#QGTM: Chanice Williams Turns Wanderlust Into A Diasporic Travel Business

This is a self-discovery journey. A trip like no other.

For Chanice Williams, every African country that comprises her highly melanated DNA is a piece of her that she holds dear.  From Tanzania and Benin to Zanzibar, when you’re met with warm greetings of welcome home, the world becomes your oyster. The vision becomes clearer.

It is 2018. And it began with a life’s mission.

“I promised myself that when I open up my results from Ancestry[.com], wherever makes up my DNA, in my lifetime, I will go,” Williams tells BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“And it has been transformative ever since.” The Afro-Jamaican travel influencer shared this vow with BE after describing some of her life-changing experiences in the Motherland.

Chanice Williams of Fly By Queenie in Benin Republic (Photo: Urban Flight Collective)


Five years later, 10 African countries down and five of them are deeply intertwined with her ancestral heritage: Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast. During our conversation, she gave us an awe-inspiring recollection of her immersion into one of the iconic tribes in Africa: the Maasai tribe.

Picture this. Along the serene, clear blue Indian Ocean waters of Zanzibar, Williams is empowered to hear the voices of her ancestors.

“As the dancing began, I couldn’t help but feel captivated by the grace and power of the Maasai movements. Their bodies seemed to flow with the rhythm of nature itself, as if they were channeling the spirit of the ones before them,” Williams explains.

Then her inner child takes over when she recalls a mirroring image of the Lion King cast during her stay at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. While camping among the safari wildlife, Williams said it was like your childhood coming to life.

Chanice Williams of Fly By Queenie in Benin Republic (Photo: Urban Flight Collective)


Motivated by this vision of deep appreciation, Williams was propelled to ensure others who look like her could also embark on a similar journey of wanderlust and self-discovery. She teamed up with her best friend, Eric Garced, also known as The Travel Papi, to establish Urban Flight Collective—a venture specializing in group trips to countries in Africa.

“We recognized that the media’s portrayal of Africa often deterred people or instilled fear in their hearts,” Williams says.

“To address these misconceptions, we created a safe and welcoming space where travelers can leave the stress of planning behind,” she adds. “We handle all the logistics, empowering our guests to focus on their personal growth and connection to their ancestral homelands.”

In doing so, Urban Flight Collective has been booked and busy since its inception.

Chamice Williams in Antigua Guatemala  (Photo: Urban Travel Collective)


Be intentional. Williams tells BE that intentional collaboration with local African businesses allows her to be the nudge that we need to take the initiative to shift our minds, do our own research, and to finally feel comfortable and safe to travel so far. The Urban Flight Collective looks to achieve the goals of Pan-Africanism: strengthen solidarity between people of African ancestry, whether they’re living on the continent or a member of the diaspora.

“I want to support my African people. I want to give my tourism dollars to the local people.”

The travel brand has established long-term local partnerships in Africa, built an international team in East and West Africa, and helped circulate Black dollars within the country.

“If we can support our own people, we will go so far as a community,” she says, adding that she intentionally seeks out Black businesses so guests can witness the profound impact of contributing to the continent’s development.

The UFC team includes trusted photographers, drivers, logistic coordinators, and tour guides who help create experiences that dispel stereotypes, foster cultural appreciation, and empower individuals to embrace the beauty and diversity of Africa.

Williams emphasized that her brand sets itself apart from what most popular “party” trips can offer. Yes, you can catch Urban Flight Collective on a yacht jamming to Afrobeats, but you can also catch them learning about the slave trade, volunteering at a local orphanage, or visiting a spice farm.

Urban Flight Collective’s mission must be aligned with its potential partner’s.

“I want you to learn and connect to your roots,” Williams explains. “As a business professional, I seek to establish long-term partnerships that can yield tangible outcomes for both parties involved. This shift in mindset has fostered a deeper level of trust and cooperation, as we work together towards shared objectives.”


Learn how to maneuver cultural challenges. Global collaboration can potentially come with its challenges. From language barriers and slower-paced lifestyles to communication, Williams found that “being able to connect at the times that we need to connect can be a little bit of a challenge.” However, an amicable resolution can come out of “learning how to maneuver those situations and just trying to find a great way to communicate. Whether that’s WhatsApp or I may have to wake up early.”

Keep chasing your dreams. Williams’ newest creation is a passion project. Roaming Reflections travel journal is curated with wellness and journaling in mind, so travelers can jot down observations, insights, and experiences on paper as they navigate personal growth and connection to their ancestral homelands.

“There are so many emotions behind traveling to Africa as a Black person.”

The journal includes African diaspora affirmations, calendars, and packing checklists specific to Africa. Every guest of UFC gets a copy of the book.

Catch UFC next in Kenya and Benin! By the end of the year, Chanice hopes to touch down in Ghana, which now makes up most of her DNA results.

“Let my story inspire you to seize the moment!”

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