Many of the people I’ve featured for Thursday travel tales have travel focused social media or blogs. As a Lifestyle Vlogger focused on home DIY, finance, and wellness, Tyler doesn’t fit into that category but I love that she wanted to share some of her travels with you all!
This shows that I enjoy connecting with anyone who loves to travel even if they don’t do it as often as I do or haven’t done it as much as I have. Additionally, I love featuring others who aren’t “travel focused” because it shows that you TOO can travel even if you don’t think you have the time/money or haven’t started yet. Tyler only took her first trip with a passport in 2015!
With her first international trip to Bermuda, Tyler loves traveling because, “If you don’t go outside, you can’t experience outside your world.” That’s a concept she understood from a young age. Having traveled to Jamaica, Thailand, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas since then, Tyler would say that she’s an “island person.” Me too – island destinations are my faves!
Doing a bit of travel Q&A for your reading pleasure today, Tyler not only answers some of the fun stuff for you, but also took the time to answer questions specifically from a BIPOC point of view – including her experience of racism as a Black woman.
Tyler is 29 year old Black woman on a mission to inspire others to live their most authentic lives. She caught the travel bug in her early twenties after her first trip to Bermuda with a friend in 2015. Now her goal is to visit at least one place every year of her life. Her motto in life is: Life is a journey, not a sprint.
What’s your favorite country you’ve traveled to and why?
Costa Rica! Omg the atmosphere, the mountains, the beaches, the food, the people *chefs kiss* everything was AMAZING. If I could, I would live in Costa Rica for a few years and literally just work on the beach every day. I love tropical places so that may be a part of the reason why but I truly enjoyed myself there.
What is your favorite cuisine from around the world?
Latinx food – every bit of food I had in Costa Rica made me feel so good and almost like I could trust it (I feel so bad saying that but it’s true). The homemade ceviche on the beach was by far my favorite!
Do you save for travel, travel hack, or do you “YOLO” it? How much of your finances do you set aside for travel?
SAVE! And slightly travel hack at times. I love to save a coin! On my own blog, I talk about saving, budgeting, and other finance related topics, so saving money is truly important to me. I was living paycheck to paycheck at one point in my life so it was important to learn how to save early on for the experiences I wanted to have and the items I wanted to buy.
If you could be anywhere right now (someplace you have or haven’t been), where would you be and why?
I think it’d be somewhere in Africa, maybe Cape Town. I’ve been wanting to go ever since a friend of mine traveled there last year. I’d love to go on a Safari, visit the wineries, and visit the Cape of Good Hope.
What’s the most fearless or adventurous thing you’ve done while traveling?
Jumped off a cliff in Bermuda! I’m afraid of heights haha so jumping off of a very tall cliff (that honestly probably doesn’t seem that high in pictures) was a lot for me but it was so much fun!
As a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color), what is something you want non-BIPOC to know when it comes to you traveling?
We are just as human as you are! We are not exotic animals, we are humans with feelings, mistakes, and everything else. Please be mindful of how you act around me – if I’m traveling I do not want your belongings – I want to explore and just be. All too often I encounter a non-POC and they seem to tense up or immediately shutoff and while it doesn’t affect me anymore it used to get to me a lot because I don’t understand how people can act that way toward another human. It used to make me sad but now I just find it rude.
Have you ever experienced racism while traveling?
Somewhat yes, I wouldn’t say it was outright racism but my friends and I walked into an art store in Thailand and the owner of the store immediately started following us around the store. To be honest, it felt like we were back at home…so it didn’t phase me much but it did throw me off. I was also taking pictures of the art so it was kind of funny being told not to take pictures.
Is there something you want to tell fellow BIPOC people about traveling?
Not every country is racist or overtly rude. So when you go to a new place act like you belong (because you do) and be safe at all times! Stay alert of your surroundings. Keep your head on a swivel and make sure (if traveling solo) you let at least one person know your plans. If you take a cab or an Uber, share the ride, the name of the driver and everything else. Lastly, enjoy yourself as much as you can! This is a “getaway” for a reason so experience everything! If you encounter anything “bad” – don’t let it ruin the trip. Just take note and keep it moving.
Tyler is probably the third or fourth person I talked to this summer that has raved about Costa Rica, so I definitely have to go. Elephants and saving some coin – other things we have in common, aye! But that part about being followed around a store and feeling like they were back home [in the USA] but not being phased by it…wow. All I could think was, “That shouldn’t be normal for anyone.” Yet it is a sad truth that still exists today.
However, I feel that Tyler took her own advice about not letting anything “bad” ruin a trip and is definitely a gem of a takeaway today. As BIPOC, it’s a given that we’ll have negative experiences non-BIPOC never will, but that shouldn’t be a reason to deter us from exploring this beautiful world.
As you can see, Tyler has valuable information to share, so if you’re into home DIY, finance, or wellness be sure to give her Instagram and blog (under construction at the time of original posting) a follow!
With wanderlust & ’til next time,