Planning "Black Culture" Vacations

By Cousins, Linda | Black Masks, May 31, 1990 | Go to article overview

Planning "Black Culture" Vacations


Cousins, Linda, Black Masks


Planning "Black Culture" Vacations

While vacationing in the islands, I simply love venturing out to a deserted beach to play my shekere to reggae rhythms next to the undulating waves of mother ocean. Curling up on the bed of an attractive, cozy hotel room for a period of relaxing reading is equally enjoyable. But when I'm ready to get out there and really see the place, deliver me (at least temporarily) from the predictable "touristy" kind of routine. My first question is, "Okay, now where are the folks? Where is the real heart and soul of this place?"

Being a historical researcher, I decided to prepare for my next journey by actually finding beforehand those "uniquely interesting Black places, spaces and faces" across the world. It's been a lot of fun doing so, and I'd love to share how you also can get to know the people and places you'll be vacationing, before you even leave your home city.

First, check with friends and associates who've visited or lived in the country you'll be visiting. They'll greatly enjoy telling you all about their travel experiences, recommending nice dwelling places, shops and restaurants and even perhaps, sharing the names of friends to contact who could show you around.

Your trip will probably be arranged by a travel agent. Try to find one who has visited and enjoyed the place. Take mental notes on personal tips she or he might slip between the standard travel jargon. A travel agent who is a native of the country you're visiting can be a fabulous resource.

Another good source of information is the country's Tourist Board and/or the information officer of their Consulate. Some tourist boards even have an interesting "Meet the People" program where upon your arrival you can be entertained by an individual or family sharing your interests, hobby or career. Sound fascinating?

The reference section of any large library will have travel guides and newsletters, as well as magazines featuring regular travel columns. I must have read and re-read collected magazine articles on the Caribbean a thousand times before journeying there. …

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