Turkey and Holland(Amsterdam) travelblogs will be coming eventually, as I have a really busy week when I return to the US. However, I felt like I should write since I haven't written in awhile, am done spending money in Istanbul, and have an early flight to catch.
One observation that I have noticed in my travels is a severe lack of black travelers. I am not referring to direct African descendants (Ghanaians, Senegalese and so on), but born in American Blacks/Africans. Whenever I travel, I notice a grand total of maybe 5 blacks per country. Furthermore, out of my friends I have known about maybe 3 other blacks to be avid travelers and one was primarily due to her dad. Now, I am not saying that we don't travel as in the Dominican Republic and from what I can see from my friends, we seem to hit up the Caribbean frequently. However, outside of that, we are sparse.
I am not offering up solutions to the title question, but merely observations and theories. In traveling various countries, I have seen Indian, Japanese, Chinese, European, Russian, Senegalese, Ghanaians, Caribbean, Latin American, South American and in the case of Turkey, Middle Eastern, travelers. So why not us?
I can only provide speculations as I'm not really sure why we don't travel more:
1. Income - While stereotypically this seems like a good reason, in actuality it is false. Nearly every black friend of mine and several other blacks I have seen have the income to travel. Along with this, there are countries and people with incomes that are far less than blacks I know, who are still traveling to various countries.
2. Fear of the unknown - While you could write this down as why many blacks don't like leaving the South, I once again rebuke this claim. There are many in my own family who would prefer to stay in the South; however, half live outside the South and enjoy escaping traditions. If we take this further with my friends, I would say that many have done activities that are outside of their comfort zone and would be able to plan these trips. An addition I would add to this, is that perhaps Black Americans see the Caribbean as easier to access due to the most of the islands understanding English or Spanish. Along with this, the US dollar is strong…..it's also strong in South Africa, Turkey, Peru and other countries I plan on visiting.
3. What is seen as valuable - If you were to go by a rap video, you would think that blacks love houses, cars, jewelry and more. With that being said, so do Europeans, Japanese, Northern Africans, Middle Eastern and Latin Americans. Everybody enjoys luxury and makes efforts to invest in their own homes, cars and families. Note: Germans and Japanese save more than any country for travel, but the US is third so again I'm confused?
4. Lack of beaches around the world - This would add to my Caribbean theory as beaches there are gorgeous and some of the best around the world. I would put this in saying that several blacks live in the South and aren't near beaches. Once again, I have to disagree on this theory. Having seen several beaches around the world, there are great beaches everywhere - including the South. For example, the best beach I have seen/been on is in South Africa and Galveston, Savannah, Mobile and Charleston all have pretty good beaches.
5. Time - This is the most valid reason for anyone not to travel. As Americans, we simply have no free time as we must always work. Unless you're in education (a field in which I encounter blacks who still don't travel), when do you have the time travel? Still, time taken off is not used for travel on any account in America. This is in contrast to the Germans who have a month off regardless of their job (implement this now!) and many other European & Latin American countries who have siestas throughout the day. However, what about the Japanese? They work intensely and often for more hours than Americans. This is confusing because sometimes young Japanese are provided internships, but I have seen both young and old Japanese tourists traveling freely all over the world.
6. Family - On a holiday, many Americans want to visit family, stay with family to relax, or perhaps they need to take care of their own family. If this is the case, then why do I see Europeans, Canadians, Indians, Latin Americans, South Americans, Japanese and more traveling with their families (the elderly and the babies). Therefore, family is not an excuse.
7. Fear of flying - I'm not even going to give this justification, I've seen plenty of whites and non-Americans afraid of flying. In addition, I've seen a plethora of blacks who fly on planes domestically.
8. Disinterest in world treasures - Again, this is another claim I'm going to ignore because I find many Black Americans to be curious about the wonders of the world.
Thus, I really have no conclusion on this. Anyone with ideas or reasons feel free to share.