Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Ashley in Afrika
Ashley in Afrika Helps Black Expats Find Community and Cultural Belonging in Africa
This visionary Black woman-owned agency has become a driving force in the expat movement in recent years. Ashley in Afrika is a beacon of hope for professionals, families and entrepreneurs looking to establish a life in Africa.
Ashley inspires people to think beyond what they’ve been told on how to live their lives. Instead, she educates them to see how they can build the life they want to live. Her services are helping to facilitate the travel, relocation and business expansion aspirations of the African Diaspora into a reality.
Start With A Personal Story
Ashley’s journey started on a less-than-ideal note. She didn’t have the support or funds to study abroad through her university. Coupled with a sense that global exploration wasn’t within her reach, it seemed like traveling was not going to be in the cards for her.
“Graduating with my university degree was something I knew I had to do for my future,” she told Travel Noire in a recent interview. “Going abroad through school was the only gateway I could see where I could travel the world without feeling like I was an outlier. Unfortunately, I was unable to do so with the time and funds available to me at that time,”
After graduating from Florida State University, it was a particular series of life-altering events that led her to take a step back and reassess what was important and what was achievable moving forward.
“I just returned from a friend’s wedding in Puerto Rico and got laid off from my tech startup job,” she recalled. “I was burnt out—working 50 to 60 hours every week, taking classes to get my certifications, and raising a child under two years of age. Honestly, I was overwhelmed and depressed. I knew I needed therapy to reevaluate my life.”
Ashley thought about what she really wanted for herself, her children and her relationships moving forward. For her, the pandemic was the time that shifted her perspective and sparked her to put things into action. After that time period, it became clear that it was time to try something new to get a different outcome.
Finding Liberation Through Change
Ashley embarked on a journey of self-discovery by deciding to move somewhere out of the country in June 2020. It was in October of that same year that she had made the life-changing move to Tanzania.
“My decision was born out of a former colleague’s mention of moving to Tanzania,” she said. “I dove into my own research into the country’s quality of life. Having worked in marketing, I understood the disparities between marketed images of lifestyle versus real life. We’re sold this idea of a dream lifestyle in the US, but faced with the reality of being unable to achieve it.”
This experience revealed the power of narratives, which helped her acknowledge the desire to live a life of peace. That positive mindset philosophy is what Ashley knew she wanted to build in her life and help others find as they liberated themselves.
Empowering Choice Through Cultural Connection
Ashley’s extensive travels, spanning over 12 countries, laid the foundation for her agency’s mission to empower the African Diaspora. Ashley drew from her own experience of feeling like a “minority” in her home country of the United States. She realized that embracing her power and supporting others was crucial to her own survival.
After being blindsided by her family’s skepticism about leaving the United States, Ashley felt compelled to help others overcome similar barriers. For her, it wasn’t just about moving to another country. This was about finding a quality of life to live in peace, raise her children, and break generational curses.
“Many people say we are not our ancestors; however, if we could ask our ancestors what they would do, they would want us to return to the motherland,” she said. “They would tell us to reconnect to what was taken from us and find the life we deserve to have.”
She found her strength in Tanzania and sought to share that energy with her community so they no longer feel like the “Other” in their own space.
Guiding Expats in Transformation and Growth
Ashley in Afrika empowers and supports individuals who want to live the expat life, but don’t know where to start. Her website has travel guides for destinations around Africa, so potential expats can travel as if they already live there. She shared the three most important things to do before making any moves to live abroad.
Ashley emphasizes that a positive mindset is pivotal and stresses the importance of understanding one’s reason why. It is the most detrimental to achieving your goal and channeling that motivation into action that lasts. Ashley in Afrika starts with helping to dismantle misconceptions about Africa, promoting acceptance and empathy and cultivating financial responsibility.
Acceptance and Empathy
If you can learn to put yourself in others’ shoes, Ashley says that you will be less critical and more open to possibilities. When the going gets tough, having a strong reason why can get you through unexpected circumstances. Culture shock is real and you must be adaptable. You have to unlearn and deconstruct a lot of things you thought you knew about living abroad.
Moving to a country with no fallback system, like social security or unemployment, can feel like a major pitfall. Financial discipline is essential to building a strong foundation for a healthy lifestyle. This will help you feel secure regardless of any circumstances.
Travel and relocation come with cultural differences and logistical challenges. Ashley’s agency offers valuable insight to navigate these hurdles. She offers constant support in various ways including planning tools to help kickstart plans to move abroad. The Afrikan Investor Academy is a global online community with members who are interested in investing in projects around Africa. There are also Member-Only events and an Afrika Investors Toolkit for step-by-step financial guidance for the move and beyond.