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Black Men Travel Series Gary: Traveling The World Makes You Well-Rounded

black-men-travel-series-gary-traveling-the-world-makes-you-well-rounded

I think seeing the world outside of the bubble you currently reside in makes anyone (regardless of race or gender) a well-rounded and worldly citizen.

The Chronicles Abroad team is featuring Gary of Catch G If U Can, a travel and lifestyle blog. It’s a space for those who would like to take a break from “adulting” every now and again and enjoy what life has to offer through travel. He talks about how to balance that corporate America life with wanderlust.

How many countries have you visited?

So far, I’ve visited. 25

What has been your favorite country to visit and why?

Egypt.

It was a major solo travel trip for me. I was there for two weeks. I fulfilled a dream since I was a child of seeing Egypt. In the past I studied Bible stories of Ancient Egypt and learning about the country’s history and mythology in elementary school.

I spent time in Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor. The trip included a heavy dose of culture and exploring; along with some luxury experiences.

In fact, I was actually there when the 45th President of the United States was elected. Though I was saddened by the outcome of that election, being able to watch the sunset over the Nile River each evening was a great distraction.

Tell us a little about how your travel journey began.

black-men-travel-series-gary-traveling-the-world-makes-you-well-rounded

Though I had visited a few countries before extensive travel, it wasn’t until I caught the ‘Great Etihad Deal of 2014’ where I really caught the travel bug. I went on my first solo trip because of that deal and it was to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Since then I made it my business to make travel happen. I figured out how to see the world for reasonable costs. Which turned me into a make-shift spokesperson about travel for those thriving in Corporate America to help them balance that aspect of their lives with being a wanderlust.

What has been your experience traveling overseas as a Black man?

So far, no real issues. I did notice that because I am lighter skinned, that when I travel to countries like Egypt or anywhere in the Middle East, they mistaken for a local…especially if I am wearing something on my head. When I travel to Asian countries, it seems like I am treated a bit like a celebrity, which I find weird.

Have you ever been subjected to certain stereotypes while traveling?

Nothing negative. It’s often assumed that I am low key rich, though.

Women seem to dominate the travel industry, what do you think holds men back from traveling?

Great question. I actually have no idea. I researched this question as well, and it looks like nobody really knows, LOL.

With today’s social and political climate, how has venturing abroad altered your worldview?

One thing that really sticks out to me is that racism and colorism are definitely prevalent in other countries. Oftentimes I’ve seen many Americans assume that The U.S. is the poster child for racism.

I don’t think that’s the case anymore. In fact, I’ve seen it with my own eyes in places like South Africa, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Why do you think it’s important for Black men to travel?

black-men-travel-series-gary-traveling-the-world-makes-you-well-rounded

I think seeing the world outside of the bubble you currently reside in makes anyone (regardless of race or gender) a well-rounded and worldly citizen.

In addition, forcing yourself to travel and see the world also encourages you to actually take time away from working––which has been said to be a major struggle, especially for those with full-time jobs.

What have you learned about other cultures through your travels?

I’ve learned that tradition and history play major roles in many other cultures. In The U.S., there’s a general desire to challenge tradition and go against what was done in the past.

This is totally understandable given some of the horrible acts that plagued our country’s past. That “rebellious” spirit, however, doesn’t seem to be as present in many of the countries I’ve visited.

What have you learned specifically about yourself after traveling the world as much as you have?

Overtime, I’ve learned that I am very particular with how I plan my time. When I want to chill, I want to chill. When I want to explore or check off some “must dos,” that’s exactly what I’m going to do, regardless of if I’m tired or not.

This is why I love traveling solo. If I do travel with others, they just have to understand that I may separate from them at one point or another on our destination(s).

What is the one piece of advice you would give someone, especially men of color who want to travel?

black-men-travel-series-gary-traveling-the-world-makes-you-well-rounded

Book now…plan later! Now, traveling – domestic and internationally – can cost you the equivalent of a nice pair of shoes, or a couple nights at the bar.

There are a number of websites and social media accounts that provide minute-by-minute deals that can get you on an affordable flight. Book the ticket, tell your friends about the deal(s), and if they decide to join, cool! If not…go solo!

Where can our readers find you on social media?

They can catch me on Instagram @CatchGifUcan, Twitter, and Facebook through CatchGifUcan.

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Are you a Black man traveling? We’d love to hear your story. Send us an email at info@chroniclesabroad.com.

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