Photo Credit: Adil Ismaaeel
Breaking Borders: The Book Inspiring Men Of Color To Travel The World
Adil Ismaaeel is passionate about inspiring men to explore the world. Born in Saudi Arabia, he was raised in Wilmington, Delaware, where he currently resides with his wife and their three children. He wrote his book, Breaking Borders, as a guide to embolden young Black men and other men of color to travel the world and shift their world perspectives through travel.
“Many young men of color are restricted to a figurative and literal box where much of their lives are confined, namely their neighborhood or the part of the city they live within. They live unaware of the true beauties of life and the world, and the possibilities that exist within. The purpose of Breaking Borders is to do what the name suggests and break the borders of those restrictions by introducing young men of color to new possibilities.”
Adil was inspired to write his book after noticing a pattern regarding the clients he served at his travel agency. Working with people from all over the country, he realized that most of the people he booked travel for were not men of color.
“That sparked my curiosity. As I began to dig, I realized that Black women had the travel game on lock. They were exploring the world and doing so amazingly. Through my agency, I decided I wanted to do something about young Black men not traveling, so I started a program aimed at young Black men called Culture Shift Tours.”
During these tours, Adil would take youth to different cities, allowing them to explore and see things they otherwise would not see on their own. He hoped the tours would pique their curiosity and interest in travel.
“I started to ask ‘Why don’t we as Black men travel? What stops us?’ After talking to a number of friends about the topic, one suggested I write a guide, a book that teaches Black men how to travel. So I did.”
During the process of writing his book, Adil discovered that fear and a lack of resources are two of the main challenges that stop Black men from traveling. Breaking Borders discusses these issues as well as some of the historical challenges that Black men face in America, and then offers a way to overcome them.
The book highlights the many benefits Black men can enjoy through travel. Among these are the opportunities to gain life experience, build character and confidence, overcome challenges, and conquer fears along the way.
“This confidence and certainty that one is able to do anything, can be used in all areas of life to develop great things! This is what Black men need most. This is what our community needs to know: that they can overcome the challenges they face, and in turn, use that confidence to create positive and beneficial change within our communities.”
“Travel has shown me the possibility of what can be. It has also allowed me to see life as it is and that human beings are just that human beings, no matter where they are in the world. We all have things that make us unique in our own ways, like our cultures, but what motivates us to do what we do is the same. To see those things in all people shows how much we are alike, even though we are all different. We all have our struggles to overcome, and it motivates you to come back and do something about yours!”
For men who would like to begin planning for their first international trip, but are unsure where to start, Adil recommends simply taking it one step at a time. Start by applying for your passport. Begin thinking of where you’d like to go and when you’d like to go.
“Don’t complicate the process by overthinking and letting fear stop you. Once you have a passport and an idea of where you want to go, create a budget for your experience and save that money. Or, you may instead desire to decide where to travel based on how much you currently have available to spend.”
For those with a limited budget, Adil points out that a trip does not need to be extravagant or luxurious to be enjoyable, adding that it’s perfectly okay to start simple.