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.
Kemkem on Traveling
How were you exposed to traveling?
My parents traveled a lot as far back as l can remember. Most summers, my grandma would be the one with us, while my parents traveled, either by themselves, or with their church groups.
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
It was always there. Nigerians believe in working hard, and enjoying their life as well. It was common for people to travel, either to find a better life, or just to holiday someplace different. Then of course, our currency was much stronger than the dollar and pound. I remember when l moved to the U.S, one of our Naira was equal to $2 plus change. How times have changed 🙁 . Now 1 Naira equals about ½ cent.. half of a cent!!!!! Things are different now.
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
Still is and will always be a visit to Monet’s house in Giverny. It was something l had dreamed of for years. Seeing the water lilies from the little bridge, being in his studio. You weren’t allowed to touch anything, but my friend would keep watch wile l touched his chair, plate etc. I couldn’t help myself.
How many places have you traveled to so far?
About 15 countries, and a bunch of States in the U.S. I have a lot of traveling left to do, assuming l can stop going to London again and again and again, and again etc.. 🙂
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
That the road will always be there, but you won’t. You have to do it while you can.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
Mostly it was and is language. Before traveling, l would try and learn a few words in the language of wherever l am headed. It is still a challenge for me here, as my Spanish is practically non existent, and the Andalusian Spanish is tough, not like Mexican Spanish. It’s a work in progress, so a lot of pointing, using the wrong words etc.. make it fun and funny!
Kemkem on Blogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
I had thought about it for a long, long time, but finally bit the bullet about 10 months ago.
What makes your blog unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
What you see is what you get, corny jokes and all. I didn’t take writing classes so l could find 57 ways to say “cold”, and if people like it..well then..cherry on top. I write like l am talking to and with a friend, not talking at them. I hope that comes across. I, personally, tend to gravitate towards the same kind of friendly blogs.
What are the top three articles that you feel everyone should read on your blog?
- Budapest, Part 1 … 4 days were not enough!
- Barcelona, Part 2. El Born and Food!
- Valletta, Malta – Our Capital City
Who is your target audience?
Anyone and everyone who likes to travel in relative comfort. People curious about life in other places. I have never traveled with a backpack or stayed in a hostel, but l am frugal. I will search for the best deals, air and hotel/flat etc. I travel to enjoy, and really get a feel for a place, not to collect stamps in my passport. My target would be people who want to take “the next bite of life”or even the first bite 🙂
Kemkem on Life
Favorite travel (or life) quote:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer”- Frank Hebert, “Dune”
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
I believe l am my mother’s favorite among her 8 children. I refuse to be convinced otherwise! 🙂
What do your future travel plans for 2015 include?
I never plan too far ahead travel wise, but this year l think Morocco within the next month, Dubai, Portugal, Prague, Copenhagen in the next 6 months or so, and London in November.
Interested in finding out more about Kemkem and her travels around the world?