I’d started that young myself. Please keep in touch!!

  • 19. sendingpostcards  |  August 1, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Hi Maureen,

    Thanks for your comment – I am looking forward to getting your ‘Tourist in Your Own City’ post on Chicago!

  • 20. Donna Hull  |  August 1, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Enjoyed meeting you at TBEX as we waited for our photograph to be taken in front of the bean. I’ll be looking in on your blog. Great resource for women solo travelers. Love the picture of the glass of vino.

  • 21. urbantravelgirl  |  August 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Donna, great meeting you, too! Can’t wait to see the pics Peter took of all of us — what a generous gift! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, and I’m off to check out http://myitchytravelfeet.com/ right now!

  • 22. Nikita  |  August 11, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Nice blog!
    I am a “travelling sista” as well; I have lived in France and Mexico and just moved to Hong Kong last week! Check out my blog and please add me to your blogroll!

  • 23. urbantravelgirl  |  August 11, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Ciao, Nikita!! I’ve seen you on Stacy’s Bisous from Paris and probably American Black Chick in London blogs… great meeting you and CONGRATS on your move to Hong Kong. A woman after my own heart!! I will happily add your blog to my roll — and please do the same for me!

    Talk soon,
    Maureen

  • 24. Donna  |  August 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I love your blog. I’ve traveled to Canada, Mexico and the UK and plan to do more travel to Europe, Asia and the Carribbean. My husband is from Manchester and we’ve traveled there and Ireland to visit his family. Traveling abroad enriches my teaching (I’m a college professor in Women’s Studies) and as a black woman, I get to experience so many different types of people and culture.

    Now that my younger sister has finished college, we’re planning a trip to Europe next year while my husband and his best friend go to Prague. I cannot wait!

    Keep up the good work!

  • 25. urbantravelgirl  |  August 30, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Donna, thanks so much for visiting! I’m so psyched for you and your sister’s trip to Europe next year — hope you’ll have plenty of time to travel around at your leisure. And how cool that your husband is from the UK and Ireland — I’m sure it’ll be a blast seeing his countries through his eyes, and also experiencing them through your own perspective. Keep me posted on your travels. I want to live vicariously through all of you as well as take trips on my own!

    Bon voyage,
    Maureen

  • 26. Marta Fernandez  |  September 20, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Hello while researching Ada “Bricktop” Smith..I saw your avatar. I had to look twice..it was like looking at myself in the 1970′s..you had me there for a moment..we have the same face..and probably my hair had those moments..wow..interesting blog..travel on..and continued good luck …there are a few of you world travelers around!

  • 27. urbantravelgirl  |  September 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Ciao, Marta — and thanks for visiting! Yes, there ARE a few of us globetrotting sisters out there, and there need to be many more. That’s why we all need to keep each other encouraged as we set out to see the world!

    Happy travels,
    Maureen

  • 28. Greg Gross  |  November 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Love your blog. We need to talk. Actually, we need to exchange links. Your blog will be on my blogroll by the time you finish reading this.

    You go, girl.

    Greg Gross, editor
    “I’m Black and i Travel!”

  • 29. urbantravelgirl  |  November 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Ciao, Greg — thrilled to meet you (virtually!). Thanks for the kind words about my blog — and back at ya!! I’ll have to spend way more time on “I’m Black and I Travel!” when I’m not at work. :-) But thanks for adding me to your blogroll — and I’ll add you to mine right now.

    Let’s DEFINITELY chat!

    Maureen

  • 30. American Black Chick in Europe  |  November 5, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Hi! This isn’t related to your post, I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Blogger Award.

  • 31. urbantravelgirl  |  November 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Hey there, American Black Chick –
    NO WAY!!! You are the biggest sweetheart… MERCI BEAUCOUP, ma cherie! I’m not sure which Blogger Award, but I’m beyond honored — especially because YOUR blog is so fabulous!

    Thanks again — that really makes my day! :-)

    Maureen

  • 32. Leila  |  November 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Hello..I saw one of your comments on Stacy’s blog Bisous from Paris and you mentioned some contacts in Rome? My girfriends and I are going to rome in March and we were looking for a nice B&B! Do you have any advice??? If so..please contact me at lhbasics@gmail.com..Can’t wait to follow your blog:)

    Ciao

  • 33. urbantravelgirl  |  November 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Ciao, Leila — and thanks for visiting my blog!! Yes, we are ALL living vicariously through Ms. Stacy and her fab “Baci from Rome!” blog (http://bacifromrome.blogspot.com/), aren’t we?

    My absolute FAVORITE B&B is Daphne Inn (www.daphne-rome.com), with two great locations perfectly centrally located, right off the “Barberini” Metro stop. It’s owned by two people who have become good friends of mine over the years, and I stay there EVERY time I travel to Rome, whether for company business or pleasure. Be sure to tell Elyssa and Alessandro that Maureen from Chicago sent you. I’ve recommended it to countless friends over the years and they’ve always loved it. Elyssa is an American from Florida; her husband Alessandro is Roman. Between them, they speak about five or six languages, but have created the most comfortable, welcoming oasis in the middle of Rome. But book EARLY — it’s been written up in tons of worldwide magazines and guidebooks, so it’s really popular, especially during the busy season. (I’m proud to say I was one of the FIRST journalists to write about them way back in 2003 (http://www.daphne-rome.com/cms/chicago.htm)!

    Buona fortuna — and have a GREAT time in Rome, one of my two favorite cities in the world!

    Maureen

  • 34. gs  |  December 31, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    So glad I found your blog. I want to re-connect with my inner-travel adventurist side. I’d love to read more about your personal thoughts regarding solo travel as a black woman. I REALLY how to have the most fun without reservation…or feeling held back by 1. being alone as a traveler. 2. Being female in cities where that may seem like an odd thing. and 3. being black in a place where we come through few and far between…

    Whatever thoughts you have about how to connect with friendly people while traveling solo and really having a memorable experience are appreciated! Thanks for being an inspiration! :)

  • 35. urbantravelgirl  |  January 1, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    Ciao, GS — and thanks so much for checking out my blog! GOOD FOR YOU, deciding to get out there and experience the world “without reservations!” As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only way to go!

    You asked about connecting with friendly people when traveling solo. I wrote a post some months back about this topic and connecting with “the locals” wherever you happen to be (http://bit.ly/90d8ur). Check this out and let me know what you think!

    Let’s all keep inspiring and encouraging each other in our travels in 2010 and way beyond!

    Happy New Year,
    Maureen

  • 36. Mack Reynolds  |  February 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Maureen,

    Are you being careful out there?

    All the best, Mack

  • 37. Tremaine  |  February 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Great blog! I will definitely add you to the Links of Interest on my Website – PhxSoul.com. It’s refreshing to see more sistas taking time to explore the world because there is so much to see and do! I look forward to embarking on more international trips in the years to come!

  • 38. urbantravelgirl  |  February 19, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Tremaine, thanks for visiting my blog — and for adding mine to your Web site. I used to live in Phoenix, so I can REALLY appreciate your blog and its attempt to keep black folks posted on what’s happening. (I used to be in the Phoenix Delta Sigma Theta chapter, so thanks for pubbing its “Ruby Red Casino Royale” fundraiser!)

    I’m with you — HOW REFRESHING to see sistagirls out and about in the world! I’m in London today and just love seeing all us “daughters of the diaspora” on the streets, trains and stores. Gives you a whole new perspective!

    Maureen

  • 39. Jay  |  March 3, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Excellent blog. Keep up the good work!

  • 40. urbantravelgirl  |  March 3, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Jay, thanks for the kind words — and for visiting. I’ll be sure to check out your blog (www.jaytravels.net), too. It looks GREAT!

    Maureen

  • 41. Oronike Odeleye  |  March 25, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I thought your readers, or you, might enjoy this trip!

    Taller Portobelo Norte and Black Pearl Travel present the:

    Joie de Vivre Arts & Culture Tour
    Dakar, Senegal
    May 30 – June 6th

    In celebration of the 2010 Dakar Art Biennial, participants will take part in the Biennial festivities, visit art galleries, museums and speak with professional fine artists in their private studios.

    Participants will travel to Goree Island, home of the infamous Slave Castle, Pink Lake, where they’ll surf the sand dunes in four-wheelers, and Toubab Diallos’ Sobe Bade Art Colony, offering classes in Senegalese Dance and Batiking.

    A trip to Senegal isn’t complete without enjoying their excellent French and West African restaurants, never-ending markets and vendors, and white sand beaches. Known for its jumping nightlife, TPN will be making nightly outings to party at Dakars’ many concerts and nightclubs featuring internationally acclaimed artists and musicians.

    The deadline to register is Friday, April 2nd so reserve your space today!

    For more information or to register online: http://www.tallerportobelonorte.com/dakar.html

    Oronike Odeleye
    Administrative Director
    Taller Portobelo Norte
    http://www.tallerportobelonorte.com
    odeleye@tallerportobelonorte.com

  • 42. Xpat  |  April 12, 2010 at 1:27 am

    you inspire me..

  • 43. Antoinette  |  April 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    This blog is great. As a black female who is also an avid traveler and writer, I have always wondered why black people don’t get out there more often to mingle on a global scale. We need to be ambassadors of our culture to dispel the stereotypes and help eliminate the prejudice that divides everyone on this planet. Traveling is one small step towards doing this!

    I’ve been living in Osaka, Japan, a place where foreigners make up less than 1% of the population. It’s been unreal. I’ve encountered people here who have never actually seen a black person in the flesh. No joke. It’s been eye-opening for sure and I’ve learned a lot about myself as well.

    Safe travels,
    Antoinette

  • 44. urbantravelgirl  |  April 22, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Ciao, Antoinette — and thanks so much for visiting!! How COOL that you’re living in Osaka! (I need to be keeping a list of all these global sisters in far-flung cities around the world — I want to meet you guys when I finally get to your countries!)

    You’re SO right that travel teaches you as much, if not MORE, about yourself than it teaches you about the places you visit. I am ALL for us being individual “ambassadors of our culture” when we travel, as you suggest.

    Keep on keeping on! :-)

    Maureen

  • 45. brittany  |  April 27, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Hey, Im Brittany a 21 year old college student studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. I totally agree traveling is a great experience and helps you to find yourself and the truth about others. I am enjoyin my experience her thus far. I found a great stylist however he likes me and its kinda creepy which makes me sad because I really liked the way he did my hair. I am struggling to find a hair store here. I also like your double strand twsits but im not sure that I could pull that one off lol. Yep I have ALL my annoying hair supplies with me. I look forward to reading about your experiences and sharing some of mine with you
    Besos
    Brittany

  • 46. urbantravelgirl  |  April 27, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Hola, Brittany — and thanks for visiting!! So cool that you’ll be in Madrid for awhile.

    Yes, we sistas are used to traveling with our hair supplies. (How are you wearing yours now?) It’s AMAZING how easy two-strand twists are to wear — and it’s flattering on nearly every person I’ve ever seen wear them. Maybe then you could leave your creepy stylist behind!

    Keep in touch and keep us posted on your Spain adventures!

    Maureen

  • 47. Tracey  |  May 6, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    A blog after my own heart! Way to go Urban Travel Girl!

    My job – as I see it – is to take ethnically diverse tweens on travel & learning adventure excursions and expose them to the world while watching them grow. Just got back from taking 10 girls to CampCaribe in the US Virgin Islands and it was a blast! The Idea for CampCaribe can be found on Oprah’s Angel Network.

    Comments I heard while facilitating CampCaribe: Are these girls at risk? Are they underprivileged? Is this a sports team?
    My [audible] response: What makes you ask?

    As you know, the myth that people of color don’t travel is still prevalent. Parents paid and/or fundraised to make sure their kids were able to take advantage of the life-changing opportunity my travel camp is offering their girls.

    Let’s keep on moving in spite of these ridiculous myths! The world is our oysterrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

    Tracey =)

    Tracey Friley
    Principal, OBG LLC dba
    OneBrownGirl.com
    OBGAdventureCamps.com
    MulticulturalCampAssociation.com

  • 48. urbantravelgirl  |  May 7, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Ciao, Tracey — and BLESS YOU for all you’re doing to expose girls of different backgrounds to the joy of travel!! Yes, it still amazes me how clueless some folks are, thinking that SURELY none of us have the money (let alone the interest) to go anywhere. I’m sure now that your girls have been bitten by the travel bug, it’ll remain part of their lives forever.

    BRAVA to you!!!

    Maureen

  • 49. Biba Sihota  |  May 26, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    If you are visiting Chicago – make sure you bought Go Chicago Card. It is one ticket for 30+ attractions in Chicago. You get extra benefits extra discounts in Restaurants and Retail outlets. More information Go Chicago Card

  • 50. Robyn Smith  |  July 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Thk u so much for your insights into African American Women travelling abroad whether with group and/or solo. I just returned from my lifetime dream of visting Tuscanny, Italy. Prior 2 my departure I was a little worried about travelling overseas alone which is how I stumped upon your website. Having raised all children and reaching the blessed age of 50 I felt it was time that I go see the world. When I stepped off the plane in Paris for connecting flight into Florence I can not put into words the exhilirating feelings of joy. My trip was not only a dream come true but a opening 2 a door of a world outside of America and what a beautiful place it was for me. The trip was booked through a tour company & there were 13 total of my group. I was the freshman of the group with this being my 1st european trip but by departure these veteran travelers made sure I understood about travelling 2 Europe (everything from country customs 2 utilizing the european rail system while in Europe 4 travel to other countries). Italy was beautiful and very welcoming. I had learned some general expressions of Italian that open up dialogue with everyone encountered on the streets of Italy. Again, I thk. u for helping us understand that it is OK. (smile).

    Next stop Paris

  • 51. urbantravelgirl  |  July 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Salut, Robyn!

    Your note nearly brought me to tears. THIS is why I wanted to start this blog, for us to encourage EACH OTHER to get out there and experience the world for all it has to offer. And the fact that you did it at age 50 is even COOLER. So, so grateful for whatever small role this blog and the women who comment have played in inspiring your trip of a lifetime.

    It most DEFINITELY is OK … and please write back and tell me what you think of Paris. I’ll bet the city will blow your mind (you MAY not decide to make that flight back home!).

    Bonne chance, ma cherie!

    Maureen

  • 52. MsBeautySOul  |  July 28, 2010 at 8:11 am

    I found you on Kiritiana’s blog… So happy to have found so many black travel blogs through that site. I’ve been searching and searching and finding these dry ass white middle ass blogs so this feels like Christmas… I’m black British and been onsessed with travelling ever since I got my first passport aged 18…

  • 53. urbantravelgirl  |  July 28, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Ciao, MsBeautySoul –
    SO glad you stopped by my blog… and I’ll look forward to checking out yours! We world-travelling sisters must help each other out, yes?

    Maureen

  • 54. Toni  |  August 9, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Wow, I’ve been looking for a blog like this for a while. I’m 19 and always been an “anywhere but here” kind of person. Traveling for me holds the promise of freedom that I have only dreamed of. I’ve only been to France but can you say amazing?! Now, I’m looking into couchsurfing. As horrible as it sounds, there’s something very beautiful about getting past the distrust of myself. It has encouraged me to be more open. Now, I look up the price of tickets anywhere. I don’t care where I go but I long to go. Of course, I wonder how I will be perceived. I am so excited though as my friends put it ” to show the world big hair.” Can’t wait to read more of your blog!

  • 55. Daniele  |  August 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I love your blog! I really do!

    I’m a 22 year old from Texas, and I’m moving to Spain next month to teach English at a high school in Madrid proper. Yours and the other travel blogs by other Black women inspired me to start my own: haveshoeswilltravel.tumblr.com (you’re on my blog roll! lol)

    Any quick tips that you could share for my big move? I’m a pretty outgoing person, but reading about all the stereotypes placed on Black women abroad has me a tad anxious. Not to mention my hair!! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!

    Paz y Amor,
    Daniele

  • 56. online casino news  |  August 18, 2010 at 5:49 am

    you are so lucky to have traveled all over the world. I wish I could do the same

  • 57. Dr. Donna Nicol  |  September 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Maureen,

    I am a follower of your blog whose married to a Black Brit (trying to jog your memory a bit) and I am starting a scholarly article on Black Women traveling abroad by focusing on bloggers specifically. I want to focus on the relative absence of Black women from dialogues about travel and how bloggers like yourself are opening up a new realm of possibilities for Black women. This article is for Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and if accepted, the article will be published in Spring 2011. I’d like to set up some email correspondence with you to ask you about starting the blog, your readership and what you see as the future for Black women and travel.

    Thanks,

    Donna

  • 58. urbantravelgirl  |  September 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Dr. Donna,
    YES, I remember you! And I’m totally flattered you’d like to speak to me about UrbanTravelGirl! I’ll e-mail you offline, but would LOVE to do it. Thanks so much for thinking of me!

    Maureen

  • 59. Susan  |  September 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Maureen, I saw your info on Paris recently in the Jet and just passed it on to a “sister friend” who is traveling to Paris in April.
    My husband and I love to travel and are heading to Italy (I knew I would get your attention!) in November. It is a Chamber of Commerce planned trip but will leave us ample time to explore. We will be staying in Tuscany, Montecatini specifically. Hotel – The Grand Hotel Vittoria. Any suggestions, recommendations, “must see”, would be so, so greatly appreciated. Will be heading to Rome ( Beverly Hills Hotel) on the back end for 2 days
    Ciao,
    Susan

  • 60. limo hire  |  November 3, 2010 at 11:22 am

    very well written..keep posting

  • 61. Dave  |  November 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    There is a thread over at crazyguyonabike about what to expect as a ultra long range bicycle tour around the world by an African-American. Maybe you could pop in and give your thoughts.

  • 62. Lola  |  December 10, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Hi Maureen! Hope you’re doing great. I’m trying to reach you via email. Can you please drop a line to augustgreen [AT] hotmail [DOT] com.

    Thanks so much!!

  • 63. Angelina  |  December 20, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Your blogs arouse my interests in travelling !

  • 64. troutmon  |  December 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hello Im glad to hear about your aventures and I have been to paris and italy and fell in love and did not want to come back to the states and this was in 99. Ive been traveling since and looking forward to going to Japan.

  • 65. Jubilee  |  January 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I DREAM (literally) of traveling all the time. How can one afford these trips? Are there programs that sponsor?

  • 66. Kelly E. Carter  |  January 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Jubilee,
    Don’t let money stop you from traveling. Find a way to get PAID to travel. That’s what I did and so did Maureen.

    Learn how to become a travel writer. If you’re not in a city that offers courses, take an online course via http://www.mediabistro.com. Granted, I had a head start and had been writing for major newspapers and magazines for nearly 20 years before I decided to add travel writing to my repertoire but regardless what your background is, if you can get published then there is an abundance of free trips awaiting you. Do research which media outlets allow “freebies,” as they are viewed as unethical by some and banned by some outlets.

    And if you can’t write then find a job that still allows you to travel but where you don’t have to write.

    Good luck and happy traveling!

    And Maureen, keep inspiring us to see the world and in turn have the world see us!

  • 67. urbantravelgirl  |  January 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Kelly,
    GREAT point!! And these days, when anyone with access to a computer can start a blog, WHY NOT create one about travel if you aren’t a professional writer and don’t have a way to get yourself published (yet) in major publications? Not that I’m trying to generate more competition (LOL!), but blogging is a GREAT way to develop your voice and share your perspective.

    And if you build up a strong enough following, then perhaps you WILL be invited to take some of those “free trips” Kelly mentioned. “Traditional media” these days now includes influential bloggers and website writers, so try to make yourself one of those!

    Good luck,
    Maureen

  • 68. ife  |  January 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    i am an african american woman who will be travelling to rome paris and london solo this summer. would love insight on what to expect for my own experience!

  • 69. Gwen  |  January 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Hello,

    I’m looking to return to Italy and spending a month, going to rent and apartment. I’m looking a spending a least a week or possibly 2 up in the Lake Como Bellagio area and would love to connect with and receive info from anyone who has been to Como.

    Heh, Maureen have you heard of the website Couch Surfing ?? Looks interesting though not sure if I’d want to stay on someone’s sofa :<

  • 70. urbantravelgirl  |  January 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Ciao, Gwen — and thanks for visiting! You know, in all my getting around Italy I have NEVER been to the Lake Como/Italian Riviera. Hopefully some UrbanTravelGirl readers who HAVE can help you out!

    And YES — I have heard about CouchSurfing.org. GREAT concept, but I’m with you: not so crazy about the idea of staying on someone’s sofa. But it’s not because I’m a terrified American, thinking everyone’s out to do me in. I just prefer staying in hotels, B&Bs, rented apartments, etc., when I travel. Even when friends insist I stay at their places, I graciously decline as often as I can. I cherish my freedom when I travel, and you give that up when you’re bunking at someone else’s place. But perhaps there’s an UrbanTravelGirl reader who’s done CouchSurfing and loved it.

    If you’re out there, do tell!

    Maureen

  • 71. Gwen  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve been looking at tons of apartments (budget) in Como area
    as well as how to get there. I have found some as cheap as
    $350. per week. I ready to leave NOW.

    Lawd please let me hit the lotto so I can buy a aprtment in Italy, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    BEAUTIFUL photos.

  • 72. urbantravelgirl  |  February 1, 2011 at 5:10 am

    Ciao again, Gwen —
    GREAT news that you’ve been able to find reasonable apartments in Lake Como. (Just remember that a super-cheap place may be too bare-bones for your taste… and it’ll probably be tough to change apartments once you get there if you’ve pre-paid for it.) Website photos can sometimes be misleading.

    But I’m totally with you on winning the Lotto! If I did, I’d probably want to pick up a piece of real-estate heaven in Italia, too!

    Maureen

  • 73. Gwen  |  February 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Yes I know, Italy’s 4 star is 2 star here. I did find from my previous trip that the mattress’ are not like the ones here. They can be very hard.

    I spent a few nights tossing and turning. My bed in Rome was THE worst.

    Where are the Lago di Como travelers !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 74. Freya  |  February 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Love your blog, it’s so inspiring :)

  • 75. Kemi  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I found your blog by accident while trying to google “African American travel gudies”. As a 20-something African-American woman, I have been blessed to travel through Europe, South America, and Asia. This summer I will be doing a backpacking trip through Europe and I’m excited! I remember going to Europe for the first time and my family and friends were worried about me, more than my non-black friend’s parents were for them! We’ve grown up with this fear of racism and biogtry abroad, it does exist, but most of it is in our head. If you learn the customs beforehand and treat the locals with respect, you will be treated the same.

    I remember being in Greece and the men would come up to me and say how beautiful I was, not in annoying way, and I thought that was nice. Being black in downtown Tokyo didn’t raise any eyebrows, in fact they wanted pictures of me because there aren’t many black people in Japan and asked me questions about America. In Italy I made long lasting friends with an Italian family while enjoying some good wine. Sweden I was welcomed with open arms and plenty of herring.

    I wish that more African-Americans, especially women, were more comfortable in traveling abroad. You’d be surprised on what you will learn!

  • 76. urbantravelgirl  |  February 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hola, Kemi — and AMEN, AMEN, AMEN to everything you just said, girl!!! There’s nothing like leaving your comfort zone to find comfort, ironically enough — and I’m never more at home than when I leave the States.

    You’re so right — more of sisters need to do it, and do it more often! There’s a big world out there waiting to be met!

    Safe travels,
    Maureen

  • 77. Green Afro Diva  |  February 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I found your blog under black people travel too. I enjoy your content and will be adding you to my blog. Hopefully, we will get to hear about more of your travels. I was blessed to have served in the military and therefore, got to see Hawaii, arizona, and missouri. Here’s the link to my stay in Hawaii for almost 4 years http://greenafrodiva.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/travel-and-kultureclub-living-in-paradise/

  • 78. urbantravelgirl  |  February 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    ALOHA, Green Afro Diva — and thanks so much for finding UrbanTravelGirl and visiting!

    One of the underrated benefits of serving in the military is the chance to see so much of the United States — and ideally, the world. Can’t wait to check out your blog on Hawaii. I’ve only been there once — spent most of our time in Honolulu but fell in love with Maui on a day trip — I’ll have to get some tips from you on where to go!!!

    Happy Travels,
    Maureen

  • 79. Nicole  |  February 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Kia ora, Maureen!

    Just returned from a trip to New Zealand for my birthday, and I had an amazing time in the land of kiwis. I was inspired by your blog and your travels to Italy for your special day. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a bday bash; I went solo and created my own party on foreign shores.

    I didn’t see any black women in Queenstown, New Zealand, but saw several sistas having dinner and out and about in Christchurch. I love that we are being adventurous and seeing more of the world.

    Keep up the great work!

    Ka kite ano,
    Nicole

  • 80. urbantravelgirl  |  February 20, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Kia ora, Nicole!!
    SO, so proud of you for taking yourself to New Zealand for your b-day… YAY!!! I’m glad my crazy adventures helped inspire you to JUST DO IT!! I’m with you, girl — I don’t believe in waiting for other folks to help me do my thing. Have passport, will travel — and will HAPPILY do it solo!

    And how COOL that you saw some sistas in Christchurch! I’ve never been to New Zealand or Australia, but both are on the list. So much of the world to see, not enough time!!

    Thanks AGAIN for visiting UrbanTravelGirl … and let’s keep inspiring EACH OTHER!!

    Ka kite ano,
    Maureen

    p.s. And thanks for teaching me these two Maori phrases — love it!!!

  • 81. Vanessa  |  February 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Just happened upon your blog and find it amazing! Looks like Italy is your favorite. I have an opportunity for a long weekend in Milan soon, and am looking for suggestions on hotels, places to see, things to do, maybe a private guide. Three days is a short amount of time, and I want to make the best of it. Contact if you are ever in Paris; my husband is on an assignment here, probably for at least the next year. Keep the info coming!

  • 82. urbantravelgirl  |  February 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Salut, Vanessa –
    So you’re living in Paris for the next year, then? If I’m reading that right, congratulations!! I’m heading to the south of France next month; still not sure whether I’ll be able to get to Paris for more than an airport change. Are you actually IN the city or living in the suburbs surrounding Paris?

    You may be surprised, but I don’t have loads of info to offer on Milano. To be honest, it’s probably my least favorite Italian city, although I’ve been there a couple times. I remember staying at Hotel Sanpi, a four-star property well-located place near some of the city’s major shopping streets. But you DEFINITELY should check out 10 Corso Como, an incredible boutique/bookstore/cafe/concept space.

    Of course, you’ll see the usual suspects: the Duomo (which always seems to be under construction); Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, regarded as the world’s first indoor shopping mall (it’s GORGEOUS!); the Santa Maria della Grazie to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” (for which you need to buy advance tickets).

    And if you’re into opera, getting a ticket to any production at the world-famous La Scala opera house would be a treat. It was undergoing renovations the last times I was there, so I never got to to do that.

    Have a great time — let me know how it goes!

    Arrivederci,
    Maureen

  • 83. MelissaBee  |  March 4, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I stumbled across your blog and have been enjoying browsing through many of your recent and not so recent articles! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences to the world! :)

    I am 22 myself and am getting my MS hopefully this summer in Computer Science. I have traveled abroad in Europe in about 10 countries over there with an ex-boyfriend and a group of friends before. Prague was my absolute favorite out of those. Unfortunately I have not been back since and my family is somewhat unsupportive of my decisions to travel and some have expressed negative jealousy, not the good envy type. Also I have to admit I was pretty scared to go at it alone.

    Most of the travel experiences I want are more related to volunteering or working abroad rather than just being a tourist. Like one of the people one your blog said, I basically just bought the ticket to Thailand and am going to spend a month there alone doing volunteering with a reputable organization there, and will be living in and working with the hill tribes there. After I obtain my MS this summer I am just going to jump in and volunteer in Tanzania or Kenya for a few months to help teach English to native students.

    I really just wanted to say thank you because it’s great to read your advice which has addressed some of my fears and concerns about traveling alone. And I also am glad to know I am not the only one who has noticed and is somewhat saddened to not see more Black Americans traveling, or even choosing to volunteer abroad. I will be keeping up with this blog. It’s been a great read, encouraging and motivational. I will surely pass this link on to other people who have felt similar ways. Thanks! :)

  • 84. urbantravelgirl  |  March 5, 2011 at 7:28 am

    HOLA, MelissaBee — and SO glad you visited UrbanTravelGirl! I’m also grateful that you found it motivating… we ALL need that. Even though we don’t see as many of us sisters out there traveling the world as we’d like, hopefully we can keep inspiring each other and our numbers will grow!

    Love that you’re so willing to share your life with others, volunteering in far-off places to help folks you’ve never seen. May YOU inspire more of US to do the same!

    Happy and Safe Travels,
    Maureen

  • 85. SG  |  March 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Bonjour Maureen,

    I happened to find your blog by weeding through some sites and blogs dedicated to African American travels. You see, I have been thinking of starting my own travel blog for the past couple of years – I am a HUGE procrastinator!

    In any case, I have been generating ideas for content and how I would like my blog to look. Also, I am the throws of planning a trip to for me and my husband to Europe in May. Travel is always on my mind, so I was pleased to come across your blog – can’t wait to start sifting through your blogs and discovering your point of view about travel. Since you are the only other black woman who has visited Mendoza (the best 3 days of my LIFE), I know your blog will be a feast of discovery.

    Thank you so much for being out there and showing the world WE do travel, not just to Jamaica and New Orleans.

    Kind Regards,

    S

  • 86. urbantravelgirl  |  March 31, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Buenos dias, bonjour et buon giorno, S — and muchas gracias/merci beaucoup/grazie mille for visiting my blog! Good luck to you as you’re starting your own… can’t wait to see it and add you to my blog roll!!

    And yes, my sista — we DO travel the world!! Let’s hope more of us get out there and let it experience US as we experience this amazing planet of ours!

    Happy Travels,
    Maureen

  • 87. Ellen  |  April 4, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Ciao Mareen! I’m an old friend from your Florence days! (but now I’m living in NJ)
    Glad to read that you’re still traveling and writing.

  • 88. urbantravelgirl  |  April 5, 2011 at 5:16 am

    Ciao, Ellen!!! OMG… what a blast from the past!! So you left bella Italia and moved to Jersey, eh? When did all this happen?

    Yes, my dear — still writing and traveling and trying to figure out how to do it full-time from the other side of the world!!

    Hope all’s well with your husband and your families — GRAZIE MILLE for reaching out!!!

    Hugs,
    Maureen

  • 89. Ellen  |  April 5, 2011 at 7:53 am

    We left Italy in 2006 for NM and moved to Jersey in 2008 with my daughter. I miss Italy sometimes but I’m happy here.

    I’m sure with your talented skills you’ll get to the other side of the world full-time.

  • 90. urbantravelgirl  |  April 7, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Ciao again, Ellen –
    What’s that they say, “From your lips to God’s ears”? Let’s hope where there’s a will to get to the other side of the world full-time, there’s a way!!

    So you guys have been gone from Italy for a WHILE, then? I’m sure the adjustment was tough for you AND Enzo, but VERY glad to hear that you’re happy in Jersey!!!

    Hopefully our paths will cross again some time — perhaps on a flight to Italia? :-)

    Big hug,
    Maureen

  • 91. Ellen  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:40 am

    OMG Maureen, I just came back from the supermarket and even though I’ve been in the US for a long time and I’m still in reverse culture shock!!
    I guess you’ve gotten that after all of your trips but for me it’s a first and I’m still shocked years later.
    We’ll definitely meet up on a plane bound for Italy (or maybe Sardinia – it’s all my husband talks about)
    Ciao. ciao
    Ellen

  • 92. Assen  |  April 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Maureen, hope you are enjoying your time in Southern France and italia. Enjoy the food, fashion and weather. Venessa, in milano, you can check out NH Milano. Modern hotel with one of the best breakfast menu.

  • 93. Jazzy  |  April 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Great Blog!! and I’m hoping you can help..

    Do you know of any resources that describe (truthfully) the African-American Males experiences in Italy (spec. Roma)? I’m planning to study abroad for a year with the thought of a possible permanent move.

    Any suggestions for a mature black man (While I am going back to school, I’m also in the throws of mid-life)

    Also which Roman areas are worth considering for housing?

  • 94. Latoya  |  April 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Really glad to have found your blog. I’ve always had the spirit of travel, but didn’t know I could be the one to do it. After looking at pictures online I finally decided to leave a job and just go. I left on an eduational program to Mexico and stayed…for a long time. lol

    I am venturing out again and taking my daughter who’s 12, to China. She is learning the language and I figured that the best way to do it was to get out and amongst the culture and immerse her in it. After this we will be going to France – I’ve already begun to teach myself french. I’m excited!

    I applaud those who want to teach, but I do not want to do that. I want to find other ways to make money while traveling. I’ve begun to research ways to write, but am open to more – I’m a Jill of Many Trades (events, public relations, Marketing, sell ice to an eskimo, etc.). Do let me know of anything else I can do to make some money. We leave in June.

    Glad to be amongst other urban travel girls! Finally!

  • 95. urbantravelgirl  |  April 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Ciao, Latoya — and good for you and your daughter for so adventurously exploring the world! What a great example you’re setting for her at an early age.

    There are LOTS of ways to make a living as a “location independent” professional — and I’m also investigating those myself. There are as many ways as there are people, but it all depends on the skill sets you bring, as well as the contacts you have in terms of finding folks who will pay you to do it. Teaching English is almost always an option, but if you do it without the backing of a school or program you’ll have to be creative about how you find students. Keep thinking and researching — and as long as you’ve got a reliable Internet connection that lets you keep in touch with clients via e-mail and Skype, you can make it happen.

    So you’re setting off in JUNE for China? For how long do you plan to be gone? Is this your final destination or just the first stop of many?

    Good luck and Happy Travels,
    Maureen

  • 96. urbantravelgirl  |  April 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Buona sera, Jazzy — and PLEASE forgive my tardliness in answering your post.

    How COOL that you’re a black man considering spending a year or more in ROME!! I’m sure there are brothers out there moving abroad — including to Italy — but I almost NEVER run into them or hear about them from friends here in the States. And BECAUSE of that, I’ve never heard of resources that specifically address African-American brothers who are thinking of relocating to Italy. While it’s really not the same thing, if you have any contacts that can put you in touch with black men who live/work on U.S. military bases in Italy, that would be a start. We know there are PLENTY of brothers in the service — and one would think overseas — so that would make sense. Most of them probably live on the base, but they SURELY spend some time getting around the surrounding towns and could give you a sense of how black American men are received (and it likely will be MUCH different than how AFRICAN men are treated). It’s not fair, but nationality makes a big difference — and being American often trumps skin color in countries like these.

    As for good areas to live in Rome, it all depends on your budget and your lifestyle. Personally, I like the trendier and gentrifying areas like Trastevere and Testaccio, but there are lovely ‘burbs near Vatican City like Prati that offer more American-like flats and conveniences. But there are other interesting parts of town (albeit loud and busy) like those surrounding the popular and pricey Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona.

    A book I’m rereading is called “Living, Studying and Working in Italy” by Travis Neighbor Ward and Monica Larner. Hopefully the book’s been updated since the 2003 Second Edition I have, but it’s a good place to start for info on visas, student life, working, etc.

    If anyone knows of specific resources that an AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN interested in a move to Italy can check out, please holler!!

    Good luck and keep in touch,
    Maureen

  • 97. Maya  |  April 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Maureen,
    I recently discovered your blog by searching for Black Americans traveling. You’re quite an exuberant inspiration. Thank you.

    Please tell me if you have any suggestions:
    I am American and my husband is Dominican, as in Dominica instead of Republica Dominica. In about 3 weeks we are making our first trip abroad to Madrid from our home on the East Coast. What I’m hoping is we could locate Black Americans that will be in Madrid as the same time as we. We will be in town for a total of 7 days so there will be plenty of time for alone time and romance. We think it would be neat to connect with others too though, especially since we don’t speak much Spanish at all. Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

    Also, have you been to Dominica?

  • 98. Kaci Words  |  December 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I just found your blog and I love it. I love the idea of you traveling and enjoying the globe. I’d love to have you as a guest on my radio show to discuss your world travels. Contact me if you are interested.

  • 99. travelmakerkai  |  December 14, 2012 at 3:10 am

    Hi urbantravelgirl!

    Firstly I’d like to say how exciting it is to think I’ve found my outer ego in you! Thanks for your posts!

    2012 is coming to an end and I’ll be writing a post reflecting on bloggers who’ve inspired me in some way or another, during my short time (just 6 months) as a blogger.

    And you’re one of them! I couldn’t find a contact page for you. Anyway hope it’s ok that I mention you. I’ll also give a link to your site.

    Molto grazie/ merci beaucoup/ thank you very much!

    travelmakerkai.wordpress.com

  • 100. Jessica  |  January 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Hello Urbantravelgirl!
    I am soooo happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I am traveling to Paris in the next few weeks and I am beyond myself. I am 26 years old and have studied french for 10 years or so and I am a nervous wreck that I won’t remember the language. Not only that but I am an African American cultured sista and I was told to beware. I hear they aren’t the nicest to African American women. Please give me a bit of insight and let me know of any great places to visit while traveling solo.

    Thanks for your time.

  • 101. Danielle  |  February 10, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Hi! I am a single mother of three children and am and have been saving to take us on a week long holiday in london however, ai have some reservations on being an african american family in London fearing we will be treated unfairly. Any suggestions or an extra shot of self confidence you could give me?

  • 102. Anna-kay Ellis  |  May 1, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Hi, I want to share a travel article I was recently inspired by.
    http://un-ruly.com/quit-your-job-and-move-to-paris-a-practical-guide-to-following-your-dream/

  • 103. Cathy  |  May 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Bonjour Mlle. Maureen,

    This is indeed a small world! I met you last November at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport. We were both headed to Chicago from Paris. We were introduced by a mutual hairdresser Mark Clement.
    What a nice surprise when I came across your blog via Black Girls Travel! I still share the story of how you came to Paris with my single girlfriends…in hopes to inspire them to take flight to the City of Light. I love Paris and can’t wait to return but this time with my family.
    Send Mark my regards and I will continue to follow your blog!
    All the best!

    Cathy

  • 104. LaLa  |  June 21, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Hey UTG,
    Big Ups I’m from Chicago to…Ok had to get that out. I’m La-La 31 y.o no children and a moderate traveler. I am on a quest to find the inner me..Voice are in my head and I am ready to go on my Eat, Pray, Love Journey. Do you have any advice for me? Financial? Safety? Hostels? I plan to start in Israel, Then Ghana, Then India, Then Asia. Maybe not in that order. But any advice would do me very well!!

    Thanks
    LaLa

  • 105. Lena  |  July 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Dear Urban Travel Girl -

    My Apologies! Here is the correct link to the Chicago Global Girls campaign mentioned in my previous correspondence to you!

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1263563014/global-girls-kattaikuttu-girls-perform-youth-drive/posts/525509?ref=email&show_token=fbd4d30ea9a2f808

    Thank you,
    Lena

  • 106. Lisa  |  October 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    UTG, just came across your blog and I’m very glad I did! I’m in my early 40s and took my first international trip last year — to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Absolutely loved the trip. I repeated with a trip this summer to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I took my college-bound daughter with me and we had a blast (it was her second international trip as well; she went to Australia with the People to People program as a rising junior high school student).

    I have my sights set on a solo trip Italy for next year. I have to confess that I’m a tour girl. I fly into Milan but the tour will begin in Como. I am adding a couple of days onto the tour at the beginning because I would like to do a day trip to Lugano in Switzerland.

    My question is have you been to Lugano? How are Black women treated there, or Switzerland in general? Is it advisable to travel by myself from Como to Lugano and back? I believe in doing my research before I jump into something major.

    Thanks for the blog!

  • 107. Derick Madden  |  October 22, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Hi I have a question about your blog. Could you please email me when you get a chance? Thanks!

  • 108. Nik  |  December 5, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I have been planning on moving Italy for some time now. Being Black never crossed my mind. In my excitement one day I told a white male co-worker about my plans. His response was “They’re so racist.” I then put on a brave face and replied “Unfortunately those types of people are everywhere.” I told him I wasn’t fearful of ignorance and that I still planned on going. Only, in the back of my mind, I’d started to question my plans. “What if he’s right? What if I get there and I’m not accepted? And what about my children? What if they’re ridiculed” So I typed “Black Expats” in the search engine. Your words put me at ease. Just to be reminded that there were others before me. Thank you.

  • 109. Shari Gladney  |  December 6, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Ladies–Don’t you let nothing stop you from seeing this massive world God created. My sister introduced me to international travel over 25 years ago and I’ll be 47 next Sunday. See the world! Suck it all in! My sisters and I have been some of everywhere. Paris; Rome; Ireland; Bangkok; Nairobi; Trinidad for Carnival–Baby, a Bye. We are from the south side of Chicago and we get it in. I’ve never had any real problem that I couldn’t have experienced here but overall, I’ve had nothing but fun. Last November, I visited Rome by myself. Loved it! Got a bus pass and went everywhere. Saw the Italian opera La Traviata. Took the bus back to the hotel. Hop on/Hop off–all you need to know is which one gets you back to your hotel. Eat Life UP!!!

  • 110. UrbanTravelGirl  |  December 8, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Shari, I LOVE your spirit and global attitude. As your fellow from-the-South Side sister, I completely share your perspective on seeing and experiencing God’s great big and fascinating world. Love that you went to Rome — one of my favorite places on earth — by yourself last year. GO, GIRL!!! I’m sure you had a ball.

    Life is way too short, and we should ALL take advantage of as much of it as we can. EAT LIFE UP, as you say. Sounds like a winning motto to me!

    Maureen

  • 111. urbantravelgirl  |  December 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Ciao, Lisa — and MY APOLOGIES for just now seeing your post about Lugano! By now, hopefully you’ve made your plans and booked your trip to go.

    No, I’ve never been there — but I HAVE been to Switzerland (to watch my then Vancouver, B.C.-based jazz-singing cousin perform in the capital of city of Bern). The people were plenty friendly — I didn’t run into a single problem. And it was neat to discover that there were more black folks than I would have expected.

    As someone who goes all over the world by herself, I would have NO hesitation in day-tripping to Lugano (or anywhere else in Switzerland) from Lake Como in Italy. And here’s the way I see it — unless my research uncovers something major, I do NOT assume that I’m going to be treated badly anywhere I go. Be open, be friendly — but as you would anywhere, keep aware of your surroundings.

    Have a great trip — and let me know how it goes!

    Buon viaggio,
    Maureen

  • 112. urbantravelgirl  |  December 24, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Buon giorno, Nik — and thanks for visiting UrbanTravelGirl! Congrats on your plans to eventually move to bella Italia. Good for you, not letting your colleague’s comment dissuade you. Sure, there are bigots in Italy … but we’ve got plenty of THOSE living right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. If folks let racism deter them from living their lives, no one would do anything.

    Of course, you want to do your research and be careful, but I believe in traveling/moving with an open mind, heart and spirit. I truly believe we receive what we put out into the world — and if you put goodness out, that’s generally what you’ll reap.

    But I WOULD advise you to take a trip to the place(s) you’re considering moving and spend a week or so. Get to know the rhythms of daily life. Meet the folks at your local café and bakery, and get a feel for the vibe and how you’re received. As I’ve discovered, living in a place is much different than just visiting — but your spirit will speak to you while you’re there. See if it feels right, and go with your heart. The way I see it, you can ALWAYS move back home or elsewhere if/when you choose. That’s the beauty of life!

    Good luck — and let me know what you decide to do!

    Happy travels,
    Maureen

  • 113. Nyla  |  March 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I like your comment about not letting folks define you because it’s true. I like the idea of trying new things (especially if you’re curious about them), and traveling to different countries. I would love to do that one day.

  • 114. ART  |  April 17, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Hi…! thank you for your information…! i really love to travel all around different contries

  • 115. Jeena Effoe  |  April 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    https://www.youcaring.com/other/black-jet-lag/169929

  • 116. Regina  |  April 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Hi, what a great blog…I got a job in the travel industry and I’ve been about to travel extensively. I love this blog and will continue to read it. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • 117. A. MarieTherese  |  June 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Hi. Glad to have found this. Actually, my husband found it and forwarded it to me. We love to travel, and last year spent 3 months in Paris living in an apartment just outside the Peripherique – quit my job to do it because I didn’t want to wait until we were too old to do it. Never regretted it. Living somewhere is DEFINITELY different from visiting, but we LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Went all over to Barcelona, South of France from Marseilles to Monaco, Provence, England and Belgium. Treated well everywhere except one experience in Barcelona, which had to do with ripping off tourists generally. Would I go again? In a heartbeat. Am I scheming towards it? You know it!

  • 118. jane  |  July 25, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Hello,
    Hope you’re doing well!!
    I’m Jane and am an avid reader and blogger, a passion which I think we share.
    Your blog “http://urbantravelgirl.com/ “is probably one of the most interesting ones I’ve seen recently and with due reason. I was wondering if I could do a guest post for your blog.
    I would like to write on “Everyday Life in Turkey “or any other suggested topic for your blog.
    It would be an honor to see my article published on your site.
    I look forward to hearing from you
    Regards,
    Jane Roberts.

  • 119. Tashi  |  August 14, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I just came across this blog while planning a trip to the French Riviera. I am a young African American professional woman that travels quite extensively. The length of my international assignments is 3 months so I have had a taste of the expat lifestyle. I have stayed in London (Canary Wharf) and Frankfurt, Germany. I’ve visited numerous other places including Paris, Amsterdam, Wurzburg, and Nuremberg.

    I think this blog is exactly what I need as it is often difficult to find people who can identify with me. I love to travel, I love the reward points, I love the air status and sitting in first class but often times others can’t relate. And it seems like cool experiences get lost in that inability to relate.

    As mentioned, I am planning a trip to the French Riviera. If anyone has any suggestions or experiences, please share! I look forward to connecting with you all. Happy and safe travels!

  • 120. Sonya B  |  August 25, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Hey, soror! I stumbled on your blog although I should have known that you would have some great writing out here! I’m headed to Barcelona on Friday and then cruising around the Mediterranean.

    It appears you really enjoyed Florence. Unfortunately I only have about 6 hours there. The only super touristy stop on my list is Uffizi (David). Where can I eat like the locals and have some great wine? Any folks I should meet while there?

    I’m glad you’ve been well. I think the last time we chatted via Internet, I mentioned I was living now in DC. I moved from PDX in 2005.

    Hope to hear from you!

  • 121. Pace  |  September 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Maureen, I came across your blog while researching the best country for African American women to live. I myself, lived in China for a year (mainland and HK) and have traveled a bit. I am gearing up to finish my graduate degree and plan on leaving the States shortly there after. Any recommendations for a place that is culturally rich, good education system and not too racially biased? I don’t wish to be somewhere that I am a complete anomaly (as was the case in China) nor too close for comfort… i.e. Canada!

    I would love your feedback or anyone else here for that matter.

    Cheers,

    Pace

  • 122. Khala Sithole  |  September 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I loved reading your articles! So good to share information about black women travelling abroad! I myself am from Canada and I have visited places such as Australia and New Zealand.

    I’m currently writing my own blog about travelling as a black girl!

    Would love to feature some of your articles, and let me know what you think of my blog so far!

    Thanks tons!: )

    Khala

    http://www.blacktravelgirl.com

  • 123. Alicia  |  October 21, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Hi,

    My fiance and I will be traveling to the Amalfi Coast for our honeymoon in April. Can you tell us what to expect there? Are they welcoming towards African-Americans? Any restaurant suggestions, places to see, clubs and lounges? Any info would be helpful. We’re flying into Naples. Should we book a private airport transfer or ride public transportation? It’s our first trip to Italy. Sorry for the 2000 questions :-)

  • 124. Nita  |  December 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Hello,
    I haven’t had a chance to read all of the comments, but I’m traveling to Paris & London for Christmas, so I’m eager to read any tips, recommendations, etc. on your experience in both countries.

  • 125. rose smith  |  January 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Sis. Heading to Barcelona, and Paris in the spring. My travel buddy and I always want to get recomnendation and suggestions for our destinations. We are a few middle aged women who like to run around having fun. Last european visit was 3weeks in Rome With train travel to Sorrennto where we went water taxi to Amalfi coast, and Capri. Train to Florence, and Venice. Plane to Paris. We can get around but just need to know where we should visit while 3 weeks running between Spain, Italy and France. Any suggestions? . We like sites during the day nice music st night and good food and wine throughout.

  • 126. Jeena Effoe  |  February 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I love to travel… and Europe & U.K. are among my favorites. I was happy to run across your interesting blog :-)

  • 127. Whitney  |  March 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Hey, I think your blog is great! I am 22 years old & I am going to Paris for the second time in May. The first time I went was with my roommate and it was fun partially because I was with someone who was from where I was, and she was someone to do things with during the day with. But this time around I was supposed to go with her and another friend. I have purchased my ticket already but they bailed at the last minute =/ I am for sure going but I am still nervous about doing certain things alone while I am there. I met a lot of people last time so I have people I know there. Any advise?? Last thing, I have a degree in English and Poli Sci from St. John’s Univ & I am studying abroad in Paris starting this summer. How would I go about becoming a travel blogger. Getting paid to take pictures and describe a beautiful trip as vividly as possible.

  • 128. Kay  |  April 4, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Hi

    Glad I found this blog. I plan to go to Spain, Italy, and Rome on a cruise in 2017 for my son’s graduation from college. However I am a little hesitant about going, as I am unsure about the atmosphere toward people of color.

    Any help would be appericated.

    Thanks Kay

  • 129. Kai  |  January 26, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Do you have any suggestions on how to travel without going into debt?

  • 130. Pastor Brenda Legins  |  December 27, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Hello and blessings! I am a former military member, I am also foremost a Child of The King and pastor. It is my dream and desire to preach in France. I would welcome the awesome opportunity !

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