In celebration of Black History Month, Cultural Xplorer is doing a series of interviews to eradicate the myth that African-Americans and people of color do not travel and to show you people of color who are traveling the world and making history. This series will feature 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.
Teri Johnson is the is the creator and host of Travelista TV and the writer/vlogger of Travelista Teri .She has also appeared on NBC, BET, and the Travel Channel and she contributes to several major media outlets. Teri has been traveling for over twenty years and she focuses on culture and adventure travel with a luxury state of mind.
Teri on Traveling
How were you exposed to traveling?
I come from a family who travels internationally often and they’ve always understood the importance of seeing the world, learning about other cultures, and speaking other languages. My great grandfather was fluent in Greek, Latin and German and my grandmother, who was fluent in French and German, was a high school French teacher. Growing up, I was encouraged to travel, learn foreign languages and experience the world at a young age. I truly caught the travel bug after doing a summer exchange in San Sebastian, Spain while in high school. There, I spent my days on the beach with new Spanish friends, became a true beach lover and returned to my high school fluent in the language.
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
Travel is a part of who I am. I didn’t choose to become a Travelista. It chose me. Actually, I attribute it to my genetic make up. I recently found some old pictures of my grandparents recording their vacation in Venice, Italy on a Super 8 camera. Culture and adventure feed my soul and I don’t think I could survive without frequent travel.
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
My most memorable travel experience would be hunting with the Kuku-Yalanji aborigines in Australia and then going inside their home to cook, eat, learn more about their lives. I had been fascinated with aborigine culture for many years, and to have such an intimate, authentic cultural exchange was unforgettable.
How many places have you traveled to so far?
56 countries – Top 5 experiences: Bali, Mali, South Africa, Australia, Cuba
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
To always wear comfortable shoes, pack all toiletries you can’t live without, and smile often and sincerely.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is over packing. I have a tendency to bring too much stuff and my bag is usually overweight. Now, I remind myself to leave enough space for gifts and souvenirs, which always changes how much I pack.
Teri on Writing & Travel Vlogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
I don’t really consider myself a travel blogger. I’m more of a travel storyteller through video, often called a ‘vlogger’. I’m not a fan of labels, but I most consider myself a professional travel and lifestyle enthusiast.
What makes your website unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
Travelista.tv – has over 100+ destination videos from around the world to inspire people to travel.
TravelistaTeri.com (new) – will have a lot of destination and lifestyle videos to help people live better and travel more.
What are the top three videos that you feel everyone should watch on Travelista.tv and TravelistaTeri.com?
- Adventures in Bali (Part I)
- St. Croix (Part I) Beach & Shopping
- Mali V: Smashing Onions in the Dogon Country in Mali, West Africa
- Teri’s Adventures in St. Croix
- French Wine Pronunciation
- Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta
Who is your target audience?
Men & Women between the ages of 25 – 45 who enjoy travel
Teri on Life
Teri in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Favorite travel (or life) quote:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” – Henry David Thoreau
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
I hitchhiked around the island of Martinique because I didn’t know how to drive a manual car. I still don’t. It’s probably one of the safest places to hitchhike if you look like a local and speak French.
Where do you plan on going next?
St. Marteen & St. Barths
Want to learn more about Teri? Check her out here: