Words of Wisdom to a First Time Traveler

I can remember my first international trip like it was yesterday. Senior year of college, fall 2006, I headed to Madrid, Spain to study abroad for the semester. I remember feeling a myriad of emotions from excitement, nervousness, to fear. During that semester, I learned about myself and I also learned how people perceived me due to my skin color.  My naiveté quickly disappeared as I realized racism exists not only in the U.S but also overseas. I was shocked when I was followed around in certain stores. In life we all face many challenges but what separates us is how we react in the face of adversity. Through the years, my travels have taught me countless lessons and so I have listed 10 tips which may help you on your first international trip. Continue reading “Words of Wisdom to a First Time Traveler”

Advertisements

FREE MONEY FOR TRAVEL!!!

Last week, I ran into one of my colleagues in the hallway. I hadn’t seen him since I left for South Africa. Coworker,”Hey, where have you been?” Me, “I was on vacation.” Coworker, “oh really, Where did you go?” Me, “I went to South Africa.” Coworker, mouth hanging open, “oh, you must be rich!” My coworker was being facetious but unfortunately there is a common … Continue reading FREE MONEY FOR TRAVEL!!!

Reflections from afar

IMG_2309

Cape Town vrs. Johannesburg
One of the most striking ways Cape Town and Johannesburg are different is the people. For example, immediately upon arriving in Johannesburg, I felt like I was in Africa, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa. The distinction between northern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa is important because people in Northern Africa tend not to resemble the traditional African stereotype. Many of the people in Johannesburg were of darker shades and various hues. I saw myself in the people of Johannesburg. Cape Town on the other hand is overwhelmingly devoid of diversity. As I walked along the oceanfront, I felt as if I could be anywhere in Europe. I recently read an article which stated ” Cape Town is the only city in South Africa with a white mayor and whites control most of its businesses. Capetown is the most European city in South Africa”. Part of the reason Cape Town isn’t as diverse is because many of the Non-White South Africans live in distant townships.  Continue reading “Reflections from afar”

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

IMG_2300

Layovers can sometimes be a tricky thing. There’s always the concern of should you leave the airport or not. Typically, my rule of thumb is if I have at least 6 hours or more, especially in a new country, I opt to leave the airport. Obviously, having mere hours in a country isn’t ideal but it’s more exciting than sitting in an airport for hours on end. On my way to South Africa, I had a 14 hour layover in Abu Dhabi. I was really excited about seeing a bit of the country but due my layover being at night, I didn’t do as much as perhaps I could have. After I cleared customs and exchanged a bit of money, I headed to my hotel. I opted to stay at the Premier Inn because it’s attached to the airport. It could not have been  more convenient. After I dropped my backpack off, I headed out to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It is the 3rd largest mosque in the world. It closes daily at 10 pm and I left my hotel around 9:15 pm so time was of the essence. The mosque was about 15 minutes away. Continue reading “Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates”

Cape Town, South Africa

                         First Impression After a short 2 hour flight, Danielle and I arrived in Cape Town. Almost immediately, I could tell I was no longer in Johannesburg. As we were driving to our Airbnb accommodations, both of us marveled at how different Cape Town was from Johannesburg. At first glance Cape Town felt familiar; the tall buildings, outdoor cafes, people outside walking to and fro. … Continue reading Cape Town, South Africa