Design Your Life

Traveler Of The Week: How James Made Travel A Way Of Life

By Travel Noire


Travel Noire has always been devoted to showcasing black travelers that inspire others to see more of the world. James Roundtree shares how he used traveling to create the life of his dreams.  

Travel Noire: Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?

James: I’m American and I currently live in Trumbull, Connecticut. I was raised in Bridgeport.

Travel Noire: When did traveling become more than a hobby for you?

James: Traveling became more than a hobby for me about three years ago when I started turning it into a lifestyle. I was then able to create my own brand, CreateADopeLife.


Travel Noire: What are your favorite domestic destinations?
James: I would have to say Arizona because it’s a place of hidden gems, hiking and just wide open beauty. Also, California because of its laid-back vibes and down to earth people depending on the area you are visiting.

Travel Noire: What are your favorite destinations to travel internationally?

James: My top favorite destination thus far has to be Bali, Indonesia because of the fresh air, amazing scenic views, inexpensive food and lodging and great people. It’s just a great place to find peace. Next, it would have to be Santorini, Greece. This place is full of pure beauty, different cultures and different types of foods. The weather is always great and it’s just a perfect place for lovers to bond and connect on a physical and spiritual level. Lastly, it would have to be Dubai for the extravagant living and the opportunity to do it BIG like the rich and the famous at least for a week!


Travel Noire: What are three travel secrets that black travelers should know?

James: 1) Do ALL of your research months in advance so you can figure out all the exclusive places you want to visit.

2) Try to book long layovers (at least 6hrs) in a different country before you actually reach your destination so you have a quick chance to explore a new city before the main course.

3) Make sure you have an accurate app on your phone that monitors the exchange rate in different countries each day. I lost a lot of money not doing this.

Travel Noire: How did traveling change your perspective on life?

James: Traveling has opened up my mind to a whole new world of adventures and experiences. It’s allowed me to go places I never thought I’d be able to go, especially coming from the area I grew up in. Seeing so many cultures, including many 3rd world countries, just made me really appreciate what I have and taught me to not take life for granted. Travel is life!

Travel Noire: What has been your most inspiring travel moment?

James: I think it was the time I got to ride elephants in Thailand. Never in my life have I come so close to an animal of such strength, toughness and beauty. You only see things like that in the zoo or circus around here.


Travel Noire: What’s one item that you always have in your carry-on?

James: The airport can lose everything so I keep a tight hold on my camera bag. My CANON 6D and Mark 3 comes with me everywhere I go along with my DJI Mavic pro for the drone footage.

Travel Noire: What advice do you have for black travelers traveling abroad?

James: Live life to the fullest! Don’t be scared to try new adventures, eat new foods and explore different cultures. You may never know when you’ll be back in that country, so soak it all up and always document your trip.


Travel Noire: Where are you off to next?

James: For my next major adventure I’ll be traveling throughout Egypt and stopping in very historical cities while traveling down the Nile River on a cruise. Make sure you follow me on my next trip as I continue to CreateADopeLife for myself and inspire others along the way.

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