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Looking Beyond The Veil To Discover The World

There was a time when we never heard about black backpackers travelling the world and experiencing all of the weird and wonderful things it had to offer. But the tide is turning and a growing number of black travellers are ditching the daily routine of modern life to seek out new adventures. Shadeyka Warren is one such person. She has been all over the world, and visited countries across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Her journeys resulted in the publication of her book ‘Jamaica: Likkle but Tallawah’ which is a guide on travelling across Jamaica. Read more about her adventures below.

We hear so much negativity about the world from the news that we see on TV or on social media. It seems that crime, poverty and violence has featured in sensationalist news headlines ever since time began.

And if that’s the only side of the world you choose to see, then what a small world you will inhabit. So don’t let the rumours and negativity prevent you from achieving your dreams.

That’s the message from Shadeyka Warren, a published author and explorer who has seen the world. She is one of many black backpackers who are not only experiencing the beauty that this planet has to offer, but also actively encouraging others to do the same.

Shadeyka has always had a love of travelling and has been doing just that ever since she was young. Now she has an important message to share. That is simply to encourage people to explore the world without letting the distorted reports from the media hold them back.

black backpackers,

                                    
                                             Jamaica: A Special Place For Black Backpackers


Shadeyka has travelled extensively, and of all the places she’s been so far, Jamaica holds a special place in her heart. She says that there is so much more to Jamaica than most people can imagine.

She added: “I love Jamaica because there is something for everyone. On my most recent trip I went into the blue mountains, a location that not a lot of people go to because it’s a little difficult to get there. 

“I really wanted to bring awareness to the fact that Jamaica isn’t only beaches and resorts,” Shadeyka said, adding: “There are so many other things to do. If you’re an active person, you could go into the mountains, hike and see the natural beauty of the country. 

“That was one of my favourite things about Jamaica. When you think about islands like Jamaica and all these other places, you just think beaches, resorts, but there’s so much more to see.” 

                                                  Turn Your Back On Negativity & Fear


However, when some people think of Jamaica, they think of poverty and crime, because that is what is often portrayed on the news.

The truth is that while the country certainly does have its problems, it is not as dangerous as the media makes it out to be.

Like everyone else, Shadeyka also heard the warnings about the dangers of going to Jamaica. Luckily she did not let that deter her from visiting the country. In fact, she then went on to publish a guide book about Jamaica for other tourists.

She added: “People often tell you not to go to Jamaica because it’s so dangerous, but I went and I had a great time. I wanted to bring awareness to the fact that these places are not what they are made out to be by the media and social media. Of course there’s poverty and crime. But don’t let those things stop you from seeing the beauty that other countries have to offer.

“Go support these countries and see for yourself because most of these poor countries, like Jamaica get their revenue from tourism.”

solo travel for black women, black travellers

                                                    The Challenges Faced By Black Backpackers


However travelling is not without its challenges. While solo travel for black women is nowhere near as dangerous as some people assume, it isn’t always easy.

As a minority nomad on group tours, Shadeyka often found that she was the only person who looked like her.

She said: “Being a black woman in general is a challenge. I’ve travelled throughout Eastern Europe and I was the only black person I saw, I’m also plus sized. I advocate for body positivity in the travel industry as a whole.

“Being the only black and plus sized person I saw could make things a little bit uncomfortable when you start to explore other parts of the world where they haven’t seen a lot of black people. So they are very curious about you. They want to take your photo, they want to touch your hair.

“If you are not expecting that, it can definitely be a little bit uncomfortable at first. Most people don’t mean any harm by it. They are just interested in who you are because a lot of these people have never seen a black person in real life. So that can be a challenge.”

solo travel for black women, black travellers

                                     The Future of Solo Travel For Black Backpackers

Shadeyka has made it her mission to educate people about what the world has to offer. While many in the black community are held back by fears of the unknown, Shadeyka says that those fears can hold you back from experiencing the beauty of the world. For example, many black backpackers fear that travelling alone may be dangerous, not just because they are by themselves but also because of what they look like.

However, Shadeyka and many others like her prove that solo travel for black women and the wider community is safe but also possible.

She said: “I want to encourage people of colour to see the world, travel and go outside of their norms. I really want people to see different places and see what the world has to offer. My mission is to debunk a lot of myths about countries being dangerous. I realise that so many people are afraid to travel because of false perceptions.”

Shadeyka says that the key to having an awesome journey abroad is letting go of any preconceptions or expectations.

In third world countries, things often do not operate as smoothly as they do elsewhere, so you may not get the same services overseas that you would at home.

She said: “We need to realise that certain things that we’re so used to in the West are things that we often take for granted. For example in New York, everything is so fast paced. But I know if I go to Columbia, the pace is going to be a lot slower. I’ve been to places where the hot water wasn’t working properly or the services were not the same as I’m used to back home, but I wouldn’t call that negative.”

black backpackers

                                                           But Is Travelling Affordable?

Many people think that solo travel for black women and men is just not possible due to overseas trips being expensive. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The key to affordable travel, according to Shadeyka is having the right financial skills and knowledge to fund your overseas adventures.

She said: “I am a financial advisor by trade, so I try to bring a lot of awareness to the financial aspects of travelling. On Instagram you see all these amazing pictures of people travelling. But a lot of people don’t really know how to make travelling affordable, so I also try to bring that type of information to people as well.

“People would often ask how I can afford to travel so much and the reality is my trips are not even expensive. I just know how to find deals. But a lot of the black community lack that type of information.”

While budgeting for your trip is important, Shadeyka says that the key to making your trips affordable is in knowing how to find the right type of bargains and discounts.

As a financial advisor, she naturally has an eye for a good deal and this has been the key to financing her overseas adventures.

She added: “There’s tons of apps out there to help you find good deals. One of my favourite is Google flights. It allows you to see flight prices for every single day of the year. I also love Skyscanner, and third party websites like Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com because sometimes you can find really good deals there.

“I’d encourage people just to use different websites including travel websites. For example, banks like Chase and American Express have credit cards specifically for travel. So when you spend on those cards, you get points.

“You can then use those points to travel to different places. When you use points to book your travel you’re paying less than if you use cash. A lot of people don’t know about that and that is how I’ve been able to afford my travel.”

Conclusion

solo travel for black women

Shadeyka’s story is far from unique. There are many black backpackers who are also experiencing everything the world has to offer. What sets Shadeyka apart is that she found her voice through travelling.

It is the reason she became a published author and an advocate for exploring the world. Her story is inspiring but it also serves as an important lesson to other black travellers.

After all, if she can find practical ways of making her trip affordable..then perhaps you can too.

You can check out her financial tips and advice through her website Dizzy Discoveries.

Are you a black traveler with your own story to tell? If so, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and we can feature your journeys and website on JaninesJourneys.com.

Read more about planning a solo trip abroad or travelling as a solo female in our hyperlinked blogs.

This blog is designed to inspire you and build an online community where you can get all the resources you need to travel. The Backpackers Travel Hub was created to make travelling accessible to everyone – not just the posh people! So drop by and visit the Facebook Group Backpackers Travel Hub. The group contains exclusive tips, and content designed to inspire, motivate and empower you. No sales or annoying gimmicks – just good, solid content. You can also take a peek at the JaninesJourneys Facebook page here. Happy travels!

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