In celebration of Black History Month 2015, Cultural Xplorer is continuing with the annual series of Black History Month interviews highlighting bloggers and travelers of color. This interview series was created to eradicate the long-standing myth that African-Americans and people of color do not travel.
This series features a number of interviews from both men and women of color from around the world who are passionate about traveling and sharing their stories through their writing and through travel videos.
Andrew on Traveling
How were you exposed to traveling?
As the son of a Chinese-Jamaican, my mom always traveled to London, Canada and Florida to visit our family.
We travelled at least 3 times a year for holiday, even traveled on Y2K after a Christmas/New Year visit to Toronto.
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
It started as an escape from the ‘real’ world in America but it turned out to be an ever eye opening experience. Traveling allows me to be a more understanding human being.
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
Hawaii was my most memorable. It was very nerve-racking with it being my first trip as an adult, and with my girlfriend at the time. While I was there I remember the weather being perfect, the way the sun sparkled off the blue water…… The first place I never wanted to leave. Even though we had a rocky time, that trip solidified the life I wanted to live. It confirmed that travel is possible and I will not ‘wait’ to take risks and live life. There is never a perfect moment to do it.
How many places have you traveled to so far?
I have been to 18 countries so far with so many more to go.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
Practice being present, learn to enjoy the ups and downs as they come. Also, stay alert when it gets late.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
My visit to Cairo, Egypt was my most challenging travel experience by far. I ended up in what the locals called a ’strip’ club, mind you there were no clothes coming off on stage.
The host quickly rushed me and my friend to our table, brought fruits and champagne like we were kings. RED FLAG. Then some woman came up to chat us up, after a few sentences we realized we were in a high class brothel and decided to leave.
The host and company were not too happy and started cornering us and screaming in their foreign language. We eventually paid them some cash and headed on our way.
Scams are everywhere but when you don’t speak the language and don’t know how to get home, cash goes a long way.
Andrew on Blogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
I decided to be a blogger because all my friends would ask me, “how do you afford to travel so much?”
That question alone inspired the start of my blog. I want share my journey, pictures, and knowledge with people to let them know that you don’t have to be rich to see this big world.
What makes your blog unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
With my blog I want to focus on writing articles that help potential travelers take that leap, from personal finance to attacking the overwhelming information available today. Flysights will inspire you to be an awesome citizen of the world.
What are the top three articles that you feel everyone should read on your blog?
One of my favorite post is my photo essay of Reggae Sumfest 2014 in Jamaica. I got to live out a dream as a concert photographer in my native country.
My article on Giving Tuesday is one of the reasons my blog is different. I want to show travelers, novice and experienced, how to give back to the countries they travel to.
Finally, 5 Places To Visit Before You Put A Ring On It is definitely a quick read that all millennials can relate to.
Who is your target audience?
My target audience is current college students, grads, and young professionals.
I want them to realize that instead of spending $100 on a bar tab in NYC, you can have an unforgettable experience in the Dominican Republic for a fraction of your paycheck.
Andrew on Life
Favorite travel (or life) quote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”— Mark Twain
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
I’m a super math geek. I’ve been in engineering classes since the first day of high school.
What do your future travel plans for 2015 include?
I lucked out and was able to book a trip to Abu Dhabi for my birthday in April. I have a few American and Caribbean trips in the 1st half of the year and an Asia trip for the 2nd half. Make sure you follow the blog for inspiring photos!!
Interested in finding out more about Andrew and his travels around the world?