Identity matters and can affect how we, as black women, travel. With our collective rise in disposable income and an intense desire for freedom — a desire perhaps birthed from our history — we are now travelling more than ever before. Still, we do it with fear. Fear of racial profiling, assault, or putting our lives in danger because we’ve ventured into a place where we’re not welcome. While nowhere in the world is a utopia for blacks where racism doesn’t exist, there are countries where black travelers have reported that they feel more comfortable. So here it is — our top 10 list of countries to be a carefree black girl, without having to be acutely aware of our skin tone.
For a culture and civilization trip, visit Accra, Ghana
Ghana has emerged as a go-to travel destination for blacks looking to connect with the continent. The city of Accra attracts visitors from all over the world for its blend of historical and modern culture. There you can vibe to Afrobeats on a rooftop bar or visit Elmina Castle to learn more about where enslaved Africans were housed before their tumultuous transatlantic journey.
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Seek underwater adventure and village beaches in Belize
You can still enjoy Caribbean food and Creole culture, all while knowing you’ve ventured off into South America. The coastal country is rich in both island vibes and an incredible array of biodiversity. If you’re adventurous, go snorkeling in Shark Ray alley — a protected area of the barrier reef which is home to beautiful beds of coral and magnificent marine life. If that’s too much adventure, check out Hopkins Village to taste traditional Creole cuisine and relax on the plethora of beaches along the village coastline.
Enjoy the seafood, art and charm of Dakar, Senegal
A mostly French-speaking country, Senegal is known for its art, seafood and extensive beaches that stretch over 530 kilometers along the Atlantic. A 20-minute ferry ride will take you to Ile de Gorée ¬— a stunning island with a dark past. However, it’s a place to learn more about our African ancestors ¬¬as this is where many slaves left their homes to never return. While you’re in Senegal, be sure to taste the national dish, thieboudienne, and take in the colonial charm in the architecture of Saint-Louis.
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Consider the old and new of London, England
To discover Black Britain, you’ll want to soak up Brixton – an Afro-Caribbean community that’s diverse, creative, and has an unbeatable night scene. If you want to grab a pint, as is customary while in London, do it at Black-owned pub Prince of Pelham, which prides itself on being an inclusive establishment. London in general is culturally and ethnically diverse with over 300 languages spoken – you will not feel out of place here.
Take in the vibrance of Rio de Janiero, Brazil
If you really want to absorb Brazil’s rich culture, go in February while their Carnival season is underway. Make sure to get your Instagram photos on the “Selaron Steps,” one of Brazil’s most famous landmarks, and of course, the Christ the Redeemer statue. Taste their wide choice of local foods rooted in their varied origins, and enjoy Rio’s Ipanema Beach, which is praised by travelers all around the world.
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Indulge in the luxury of Dubai
Though you can experience Dubai on any budget, this is one of those trips where you’ll want to save up some coin to truly experience what Dubai has to offer. The choices of upscale hotels will have you feeling like royalty – a stay in one of them would be unforgettable. Before you leave, take the two-hour trip to Abu Dhabi to visit the Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace. As you take your black girl magic photos against the white walls, be sure to be respectful of this place of worship by obeying the strict dress code.
Revel in the world class art and breathtaking views of Paris, France
It goes without saying that Paris is the place to go for some of the best artwork in the world. Get a Paris Museum Pass to give you full access to the L’ouvre, Musée d’Orsay, the Arc de Triomphe, Chateau de Versailles and more. You can get incredible pics for the ‘gram at the Palace of Versailles, located right outside of Paris, or stay in the city to visit the Eifel Tower and the various Parisian street markets.
Discover the street art and abundance of culture in Berlin, Germany
The city has been described as young, hip, and vibrant and once you walk through the art-filled streets, you’ll see why. See the city through your tastebuds with the Berlin Food Tour where you’ll get to experience all nooks and crannies of Berlin easily missed by the naked eye. Don’t miss the Mauerpark Flea Market or the Turkish Market where you’ll discover unique finds you’d never find at home, and be sure to visit the House of World Cultures – Germany’s national centre exploring non-European cultures.
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Feel completely comfortable in humble Toronto, Canada
To experience Toronto at its best, visit during the warmer months from May to September when the city is booming after the winter thaw. There are a long list of annual cultural festivals that will give you a taste of the cultures that live there like Salsa on St. Clair, Taste of Danforth, and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. For some adventure, test your nerves on the Edgewalk atop the CN Tower or take in the charm of the Distillery District.
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Delight in the temples and street food in Bangkok, Thailand
Here, a dollar can stretch a long way – from lodging to food, you’ll find a trip to Thailand more affordable than you’d think. While you’re there, be sure to take a tour of their breathtaking temples –like Wat Arun and Wat Pho (the Reclining Buddha). Pro tip: dress appropriately for these temples or you’ll will be denied entry or forced to buy clothing from closeby vendors. Tour the city in a tuk tuk, indulge in the inexpensive massages, and party until the wee hours of the morning in this city that never sleeps.
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