The world has never been more accommodating to solo travelers. Since the age of 19 years old, I have been blessed to travel all around the states. Both of my brothers, one being my twin, were talented enough to play in the NFL for a total of 19 years. Together, they played for 8 different teams. I was blessed to see them play in 7 of those 8 states. I feel very honored and proud to say that I have visited 38 of the 50 states thus far. Solo travel doesn’t have to be expensive. This year, I started a personal travel fund in hopes of making traveling to the remaining 12 states a reality. It is important for young black women to travel and get experiences in other parts of the world. Experiences outside of our comfort zone helps to mold, shape and grow us into very fulfilled and powerful individuals. Not to mention that traveling is a ton of fun, solo or with a group!
I would be 19 years old before I would experience my first plane ride. My first time on a plane was during my second year of studying at The University of Virginia. My older brother, Thomas and I were headed to New York City to join the rest of my family to support him in the 2000 NFL draft. It would be held at Madison Square Garden. We were so excited. This was my first time visiting New York. Thomas ended up being drafted to the Arizona Cardinals as their first pic of the draft. As soon as I was given time to plan a trip to Arizona to see him play, I did. My first trip to Phoenix, Arizona was a true culture shock. Before I got off the plane, I noticed their were no mountains like in Virginia. Everything was flat and very dusty. There was sweltering heat, dust storms, scorpions and red clay with every step I took! It was very different but every time I visited my brother, we had an absolute blast.
The next solo trip I would take would be to Bristol, Connecticut. I had just graduated from UVA the day before. I was on my way to a job interview with ESPN as a Production Assistant. As soon as I got to my hotel, I ordered room service. I studied some notes in preparation for my interview the next day. On interview day, I received a first class tour of the ESPN headquarters and even though I did not get offered the position, I felt very accomplished and proud of my myself for taking advantage of the opportunity to experience something new, as well as travel to a new place alone!
Three years after graduating from college, I moved to Chicago, Illinois. This would be another solo trip I would be blessed to take. I would be pursuing a Bachelors degree in Interior Design at Harrington College of Design, which was in the middle of the city. I had landed a studio apartment in the middle of the Magnificent Mile. Although my brother was playing with the Chicago Bears, he lived about an hour away from downtown Chicago. I would only get to see him and other family on game day Sunday. Thus far, Chicago is my favorite city in the states!
Black woman can have serious growth no matter where we are traveling. It seems as if it is sometimes hard to get us out of our comfort zone. Most of us are too busy making a living that we forget to make a life. There are so many inexpensive ways for black women to travel in 2022. New experiences keep our minds and bodies rejuvenated. Traveling is a great way to challenge ourselves to sit with our own thoughts while taking in something new. It is also a major confidence booster. I’m excited to see where the future of solo travel is headed for black women! Here are some ways to travel on a budget in 2022!
- Start a travel fund.
- Travel during peak seasons of the year.
- Save money by driving to destinations that are close.
- Go places where you can stay with friends and family.
- Plan your trip at least 6 months in advance to get the best deals.