Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Alex Cater
This Man Started A Company To Encourage Other Black People To Explore Asia
Alex Cater and his wife Tamra packed up their life to move to South Korea almost 4 years ago. They now have two sons, ages 4 and 1.
Since living abroad, Alex started a company to help others explore parts of Asia off the beaten path. We spoke with him about life abroad and his company, Asian Voyages.
Travel Noire: What initially led you and your family abroad?
Alex: When I completed my MBA from Wharton Business School, I received an offer to work at Samsung’s Global Strategy Group in Seoul. I chose Samsung because it was a unique opportunity to live in a new country that we otherwise would never have had the chance to without knowing the language.
TN: Since being abroad, how has your travel life changed?
Alex: One of the things that
Since moving to Korea, we have taken over 30 trips to 19 countries. We take advantage of every holiday and vacation time to explore new places and meet new people. One of the best things about living here is the close proximity to so many places that would take days to reach from the U.S.
TN: How have your sons adapted to living abroad?
Alex: Growing up, I only left the country once to go to Windsor, Canada, which is across the river from Detroit. So I am excited to give my sons the opportunity to have a global experience that I could have only dreamed of when I was their age. AJ attends a Korean preschool and now speaks Korean, which I’m sure is only the beginning of the languages he will learn.
TN: What led you to create your company, Asian Voyages?
Alex: The start of its inception came from my first year at Wharton. One of the most impactful experiences in my life was when Tamra and I went on a school-organized cultural immersion program to Jordan, Israel, and Turkey. There were so many historical places we experienced that I had only read about such as the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, and Istanbul. Until then, those places may as well have been in a fairy tale. I didn’t really know much outside of the U.S., especially about the most populous continent and the increasing influence of Asia.
Now, after four years of living and working in Asia, we have experienced mainstream and off the beaten path activities. We want to share our love for travel with others and encourage Black people to explore this part of the world. Residing in the region allows us to provide custom experiences at a lower cost.
TN: There is often a negative stereotype stateside that Asian countries don’t respect Black people, what are your thoughts on this?
Alex: Before moving to Korea, I had read and heard that also. Fortunately, we have not had any negative experiences due to being Black. We have some minor challenges associated with being a foreigner in general, but have never been treated poorly because of being Black. To be honest, it’s been a blessing to be an expat and we are planning to remain in Asia and move to another country.
TN: Where has been your favorite Asian destination so far? Why?
Alex: Our favorite destination is Thailand because it offers everything. It has the city, the mountains, and the beach. Bangkok has a culture, vibe, and amazing food that is unmatched to almost anywhere else. And because we enjoy a change of pace to the beach, we have often find ourselves in Phuket to enjoy a more laid back environment.
TN: Where can we follow more of your family online?