At the recent Travel Blog Exchange ’09 conference in Chicago, a fellow blogger and I found ourselves discussing why African-American women—even those with the financial means and interest in traveling abroad—don’t do it more often. I often think about this, as I always feel it would be GREAT to see more sisters when I’m running around Italy or Spain either in a group or solo.
For many of us, it’s fear of the unknown. We don’t speak the language; we don’t know anyone in the country we’d like to visit. But in countless conversations I’ve had with African-American women over the years, it comes down to wondering how we’ll be perceived as black people. Even without realizing it, being black in America—whether dirt-poor, comfortably affluent like “The Cosby Show” Huxtables, or “movin’ on up” like the Jeffersons—means wearing the subconscious burden of potential discrimination on our backs like the latest designer dress….
Continue August 9, 2009
When you’re a writer, there’s nothing like surrounding yourself with likeminded people to get and stay inspired. And this past Sunday, I found inspiration that’ll keep me jazzed for weeks and months to come at Travel Blog Exchange ’09, a fabulous (and FREE, thanks to generous sponsors!) daylong conference in downtown’s Chicago Cultural Center. About 100 veteran and newbie travel bloggers (I’m one of the latter) from all across the globe (they came from as far away as Laos and Chile!) showed up for an incredible day of panel discussions on everything from whether travel blogs and travel journalism should be held to the same standards (of course, this reporter says YES!) to creating compelling podcasts and video for our sites.
And while the info exchanged and shared was great, even BETTER was the chance to meet a super-cool, smart and worldly group of bloggers who sleep, drink and eat travel and see that as a way to connect us all in ways that probably seemed impossible just 10 years ago….
Continue July 28, 2009