Iâ€™ve been to a lot of places and held a lot of jobs. Iâ€™m an entrepreneur, and in my latest role as co-founder of Noirbnb, I lead strategy and oversee technology projects as our team builds a safe and welcoming product for black travelers.
As we grow, I continue to keep two key big-picture questions in mind:
1. Why do we travel?
2. Why donâ€™t we travel?
No one story defines the black travel experience, of course, but I strongly believe travel can help inform and evolve our views, experiences, and even our careers. We all have our own stories around travel.
Iâ€™ve personally always struggled to answer the, â€śWhere are you from?â€ť question. I was born in suburban Maryland to a Nigerian father and a Liberian mother. I briefly lived in both West African countries as a child, while my dad was solidifying his career. I finished high school in Baltimore and went to college in Philadelphia. Iâ€™ve been to every continent except Australia!
Most of the places Iâ€™ve visited as an adult have been driven by my own curiosity, be it Paris as a graduate student, SĂŁo Paulo as a football fan, or Bangkok as a honeymooner. What has been most surprising and gratifying is how my travel experiences have helped fuel my career. Hereâ€™s some of what Iâ€™ve learned from my adventures to date:
Here’s some of what Iâ€™ve learned from my adventures, to date:
1. â€śWhen in Romeâ€ť is a way of life.
Too often, people donâ€™t immerse themselves in the culture of the place theyâ€™re visiting. When I lived in Europe, I met many American students and ex-pats who moved back to the U.S. within a couple of months, because they couldnâ€™t adjust to a different culture. Whatâ€™s the point of leaving home, if youâ€™re only looking for an identical home in every place you visit?
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