Photo Credit: Photo by Jarrod Williams
Actor Ser'Darius Blain Is Helping People Of Color Experience 'Top Shelf' Travel
You’ve likely seen Ser’Darius Blain on Charmed or Jumanji, but the Haitian-American actor is also an avid traveler. After looking to escape from a series of rough events in his personal life, the actor became inspired to curate similar experiences for friends and family.
Welcome to Top Shelf Getaways.
The traveling bug has been in Blain since he was a kid. His father, a Haitian and Dominican immigrant, took his family to Haiti often. It was then that Blain was able to see how people lived outside the US, and ultimately sparked his love for travel.
His mother, somewhat of a nomad as Blain describes, enjoyed travel too. The family moved around often, and by the time he was 25, Ser’Darius had lived in 22 places. Once he became a professional actor, it opened him up to seeing even more of the world. But, life wasn’t always a walk in the park.
In a span of only a few years, Blain’s brother was shot and killed in Miami, he suffered a devastating loss in his previous relationship, and a former friend stole from him.
“I had the opportunity to go to Thailand for filming. I used the time to also just get away and find myself again, and it was right on time. Thailand is said to be ‘the land of smiles’ and the people were so kind, even though they didn’t have much. As Americans, we are so focused on capitalistic things, and we take human interaction for granted. Travel changed my perspective on this.”
Ser’Darius wanted others to be changed too, while exposing more Black and brown people to travel as a whole and allowing them to write their own narratives around the globe, rather than the media.
“I have now been planning trips for friends for 10 year,” Ser’Darius Blain told Travel Noire. “But, it was after I planned a birthday trip to Tulum for a hedge fund manager last October, that I decided to officially launch my brand.”
Top Shelf Getaways is exactly as the name suggests. Blain is all about helping travelers, especially those of color, experience that top shelf lifestyle when they set out to see the world.
“Now that I’ve put the name out there, I have to make sure all the experiences live up to it. I truly want people to feel rich inside and out.”
What to expect with a Top Shelf experience
The global pandemic put a wrench in a lot of the experiences Blain had planned coming into 2021. After launch, most of his trips were to the Tulum area, but now he’s looking forward to excursions in Colombia, Switzerland, Paris and Ibiza.
Top Shelf Getaways offers several options that cater to any traveler no matter your style, religion, sex, etc. Blain offers his white rabbit experiences, which are short 3-day trips for those who are short on time or on a budget. There are the ‘invitation-only” adventures which simply means you take advantage from a post on one of Blain’s social media platforms, and then there are longer 5-7 day adventures.
Each getaway is all-inclusive (flight not included), offering everything from private chefs, personal photographers and videographers to document the trip, and private VIP entry to clubs and lounges.
COVID-19 measures are also in place. Groups range in size from 20 to 40 people max. A negative COVID-19 test is required within 48-hours of departure, as well as masks.
“I have taken 279 people out of the United States since October 2020,” Ser’Darius Blain said. “We have not had 1 positive COVID case yet.”
Beyond the group trips, Top Shelf can also plan your personal trip. Blain looks to add mental health, family, and spiritual retreats to the roster in the future.
“I eventually want to build a travel club. Imagine SoHo house, but on the road.”
To learn more about Top Shelf Getaways and to see which trips are coming up, visit topshelfgetaways.com.