Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Ashley Paige
The Black Expat: 'We Woke Up One Morning And Said We're Moving To Mexico'
Ashley Paige was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. The 36-year-old wife and mother of two started the BlackTravelGram Instagram page with her husband, to showcase Black travelers.
“We wanted to show that people of color can travel and do travel,” she told Travel Noire. “We wanted others to feel the same allure and wonder we feel when we travel the world.”
Both travel lovers, Ashley says she and her husband had each experienced multiple destinations before they met.
“Once I met my husband, however, I started traveling more seriously and more often.”
“After some time, we decided we wanted to explore the world together. We wanted to see all it has to offer, especially in terms of history, culture, and food. Every day is truly an adventure with him, and there’s no one else I’d rather share this journey with.”
Although she and her husband usually travel together, Ashley says she would never say no to a solo trip if her husband was unable to go.
“What I love about our relationship is that, while we are a unit, we are able to enjoy life and travel to the fullest— whether together or apart.”
Six months ago, Ashley and her family moved to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was a spur of the moment decision.
“We woke up one morning and said ‘We’re moving to Mexico.’ So, we decided to sell everything, and that afternoon we started posting our stuff for sale.”
“So far, I have loved living in Playa del Carmen. It’s been so peaceful, and I honestly wish we would have done it sooner, because it’s the best decision we’ve ever made. The community of Black people in Playa del Carmen is absolutely beautiful. To see Black expats thriving in a new country is so magical.”
“Everyone’s experience will be different, so I don’t think it’s good to limit your options because one person didn’t have a great experience. I think people would be surprised to find that, more often than not, no matter where you go, you will find loving and helpful people, but in those same countries, you’ll find rude and even downright racist people, as well.”
“For some, culture clash is a real thing. Sometimes we forget that we are in their country with their culture and should be accommodating just like we would expect them to be in ours. So, never let any one dissuade you from traveling to a country because of a bad experience!”
“I am lucky and blessed to have never felt unwelcome anywhere. That’s not to say my experience is all-inclusive. There are plenty of stereotypes about Black people in Asian countries, and I would easily go back to Asia in a heartbeat.”
Ashley is currently in Morocco hosting a BlackTravelGram trip. With all the lockdown and quarantine rules, she isn’t certain where she’ll end up next. But one thing is for sure–she will definitely be traveling somewhere.
“I’m always down to visit any country at any time! We are hoping to explore more of Africa and Latin America when the world opens back up, and to curate more trips out there.”
“There are over 190 countries in the world, and we don’t plan on stopping. While COVID may have slowed us down a bit, we will be back out there better and stronger than ever, hosting trips for everyone looking to discover what the world has to offer!”
Follow Ashley at @msashq.