Photo Credit: Kamaji Ogino
Things Black People Just "Don't Do" On Vacation That We Should
Quite a few activities come to mind when thinking about things Black people just “don’t do” on vacation that we absolutely should. It isn’t just that we don’t do these things on vacation. As Black people, these are things most of us likely never even thought of doing growing up. Or, even now, haven’t thought about doing as adults. Sailing or scuba diving? Those weren’t even on our radar.
If we did see people doing some of these things, they weren’t people of color. These activities were “for them” and not for us. The lack of diversity in the activities listed below are still prevalent today. Pull up at a campground, anywhere in the United States, and it’s easy to see who goes camping and who doesn’t. Take a look inside a ballet theatre during a performance and you’ll surely notice see the lack of diversity in the audience.
It’s time we changed the activities we allow ourselves to do during vacation, or anytime. Check out these activities Black people just “don’t do” on vacation that we should.
1. Go to the Theater
Ballets, operas, and even Broadway shows are back in business. Doors are open to the public and ready to welcome you!
Going to the ballet or opera is a chance to get red-carpet-ready. Don your finest formal attire and take a night to enjoy the ballet or opera. Behind the scenes tours are available in some opera houses.
While the cast and crew of theatre productions have become more diverse, the audience has been slower to change. As addressed in the National Endowment for the Arts Research report, only 20 percent of the ticket buyers recorded were people of color, with Black people representing 12 percent of that number.
Grab a seat at any of the several all-Black cast Broadway shows and treat yourself to dancing, singing, and acting by people who look like us. Relatable storylines make theater much more appealing.
2. Hot Springs Hikes
Hiking and nature in general aren’t on everyone’s radar. Hiking with the purpose of experiencing something beautiful can be a new and fabulous thing. Take a short and easy hike to start with, then build up over time. Find hikes with views, or even better, hikes with hot springs at the end.
Crack open a cold one and dip into the natural hot springs that are found all over much of the United States. Some require no hiking at all, but the best ones are those that are the most secluded.
The logistics of sailing and boating are not very difficult, despite what many people will lead you to think. It doesn’t take a special license to rent a speed boat or pontoon boat for the day. Listen to 10 minutes of instructions before taking off for the day. Even non-swimmers can enjoy boating. Life jackets are required on most speed boats, anyway.
Sailing can be a bit more difficult to get into. Buying a sailboat, on anchor, without having ever sailed before can have a steep learning curve. Check out the local yacht and sailing clubs. Take an introductory lesson to see if it’s something you’d want to do more often. Or, if you suddenly fall in love, buy that boat and learn to sail!
4. Snorkeling/Scuba Diving
Bob on top of the water with a snorkel and no experience. Float around in a life jacket, or swim freely with a snorkel and mask. The snorkel allows you to breathe just under the surface of the water. See brilliantly colored fish, sea turtles and starfish on easy, guided snorkeling adventures.
Snorkel from the beach and simply wade in the water, putting your face in as you feel comfortable. Or, go off the back of a boat to see some of the bigger fish.
Scuba diving can be learned in a swimming pool. There are several styles and difficulties. Free diving is an interesting sport as well, where people hold their breath and dive as deep as possible.
RVing is becoming much more trendy in the Black community. Van life has really highlighted how simple it is to be able to pick up and travel in a van or RV.
Taking your home (or second home) with you is an optimal solution to planning the logistics of a long trip. Skipping the hotels and even some restaurants to stay and cook in the RV, with a stunning backdrop is completely doable.
RVing is as easy a renting one online, loading it up with all of the necessities, and hitting the road. Take a day trip to try it out, then go for longer periods. Join the African Americans That RV & Camp (AARVC) group on Facebook and meet a great community of Black RVers.
Related: Who Said Black People Don’t Travel?