Earlier today when I was out and about, I ran into a middle-aged Black woman who complimented my bag that I use for everything from a camera bag to a purse. She asked me where I got it and when I mentioned that I got it in Hong Kong for ten dollars US, our conversation began to spiral into our love for traveling and how she loves to travel with her senior citizen mom. She domestically travels and mentioned how my tales made her want to get her passport to travel internationally. Yay! (Last week’s Read This Week post included an article about Black women and traveling.)
I gave her my information because she said she wanted to call me and she asked about my photography work. It was a great conversation. I love randomly bumping into random Black women because we usually end up talking about natural hair, cuisine or traveling.
Though economic times are strenuous for most Americans, so most of us travel a lot less or not at all, every experience we can have to simply get away from home to explore should be treasured. Research shows that quality experiences have a longer impact on our happiness than the acquisition of possessions does. Research also shows that sometimes “distance” from problems makes us think more creatively about those very same problems (read this in an interesting book called Imagine by J. Lehrer).
I’ve shared a story on Twitter a few times with a follower, @HarrietThugman, who mentions her exciting travel experiences sometimes. I told her that my trip to China for 10 days and a knock-off Louis Vuitton purse cost more than the real purse alone! (I checked. Hehe. I really did compare the prices.) And, that trip is seared into my permanent memory. It impacted my perspective, knowledge, cuisine preferences, photography—and so much more. Purses, knock-off or real ones, never make me as happy as actual great experiences.
I love to hear great tales about the travel experiences of everyone I know, especially Black women. My best travel buddy is my best friend who is a Black woman that genuinely defines cosmopolitan in a substantive way. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin. She trains in Brazilian jiu jitsu. She gardens and cooks. She made chitterlings sushi before. Yep.
Below is a collage that I am using in one of the travel books I designed to collect my memories…snippets of us in Asia in 2007 and 2008.
We should live life to the fullest. Be an adventurer by choice and by fate…especially us.