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 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.
Meet Kandia of the travel blog Lady Bugs in Wonderland. Kandia has been doing solo, family, and luxury traveling for the past 9 years. In addition to her travel blog, Kandia is also a global contributor to Black Enterprise.
Kandia on Travel
How were you exposed to traveling?
My appetite to explore was born at 7 years old. I traveled alone to school taking 2 NYC Mass Transit buses. I would purposefully get off the bus, walk around and explore. At that time I had no clue about how big the world was but I knew I wanted to keep getting lost on purpose.
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
I am a life long learner. Travel is the best education. I took my first solo trip to Italy and felt incredibly empowered. Travel also plays a huge part in my career in Communications.
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
Dancing with a tribe in Africa.
How many places have you traveled to so far?
18 countries…many states around the US.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
Be flexible. Sometimes the best plans are unplanned. Leave your judgment at the airport departure gate.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
Understanding that every country operates differently. The United States isn’t the end all be all. Before you depart, research cultural differences so that you can prepare and respect cultural differences (e.g., In Egypt keep toilet paper handy and some places charge you to use bathroom facilities. In Italy, most restaurants & stores close during a long period in the afternoon. And, service is not rushed.)
Kandia on Travel Blogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
In 2012. After traveling for about 3 years, my friends, family, and work colleagues were always intrigued by my passion for travel, especially my solo adventures. I wanted to share my passion and let everyone see that even while working a full-time job you could travel. And, I wanted to challenge the myth that African Americans only travel to the Caribbean. “Yes I’m black and I love to travel to Asia, Africa, Europe, and any other place that has great shopping, food, and culture.
What makes your blog unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
Well, I don’t travel full time. So on any given day, my “Wonderland” may be about the Hawker Stalls in Asia or a local event in the NYC/NJ area.
What are the top three articles that you feel everyone should read on your blog?
- 7 Signs You Are an Obnoxious American Tourist
- Should I Date While Traveling Solo
- I Thought I Had Rhythm Before I Dined at Gold Restaurant, Cape Town
Who is your target audience?
My target audience is women 33-45. Surprisingly I have a lot of men that follow me too.
Kandia on Life
Favorite travel quote:
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
I resigned from my last employer because of my rigorous travel schedule J. Be careful what you ask for, I prayed for a job with travel. Now I’ve learned to pray for travel on my own terms.
Want to learn more about Kandia? Find her here:
Travel Blog: Ladybugs in Wonderland // Twitter: @KandiaJohnson