Photo Credit: Courtesy of Patrick Easley
Traveler Story: I Quit My Job, Cashed In My Stock, And Set Out To See The World
For as long as he could remember, Chicago native Patrick Easley wanted to see the world. But as a Black man from the Chi, the thought always seemed far fetched.
“I thought boys, where I come from, can’t do that,” Patrick told Travel Noire. “Then I came across this channel made by Al Gore that used to be on cable called Current. It showed all these young white folks traveling and adventuring in these little vignettes and I thought, they ain’t no better than me, I’m going to do that too when I get older.”
Once Patrick was older, he landed a job with everyone’s favorite app, Cash App. While the job itself didn’t offer the best pay, it did give employees some pretty nice stock options. Unknowingly, Patrick benefited from those stocks as well.
“I never put two and two together that the stocks in my account were mine, so they sat there for a while. Once I realized whose they were, I decided to spend them on myself so I quit to travel. I wish I could say I planned it.”
Since beginning this journey, he has seen more than two dozen countries. He breaks his adventures into rounds and then makes his way back to the U.S. for a short reset.
“The time I spend in each place differs a lot,” Patrick said. “If I’m enjoying myself or making friends then I’ll stay longer, but some places I make a strict itinerary. Like I spent 1.5 months in South Africa because I was having a ball. I spent 1.5 weeks in Vietnam because I planned to do so.”
South Africa and Vietnam have been his favorites thus far. Vietnam because of its beauty, great food, and the fact that it’s cheap. South Africa ranks high because the history is very similar to that of the U.S. A large amount of apartheid was based on the treatment of African Americans and Native Americans in the U.S., so it’s interesting for him to see and hear their perspectives.
Although he is back home for the moment, he will soon begin another round of travel in the next week or so. He’ll visit a few European countries and then make his way to Eastern Africa. Luckily, he has made lots of friends around the world, so he usually doesn’t have to worry about finding a place to stay.
This journey around the world has taught him so much about himself and about African American culture as a whole. He’s seeing the beauty of being Black and how much African American culture has touched and influenced the world.
“I think that many times African Americans don’t give ourselves enough credit for all we’ve created, improved, and mastered in this world while dealing with so much marginalization in the U.S. I’ve heard far too many folks say, “We don’t have a culture.” And while I never went that far, I didn’t see how full our culture is or how much others appreciate it. We have our own language, religion, foods, myths, and backstories– ALL of these things are (generally) respected the world over.”
Because of Western media’s portrayal of Black people and the treatment that many receive here in America, Patrick was left to feel as though those sentiments would carry over throughout the world. But, he now knows that to be untrue.
In his journey, he has found that other cultures tend to appreciate and respect Black culture. It is his hope the more of us see that too.
To catch more of Patrick’s adventures around the world, you can find him on Twitter or Instagram at @DoesItSoEasley. He also blogs via his website: patrickeasley.com.