In celebration of Black History Month, CulturalXplorer.com 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 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.
Ernest in Shanghai, China
Meet Ernest White II, the writer of the travel blog Fly Brother. Ernest has been traveling solo for twenty years both full-time and part time. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Ernest has lived in places such as the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Columbia. He has been a featured speaker at TBEX Dublin ’13, and has written for Matador, Time Out London,Time Out São Paulo, and Ebony. You may recognize him if you have seen the movie ‘Gringo Trails’ or Destination Showdown on the Travel Channel.
Ernest on Travel
How were you exposed to traveling?
My first trip overseas was a study abroad trip to Sweden when I was 16. I saw an advertisement for the program (YFU, to be specific) in the mall and convinced my parents to let me do it. It’s been wheel’s up ever since.
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
I’ve always been interested in languages and geography, so I think the seed was planted very early on. I can’t imagine life without travel – for me, it’s essential to my quality of life. When too much time passes between trips, I actually get restless and irritable.
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
My round-the-world trip in 2009. So many memories, it would take a book to recount them all. Stay tuned. 😉
How many places have you traveled to so far?
At last count, I’ve been to 39 countries and lived in 4.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
I’ve learned that places are like people. Sometimes you get along and sometimes you don’t, and that’s okay. Every place isn’t for everybody.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
I think my biggest challenge on the road, as it is for me in general, is managing my finances. I have to admit, I’m not very good at it. I’ve been damn near flat-broke in Paris, Delhi, and Havana…not a good look.
Ernest in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Ernest on Blogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
I started blogging about travel more exclusively in 2008, but I’ve been blogging at least since 2004.
What makes your blog unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
I think that my blog, whenever it gets updated, offers a mix of travel information, personal experience, history, and random bits of trivia that you actually don’t find on any one site. I honestly wish I had more time to devote to it, honestly, because there’s lots of interesting things that have happened in my life that I’d like to share with my readers, but just never get around to it.
What are the top three articles that you feel everyone should read on your blog?
- “My Fellow Black Americans: It’s Time to Get – and Use – That Passport”
- “Surviving 31 Hours of Standby Hell – or – Brazilians Make Everything Better”
- “Black Like Me”
Who is your target audience?
Mostly young African-Americans who haven’t traveled abroad or who haven’t done it as much as they’d like to. But I know that I have readers who come from other backgrounds than I who have reached out and told me a particular post resonated with them, and that feels good.
Ernest in Berlin, Germany
Ernest on Life
Favorite travel (or life) quote:
“The untold want, by life and land ne’er granted, Now, Voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find.” -Walt Whitman
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
I mentioned this in my 2013 annual review video, but I still don’t think that many of my readers know I’ve been in a relationship with a German guy for the past four years.
Interested in finding out more about Ernest? Check him out here: Website: Fly Brother // Facebook: Fly Brother // Twitter: @flybrother // Vimeo: Fly Brother
Thats so funny… I get restless and irritable between trips too!
Good interview. Managing finances is so key overseas. It’s one thing that more black travelers need to pay attention to. I’ve been following Ernest for some time and he is definitely a leader in the black male travel movement. Looking forward to reading more interviews!