Kay Apkan felt sick when her family stopped at an RV park in Galveston, Texas.
Having traveled the country full-time since 2020, the Upkan family were used to being the only black people in some areas, but this time it felt different.
“It was very scary” confederate flag Flew from a nearby RV or golf cart.
She was worried about her son Aiden, who likes to go exploring on his bike.
“In a place like that… what if he was riding somewhere and someone saw him and thought he said something or did something? take matters into your own hands?” said Upkan fearfully. Emmett Till situation. “
She knew she had to get out of there, but many families of color don’t always know what to expect or what to expect. where to turn when they travel. So Apkan took matters into their own hands and created a community.
“We just want to see more of us”:The Importance of Meeting People Like You While Traveling
“Which part of Africa are you from?”:The black tourist experience is different
Appkan known as Mom Trotter He has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers across social media and founded Facebook groups and non-profit organizations. black kids do travel “Let families see the world and encourage black families to get out.”
When she and her husband sold their first home in 2020 and went on adventures with their son in their RV, she found plenty of Facebook groups for people to share their photos. nomadic life and love to travel.
“But every time I post about traveling as a family of color…every time I’m like, ‘Can I go here?’ or “How are you feeling?” People were always downplaying my feelings,” she said.
First, Upkan said she felt the gaslight“I realize it’s because they’ve never been through it. They don’t know what it’s like to travel as a black woman,” she said.
According to MMGY Global’s 2021 research report, more than 70% of black travelers from the US and Canada consider safety to be very or very important when choosing a destination. The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities and Prioritiessurveyed over 2,100 black leisure travelers in both countries.
“Traveling with children is complicated, but given that we are a black family, we need extra consideration to make sure we are all safe and comfortable. we explore The world,” Courtney, Justin, and Orzias share their nomadic journey Oh Family Adventures On Instagram, he told USA TODAY. They are one of 11,000 members in the Black Kids Do Travel community.
“Having a space like Black Kids Do Travel is important because we can support other families who look like us and have similar considerations and concerns while traveling,” they said. Told. “I can get good feedback about the place and share concerns that others may not be able to relate to.”
The Orguias, who have two young children, say the group not only offers travel tips and inspiration, but also explores potential destinations and consults with other parents to help them make better decisions. He says it helps him feel ready.
Sun, sand and civil rights:Debunking black history on the beach and beyond
“They paved the way”:How the Buffalo Soldiers Shaped America’s National Parks
A new beginning
“It’s really grown over the years, and every time I join the group, my family says, ‘It’s my first time on a plane. It’s my first time here. . I took them, but I wouldn’t have been able to do this without this group.” Apkan smiled.
She recognizes that it may sound like a small accomplishment to those who travel frequently, but “the Black Kids Do Travel group has never left their hometown and never left their zip code.” There are adults who don’t have.This is so many new beginnings and the divide is…so crazy,” she said. “For us, it’s a big deal.”
“Sometimes you just need to see someone like you doing something to you.
Her family is living proof.
In addition to exploring the country by RV, they try to travel abroad at least once a month. Her favorite destinations include Brazil, Colombia and Taiwan, which she liked so much that she considered moving there. Her son Aiden’s favorite country is El Salvador.
“I loved the food and the black sand beach,” he said, raving about the surfing, ziplining and other activities there.
“When my parents ask me where I want to go on a trip…it’s fun, so always say so,” he advised his peers. “I want other children to know that they can learn a lot from traveling, especially more than they can learn from books.”
Apkan encourages you to start small, even if it’s just attending a cultural event or trying foreign cuisine in your own town.
“You don’t have to take a plane or a cruise ship to travel somewhere. Get out of your comfort zone and get in the car,” she said. “It could be your next road trip or a short flight to another state. Eat a little bit at a time and you’ll be comfortable going further afield.”
MAKE HISTORY:First Black Woman to Visit Every Country Shares Travel Tips and Lessons
This is America:Challenging Black Pleasure