Another installment of Traveler’s Spotlight on Jay Travels. This spotlight features Rue from Outdoor Afro – a community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more!
Quick Info on Rue
How Often Do I Travel
2-4 times year
Where to Next?
Favorite Travel Gadget
Atlanta, GA – but I travel throughout Northern California quite often.
Go to Outer Space if You Could?
Trying new foods/cooking and bird watching.
Where have you traveled Internationally and in a single word/phrase, how would you describe each destination?
- Oaxaca, Mexico – Humbling
- Alberta/Niagara, Canada – Familiar, but far away
- St. Croix, UVI – Beautiful Water
What are the Top 3 destinations on your Bucket List?
Tour of Italy
Has any trip changed the way you think or act – whether politically, socially or otherwise?Having grown up traveling regionally and nationally, I’ve found that ‘people’ have greatest impact on your travel experiences – more so than the ‘destination’ itself. I think traveling expands your world; your favorite restaurant could be across the globe. That transforms your thinking in terms of certain political positions, the products you buy, etc. An example would be New Orleans – a community I’m very close to. Having visited the city numerous times prior to Katrina and shortly thereafter – it broke my heart to see how unfairly the people were treated during and after the storm.
Have you ever experienced a problem when traveling (passport, victim of crime, etc.)?One of the things that can be problematic is dealing with travel agencies. Though not as bad as it used to be, you still have to be very careful when dealing with these entities. Read the fine print! I had a problem with a travel agent with ticketing for a flight. Long story short, the airline wouldn’t accept what the agent provided and I had to spend extra money to purchase a new – and more expensive ticket – 1 hour prior to the flight. The moral of story is to keep and review your documentation – especially when traveling internationally.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten when traveling?Champolines (Fried Grasshoppers) in Mexico
What was your least favorite travel experience and why?Car trip to Seattle from Bay Area. Too many people for too long of a period – cramped into too small of a space is a recipe for disaster. You have to use the right tools for the job. If you have to drive more than 6-7 hours – get an RV/Trailer so people aren’t compartmentalized. If its just me, then I’ll fly if the drive would be over 3-4 hours.
What kind of vacation do you prefer, adventure, nature, backpacking, luxury getaways, shopping, relaxing, other?Adventure, Backpacking, Art & Culture (Museums) and Beaches.
What’s the best thing about traveling? What’s the Worst?
- Best – You get to be exposed to places and spaces you’ve never experienced. Even if you’ve seen these places on TV – it’s not the same thing. Again, its not just about the destination – its the interaction with the people that has the greatest effect.
- Worst – Sometimes the inconveniences that cause humbling moments, e.g., those where your unfamiliarity with a new environment causes a problem. Things we take for granted in our own environments (traffic laws, tipping etiquette, etc.) can lead to awkward situations.
Do you have any travel tips to share?Choose to travel with people with whom you can be yourself. There’s nothing worse than traveling with people who make you feel uncomfortable being who you are and/or don’t want to do the activities you want to do. Plan accordingly.
Any parting shots or Shout outs?Get out – there are lots of African Americans who regularly travel – but the perception does not reflect this reality. My site, Outdoor Afro is unabashedly about getting more African Americans to travel. It’s important for people to see people who look like them when they travel.
I’m excited about the future – greater access to technology and resources, there’s less and less of an excuse not to get away. I’m also a fan of Frank & Audrey Peterman and their travel work. Not to mention Jay Travels ;o).