Black boy joy is at an all-time high and Black men everywhere are taking advantage of the good vibes. Black men have never been a stranger to travel. However, more of them are hitting the highways and catching flights for group trips and solo adventures.
There’s a lot to learn and experience when traveling the world. Now more than ever, many Black men are tapping in with their inner child and reconnecting with what brings them joy. As summer progresses and more of them venture out on vacations, Travel Noire took some time to chat with a few Black men about what they’ve learned while traveling the world.
The World is Bigger Than Your Backyard
Justin Carson, 28, believes it’s important for Black men to realize masculinity isn’t rigid. Traveling helped him recognize that for himself after being around men from different countries.
“Men in European and Latin American countries, for example, display their masculinity by showing physical affection towards one another,” Carson said. “They show vulnerability to their children and stay consistent in their family’s lives.”
The young professional living in Atlanta hopes international travel will expose Black men to a different side of masculinity that stretches beyond social constructs.
Traveler and entrepreneur Chris Johnson, 35, says traveling makes Black men realize the world is their oyster and that there’s much to explore. Johnson has visited over 20 countries and says his interactions with strangers has taught him some of his most valuable life lessons.
“The world is so much bigger than your backyard aka the town, city, state, and country that you live in, and you will never fully understand and appreciate that statement unless you experience it first hand,” Johnson said.
Always Have a Back-Up Plan
Travel agent Kellen Myers, 38, says traveling has taught him to always have a backup plan. He’s realized that everything that could go wrong can happen while on vacation. No matter what happens while traveling, he always makes sure to enjoy his trip.
“I learned that with travel, one should always have a Plan A, B, and C,” Myers said. “But, even if you exhaust all of your backup plans, live it up! You’re on vacation, and things will always sort themselves out.”
Myers also says Black men need to travel to expand their horizons and that the next generation of young, Black men need to be encouraged to travel the world.
“It’s very important for Black men to [travel] because we have to show our youth that it’s important to see the world,” he said. “We’re so much better than just being stuck. It’s a great, big, beautiful world and it’s here for us to touch it.”
A Greater Form of Self-Care
For Glen Howson, 36, traveling abroad brought him an internal peace that was unmatched. His trip to Africa released him from the box America had placed Black men into and he felt free. His vacation became the ultimate form of wellness and self-care.
“When I was in Africa, my soul was at peace and my energy was always full of happiness,” Howson said. “I was able to get rid of my bad anxiety and able to focus on myself as a human being!”
Bryant West, 31, returned from his recent trip to Cancun feeling inspired. He hopes more Black men will travel internationally and catch the spirit of wanderlust.
“Traveling definitely opened my mind to meeting a lot of people…it’s inspired me to go harder in everyday life,” West said.
Traveling Can Boost Your Confidence
Chicago chef Laurence Reynolds, 36, gained a boost of confidence when he started traveling more frequently. He’s visited 25 states and countries like Aruba, Kuwait, and St. Barts. Believing that life is the best teacher, Reynolds is thankful for his travel experiences and the growth he’s attained while traveling.
“My confidence definitely enhanced a lot after having my first abroad trip,” Reynolds said. “I was definitely nervous not knowing a lot, but once it was completed, I realized it wasn’t bad at all. I myself overcame stereotypes of others; meeting fellow travelers from all over the world.”