As the Honorable Elijah Cummings lay in state the commenter pointed out that he was the first African-American congressman to lay in state at our capital. My mind turned to other countries first African-American President, President Barrack Obama. Other notable names such as Jessica Nabongo who is the first black woman to visit all the countries in the world. If you view the lives of these great pioneers are and provides inspiration for others to do the unimaginable. So, how did I start traveling?
I listen to my grand mother as she tell the stories of her travels up and down the United States from Chicago, IL to Miami, FL, she traveled to see and experience what she could with what she could afford to do. That love for traveling passed on to my mom who would make sure we went to Florida every year for vacation. I remember one year my mom took us to Florida during Christmas, I cried that year because I thought we were going to miss Christmas that year. Of course I laugh at it now, but it was the beginning of something that would transform how I view the world. I am happy to share these moments with these two young men on mine. I hope their experiences shape their view of this world from a global perspective.
What am I noticing as an African-American Traveler? Simply people are curious beings. I was taking a tour at the Palace Museum in Beijing with my sons. It was almost as if we were rock star the many random people approached us asking us to take picture. Kenric Jr. asked what was going on? I responded just roll with it. We laughed and enjoyed being famous for a day. I could only imagine who that thought we were. Maybe a famous actor or a singer; someone with more money than me.
Or people the amazing conversation with people from all walks of life just sharing wisdom and laughs. Many times I don’t remember what we talked about or their names, but I remember their faces and how I felt when we were in that moment. Or that random moment that someone from around the world reaches out to wish you well on your continued travels. These connection of support and curiosity of others is an important part of who we are as humans. Meaning the more we know about each other the more we breaks down barriers between us.