The last month has been full of travel: Paris, St. Tropez, Rome, Bergamo and now I’m back in London before I head to Ibiza this afternoon. Of all of the wonderful places I’ve visited in the last month, I must say, the city of Bergamo now holds a special place in my heart. Studying abroad in Milan, Bergamo was where we students flew out of for the cheaper flights. Heading to the airport, you could see the walled city in the distance up on the hill. Always found it intriguing but you know how it goes, you never take advantage of the sites nearest to you. It took almost a decade later and a very special guy to bring me to Bergamo for a weekend. To know Bergamo is to love it. Really. Whenever I tell people that my boyfriend is from there, they either have never heard of it or go bonkers and regale me with a story about their last visit to the city. It’s pretty cool. Here’s a little Vespa ride through the …
One of the most trafficked stories on ‘N A Perfect World is 10 African American Friendly Travel Destinations. I see you guys ;). I am a born and raised New Yorker, currently residing in London. In the current state of the US’s administration, I am not surprised with the influx of activity on this post. I definitely need to update my list, send more tourism dollars to “shithole” countries. With sites like On She Goes (that I’ve contributed to), Travel Noire, Nomadness etc. this was a “thing” way before travel companies started to pay attention. I’ve gotten tons of emails and DMs from WOC — I’ve even been fortunate enough to meet some of you — telling me about your experiences traveling, asking for my advice etc. A question that I’ve gotten a few times that I LOVE is young people of color in the United States considering studying abroad and asking me my take on how the student experience would be for them in X country. In some instances, their parents fear racism. I’ve …
So there you have it, what started out as a frantic phone call to my mom saying “I can’t stay here” turned into another awesome trip in one of my favorite cities and a little one-on-one time with a dear friend. As for the buffoons… they turned out all right at the end.
I encourage people of color to go out and see the world. That is the only way stereotypes can be broken. I’ve often found myself gaining access to places and situations that I know I wouldn’t necessarily have had access to if I were white. I take pride in this and happily eat up all of these moments. This all being said, here are 10 places I’ve traveled that I was particularly well received as an African American woman.
It started with Grace Jones at a gala in Milan and ended in Italy’s Boca Raton. In between, there was a possible robbery, a strike and that glorious feeling of why not that can only be captured by Italian sprezzatura. Listen to this week’s edition of Never Date a Traveler and find out how I really detox after Fashion Month.
Now it’s time to focus on that other question that induces a headache this time a year, “What are we doing for New Years?” I say, take a trip! Here are my top 10 instagram-envy inducing locales selected from our ‘N A Perfect World travels of 2015.
It’s been a fast growing year of ‘N A Perfect World; I haven’t even had the time to put up half the content that I’ve wanted to. From just an idea to this, it was wonderful to reflect with Lucia and Vogue Italia about what I have accomplished and what my next steps are.
You never know what will happen! If I hadn’t have gone on a date with an Italian in NYC, then to the amfAR Gala months later to see Grace Jones perform (check it out, wrote about it for Paper magazine here), I would never have visited this little town on the Italian Riviera, Loano.
While beautiful, I’ve always avoided Florence because of the never-ending tourist season. However, after reading my friend Jordan’s Florence Guide on Medium, I’m definitely willing to give Michelangelo’s adopted city another try.
If you’ve ever been to Venice, you’ve seen blackamoor art. It’s pretty ubiquitous in hotels there although you might not have noticed them. They are the sculptures depicting African males (and sometimes females) decked out in jewels and/or regalia and holding a tray or some type of container at entrances. With jewelry and sculptures dating back to the Early Modern period of European art, blackamoor art has drawn controversy in recent times, most notably on the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013 runway. Much of the blackamoor jewelry on the market today are Venetian antiques carved from ebony or enamel and inlaid with gold and fine stones, like diamonds, rubies, pearls, turquoise etc. Famed Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin was said to keep a blackamoor figurine on his desk to remind him of his great-grandfather, black Russian nobleman Abram Petrovich Gannibal. This figure can be seen in his former St. Petersburg apartment, now turned into a museum. Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel and Anita Pointer of the Pointer sisters are also collectors of blackamoor jewelry and furniture. I …