Traveler Shuneca (@DivaDaysTravel) tells Travel Noire about her journey to the Canary Islands and shares why the trip took more than a year to plan.

Travel Noire: Why did you decide to go to the Canary Islands?

Shuneca: As an avid traveler and ocean lover I live for new island experiences. The Canary Islands, with its beautiful beaches and famed wines, had been on my bucket list for far too long. So when I discovered an itinerary that worked, I knew I had to go!

Travel Noire:  When did you start planning your trip? 

Shuneca: When traveling abroad with a group, I always plan far in advance. This trip was in the works for 18 months. Group size, language barriers and time zone changes can sometimes pose a challenge with tour companies, restaurant reservations and attractions on the other side of the world. Allowing extra time to fully research and thoroughly communicate helps me have confidence that my expectations are going to be met. If I’m taking time and spending money to travel, I want to be satisfied with the experience. That’s why I start planning early.


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Travel Noire: Did you go alone or with friends? 

Shuneca: My husband and I love traveling with our friends and this was the perfect destination to experience with a group. It can be hard to get people together, but 10 of us made the trip and then 4 more friends pulled off a huge surprise and met us there. We had a squad of 7 married couples spreading #blacklove all over the Canaries!

Travel Noire: What was the coolest thing you did? 

Shuneca: Wine tasting in the volcanic vineyards of Lanzarote was amazing. The Canary Islands are home to more than 50 vineyards and among them are some of the oldest in Europe. The grapes grow on their own ancient roots out of the volcanic ash and lava. It’s all incredible to see and the wine varieties are delicious. This was a unique vineyard experience and I loved it.


Travel Noire: What was the coolest thing you saw? 

Shuneca: The huge rock formations along the coast of some of the islands are breathtakingly beautiful and very tempting for explorers that love amazing views.

Travel Noire: What would you do differently about your trip? 

Shuneca: When I do the Canaries again I’ll plan to explore the beaches during the summer.  I really want to enjoy the ocean and the lively atmosphere that takes over the islands during resort season.

Travel Noire: What was the highlight of your trip?

Shuneca: I fell in love with Spanish cuisine in the Canaries. I’m definitely not a foodie but sharing tapas and trying authentic dishes with friends was a highlight of this trip. I can’t stop thinking about the amazing paella, grilled chorizo and variations of delicious sangrias.


Travel Noire: What surprised you the most about this destination? 

Shuneca: As much as I enjoy learning about the history, admiring sites and architecture when traveling I don’t want to be a tourist all the time. Sometimes a girl just wants to walk around, take pictures and yes…shop. I was completely surprised at the amount of fabulous and affordable shopping malls, department stores and posh boutiques throughout the Canary Islands. I definitely was not ready and really wish I had planned some time specifically for shopping.

Travel Noire: Would you go back? 

Shuneca: I would absolutely return to the Canary Islands. I’ve explored more than 50 countries and the Canaries have a vibe that’s distinctly different from any place I’ve been. I can’t wait to revisit, stay a little longer and indulge in the food, music and beautiful beaches with a sangria in hand.