How and when did you come up with the idea for your book Traveling While Black?
I went to a workshop in Morocco with other travel bloggers and we had a brainstorm! We asked ourselves what kind of products we could create for our blogs. I started thinking about what I could do to build authority in my niche and said, “Maybe I can write a book about my travel experience as a black person?” The reactions were immediately enthusiastic. “Great idea! You should do it! It can be interesting! You have the expertise and the credibility to do it!” At that point, I really started thinking about writing this book!
Please tell us something about the book and what it is supposed to communicate.
Traveling while Black is an essay that explains what it is like to travel independently around the world as a black person. I realized that a lot of my white friends had no idea what we black people go through when we travel. This book teaches people to show them that our skin is an integral part of our travel experience. I’m definitely not complaining in this book, just saying what many black people go through when traveling. The book also wants to show that black people travel contrary to popular belief.What do you think is the safest city in the world for black people and why? Which is the most unsafe city and why?
In my personal experience, Samarkand in Uzbekistan is probably one of the safest cities for black people. I know it’s not one of the most popular cities in the world, but the people are so kind and kind to the black people there. They are just happy to see us, they smile at us, they make sure everything is in order, they ask nicely if they can take pictures with us and even invite us to have dinner with them. The few blacks I know who went there loved it! Regarding the most unsafe city, I don’t know … I’m not sure if it’s the most unsafe place, but I didn’t have a good time in Kiev, Ukraine. Lots of people stared at me. They didn’t seem happy to see me. Some of them were very rude while being nice to other white travelers. But it’s my experience again.
Tell us about your best travel experience yet. How many countries have you visited so far and which was your favorite?
There are so many great travel experiences! One thing I will not forget is the friendliness of the people in Iran. You want to make sure the tourists have a great time there. I was in a restaurant in Tehran, the capital. I was alone, the menu was in Persian and none of the staff could speak English. “No problem, give me what you have, I’m just hungry”. “No, we will give you what you want to eat!” The four employees asked the entire restaurant if anyone could speak English. Nobody … “Where are you from?” “From France!”. Again they asked each customer if one of them could speak French. Needless to say, nobody spoke French … All of a sudden, one of the customers came out of nowhere and gave me his “someone for you” phone. In fact, the customer called one of his friends who spoke English, he recited the menu and prices to her, and on the phone I had a woman who repeated everything that was on the menu in English. IMPRESSIVE! I was so surprised that I didn’t even listen to what she was telling me, I stared at the guy like, “This is crazy!” And after the call he said: “That’s nothing … At least now we know what you want!” Yes, the best experiences are always about the people you meet!I don’t know how many countries I’ve been to because I don’t count. Probably around 60. I love Iran, Uzbekistan, Myanmar and Indonesia too. Great countries, beautiful landscapes, nice people and delicious food.
Have you been to india How does the country deal with blacks?
Yes i was in india. I spent three weeks there. You hear so many things about India from Europe and I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I am fascinated by the diversity of Indian culture, the food, the monuments, the landscapes. It’s an interesting country, but as a foreigner, I think it’s better to stay for several months to really know the country. Regarding black people in India, I am not going to lie, I was very concerned before I got there. I kept hearing that India wasn’t the friendliest country towards blacks. I went anyway. And guess what? I didn’t have any problems there. Everything went fine. I met a group of Indians in Delhi and they were very friendly and made sure I had a good time. I also went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, Jaipur, Goa and Kerala! I had no problems and met numerous black students from Africa. I think India knows how to welcome black people, but we are more focused on racism. The truth is it happens everywhere.
Do you think black people are exposed to racism in their travels around the world? How and why?
Oh yeah, and I’ve talked about it in my book. Black people fear racism wherever they go. They don’t know how people will react when they see them. This is one of the main reasons blacks face racism. Furthermore, seeing all the racist attacks abroad on the news doesn’t help. You see it in the media and you wonder if the place you want to go is full of racists. Black people are also exposed to racism in their homeland, in their hometown. That’s another reason many of us wonder if it’s the same overseas.Tell us about yourself. And your love of travel.
I was born and raised in Paris. I used to work in the e-commerce industry, but unfortunately I had to leave the company I used to work for for economic reasons. Always enjoying traveling and writing, I decided to travel the world and start a travel blog, Been Around The Globe. I was 30 years old. I traveled alone for a year and started posting articles on my blog. After my year abroad, I decided to work on my blog and earn money from it. I’m home now and make a living thanks to my blog. I basically love traveling because I love meeting people from different cultures and learning from them. It is so enriching to discover new ways of life, new ways of thinking, different architectures and different foods. There is always something new. That’s what I love most about traveling!
How do you think the pandemic has changed the travel industry? Where do you want to go when international travel restrictions are lifted? Did you take a trip during the pandemic?
The pandemic has seriously changed the travel industry. People can no longer travel, so many companies in the travel and tourism industry have had to close. Many people have lost their jobs. Traffic on travel blogs has decreased because people cannot travel right now. It is not the best time to start a business in the tourism industry. But I am optimistic that it will get better soon. As soon as the international travel restrictions are lifted, I would like to go somewhere in South America. Colombia, Peru, Chile or Argentina. I did not travel at all during the pandemic. I don’t want to take any chances.
Where can we get your book?
You can download the Kindle version from Amazon India. If you’d prefer a physical copy, you can purchase it from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, and Amazon Canada.