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Travel Tales: Dispelling Travel Myths

A mere glance at the title of this post will have your mind stuffed with a good number of myths about traveling. We know all about them- some more popular and far-reaching than others. It's a good thing that the fact that a thing is popular does not necessarily make it true.


In this blogpost, I collaborate with five (5) travelers to dispel ten (10) travel myths you've probably come across one way or the other. From myths relating to finances, safety, racial injustices and locations, we are here to dispel them all.


In dispelling the ten (10) myths, I asked contributors to draw from personal, anectodal evidences, through research, or best industry practices, and here's what they had to say;


Travel Myths 1 & 2,

Dispelled by Winnie Rioba of JustRioba.com


Myth 1#: You need to be rich to be able to afford to travel.


This myth often comes with underpinnings of having to be paid lots of money, having wealthy parents or having access to affluent brands to sponsor your travels, before one can afford to travel.


While money cannot be ruled out as key to funding one's travels, needing to be rich or affluent to be able to afford travel isn't in fact, true for most travelers. The truth is that a lot of travelers balance budget travel with a bit of splurging. The idea is to be on the lookout for cheaper flights, decent accommodation, affordable travel destinations and much else, to be able to survive on the road. Travel hacking is the way to go!


I can say confidently that what happens, instead, is that most travelers prioritize travel. We give up a lot of things to save up for our travels, we re-arrange our lives to make travel a priority, and we actively make conscious adjustment in favor of our travels.



Myth #2 :To Have The Best Of Travel Experiences, You Must Travel With Someone


It's amazing how widespread this travel myth and how many more potential travelers are held stuck because of the absence of a travel buddy- friends, families, partners etc. Listen, if you keep waiting on your friends or family to travel with you, chances are you'll be waiting forever.

That person might back out last minute then what? Cancel all your plans? That is hardly any way to do anything, much less traveling.


Traveling solo may not be everyone’s cup of tea and that's okay, but some of my best travel experiences have been had through solo travel.


Linda Matama, one of my favorite travelers from Kenya likes to say ‘A lot of things scare me, but I do them anyway.' That applies to travel too!


Follow Winnie and her travel tales on www.justrioba.com , book to join one of her epic group trips here and follow her on Instagram @justrioba and Twitter @justrioba

 

Travel Myths 3,

Dispelled by Davida of WondersofWanders.com


Myth #3 : Traveling Alone Is A Bad Idea, Especially For Women.


I have been going on solo leisure trips for the past few years. Living in London, I stayed close to home with my first foray in Bath, before going further out to Greece and Croatia in the ensuing years. My last solo holiday was a pre-pandemic cruise that called into Gibraltar, Casablanca, Cádiz, Lisbon and Porto.


When you venture out solo as a woman, a recurring theme you might encounter is that the world is unsafe. And I get it. Whether we're fifteen minutes down the road from home or halfway across the globe, the world can be unsafe for us. Heck, our entire lives are unending, exhausting series of navigating personal safety - and being out there in the great beyond only heightens that vulnerability even more.


This fear had me stalling on much of the curiosity I had for the world, and the connections I so desired to make. So, what changed? I faced the fear head-on and began to push through it. The thing about taking a tiny step is that it emboldens you to take the next one. I've found it inspiring to see people like me take tiny steps everyday. Not only are more of us than ever going it alone, the industry has woken up and taken note.

Many operators are dropping

single supplements, cruise ships are being built with single cabins, there are increased numbers of solo-only tours by small-group specialists, and much more. Rather than feed the fear, I choose to nurture the faith to go. Travel is memorable and life-changing, and I am always open to opportunities to share those moments with loved ones.


That said, I now have a mindset where I'm just as happy to embrace the adventures, lessons and discoveries of going it alone - fear and all. So, if you're apprehensive about travelling alone, my advise is to start in the shallow end.


Do your research. Take all the necessary precautions. Test the waters by exploring locally to build your confidence, then take a bigger leap when you're ready. I promise there's a world out there waiting for you to land.


Davida is a travel writer, destination marketer and founder of WondersofWanders, a travel, food and culture platform and storytelling podcast. Check out her solo travel adventures here and connect with her on Twitter & on Instagram @wondersowanders

 

Travel Myths 4, Dispelled by Bugo of LifewithBugo.com


Myth #4 : Country XYZ is racist

Now I won't be the one to tell you not to be worried about racism while traveling, especially as a black woman. Because racism is anything but an imagined phenomenon. Much less, to black travelers.


However, what I will tell you is that every country is potentially racist. One person’s experience may not be your own story, so if there's a country you are excited to visit, my genuine advice to you would be to go there with an open mind.


I live in London and as much as it is extremely diverse, a few of my international friends have experienced racism here too. Racism is international- it permeates countries and regions everywhere. So while their experiences are valid, does that mean black women should stop visiting London?


My advice is to research extensively, but to keep an open mind and stay vigilant as you would, anywhere else in the world. One of my best trips of 2019 was to Budapest. Even though I had been told that Eastern Europe is unkind to black people, I had the best time ever while visiting. From adventures in Margaret Island, to exploring the Buda Castle, and having an absolute swell time at Gellert Thermal Baths, Budapest was everything I longed for and more!


Follow Bugo's infectiously positive adventures on her blog www.lifewithbugo.com

and on Instagram at lifewithbugo


 

Travel Myths 5, Dispelled by Robin of ThisIDoForMe.Com


Myth #5 : Australians Have No Respect For Aborigines And Their Culture


One of the biggest myths that I lived with for a long time, got dispelled when I met an Australian woman named Allison while traveling in Sydney, Australia.


For a long time, I believed that all Aussies had no respect for the Aborigines and their culture. After meeting Allison, my long-standing beliefs about this were re-examined. She made it abundantly clear that although Australia had a established history of institutional racism toward the indigenous people, there were countless Aussies who actively advocated for their rights, and that translated more and more, into inclusion in the Australian economic system. Especially when the values, customs and way of life were respected.

Allison also explained the country’s habit of administering social service handouts as a panacea, and she pointed to activists (Aussies) who saw these efforts as a way to further enslave Aborigines into a system that would never cultivate independence.


I am thankful for that trip to Sydney and having met Allison. My believes about the Australians have evolved and we now have a life-long friendship.



Listen to Robin's brilliant podcast here, and follow along Robin's journey on Twitter &

on Instagram @thisidoforme

 

Travel Myths 6,

Dispelled by Jessica of Roadtoculturedom.com


Myth #6 : Traveling to Eastern Europe as a black woman is dangerous


One of the main travel myths I'd been told was that it's dangerous or unwise for black women in particular, to travel to certain places; especially when traveling solo. I initially believed this statement to be true as there was a lack of representation in the travel space, and the black women I knew hadn't done so either. But once I started travelling, I took deliberate steps in a bid to change that narrative as I believe strongly that we (black women) deserve to explore the world too.


A particular area I'd been told about in that regard was Eastern Europe. I decided not only to visit the region, but also embark on some solo trips to dispel these myths for myself. I have since visited Hungary and Czech Republic solo and Croatia, Slovenia (pictured) and Bulgaria with others.


I had a few people question my choices and express concerns about how much I'll stand out or not be able to enjoy my time there but overall, I had the best experiences traveling around Europe in these countries even more than some Western countries.


I've been lucky to meet lovely locals who were happy to teach me about their culture, eat great food, see pretty sights and make a good friend for life during my first solo trip there! Of course there were some of the usual stares but this also happens during a lot of my travels, thus was not a source of concern to me. It's been lovely seeing more black women on Instagram enjoying this region as well and I can't recommend it enough!


Follow Jessica's travel discoveries on her blog www.roadtoculturedom.com , on Instagram & Twitter @road2culturedom and on Club house @road2culturedom

 

Travel Myths 7 & 8, Dispelled by Hauwa of Shesuthman.com


Myth #7 : Travel is a luxury only young, single women can afford


Now I'm neither young (LOL!) nor married, but there's a reason the basis for debunking these myths included research and industry practices, yes? yes. One of the myths I have heard expressed often by a number of women (especially) is an (imagined) inability to travel once they grow and/or start families of their own.

It is precisely because myths like these exist, that I set out to include the voices of two utterly phenomenal women whose brands and work in themselves, exist to dispel these myths about women and traveling.


Robin (dispelling myth #5)'s brand and business niche caters specifically to the wanderlust of women aged 50 and above, while Bugo (dispelling myth #4) shares adventures from her travels and life with her family via her blog and social media pages!


There are limitations to being able to live a lifestyle base on traveling, but age and marital status do not have to be one of them. *mic drop*


Myth #8 : Travel Insurance is not that important


The thing about travel myths is that there are some that will hinder you attempting to live your best travel life, and then there are others- like this one, that will absolutely have you distraught, inconvenienced or worse, with a huge dent in your finances by the time your travels are over.


I've ever heard the saying "if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel" used in travel spaces and I am inclined to agree 100% with the sentiments behind it.

We all hope for uneventful, smooth-running travel experiences, but the truth remains; that is not always the case.


Investing a relatively smaller fee for travel insurance cushions you against accidents, medical emergencies, loss of property and more while away from home, and the way that I see it, that is as much a travel non-negotiable as having a valid passport!

 

Travel Myths 9 & 10, Dispelled by Winnie Rioba of JustRioba.com


Travel Myth #9 : People Who Travel Are Going Through Something Or Are In Search Of Something.


Much as there are travelers who may travel in a bid to commence a journey of self-discovery, enlightenment etc, not everyone who travels is starring in their version of "Eat, Pray, Love". Some travelers want to experience the feeling of living in foreign cities, others travel to experience different cultures, while others go for food and beaches.


Some travelers want to hike up the Mountains like Kilimanjaro or the Himalayas. Simple! Age, heartbreaks and soul searching do not always have anything to do with people's motivations to travel.


Travel Myth #10 :Travel Is A White People Thing


Once while backpacking, met a Malawian in Lilongwe who said he had never met an African woman backpacking. He went on to add, “Look around you Rioba, everyone in this hostel is white, in case you had missed it.”

It is true that most of the backpacker’s hostels I stayed in had mostly white residents. Sometimes I would be the only black person and it would be so hard to miss me with my Melanin radiating throughout? Ha-ha. Some became my friends; some asked me if I spoke English and others just stared.


Traveling is for anyone and everyone.

And that includes us- black people, Africans, people of color. So go forth and prosper! Make the world your runway and prosper!! No seriously. PROSPER!


 

This blogpost (and series) is aimed at offering readers of my blog more insights into what choosing a lifestyle of travel entails, especially from within the quarters of black women travelers. I am grateful for your readership, and urge that you follow, support and amplify the travelers featured above. Together, we will write ourselves back into travel history.


Found these resonating and want to share your travel tales in future projects? Email me at info@shesuthman.com or drop a comment in the section below and I will be in touch!

1 comentario


Miembro desconocido
30 ene 2021

You did such a great job with this. Each entry got me nodding and finger snapping all at once. Fab read! Thanks for including me ~ Davida

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