Africa: 15 Black Tourism and Travel writers trending now

writers

The current state of the world with the corona virus pandemic has made travel a scary and risky venture.

Several interesting destinations across the world became ghost towns with tourists staying clear with travel and following as a measure of containment of the virus. Howeber the turbulence that is currently rocking the travel boat, several voices have made the sector what it is in the eyes and mind of the reading public especially on magazines. This report by forbes.com tells more

With cases of COVID-19 spiking in the US, not only is travel an uncertain proposition but also—increasingly—an unlikely one, given the restrictions for American citizens abroad.

That being said,the allure of travel remains, and the desire to explore foreign lands (or, at the very least, neighboring states) isn’t going away anytime soon. After all, there’s nothing like months of lockdown to spark your longing for faraway places—the cliffside beaches of Dominica and wild rainforests of New Zealand are especially appealing when compared to your oppressively familiar environs while sheltering in place.

As a result, the need for authoritative voices in the travel industry is more critical than ever—not only to stay informed on the latest coronavirus-related updates but to keep your curiosity and wanderlust alive during endless days of self-isolation. And, though 2020 may feel at times like the apocalypse (and rightly so), one of the more hopeful—and long-overdue—developments of the social and political unrest this past spring is an increased spotlight on diversifying voices.

The Black Lives Matter movement continues to illustrate powerfully the need for increased representation throughout American culture—not only in the political and societal fabric of our lives, but in the stories we read, and the content we consume.

We’ve interviewed 15 Black travel writers who are at the absolute top of their game about the favourite stories they’ve written, trips they’ve taken, and what they plan on doing next in a radically-altered travel environment. Whether you’re interested in family travel tips or solo expeditions, luxury hotel stays, or sustainable eco-adventures, there’s something for every would-be world wanderer below. Read on to discover your next favorite travel journalist and to become better acquainted with the writers you already know. And cheers to your next adventure! (Whenever that may be.)

KYM ALLISON BACKER:Lifestyle Journalist & Editor
(Conde Nast Traveler, EBONY Magazine, Forbes Life, Upscale. Uptown)

Expertise: Kym Backer is a veteran lifestyle journalist based in Washington, DC, who covers travel, automotive, spirits, cuisine, and more for US and UK publications. She is a former editor at Ebony, Upscale, and Uptown, a current Forbes columnist and, most recently, a contributor to Mosaic (Morgan Stanley’s digital lifestyle magazine for high net worth clients) and Condé Nast Traveler.

Favorite Trip: When I was a kid in Guyana, my granddad subscribed to National Geographic Magazine. Years later, I worked at their headquarters in Washington, DC. I spent untold hours poring over the issues, many of them remembered from childhood. I was especially drawn to the images and stories of the Maasai tribe in East Africa. My first trip to Kenya, just about a decade ago, felt like coming home. Everything seemed wonderfully familiar, from the incredibly knowledgeable Maasai guides to the landscape of countless wildlife and the acacia trees silhouetted at sunset. Kenya will always be a magical place for me.

Favorite Story: I love the stories that deliver layers to an experience—visiting multiple cities in South Africa while riding on the luxurious Blue Train, driving a just-unveiled new SUV on a road trip from Munich to a resort in the Austrian Alps, getting up before dawn to take a sunrise hot air balloon over the Masai Mara. They’re all favorites, and I always think the best is yet to come.

What’s Next: In these last four months, I’ve had to cancel trips to Guyana, Jamaica, England, and France. So, those will all be top of my list when travel resumes. In the meantime, I’m thinking more getaways closer to home: Road trips, where you can limit your group and be very methodical about the places you stop and stay, whether it’s within your state, region, or even farther afield. There’s a lot to see in this country!

BIANCA BUJAN
Award-Winning Travel Writer, Editor of West Coast Families
(Canadian Geographic, Chatelaine, Food + Wine, Lonely Planet, The Globe + Mail, WestJet Magazine)

Expertise: Family Travel, Food. When she’s not sharing stories of her travels, Bianca is exploring the outdoors in Vancouver, BC, where she calls home.

Favorite Trip: This past December, I visited the Galapagos Islands, and while I knew the wildlife would win me over during my first-ever visit to the bucket-list destination, I didn’t realize just how magical the experience would be until I arrived—sunbathing alongside sea lions on the white sand beaches of Mosquera Island, snorkeling with white-tipped reef sharks, and strolling on land alongside tortoises. The wildlife encounters were worth the trek alone, but speaking with the locals, exploring the landscape, and learning about my surroundings made this once-in-a-lifetime trip one that I will never forget. I shared my experiences with the readers of Lonely Planet, BC Living, and West Coast Families magazine from that trip.

Favourite Story: On my first visit to Barbados back in October 2018, I went on a back-road Bajan food tour guided by a local, where I discovered under-the-radar artisans who were adding new flavours to the food scene in Barbados. From the island’s first and only cheese-maker to a chocolate maker that was adding sweet new flavours to the “culinary capital of the Caribbean,” I loved sharing their untold stories with my readers in this story for the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.

What’s Next: Before the travel restrictions, I was scheduled to visit the South of France with my family on what would have been our first European vacation together. I was also scheduled to visit Ireland for my first time – a country that has topped my travel bucket list for quite some time as I have always wanted to explore my Irish roots. While these European countries top my list for international travel, I’m looking forward to exploring my own beautiful province of British Columbia. There’s so much to see and do in my backyard, and I’m excited to enjoy more local travel in the coming months.

LEBAWIT LILY GIRMA
Award-Winning Writer & Photographer, Moon Travel Guidebook Author, Caribbean & Sustainable Travel Expert
(Afar, CNN Travel, Delta Sky, Lonely Planet, Sierra, Sunday Times Travel, Travel Channel)

Expertise: Caribbean & Sustainable Travel. Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning Ethiopian-American travel journalist and photographer with over ten years’ experience in storytelling on the Caribbean region focused on culture, outdoor adventure and sustainable tourism as a vehicle for social impact. A former corporate attorney who ditched the office for the road, her work has been widely published in major travel publications.

Favourite Trip: My favourite travel experiences almost always involve cultural immersion or a nature experience. A few that come to mind are my first time going mountain climbing in the central Dominican Republic (the tallest peaks in the Caribbean are found here); witnessing the Maroon Festival ceremony in Accompong Hill, Jamaica; spending the day exploring the stunning green scenery of Rose Hall Village in Saint Vincent with a Garifuna community leader; and most recently, hiking the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia.

Favourite Story: I have many! I’m proud of the sustainable tourism stories I’ve written about the Caribbean, my region of expertise. I was looking forward to sharing a recent eight-page print feature I wrote and photographed titled “Green adventures in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,”; but, unfortunately, the summer issue was put on hold as a result of the pandemic.

Other favourite stories include sustainable tourism thriving in Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria, the profile of a local female hiking guide who successfully advocated for the last remaining forest in Antigua to become a community-managed national park; and a feature on the origins of the Jamaican patty (which involved lots of tasting in Jamaica) called “One Patty, One Love.”

What’s Next: I was looking forward to returning home to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where I’m currently based, and I was able to do that two weeks ago when the borders reopened. Given the current restrictions, I’m considering future, short trips within the country for now; I might be heading up north to the Samana Peninsula, for instance, as well as to other parts in the countryside. The landscape here is diverse, and there are lots of nature areas to explore away from crowds. But any domestic or regional travel, I may do this summer will be carefully planned, and taking all the necessary precautions.

DANA GIVENS
Travel Writer & Editor at Black Enterprise, Host Of Love and Passports

(Departures, Eater, The New York Times, SAVEUR, Thrillist, Travel + Leisure, VOGUE)

Expertise: Travel & Literary Fiction

Favorite Trip: My favorite travel experience so far is a tie between two places – the first one is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been too. I loved the murals everywhere and browsing the different art galleries. My second favorite would be South Africa. I traveled there for about two weeks to learn more about Nelson Mandela and visited Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. It was a really memorable experience.

Favorite Story: One of my favorite stories was one I wrote for Literary Hub about exploring Edinburgh through a literary lens. I really enjoyed Edinburgh, and as someone who is very into reading fiction, I enjoyed learning about the famous literary roots of the city.

What’s Next: Right now, I’m staying put under there is a little more control of the outbreak here. I also don’t want to put anyone around me at risk, either. The two destinations I’m looking to go to first when I resume traveling are Jamaica and France. They are both places I have been to before but always enjoy wherever I go.

SARAH GREAVES-GABBADON
Travel Writer, On-Screen Host, Caribbean Expert, Jetsetter-in-Chief @JetSetSarah
(Coastal Living, Essence, Islands.com. The Globe + Mail, The Telegraph, Travel + Leisure, USA Today)

Expertise: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon (aka @JetSetSarah) is a travel writer, on-screen host and self-described “Carivangelist,” who goes to the beach and beyond to share the culture, lifestyle and personalities of the Caribbean with the world.

Favorite Trip: A couple of years ago, for a story for Quirky Cruise, I did a weeklong circumnavigation of Iceland. Every day we stopped at a new port, and most days, I chose to do a hike. The Icelandic countryside is so different from where I’m used to, and every day I felt as if I was walking through some achingly beautiful pastoral scene from a jigsaw puzzle box. It was in Iceland that I discovered a love for hiking and realized that I’m naturally good at it. (Being less than five-foot-tall gives you a lower center of gravity and enviable stability as you traipse up hillsides!)

Favorite Story: Even I was surprised by how much fun I had at Trinidad Carnival, and I loved inspiring visitors to go and giving them the info to make the trip happen in an article I wrote for Caribbean Travel + Life magazine. I’m also a HUGE fan of Jamaican KFC (trust me, it’s a thing!), and I enjoyed writing about why it’s the best in the world on my website. I’m passionate about running, and it was really a pride to write about the joys of running and racing all over the world in my first personal essay for Travel + Leisure.

What’s Next: I can’t wait to get back to the Caribbean! I don’t have any plans in place yet, but I’ll likely visit somewhere in the Bahamas first, mostly because it’s the shortest Caribbean flight from here in Miami, and I’m still quite nervous about the inflight experience. For that same reason, I’ll probably be taking on closer-to-home assignments, exploring Floridian resorts and places within driving distance.

HEATHER GREENWOOD-DAVIS
Writer, Explorer, Speaker & Contributing Editor for National Geographic Traveler
(The Globe & Mail, National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel Channel)

Expertise: TV Travel Expert: The Social on CTV, CHCH Morning Live & Founder of Globetrotting Mama

Favorite Trip: Hands down, it has to be my family’s yearlong trip around the world. We hit 29 countries on six continents at the time. It was my pre-pandemic practice for spending lots of time with my husband and two sons. We had an amazing trip, and it really set the tone for every trip we’ve taken since.

Favorite Story: Today, it’s the one that was published this month for National Geographic. I spoke with eight travelers of color who have carved out spaces for themselves in the world of travel, even when mainstream outlets and options tried to exclude them. Each of those people is a story unto themselves, and so every interview was eye-opening; but, the collection of voices in the piece tells a tale about what it takes to persevere as a person of color in the industry. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

What’s Next: I’m trying not to peg my future travels on one spot just yet. These recent weeks have made me realize how much we took the ability to plan for travel for granted. Instead, I’m waiting it out. When I feel comfortable enough to fly, I’ll be looking for warmer destinations for sure; But, this summer, I’m excited to be checking out spots closer to my home in Ontario, Canada. And as things settle, I’ll likely take in more of this country before exploring further.

TRAVIS LEVIUS
Freelance Writer & Editor, Content Creator, and Tourism Consultant
(CNN Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, Vogue)

Expertise: Travis shares his ongoing adventures and takes on life, travel & the pursuit of happiness as a content creator. He is loosely based in London.

Favorite Trip: Favorites are tough, but I can share my most “unexpected” destination: Kazakhstan. It was an eco-tourism press trip, and a far cry from the luxury assignments I’m used to, but I was blown away by the natural beauty (canyons, skyscraper-high sand dunes, scenic lakes, etc.) and the people’s kindness—and most often curiosity—towards a rare Black foreigner like me.

Favorite Story: I loved re-telling my story for CNN Travel on my insanely serendipitous experience traveling around Thailand and being cast for Spike Lee’s hit Netflix film “Da 5 Bloods.” While I’m known for my travel content, my real passion is inspiration/personal development, and that commission provided a rare opportunity for me to merge the two.

What’s Next: South Africa’s my favorite destination; I’m deeply missing the beauty of Cape Town and the buzz of Johannesburg, not to mention the incredible value for food, wine and lodging throughout the country. And, since I’ve chosen to ride the pandemic out in the U.S. instead of London, I’m hoping to explore more of my native “backyard” in coastal areas where it’s safe, and remote, outdoorsy regions of the West.

AMANDA MITCHELL
Culture & Lifestyle Journalist and Podcast Host
(Allure, Fashionista, Marie Claire, NBC, the Oprah Magazine, StyleCaster, Zora)

Expertise: Amanda is a freelance travel, entertainment, beauty, lifestyle, and culture writer who also writes for her blog, The-Audacity.com, and hosts The America’s Next Top Best Friend Podcast.

Favorite Trip: I loved Stockholm, Sweden, if only because it was a perfectly planned trip — plenty of down-time, a great and small group of writers with the same ultimate goals, fun, innovative events and dinners, and it was a place I had never been or expressed any interest in going, but wound up loving. I did my semester abroad in Prague, so I have a deep love for that part of Europe, but as an experience as a whole, it was lovely. I felt like I got a perfect taste of the culture and the city. 10/10 would do again.

Favorite Story: The Instagram Guide to Dubai! Dubai is such a beautiful city, with a mindset towards innovation that is inspiring for those who go there. It’s kind of a city designed for social media, in a way — everything is built for The Gram, so I loved getting to analyze that.

What’s Next: God, I can’t wait to go back to Europe. I was supposed to go to Italy in May, but now the US passport only allows access to 26 countries because we can’t get a handle on anything. But I’m hoping to get to Germany as soon as possible, too. But now I’m looking more internally — rethinking my idea of “travel”, if that makes sense. Going an hour outside of my town to stay in a beach house is “traveling,” but I’m more reticent to spread the virus by going elsewhere. I never considered myself a “nature” girl, and quarantine hasn’t changed that. I’m staying my ass INSIDE. NAH!!!!!

SHERYL NANCE-NASH
Travel Writer & Editor
(Afar, Conde Nast Traveler, The Daily Beast, Fodors, Newsweek.com, Orbitz, Reader’s Digest, ShermansTravel)

Expertise: Wellness, Culture, Cuisine

Favorite Trip: By far, one of my favorite trips was my two-week journey through Africa. I will never forget the safaris in Kenya at the Loisaba Tented Camp and the Sand River camp in the Masai Mara. Our last stop was the beautiful Zanzibar. This was an adventure right out of the movies.

Favorite Story: One of my favorite travel stories was a piece for Newsweek about my time in Sedona. I had an awakening there at a turning point in my life. That is what travel does, it transforms.

What’s Next: I would love to finally get to St. Barth’s. It’s been on my list for a while. The pandemic has certainly brought home the point that we should do what we want to do because tomorrow is not promised. I would like to spend more time in this country; there is a lot that I haven’t seen in Wyoming, Montana, I am curious.

NNEKA M. OKONA
Atlanta-Based Travel & Food Journalist
(Conde Nast Traveler, Food + Wine, National Geographic, Washington Post)

Expertise: Travel, Food, Books, Lifestyle. Interviews, profiles, guides, lists, reported pieces, and stories of all types.

Favourite Trip: I’ve been traveling for a little over a decade now. I got my passport in 2009. And I’ve been to more than 20 countries and countless cities at this point. Narrowing all those travel experiences down to one experience is impossible. I can say that my favourite travel experience of 2019 was the week I spent in Guatemala—both in Guatemala City and Jaibalito on Lake Atitlán. I booked that trip on a whim as I have always tried to take a birthday trip somewhere the past few years. At first, I thought I’d go to Italy and do Florence and Rome. But I was scrolling on Twitter and saw a post from Secret Flying—they post travel deals, and I saw this beautiful picture of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.

I thought to myself, “Wow, that is stunning. I want to go there.” And all of a sudden, my mind was made up. I booked the trip, and hours later had booked both an Airbnb in Guatemala City and a room in a cliffside hotel overlooking the lake. I enjoyed my time there because it was so unexpected that I ended up there in the first place. I especially loved my birthday dinner—I ate at a restaurant that a woman who was an anthropologist turned chef cooked Maya cuisine in a teeny tiny restaurant. Her food told a story, and I was moved. Lake Atitlán remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Even looking back at photos now over a year later, I am still struck at how something so pure and stunning that left me in awe exists.

Favorite Story: The funny thing to me is that at face value, a lot of the stories I write may not overtly be considered travel stories. I like to reimagine what travel writing is and give it my own interpretation. Mainly because as a Black woman, a marginalized writer writing within an industry that has always been very white with a colonialist gaze, there is no actual concept of what writing about travel actually looks like. But I look at that as a sort of freedom. In my work, the fact that I have traveled somewhere is very rarely the story itself.

It is, instead, the route to which I am able to tell a story I otherwise wouldn’t be able to tell. A vehicle so to speak, a path. I really loved the story I wrote for Condé Nast Traveler last year about Montgomery. I think there is this tendency for travel writers to skirt around being honest about the racist histories of so many tourist destinations. It was important to me to be honest about the historical context of Montgomery and to weigh within my piece how travelers should be looking to grasp that, too.

What’s Next: Well, I’m from the South. I have roots in both Georgia and Alabama. There are a lot of Southern cities I’ve been meaning to visit but haven’t made the time to go there—Memphis, Lexington, Nashville, Chattanooga back to visit family in Huntsville. I’m going to be honest and admit I’m not looking to travel anywhere really in the near future despite having an itch to take a road trip somewhere nearby. My anxiety has gotten the best of me, and I don’t feel comfortable risking it just yet. That being said, once travel returns to normal, whenever that may be, I’ve maintained my first trip will be back to Madrid, Spain and then onto London to see family.

TATIANA PILE
Writer, Editor & Host
(Business Insider, Fast Company, Huffington Post, New York Post, Vulture)

Expertise: Tatiana Pile is a New York-based digital editor at Verizon Media. Her beats include lifestyle, entertainment, and news that aim to amplify marginalized voices and underrepresented stories. When she’s not working, she spends her free time obsessing over travel, music, and fashion.

Favorite Trip: It’s so hard to pick my favorite travel experience thus far! I would say my last trip before the quarantine was probably one of my favorites to date. Prior to visiting Bali, I was extremely intrigued by the country’s culture, and obviously, it’s beautiful beaches and other scenery. One of the biggest differences between this trip and other leisure vacations I’ve taken, however, is how much I learned about Bali’s rich history and traditions. I love traveling for leisure, but nothing is more satisfying than being able to take a little bit of knowledge away with you when you leave.

Favorite Story: I wrote this story a few years ago, but when Hurricane Irma completely upended tourism in most of the Caribbean, I wanted to make sure my team amplified stories about recovery efforts just as much as we covered the devastation. My take on this was The road to recovery: How the British Virgin Island’s tourism industry is reshaping the Caribbean, where I interviewed Sharon Flax-Brutus, the director of tourism, and talked about the territory’s rehabilitation efforts and its resilience.

What’s Next: Like many people, I’ve started looking into road trips. Whenever I plan vacations, I almost immediately think about international destinations, but this quarantine and pandemic has shifted my focus on domestic travel and looking into the beauty that the US has to offer.

DANIELLE POINTDUJOUR
Traveler, Writer & Editor, Luxury Hotel Expert @HotelWhisperer
(EBONY Magazine, ESSENCE, JET Magazine)

Expertise: Luxury, Hotels (and Luxury Hotels)

Favourite Trip: Whew, this is a tough one! I have two. My first favourite would be a five-day solo trip I took to Jordan. I was so nervous because I had heard all of these things about how the country treats women and that they weren’t kind to Black women, but I found my experience to be the exact opposite.

I found myself protected and welcomed from beginning to end by locals. From the group of young women who invited me to have lunch with them when I looked lost on Rainbow Street, to my tour drivers that made sure I got a real Jordanian experience and made me feel safe. My second would be running with the bulls in Pamplona with Nomadness Travel Tribe. We were the only Black people and the only women who ran on that day; it was surreal. I still can’t believe we did it and survived! But I would do it again any time.

Favorite Story: Another tough one! I would have to say it was my first travel piece for EBONY Magazine as a freelancer called “The Bangkok Experience.” I love that piece because I almost wasn’t allowed to write it. The editor at the time thought because it was on Thailand it was going to be this super expensive, out of touch piece, and the audience was more budget focused. It wasn’t until I told the editor that I spent $1500 for the entire trip (shout-out to Friendly Planet!), that they realized travel might not be as expensive and out of reach as even they personally may have thought. My second would be a profile I wrote on Ludacris’ wife Eudoxie for ESSENCE, she’s my girl crush.

What’s Next: I’m a bit of a repeat queen, so unlike most people who are looking forward to exploring new favorites once this is all under control, I’m looking to get back to all of my old favorites. I want to go back to the Turkish Riviera, Costa del Sol in Spain, South Africa, and Bangkok, I miss street fried chicken something awful right now. As for places on my radar right now? Domestic travel is going to be the move for quite some time so I’m looking into visiting states I haven’t been to yet like Montana and New Mexico. I’m also looking into spending more time at my favourite places like Big Sur and the USVI.

NINA REEDER
Lifestyle Journalist & Adventurer, Executive Editor of Upscale Magazine
(EBONY Magazine, Huffington Post, Southern Kitchen, Upscale Magazine)

Expertise: Nina Reeder is a nationally-published lifestyle journalist and content strategist. She is also the travel and food editor at Upscale magazine and co-owner of the marketing and branding firm, QuestionmarkToPERIOD.

Favourite Trip: So far, Kyoto has been one of my favourite experiences—and favourite cities. From the tea houses to the temples, there is so much well-preserved tradition. If I’m on a story assignment, normally, I run through my tourist checklist, but the city’s energy made me more relaxed, more intentional, and more mindful of all the little moments.

I was there with my husband, and we just vibed through the city without much of an agenda. We biked around, took a boat tour, walked endless miles—even hiking Fushimi Inari Taisha in hard-bottom loafers (we didn’t know the number of miles we were in for when we set off). But one of our favorite experiences was a private tour (with CuratedKyoto.com), where the guide took us to a mediation class in the oldest Zen temple in the city.

Favorite Story: I do a lot of food editorial in addition to travel writing, and I’m fascinated with foodways—particularly in the African diaspora, where there are so many similarities and connections. Getting off-topic but: globally, I think food is something that demonstrates our link to each other. American cuisine would not be what it is today without the contributions of African Americans.

Therefore, our cuisine ultimately originates back to the diaspora. So, I’m proud of any opportunity to share our cultural stories, whether that be through cuisine, such as a story on Caribbean street food staples, or black history, like my story on Nantes, France, which was a major slave port.

What’s Next: Answering this question feels like planning a cheat meal when you’re on a strict diet; I want everything I can’t have right now. When normal travel resumes, I’ll either go two directions: a super active outdoorsy trip or a low-key beach getaway. But I’d most like to return to Switzerland, and this time, do an entire wellness itinerary. After a very stressful year, I’d love to reset, exploring some of the top spa resorts, scenic views, and maybe some soft adventures.

PHAON K. SPURLOCK
Lifestyle & Travel Writer, Speaker, GQ Insider and Entrepreneur
(Details, founder of LuxuriousPrototype, Men’s Health)

Expertise: Culturally Immersive & Luxury Travel

Favourite Trip: One of my favourites is my trip to Ghana, Africa, for the Year of Return Celebration in December 2019. The Year of Return was a year-long initiative by the government of Ghana, along with the US-based The Adinkra Group, that was intended to encourage African diasporas to visit Africa to settle and invest in the continent. It also marked 400 years since the first enslaved African landed on US soil.

The trip was more than I could even imagine! I told myself that I would start to take personal trips to countries based on my DNA and heritage. Ghana was on the list, and I’m so happy I was able to visit. During the trip, I was able to try the local cuisine, such as fish soup, red red, jollof rice, and kenkey. I also immersed myself in the rich culture and history by visiting places such as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Black Star Square, Shai Hills Reserve, Jamestown Lighthouse, Artists Alliance Gallery, and the Cape Coast Castle. The Cape Coast Castle is where many Ghanaians and Nigerians were captured and placed in dungeons, for months at a time, before being placed on ships for the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Everyone on my tour was teary-eyed.

After walking through the castle, we walked through the “Door of No Return” that led to the beach where kids were playing in the cool waters, a drastic juxtaposition to what was there over 400 years ago. I can’t leave out the nightlife! I was in for a huge shock, a very good shock. The parties and events never ended. I had the opportunity to go to such events as the Afrochella Festival, Little Havana All-White Party, Detty Rave, African Royalty Night, All Black Everything Party by ABE Tours, and the P.AR. New Year’s Eve Celebrations. It was truly a humbling and awesome experience. I look forward to visiting more of West Africa.

Favourite Story: My favourite travel story I’ve written was “Why You Should Visit Nevis – West Indies | “Queen of the Caribees” on my online men’s lifestyle magazine called, LuxuriousPROTOTYPE. It’s my favourite for numerous reasons. For starters, the trip was phenomenal! From catamaran sailing and snorkeling to visiting the home of Alexander Hamilton, to relaxing in thermal hot springs, to playing golf overlooking the ocean at the Four Seasons, to all of the amazing food at places like Sunshines Beach Bar and Grill, there is so much love about Nevis. Also, the article got picked up by a few very notable magazines.

What’s Next: The pandemic has really slowed everything down, travel wise; however, I plan to be cautious and smart about where I plan my next trip. I actually have an upcoming trip to Tulum, Mexico. This trip will be my first time in the city. I look forward to learning more about the Mayan culture, as well as relaxing on the white sand beaches. Planning for a trip during the pandemic has its own set of challenges, such as making sure you have the proper tools and accessories to protect your own life and others around you. (As in, copious amounts of hand sanitizer, a couple of (fabric) face masks that can be washed daily and antibacterial wipes.

Once travel returns (relatively) to normal and the spread of the virus is “controlled,” I look forward to visiting Cape Town, South Africa, and Stockholm, Sweden. Although very different, they are both places that spark my interest as they both showed up on my DNA test results. I am also very interested in learning about different cultures. Places like Alaska have definitely been on my radar since many international destinations have travel bans.

DEMARCO WILLIAMS
Managing Editor of Forbes Travel Guide
(Bleacher Report, ESPN, Forbes Travel Guide, Slam, Vibe)

Expertise: Born and raised in Atlanta, Williams got his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia State University in 1999. Upon graduation, he did a lot of freelance writing (hip hop, travel, sports, etc.) for outlets like Vibe, SLAM, and AOL. Though full-time editor opportunities with ESPN and Bleacher Report were rewarding, nothing has been quite as enjoyable (and as good for his passport) as the past seven and a half years of working with Forbes Travel Guide.

Favourite Trip: That is tough. But a trip that comes to mind is one that my wife and I took together to China. I actually went out first for a press trip to Hangzhou. She followed about a week later. We had an amazing time on tea farms and at West Lake and then spent a few magical days in Shanghai before coming back to America.

Favourite Story: I’ve had a lot of fun with a number of stories. One that stands out, though, is a piece I did on Barbados. It’s a beautiful place, obviously, but I had fun getting to know some of the amazing chefs, artisans, and residents there.

What’s Next: My family (wife and one-year-old son) had a wonderful Maldives getaway planned for Mother’s Day. Covid-19 had other plans. Once things get somewhat back to normal, that’s where we’ll be going! But until that happens, we’re taking more extended road trips. We’ve already done Texas and Ohio. My wife wants to go to California. That’s quite a commitment with a baby but, hell, we’ll probably do it soon!

Source : Forbes.com

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