Best Places For Black People To Travel
Now before we start, I’d like to say that this is just based on my personal experiences. I can’t guarantee any place is racism-free but I can share the places where I felt welcome and was treated kindly by everyone I met. I’ve been backpacking and living abroad for years so I’m not a newbie in the travel game but I still worry about facing racism in a new place. Hopefully, my Best Places For Black People To Travel list will help alleviate the fears of other solo Black travelers who are starting out.
Ireland is the first place I ever traveled to solo and as such it holds a special place in my heart. Dublin and Galway were where I spent most of my time and while there I ran into many kind people who didn’t hesitate to help this random solo traveling American. I loved hunting for yummy sushi in Dublin and watching Galway come alive at night. If you’re wondering where to begin your Europe backpacking trip then I suggest making Ireland your first stop.
So let me warn you, there’s pretty much no melanin to be found in Scotland. I spent three days in the bustling city of Edinburgh and saw only one brown person. Just one. And who knows if they were a local or a tourist. But yet, I still consider Scotland one of the best places for Black people to travel to. Why? Because even though the population of Black people in Scotland is rather small, I still wasn’t treated like an oddity. No one looked at me like I was out of place or tried to grab me in the street. No one turned me away at the door for being a Black person. (Yes, all of the above has actually happened to me.)
This doesn’t seem like very much but when you have been to many places where you are stared at, treated like you don’t belong, kicked out of establishments and have people refuse you service, you really begin to appreciate the places where you’re treated no differently than anyone else. Scotland was one of those places for me.
Thailand is well named as the “Land of Smiles”. Everyone I interacted with was just so darn friendly. I kinda didn’t know what to do with myself. From the hostel employee who offered to write down the direction in Thai for me to give the taxi driver, to the red bus driver who smiled and laughed with me as easily as she breathed. I loved every bit of Thailand and it’s one of the few places I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to.
Malaysia is the home of the Batu Caves, silver-leaf monkeys that ride your shoulders for a treat, and fireflies that light up the trees like Christmas. The traffic can get even more intense than the heat but otherwise, I found Kuala Lumpur to be worth a stop on the way to Singapore. I felt so welcome as a guest in the country and I’m glad I got a chance to visit and discover how well this country fits on this list.
My two weeks in Australia felt like home. The heat, the humidity, the familiar food and the crocodiles (which tells you quite a lot about what my home is like). Backpackers have been coming to Australia for decades to learn of the many cultures that have shaped this country and it’s wonderful to know the various cultures and people that visit are accepted as well.
Maybe it’s because I visited Japan after eight months in South Korea, but while I was there I was really appreciating not being stared at with the “hot damn, that there’s a Black woman, where’d she come from?!” look.
My time there was exclusive to Tokyo so I can’t say much for the rest of the country but I can say Tokyo was good to me. I ate so much great food, bounced easily between districts, soaked up the culture, temple-hopped to my heart’s content and collected nothing but positive experiences while I did so.
Singapore is a multicultural dream. There are so many people of different backgrounds, languages, and cultures living in this little slice of Southeast Asia. I felt safe traveling there as Black person and as a solo woman and I could see why it was a favorite among travelers.
Switzerland is so beautiful it makes you want to cry. It’s also a great place to explore nature and one of those places I mentioned where I wasn’t treated differently from anyone else. I loved hiking and paragliding around Interlaken and I wholly recommend visiting this town and taking part in some of the adrenaline pumpers while you’re there.
So this is the end of my Best Places For Black People To Travel To list but I’m sure this list will grow as I travel to and explore more places and as I meet many more wonderful people. Again, I can’t guarantee you will have the same experiences in these destinations that I did but I do hope wherever you go you are treated with the courtesy all people deserve.
But even if you aren’t I hope you never let it stop you from traveling. I don’t regret going to any of the places I’ve been because I cherish the good memories I made even while I condemn the bad. I love traveling way too much to let anyone sour it for me and I love that more and more People of Color are strapping on their backpacks and stomping all over stereotypes. So good luck!
And Happy Travels.