Beyond Black & White » Travel http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:34:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 So…I Got Accosted In Cancun… http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/got-accosted-cancun/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/got-accosted-cancun/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:19:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34638 I just got back from THE BEST vacation I’ve ever had in Cancun on an all-expenses paid vacation The Hubster won from his job. Being an employee of a company who owns Pleasant Holidays definitely has it’s benefits. We spent an incredible five days on a beach resort where the sky and water was so […]

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I just got back from THE BEST vacation I’ve ever had in Cancun on an all-expenses paid vacation The Hubster won from his job. Being an employee of a company who owns Pleasant Holidays definitely has it’s benefits. We spent an incredible five days on a beach resort where the sky and water was so blue it almost looked photoshopped.

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We stayed at a Spanish-owned resort called Barcelo, and mere words can’t describe the beauty we were surrounded around. The food was incredible, and you haven’t truly lived until you can have plantains, sausage, bacon and Mexican coffee every morning. And I truly feel sorry for you if you’ve never experienced 24-hour bar service and mojitos at noon.

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One thing that sucked big balls though was the wireless internet service that we paid $28 dollars for the privilege of sporadic service so horrible I was about to attach a hanger and foil as a makeshift antenna. Apparently there’s only one guy who runs the entire Mexican internet which has made him a billionaire with virtually no competition, thus no desire to improve. Many a customer (besides me) expressed outrage on having to pay for service that only worked twice on Tuesday while the customer relations just shrugged with a “whattaya gonna do, it’s Mexico?” look. One of the many times I had to go to the lobby for good reception, a handsome Latino resort worker in the tour department saw my frustration and sparked a friendly conversation about how I wanted to arrange the kidnapping of the wifi (non) service provider/kingpin. He encouraged me to give a written complaint, because the silly man thought that enough complaints would make a difference and spark a healthy fear of competition. Wait. There isn’t any.

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Since hope springs eternal, I followed Mr. Tour Director to his office to fill out a form. Conversation drifted to the reason why I had an epic crack-addict equivalent to my technology, and I mentioned in passing that I run a blog. He asked me what my name was so I told him because I thought it was related to my plight of no web service in paradise, and he was going to challenge the Kingpin of Crappy Internet Service to a duel at sunset. Nope. He was Googling me on his smart phone, which ironically, had excellent service. He says…”Beyond black…and white…hmmm…what’s that?”

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 Yes; those are my legs. Ha! My husband is between my legs. Get it?! HAHAHHA I crack myself up sometimes.

 

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I give him my three-minute elevator spiel about how the site is dedicated to black women in interracial relationships, and I notice one of his eyebrows creep up his forehead. I’m not wearing my wedding ring–it’s locked in the hotel safe because the humidity was causing a nasty finger rash. So not only does this man believe I’m not married, he thinks I’m about 25 years old. I suppose it was with that information that he thought it would be REALLY COOL to jump behind me, grab my elbows from behind so he could draw me close to his body so he could breath his Latino on me and kiss my ear. At that moment, I might as well have been 25 because I was frozen with shock that a man I’ve known for ten minutes would grab a customer by the back and attempt to seduce her. I ran out of there quick, fast in a hurry while he’s promising to be waiting here when I come back in 12 hours to do a rain dance and virgin offering in hopes the internet will work. I didn’t feel scared or threatened, just…sort of invaded. I wondered what I could have ever said to this man to believe I’d be okay with him being so sexually forward. We know Latino men, like black men, generally give you pretty clear cut indications that they want you. But you’re trying to grind after a ten minute convo about the internet kingpin who is complicit in financially raping  competition and free-market- loving Americans? Needless to say I had to keep The Hubster from making a scene that might have gotten us a one-way ride to the jungle with no cell phone service or…internet.

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Off to Cancun… http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cancun/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/cancun/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 18:06:11 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34550 Hey ya’ll! Right about now I’m sitting at LAX airport about to board a six hour-ish flight to Cancun with The Hubster. One of the perks of his job is opportunities to win all-expenses paid vacations. Woo hoo, hubby! So with the inlaws out to watch the kids, we’re getting ready for some…fun. Been working […]

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Hey ya’ll! Right about now I’m sitting at LAX airport about to board a six hour-ish flight to Cancun with The Hubster. One of the perks of his job is opportunities to win all-expenses paid vacations. Woo hoo, hubby!

So with the inlaws out to watch the kids, we’re getting ready for some…fun.

Been working on looking good for the pi-chas….

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I’ll still be on periodically, but not much.

I’ll have a drink or six in your honor. cancun

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SHARE: Dating Outside of the States http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/dating-outside-of-the-states/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/dating-outside-of-the-states/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:44:59 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=34188 Recently, some of our readers shared some very juicy gems about their interactions and dating experiences while traveling abroad. Most important to note was how these experiences transformed them, from feeling invisible, ignored and constrained here in America by various groups of men, into the powerful realization that there ARE men out there who value, […]

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Arsenal Players Pose in Their New Club Suits

Recently, some of our readers shared some very juicy gems about their interactions and dating experiences while traveling abroad. Most important to note was how these experiences transformed them, from feeling invisible, ignored and constrained here in America by various groups of men, into the powerful realization that there ARE men out there who value, adore and pursue black women. They smile. They approach and compliment. They flirt. Those behaviors are just what they do when they find a woman attractive.

Here at BB&W, we strongly encourage black women to experience study, work or vacation abroad (you can check out our travel section here). The realization that non black men ARE attracted to black women is a necessary component of broadening your dating pool – it brings confidence, which many studies show is one of the best ways to attract people to you.  And broadening your dating pool – to choose character over color – really helps find the BEST person for you. As Sheryl Sandberg wrote, “the most important career choice a woman will make is her choice of spouse.” Limiting the pool of potential spouses does not serve your interests.

BB&W recently received an on-the-ground report about how black women are received in Australia:

Hi Miss Swirl,
Re: OKCupid Australia … more messages than a ‘black’ girl could ever reply to from all types of men!!!
I just wanted to let you know that I don’t agree with your article that white men In Canada are more open to dating black women than those in the states. Although one of my siblings is married to a ‘Caucasian man’; I have NEVER been asked out by one in my 20+ years. I am objectively not as beautiful, cute or well shaped as her. She is stunning.  When I have OKCupid and Christian Mingle in Canada and I got more responses from men in the USA on these websites, who lived near the border so I was in their area. (I did have a relationship with one of those men, but that is another story).
 Anyways, I just moved to Australia, created a profile with just two of my pictures – because I am learning that men mostly care about looks. Wow…tons of replies messages 20 in 24 hours…more coming in as we speak! Girl I can’t keep up! I’ve actually been deleting a ton of replies…I can’t talk to everybody.
Please tell the ladies that Australia is RIPE for the pickings.
One amazing thing is that many Australians are actually born abroad – particularly from the UK, US, New Zealand and more and more from Asia. So although Australians are known for their racism –particularly against the Sudanese and the Aboriginal populations – there is a good cohort who is adventure seekers and love traveling and thus the type of person that is very open to new experiences. An additional bonus to the men in this group is that they often come/came to Australia for work – yess booo they have a J-O-B (Snap in a z formation). On a final note, this is where American/Canadian identity carries even more weight – you are automatically thought of as kool, and with, get this, an EXOTIC accent. Hahaha.
On that note: I have very dark skin, am short and round but not overweight but -5’2 133lbs – I am working on…but I do have a pretty awesome curly weave and a great smile thanks to 2 years of adult braces :S…almost worth it. All those Sudanese women look like models…in fact many of them work as models here hahaha, not to mention the gorgeous Zimbabwean and South African women…I have nooo idea what one would see in me?!? And if one does have a panache for very dark women, there are many East Indian, Bangladesh and various Asian women around.
There are pro’s and con’s to living in Australia. Racism is real, but in a very different way than I presume in America. No place is perfect, unfortunately, but if there is one thing that I have taken to heart and put into practice is to NEVER let racism, racists, or  the fear of thereof rob me from experiencing other cultures…the score should always be me-1:racism-0…why not let that philosophy carry over to finding the one?
Much love,
Lost in Australia/Anonymous  ;P
And this…from the same letter writer
RE: African American women should seriously consider the great diversity that African men have to offer!!
I thought I would write you another message.
I know that your site focuses on inter-racial marriage- targeting white men specifically.  I was just wondering if you could include more content on African men and African American women.  As a woman of African descent I feel like African American women are MISSING OUT.  Although I am open minded to who I would like to marry, I know that I would be very happy with a fellow African.  It hurts me when I hear African American women refer to very weird and untrue stereotypes when referring to African people and African men specifically. Although the African population in the US is very small – a result of immigration policy- I think that they would be a great option for women who are educated and open minded.  –I always joke that I will find my Nigerian prince charming, PHd working on a MD :P’ -
African men are very traditional, but have great male training and put a high premium on marriage. Family and carrying on their fathers name is very important to them. I love my African culture soooo much. I wish I could share it with everyone that I meet. Hahaha. I love the clothes, I love the language, I love my tribe. I think we are the most beautiful people and I can spot someone from my ancestry across the room. I love when other Africans from say Congo or Benin come up to me in the mall and say ohhh yes…You look so Kenyan. Hahaha. And I love that my Kenyan professor called me sister the first time he met me.
African men are diverse. You can talk about some FINE Moroccan’s – girl!. Then there are Nigerian men – built strong. You have intelligent East African men; let us not forget those South African bothers – sooo smooth sooo refined and baby sooo modern.
The book Marriage is for White People clearly states that there are enough men to go around for AA women. Although the ratio of interested men isn’t as high for AA women as women of other backgrounds, there is enough interests for every AA women to be married/dating if they aggregate the interest of men from all backgrounds.
Yup the world is a black women’s oyster.
Ok that is my last message, glad I could share :P,
Anonymous

So let’s sound off in the comments! What have your experiences been while mingling abroad?

 

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From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/uganda-serbia-rose-bugarcics-incredible-journey/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/uganda-serbia-rose-bugarcics-incredible-journey/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:09:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32172 From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey   Decision on employment presented by the Minister Ivica Dacic (Photo A. Vasiljevic)   Rose Bugarčić I am happy with the title of “SwirlQueen” bequeathed to me by BB&W founder Mrs. Christelyn Karazin.  It suits me well.  However these days I feel more like a “Swirl Huntress”.  […]

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From Uganda to Serbia, Rose Bugarčić’s Incredible Journey

 

Rose BugarčićDecision on employment presented by the Minister Ivica Dacic (Photo A. Vasiljevic)

 

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Rose Bugarčić

I am happy with the title of “SwirlQueen” bequeathed to me by BB&W founder Mrs. Christelyn Karazin.  It suits me well.  However these days I feel more like a “Swirl Huntress”.  I scour the Internet and all corners of the world to find black woman interracial marriage and relationships.   Last year I found Rose Bugarčić.  In 2011 Rosa Josiah Mirembe Abbott Bugarčić or simply Rose, became the first black woman to be appointed to the Serbian government, specifically the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Originally from Uganda, is married to Serbian Zivko Bugarčić and they live with their 3 children in Belgrade. Minister Ivica Dacic officially charged Rose with the challenge to resolve issues mainly because of her expertise in European integration. She felt the need to do her part and contribute to Serbia’s application to the European Union.  I don’t know Rose, but I am awfully proud of her.   She must have overcome tremendous odds to achieve such lofty status.  Hat’s off to you Minister Bugarčić!

 

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Originally from Uganda, Rose graduated with an Agriculture degree there in 1994. She went to the Netherlands to a seminar on new technologies in potato cultivation where she met her future husband Zivko. They traveled to Uganda to meet her family, and from there they went to Guca, Serbia where Zivko was born and met his family. The couple and their children have lived in Serbia for the last 15 years.

Zivko and Rose met in the Netherlands.

 Zivko and Rose met in the Netherlands.

 

When asked what she thought about living in Serbia, Rose thinks it is very nice. But there was the issue of the weather. Rose did not leave the house during the first two Winters when they lived in Guca. She could not get used to the cold. So they just kept fires going. It was also a challenge to Rose tying to master Serbian so Zivko served as her translator. But before too long, Rose learned to speak Serbian fluently. And she even learned the Cyrillic alphabet so well that she was able to read Politika, a newspaper. The children, who are Afro-Serbian speak Serbian and English but unfortunately don’t know too much of their mother’s native tongue. Rose relinquished her Ugandan citizenship preferring to become a naturalized citizen of Serbia.

 

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Rose Bugarčić with children – Nicholas, Mary and Alexander

 

 

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Black Girl Travel Sponsors Georgia Teen’s First International Trip http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-girl-travel-sponsors-georgia-teens-first-international-trip/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/black-girl-travel-sponsors-georgia-teens-first-international-trip/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 04:33:50 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32385 Fleace Weaver, founder of BlackGirlTravel.com, recently sponsored a 17-year-old Georgia teenager’s trip to Rome, Italy for the first “Look Back, Give Back” competition. The goal is to facilitate travel and empower young girls to become world citizens. I got an opportunity to interview Na’Isah and Fleace while on her trip via Skype. Take a look. There’s a […]

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Fleace Weaver, founder of BlackGirlTravel.com, recently sponsored a 17-year-old Georgia teenager’s trip to Rome, Italy for the first “Look Back, Give Back” competition. The goal is to facilitate travel and empower young girls to become world citizens. I got an opportunity to interview Na’Isah and Fleace while on her trip via Skype. Take a look. There’s a few giggles to be had within.

Black Girl Travel Sponsors Teen Trip to Italy from Christelyn Karazin on Vimeo.

Read Na’Isah’s daily entries of her travels here.

After the interview, Fleace gave some more thought to one of the questions I’d asked…

I would like to re-answer your interview question about my most memorable moment with her. It happen today. As mentioned in the interview, Na’Iash decided she want to travel with an airline escort. Yesterday she seem very confident about the decision but during the taxi ride to the airport, I sensed a little doubt in her as she start asking more questions about the process. I did my best to assure that she would be okay. After her check-in, I walked her to security and watch as she advanced in line. Then came her defining moment (and mine) and point of no-return as walk thought the metal detector alone, I started to cry. My heart was full of joy and pride, as she walked confidently to passport control but not before looking back for me and giving a big wave good-bye. I may not be her mother, but a that moment I felt like I was part of her rebirth from a “girl” that have never taken bus, train or even flew on an airplane before into a young women, ready to take on the world, tears started rolling down my face. While on the train riding back to the city, she called me. I could her the stress in her voice. She was at the assigned gate and no one else was there and she felt lost. I asked her to take a deep breath and walk over to an information board and look to see if there had been a gate change. Because of her lesson the day before on reading departure information boards in the train station for our trip from Rome to Florence, she was able to read the airport board and tell me her new gate number. She walked to the new Gate and looked for her flight number at the gate and said “It is my number and it says New York”. I replied “Brava” you did it. I was so proud that once again tears started rolling down my face as I started to smile. International travel is not always about the big things, sometimes the greatest joy can be in watching a child walking alone though passport control, knowing she is walking into a brighter future and you feeling blessed to have play a small part in her journey. This were my most memorable moments with her, ones that I will cherish for a lifetime.” Thank YOU Na’Isah!

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Guest Writer: A Black Girl’s Guide to Studying Abroad in Valparaiso, Chile! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/guest-writer-black-girls-guide-studying-abroad-valparaiso-chile/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/guest-writer-black-girls-guide-studying-abroad-valparaiso-chile/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:03:37 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=32061 Meet Tiana (left) and Angel (right)–two brown girls who met while studying abroad in Chile! ☺   Valparaíso, Chile, with its art-splashed buildings, sloped hills, and turn of the century –styled funiculars, is often called the “San Francisco of South America.” I had the pleasure of studying abroad there from February 2012 to July 2012, […]

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.46.32 PM Meet Tiana (left) and Angel (right)–two brown girls who met while studying abroad in Chile! ☺   Valparaíso, Chile, with its art-splashed buildings, sloped hills, and turn of the century –styled funiculars, is often called the “San Francisco of South America.”

I had the pleasure of studying abroad there from February 2012 to July 2012, during my sophomore year of college.  Before then, I never knew what it was like to live in another country. In many ways, it is to speak, eat, sleep, and interact differently. Luckily, I received a vast array of experiences that expanded my perspective as an American, as a student, and also as a young Black woman. Yup, I found out most of the world uses 24-hour time.

As I painstakingly practiced Spanish, I discovered how it feels to butcher a language and look like a fool. And yeah, after daily compliments, flirty eyes, and sometimes (annoying) cat calls from Chilean men at beaches, clubs, and the supermarket, I realized that the folks who discredit Black female beauty at home WERE LYIN’. In short, for personal growth and discovery (of self, others, and new surroundings), Black girls should study abroad. With that said, here are a few reasons to study abroad in Valparaíso, Chile! Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.46.44 PM

1. The Music and Nightlife

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.00 PM   Valparaíso and Viña Del Mar (the neighboring city) have a lot of great reggae, salsa, and electronic dance venues. Many of the clubs in the area, like 7-floor “El Huevo”, “Café Journal” (where all the gringos go), and Máscara, are all accessible by train and collectivo (taxi).  Wherever you go, be sure to get a “pisco sour”, which is essentially STRONG lemonade flavored with Pico lime and Pisco, Chile’s national staple of distilled wine. Also, a great music event about two hours away from Valpo and Viña is Santiago Lollapalooza, which might be better than the classic Lollapalooza in Chicago! Young folks from all over Latin America–Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, and Colombia—fly or drive down for the 3-day event. When I attended in 2012, some of my favorite artists were there like Calvin Harris, MGMT, Skrillex, Above and Beyond, and Foster the People.

2. The Student Life

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.52.12 PM Tiana noticed that “People seem to be vested in the nation’s future and how it will impact their daily lives. Citizens not only take it upon themselves to initiate legislation, but they also partake in various protests regarding civil rights, education, and general livelihood.” Especially as students continue fighting for more affordable education, Chilean university life tends to be very politically active.

3. The Natural Beauty

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.33 PM     The beaches at Con Con are everything–including a scenic 30 minute bus ride from Valparaíso. I must warn you, that bus ride might be jam packed and you may not get a seat until midway through the trip. But once you finally see the crystal blue water and sloping hills dotted with white beach houses on the horizon, the view will be worth seat less wait.

Likewise, there are tons of geographic destinations that are worth your time throughout the country. Tiana, who got to do a lot of traveling during her time abroad says, “The terrain is extremely diverse! One day, I could be swimming in the Pacific Ocean near the coast of Viña del Mar and the next day I could be hiking in the Atacama Desert. Of all of the locations that I visited, Patagonia was my absolute favorite place to be. There is something remarkably breathtaking about exploring that cold, southern location in the Andes Mountains.”

4. The Food

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.47.55 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.04 PM   Oddly, the best sushi I’ve ever had was at a mall restaurant called “Sushi House” in Viña. When it comes to bomb seafood, the Pacific coast has been kind to Valpo and Viña. My incredible host family, the Carramiñanas, made the best ceviche, salmon, and scallops for special dinners and celebrations.

Due to the strong Italian and Spanish populations, both cities have a host of pasta and wine joints. Wine in Chile is a bit stronger than normal, so keep that in mind, ladies! Breakfast tends to be pretty simple. In the morning, it’s common to grab fresh bread from a panadería and pair it with sliced palta (avocado). Sooooo good.

5. The Culture

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.27 PM My second mama in Chile ☺ Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.48.52 PM   When I think of culture in Valparaíso and Viña, beautiful art, bright colors, dancing, music, food, warm people, and family immediately come to mind. My host family ate dinner together almost every night, and sometimes the grandfather (whose house was connected) would join us. How many families do that in the States?! Tiana observed that, “Social life is essential to maintain.

There were very little times where I found myself rushing from one place to another. It also seems like there is a genuine concern for well-being and happiness that Chilean individuals want to uphold. People truly wanted to get to know ME!” I totally agree. Sometimes, folks would remark on my American-ness and Blackness. For a light-hearted example, I’ll never forget when my host family said they would make a peluche (stuffed animal) out of my kinky twist braids after I removed them! It was actually hilarious.

Jokes aside, I found that folks were genuine in their efforts to get to know me. To enjoy being a woman, living freely and not worrying about the assumptions of others, is one of the most important journeys I began as a 19 year old in Chile. It’s a journey I now encourage other young Black women to join.

Angel is a writer, community organizer, and traveler from Ohio who is soon moving to NYC. She loves working out, reading, and spending way too much time shopping for food. For musings about internationalism and culture, check out her blog: angelictruth.wordpress.com, and follow her on twitter and Instagram @truthtravelista. If you have any questions or ideas, just tweet her!  

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