It’s really exciting to see the travel boom in the black community these days. There was a time when you could hardly find someone who looked like you when you ventured outside of the US for a vacation. Recently my family vacationed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and encountered a group of black folks walking along the marina. We excitedly waved at each other, clearly each party excited for the other to be experiencing other parts of the world. On a recent trip to Los Cabos, Mexico with the ladies of Fly Life Travel, we noticed several black groups of girlfriends, couples and honeymooners staying at our resort, something that wasn’t so common as little as 10 years ago.
I started Fly Life Travel because I grew up traveling the world and wanted to introduce ladies to the life that I’ve enjoyed. But I’m finding that fear is the number one reason some ladies still won’t go. It’s not so often the fear of going to another country as it is the fear of traveling alone.
It saddens me the most when I see ladies commenting about not traveling because they don’t have anyone to travel with. That means they’re allowing themselves to miss out on the world outside of their own comfort zone. They’re left sad, mad and frustrated with their non traveling circle of friends, when really they should be frustrated with themselves.
I think what they’re failing to recognize and embrace is their uniqueness.
When you’re the only one in your circle who wants to see other parts of the world, when you alone believe it’s worth spending thousands of dollars to do for yourself, and you are the one who actually has/can manage the money to do it, you, my dear, are very special. But you don’t want to accept that. You keep trying to pull someone else into what is special and unique about you. They aren’t there. Leave them where they are. You are one of a kind in a circle of similar chicks. They serve their purpose when you’re at home. They don’t need to go where you’re going.
I try to be patient and understanding about this. I totally get not wanting to travel across the world by yourself maybe for safety reasons, or even being uncomfortable with the lack of companionship. But when someone wants to make herself fit in, or make her friends fit the unusual mold that she comes from, and is willing to sacrifice what she really desires, I just can’t get with that.
I created the Facebook group Fly Life Travel in May 2017. Within a couple of months I had more than 3,000 members saying the same thing – they wish they had friends who liked to and could travel. Well now they do. But I still see ladies tagging their non traveling, broke or stingy, closed minded or unexposed, or simply uninterested friends trying to get them to come along. What they don’t realize is when you go, they will often follow. And if they don’t you’ll find amazing women already going and waiting to meet you.
It has taken me a while to appreciate my uniqueness as well.
But I’ve never been one to let it stop me. I remember when I was single in my 20’s in Atlanta and I took in a foreign exchange high school student. Usually the students were placed in the home with a traditional family, not a single twenty something. I became someone’s instant mom only 2 weeks after signing up for the program. I was the only person I ever knew to take on such a responsibility all by myself. But I’m glad I did. That year me and my new little Brazilian travel buddy went to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Destin (Florida), and even Paris. I later visited her in Brazil and got a chance to experience the Brazilian Rainforest in a way that few ever will.
A couple of years ago I finally put a date on my plan to visit Dubai. But when I extended the invitation to friends and family, I heard crickets. The same ones who clicked “going” on the Facebook invite were nowhere to be found when it was time to pay up. So what did I do, I moved ahead with my plan to go all by myself. Later a friend did decide to join me, and later I met a new friend online who decided to go as well.
Then I started my travel group. In September the group will travel back to Mexico to celebrate one year since our first trip, and it is going to be amazing. I’m taking this opportunity not just to celebrate one year with the group, but to celebrate all of the ladies who want to step out and join us. And since it’s September, why not celebrate the ladies born in September? And since it’s the year of my 50th, why not celebrate all the ladies who are turning 50 next year?
I’m excited about our Happy Fly Day trip to Los Cabos, Mexico.
I’ve packed as much into the itinerary as I can in order to really make sure the ladies experience and enjoy Los Cabos, and to celebrate with them in a special way. So now, nobody has to say they didn’t take a birthday trip because they didn’t have anyone to go with them. This is everybody’s birthday trip and I cannot wait to celebrate the bold and beautiful ladies who will choose to show up and be celebrated. Registration is open and space is limited to the select few special ladies who will be privileged to enjoy this journey.
Are you bold and fearless?
Do you walk in who you are, do what you want to do and not let anyone or any excuse hold you back? Tell me in the comments below about a time when you did what others may have thought was strange. Maybe “they” even tried to talk you out of it or make you feel bad for your desire to do it. What was the outcome for you?