Travel Noire has always been devoted to showcasing black travelers that inspire others to see more of the world. Jonai (@byjonai) shares how seeing the world has helped learn to be more present.
Travel Noire: Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?
Jonai: From Philadelphia and I currently live in Philadelphia.
Travel Noire: When did traveling become more than a hobby for you?
Jonai: My grandmother and I traveled together all of the time when I was a child. And since she’s passed, I make it a point to continue to see the world, as if she were still here with me.
Travel Noire: What are your favorite domestic destinations?
Jonai: Los Angeles and New Orleans.
Travel Noire: What are your favorite destinations to travel abroad?
Jonai: I’ve only been to Tulum, Québec, Montréal, and Belize so far. Belize and Montréal have been my favorites.
Travel Noire: What are your top three travel secrets that black travelers should know?
Jonai: 1. Keep a credit card that earns travel points. 2. Stay in an Airbnb within the communities. The culture and the food is more authentic. 3. Keep an open mind if cheaper flights to some place you never considered are available. The experience may surprise you!
Travel Noire: How did traveling change your perspective on life?
Jonai: Traveling made me realize how insignificant a lot of things are back at home. The world is huge, filled with billions of other people, all living completely different lives individually. Traveling also helped me recognize the beauty in life and forces me to slow down and be present to experience this new air that I’m breathing, this new food that I’m tasting, and these new languages that I’m hearing and learning.
Travel Noire: What has been your most inspiring travel moment?
Jonai: Riding a boat from San Pedro to Belize City. The trip is about a little over an hour. I became very present in that moment, noticing that I was only surrounded by fresh air, water, and a beautiful sunset and those three simple things brought me so much peace. Now I make it a point to incorporate these things into my life daily.
Travel Noire: Where are you off to next?
Jonai: My friends and I were talking about hitting a few cities in Western Europe. But we’ll see where the wind blows us to next.