Black Boy Joy Around the World

By Mahamed Ige

Growing up, I’ve always dreamed of traveling and exploring our vast, beautiful world. But, let’s be real, being the child of first-generation immigrants is ripe with financial stress. My parents struggled to make ends meet, much less have extra income for traveling. Traveling was out of the question for much of my life.

In high school, I had the opportunity to go to Somalia with my family and see a different way of life, which was extremely eye-opening for me. Since then, I have been making it a priority to travel to learn about new cultures, meet new people, and accept new experiences.

I think it’s extremely important for POC to travel because it allows us to see the world through a different lens, and not just in the basic “Eat, Pray, Love” sense. For many of us, we’ve only experienced life through the lens of the microaggressions and racial assaults that we’re subjected to in many western countries.  

In many of my travel experiences, I’ve noticed that non-Western countries are far more accepting of racial difference than the U.S. I found that I’ve experienced far less racial bias abroad (that’s not to say the bias against black people doesn’t exist in other countries, but it’s less harsh and frequent). In fact, traveling has been a process of healing from racial trauma, especially when I’m in countries where many of its inhabitants look like me. Traveling allows you the opportunity to feel accepted. Through my experiences, I have been able to discover more about myself and my place in the world, helping me find much more balance in my life.

If you have a longing to travel but don’t know where to start, I would recommend going to a place that excites you and requires you to get out of your comfort zone. Enter with an open mind and allow yourself to be fully immersed in a new culture and way of life. This will give your trip much more meaning, and allow you to grow and gain the most from your travel experiences. Also, always be ready to bargain because you never know what you can get for your buck!

I’m currently on a three-leg trip exploring Jakarta, Bali, and Singapore. My favorite thing about this trip specifically is the people. Southeast Asia is home to some of the nicest people I have ever met. I’ve experienced that people are extremely sincere and will go above and beyond to guide you and help you through complications that might occur during your trip. I highly recommend traveling Southeast Asia if you have the opportunity to. Below are some of my favorite photos from this trip, to see more check out my Instagram account!