We all have unique experiences when we visit a different city or country, but how often does your black identity have an impact on your trip? In our Diary of a Black Traveler series, we ask members of the Travel Noire family to share their personal experiences of being a black traveler in an unfamiliar space. Amir Cuffe (@acwashere) tells Travel Noire how his experience in Poland taught him how to focus on positive energy during challenging times.
Travel Noire: While you were in Poland, did you feel like you were treated differently because you were black and from a different country?
Amir: Yes. I was the only student of color out of 12 people and I received dirty glances and many indifferent stares throughout my time traveling in Eastern Europe.
Travel Noire: What were some of the challenges you faced during your trip?
Amir: I had one racist encounter in a market in Kraków, Poland in which a lady followed me around her market store, rolled her eyes, spoke negatively in Polish, and made me feel unwelcome.
Travel Noire: How did you handle this interaction?
Amir: I learned to focus on the positive experiences of my travel and brush off the negativity. Her ignorance had nothing to do with me and I did not let it affect my market experience.
Travel Noire: What impact has your trip to Poland had on your life?
Amir: I live and breathe to travel and immerse myself in other cultures whenever I get the chance.
Travel Noire: Would you encourage other black travelers to visit Eastern Europe destination?
Amir: Yes, I traveled all throughout Eastern Europe and had an amazing time. Our visibility will ultimately encourage change and understanding, and if not, it’ll at least piss those who wish to oppress us off.