Over the pandemic, I don’t know about you, but I was extremely restless to get on a plane. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED staying home – not having to make excuses to not leave my house when invited places but the urge and call of getting on an aeroplane was strong.
So, I did what any writer who is obsessed with lists would do when they are longing for something – I wrote it down. I wrote a list of places I wanted to go and why. As I write this blog post I am looking at this list and some of the examples I have; Poland – Polish sausages and Perogies, Amsterdam – weed and cycling and so much more. Clearly, I had an unserious agenda!
When I wrote the list of these countries, I did not realise that some of the countries were in central Europe, East Europe and although I had reasons to go, I had not gone before (bar Amsterdam but who hasn’t been to Dam?!). At the start of 2022, I found myself asking myself why would I even go to these places?
After the conflict in Russia/Ukraine broke out, images swarmed social media of how black African students were not allowed to get on trains to escape the conflict, they were beaten and refused asylum. Images like these hurt because these are people who look like me and although I acknowledge my privilege in being able to travel wherever I want – I think to myself ‘why would I spend my hard-earned money to go somewhere where they are going out of their way for white people fleeing conflict and turning away black people at their borders. (If you don’t know what I am talking about have a look on twitter)
I try my hardest in this life to give grace that is not afforded to people like me and so I decided to venture out to some of the places. So I ventured out to Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Czech Republic and as recent as the past weekend I was in Gdansk, Poland for the WITS Travel Creator Summit.
I wanted to personally answer some questions as I travelled there as well as write about it as part of the side of travelling that we do not always see. As a black traveller who enjoys luxury and is very unapologetic about loving luxury – I tend to experience a lot of harshness from people and looks of ‘you don’t belong here’.
Over the next few days, I will be sharing my stories especially what happened as I went around different parts of Eastern/Central Europe. I doubt I will be able share what happened in Amsterdam until that situation is concluded – that might be a video as a lot happened in a short space of time!
I will end this post here as there is so much to say – stay tuned as Thursday at 12pm I will be answering this question regarding Norway.
Love and Hugs,