Over the past few years, I've been inspired by travellers of colour like Oneika Raymond and Nomadness Travel Tribe. I decided to fulfill my dream of living overseas. Originally, I wanted to go to Brazil as I had been studying Brazilian-Portuguese and I wanted to research a book. However, when I was presented with four jobs from different countries at an international teaching fair (none of which was Brazil), I chose to accept the position in Abu Dhabi which seemed the strongest candidate. By moving to the UAE and over the past year have visited 5 new countries so far (not including flight layovers). (Before coming to the UAE, I had only visited 5 within the Caribbean and the United States. I plan to visit 7 new ones by November.) Here I have befriended people of colour travellers who helped me to see that international travel is possible and imagine me in unique spaces, event that I could be welcomed in these spaces. These people have helped me to see that people who looked like me could and do travel and came back with positive experiences. In 2014, I went on my first "faraway" trip to Accra, Ho, and Dzodze in Ghana where I took the Orff Afrique Masterclass through the San Francisco Orff School.
Although I've been writing and publishing books in children's literature, for the past few years, I have been tossing a travel-related book idea around in my head for a while too (and slowly working on it, this past week I wrote my first 13 pages in 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced). Fastforward to July 2016, after taking a weeklong workshop at Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) with Faith Adiele and Bani Amor at University of Miami, travel writer Ernest White II invited my class to submit our pieces to Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel. I was very interested. Finally, a new travel journal focused on diverse voices and perspectives like my own. After my travelwriting workshop, I attended the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana. This article that I wrote was inspired by a photo taken on that trip (below). You can read my article here.