Travel Noire has always loved showcasing black travelers that inspire others to see more of the world. Oneika, a travel blogger-turned host of two Travel Channel shows, shares how travel went from being a hobby to being a career.
Travel Noire: Where are you originally from and where do you currently live?
Oneika: I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, but currently reside in New York City. I’m a serial expat who lived in London, France, Hong Kong, and Mexico for over 10 years.
Travel Noire: When did traveling become more than a hobby for you?
Oneika: I caught the travel bug in university when I spent my junior year on a study abroad in France. I then worked overseas in international education for nearly a decade. Travel became my actual “job” when I started working full-time as a travel journalist a year and a half ago! In 2017 I became a host for Travel Channel, which was a dream come true. I am the host of two original series: Big City, Little Budget and One Bag and You’re Out.
Travel Noire: What are your favorite domestic destinations and why?
Oneika: I recently traveled to New Orleans for the first time and fell in love with the culture, history, and musical nature of the city! It’s definitely at the top of my list.
Travel Noire: What are your favorite destinations to travel abroad and why?
Oneika: I’m biased because I lived in both places, but I love Hong Kong and the South of France. I love the fast pace and urban grit of Hong Kong, and the romance, food, and scenery of the French Riviera. However, Rio de Janeiro is one of my favorite cities. I’ve been twice and can’t wait to return. The vibe is incredible, as are the beaches.
Travel Noire: What are your top three travel secrets that black travelers should know?
Oneika: Airfare deals and glitch fares are your friends! Use websites like SecretFlying.com to find low fares.
Being flexible with your destinations and dates will allow you to travel more because you can take advantage of aforementioned deals.
Score the best seats on the plane by using SeatGuru.com. There you can find reviews of the aircraft and comfort level/advantages/disadvantages of specific seats.
Travel Noire: What has been your most inspiring travel moment?
Oneika: There are too many to name! I was very moved by my visit to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Learning more about the history of apartheid reminded me of the strength and tenacity of black people; this realization was inspiring and soul-shifting. On another note, doing a bungee jump over the Zambezi River was affirming as well. I’m deathly afraid of heights!
Travel Noire: What advice do you have for black travelers traveling abroad?
Oneika: Just go! A lot of the time we worry about racism or how we’ll be received by locals when we travel. It holds us back unnecessarily.
Travel Noire: Where are you off to next?
Oneika: I’m doing a fair bit of domestic travel (Orlando and Los Angeles) over the next month, but then I’m headed to Ghana, Togo, and Antigua and Barbuda. Can’t wait!