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Old 05-04-2019, 03:35 PM
 
81 posts, read 16,313 times
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I love to travel, but I often feel restricted, in terms of where I should go, due to my race, gender and marital status. Long story short, I"m a single black American woman.

I shouldn't impose such restrictions on myself, but I will admit that I do worry about safety a lot, so much so, that whenever I travel, I don't venture outside of my room during the evening or at night. Also, I don't ever consume any alcohol while traveling, because I know it's important to always be aware of my surroundings at all times.

I would very much like to travel more, but I worry that as a solo black female traveler, it will be unsafe for me to visit certain African, Middle Eastern or European nations.

Is anyone else in a similar predicament?
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:41 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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Restricted... by whom?
Only you can restrict yourself from doing what you want.
You probably should travel first to most common travel destination to gain experience and feel confident. Do that, instead of imposing imaginary restrictions on yourself.
Maybe you should consider group travel and guided tours for start.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
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Kind of, though I'm of a different demographic than yourself. I'm married, Asian American man. I've been to China several time with my wife, who's from there, and it made me realize that I'd probably never travel solo there. The main thing is the language barrier and the people in general. I think if I were any other race than asian it wouldn't be a problem, but since I look like a native they assume I speak their language, which is a reasonable assumption. The hardest part is that most people won't try to understand me or even have some kind of animosity towards me because I'm an Asian who can't speak their language. It's hard to even ask for directions, order food, or pretty much anything even in major cities. Now if I were white, or even black like yourself I'm sure I'd have a much easier time and people would be much more helpful. It's kind of sad when people are so closed minded and racist they can't accept people for who they are. I even got into a physical fight in China when someone tried to make trouble to me and my wife. Won't go into details but he definitely had some kind of problem with me for who I was as opposed to anything I did. I'm one who doesn't put up with much BS so I just did what I had to do.

Other than that maybe Russia is another place I wouldn't visit due to reports I hear of minorities being attack, though I've never really wanted to visit. Can't really think of anyplace else where my race, gender or marital status would be too great a hindrance to prevent me from visiting.

I understand your concerns but I think the best we can do is do our research beforehand and take precautions. For a few places, unfortunately the risk won't be worth the reward but I think you can visit most places you want to. Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,882,815 times
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You could start by travelling solo in the US. Get used to it, pros and cons, safety issues.

Then branch out as you feel comfortable.

I've done the above but no longer would feel safe travelling solo outside the US as I'm older now.

A women's travel group maybe, to learn the ropes first before your trips alone?
A lot depends on the country you'd like to visit of course.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:42 PM
 
81 posts, read 16,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeCPA View Post
Kind of, though I'm of a different demographic than yourself. I'm married, Asian American man. I've been to China several time with my wife, who's from there, and it made me realize that I'd probably never travel solo there. The main thing is the language barrier and the people in general. I think if I were any other race than asian it wouldn't be a problem, but since I look like a native they assume I speak their language, which is a reasonable assumption. The hardest part is that most people won't try to understand me or even have some kind of animosity towards me because I'm an Asian who can't speak their language. It's hard to even ask for directions, order food, or pretty much anything even in major cities. Now if I were white, or even black like yourself I'm sure I'd have a much easier time and people would be much more helpful. It's kind of sad when people are so closed minded and racist they can't accept people for who they are. I even got into a physical fight in China when someone tried to make trouble to me and my wife. Won't go into details but he definitely had some kind of problem with me for who I was as opposed to anything I did. I'm one who doesn't put up with much BS so I just did what I had to do.

Other than that maybe Russia is another place I wouldn't visit due to reports I hear of minorities being attack, though I've never really wanted to visit. Can't really think of anyplace else where my race, gender or marital status would be too great a hindrance to prevent me from visiting.

I understand your concerns but I think the best we can do is do our research beforehand and take precautions. For a few places, unfortunately the risk won't be worth the reward but I think you can visit most places you want to. Good luck.
Thank you for sharing your story. I imagine that it had to be frustrating for you, but were you primarily staying in a remote village or the city area?

I have black American friends who visited China and they didn't have a good time due to the language barrier. They mentioned that random strangers would take photos of them when they were out and about. I've heard that this behavior is common throughout Asia.

When I traveled to West Africa, I pretty much blended in due to my skin color. Though I didn't share their exact facial features, the people that I encountered assumed that I was from a neighboring African nation. I was only there for a few weeks, but turned the situation to my advantage. I learned that at the market places, there were tourist prices and native prices. I of course wanted to receive the native prices, therefore I was able to get two natives from the area to accompany me to the market place to negotiate on my behalf. The store owners would speak to me in their native Wolof tribal language and my associates would tell them that I was shy. I'd quickly leave the store and he'd purchase the items that I picked out.

I have two beautiful hand carved mahogany wood chess sets and a hand carved drum made from lion's skin. The total cost was around ~14 dollars. I should add that the purchases were made a while ago, but I'm still very much pleased that I was able to get such a great price for those high quality items. I also purchased a number of beautiful fabric at very low prices, as well.

I would love to visit Egypt, but I'e heard that if you are a black woman, you need a male companion, otherwise you will be ridiculed and sexually harassed. I also want to visit Italy, but I've heard it's not a good place to visit if you are a black woman, because most of the locals think that any black woman is a prostitute, due to the Nigerian sex trafficking rings throughout Italy and Spain.

Last edited by Evelyn2019; 05-04-2019 at 05:07 PM..
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:52 PM
 
81 posts, read 16,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
You could start by travelling solo in the US. Get used to it, pros and cons, safety issues.

Then branch out as you feel comfortable.

I've done the above but no longer would feel safe travelling solo outside the US as I'm older now.

A women's travel group maybe, to learn the ropes first before your trips alone?
A lot depends on the country you'd like to visit of course.
I have traveled throughout the U.S. alone. My favorite travel destinations in the states include: NYC, San Diego, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Raleigh, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Honolulu, Chicago, Atlanta, Virginia Beach, D.C. and Arlington, VA.

I've also traveled throughout the Caribbean to Jamaica, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Aruba, St. Marten, and Antigua and to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun Mexico. A few years ago, I visited Africa (Senegal and Gambia), Canada (Toronto and Halifax, Nova Scotia) and Europe (Geneva, Switzerland).

This summer, I'm supposed to visit Italy (Rome and the Amalfi Coast) with a black female travel group, but I haven't given my full deposit yet, and I'm now having reservations about the travel, after reading about the racial issues throughout Italy. --But then again, I imagine the racial issues are probably not as bad as in the U.S.

Last edited by Evelyn2019; 05-04-2019 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:19 PM
 
81 posts, read 16,313 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
You could start by travelling solo in the US. Get used to it, pros and cons, safety issues.

Then branch out as you feel comfortable.

I've done the above but no longer would feel safe travelling solo outside the US as I'm older now.

A women's travel group maybe, to learn the ropes first before your trips alone?
A lot depends on the country you'd like to visit of course.

I travel solo a lot in the states and have taken a few trips with a black women's travel group.

I want to visit South Africa (Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg) in January/Feb of 2020. I plan to go with the black women's travel group.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:20 PM
 
Location: San Josť, CA
3,264 posts, read 5,781,929 times
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I've knocked out 22 countries thus far and probably the place I stuck out the most was El Salvador, but it may have also been that I was traveling solo as well.

One of my next trips upcoming will probably be Africa, a continent I have yet to visit. Luanda, Angola is probably the place that seems to be calling me the most, but I'm open to a lot of places. I can understand some of your hesitation as I have a similar hesitation in reverse (I am pretty pale lol). Because I tend to explore off the beaten path and typically solo, I can't tell if I'll be warmly accepted or that I'll draw suspicious glances or find hostility.

But, hey, the best thing we can all do is just be kind to one another, to talk to others, and show respect. Definitely travel, though!
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:26 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,949 posts, read 55,708,171 times
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I think you need to read this, OP:
https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-ti...olor-in-europe
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:40 PM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
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And get encouraged by reading this:
https://www.sheswanderful.com/2016/1...r-black-women/

https://www.somtoseeks.com/solo-trav...men-best-tips/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabe...e-solo-travel/

Happy travels!!
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