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. Emmanuel Lamptey shares he traveling with an open mind helped him to have a rewarding solo trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Travel Noire: Did you connect with Scotland on a personal level due to your black heritage?
Emmanuel: I tried my best to connect but because the population of the black community was sparse, it had a slight impact.
Travel Noire: Did you feel like you were treated differently because you were black and from a different country?
Emmanuel: To some extent. I felt like I was treated slightly differently because of my color. People at the place where I lodged were really friendly and I guess it’s only because they aren’t used to seeing people of different race and background. The community at large was a different story.
Travel Noire: Do you feel like being black in Scotland created any challenges for you?
Emmanuel: I tried not to feel stigmatized. I was there for another adventure in my quest for getting to know people and places, so that was my personal strategy. If you have it at the back of your mind that racism and culture shock will never be a thing of the past, you will naturally grow from overcoming any challenges.
Travel Noire: What impact has that trip had on your life?
Emmanuel: I learned to be honest. In our daily lives, we learn something from each and every person we encounter.
Travel Noire: Would you encourage other black travelers to visit Edinburgh, Scotland?
Emmanuel: Yes, I would. My experience may be completely different from someone else’s. It’s a nice and historic location.