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.
Nate on Traveling
How were you exposed to traveling?
As a child, I made frequent trips (at least twice a year until I was 20) to my parent’s birthplace, Jamaica. However, it wasn’t until I studied abroad in 2009 to Sheffield, England that I got my true taste of international traveling. Since then, my mind has constantly been set to, “where to next?!”
What motivated you to make travel a part of your life?
I remember growing up I always wanted to travel the world. No particular reason aside from just a want. When I was in middle school I remember students traveling for 1-2 weeks internationally on school trips. I knew better than to ask my mother to pay the hefty price tag (at least at the age of 14 it seemed expensive). Therefore, travel was then moved to the “rich and famous” category.
After studying abroad, I’ve realized how fundamentally I have changed once I ventured outside of my neighborhood. Travel is not only possible if you allow it, but it’s an experience, one that nurtures growth.
It quickly became crystal clear that the further I go the more the world opens me up. When you travel you remove labels, befriend strangers, become a storyteller, look beyond what’s in front of you, but most importantly, you exhaust yourself in a fulfilling life. This is what continues to motivate me each and every day.
Nate on Table Top Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
What is your most memorable travel experience to date?
There have been so many. At this very moment, I would say my trip to the Maldives. It was insane! I think the mere fact that I never thought I would visit the island until I became somewhat wealthy or at least in a solid relationship so that I wouldn’t have to bear the full cost alone, is what made this trip so special. I feel as though I skipped all the steps on the travel ladder and went straight to the top with this destination. I had a blast and was proud to check the Maldives off my bucket list earlier than expected.
How many places have you traveled to so far?
So far, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting 44 countries with Indonesia, Vietnam, The UAE, Costa Rica and South Africa being some of my favorites.
Nate in Shanghai, China
What is the greatest lesson you have learned on the road?
My greatest lesson on the road has been traveling far enough and finding yourself. I cannot stress how many times I’ve had that “ah-ha” moment, where everything in life made sense.
Your insecurities, flaws, likes and dislikes are all revealed on the road. You’re forced to face them, adapt, push forward, and reshape yourself as a person. It’s a rewarding experience.
What has been your biggest challenge on the road and how did you overcome it?
I can’t say that I have come across many challenges while traveling. Of course, there’s the moments filled with awkward stares for being “different”, but nothing I can’t handle. I’ve never been homesick, felt threatened, or suffered from any regrets. I hope this path continues. But I openly welcome anything (well, most things) that will challenge me and help me figure out who the heck I am.
Nate Skydiving in Dubai
Nate on Blogging
When did you decide that you wanted to become a travel blogger?
I decided about 3 years ago that I wanted to become a travel blogger. My goal is to influence everyone to travel and experience the world.
If there’s anyone that felt the same way I did when I was 14 years old observing my peers travel and assuming it wasn’t possible, I want to remove those thoughts. Moving forward, I do want to do more video blogs.
What makes your blog unique in comparison to other travel blogs?
Honestly, most travel blogs will capture the same thing to a certain extent. Vagabonding Heights is simply my garage of dreams. It’s all the things I’ve ever wanted to experience and continue to experience throughout my lifetime. Sharing my experiences with the online community and helping others trek around the world is all I care about.
What are the top three articles that you feel everyone should read on your blog?
My top three articles would be:
Who is your target audience?
Anyone that is interested in falling in love with cities they have never been to!
Nate on Boracay Island in the Philippines
Nate on Life
Favorite travel (or life) quote:
“Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.”
If you dissect this quote you will see it relates to all aspects of life. Whether it’s a new career change or obstacles you may be facing, these life experiences that the world is throwing at you will forever be your biggest form of retrospection that will guide you in the future. My travel experiences have done that for me.
What is something that your readers do not know about you?
That I’m quite charming, haha!
I would say that I am the biggest nervous wreck about ALL the wrong things while traveling – “Is someone going to take my overhead compartment on the plane”, “What if I’m not seated in the first three rows of the aircraft”, or “Will the hotel have towels that won’t make my face itch.” This is nonsense that gives me anxiety before a trip.
What do your future travel plans for 2015 include?
For 2015, I have Uruguay, Argentina, Tanzania, Kenya, UAE, and Azores Island booked so far!
Nate Sandboarding in Dubai
Interested in finding out more about Nate and his travels around the world?