Is there anywhere you want to visit? Perhaps, you have pictures and books that describe a dream destination. Are you delaying traveling until the kids leave the house or when you get that raise?
There are multiple factors to consider when planning a trip.
Do you despise long car rides and lines at the airport? Spending hours in a car, bus, or train is not for everyone. I have uncles and aunties who are afraid of flying. So I understand if this is where you are today.
For me, there are a few spots that I still want to experience in person. I have yet to travel to France, Italy, Egypt, South Africa, and Japan. Before this summer, traveling to Arizona and seeing the Grand Canyon was also on my wish list of places to visit.
We took a weekend road trip from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon Village in Arizona. To share the experience with my children made it meaningful and worrisome.
The header picture of this post shares the beauty of the Grand Canyon's South Rim. You can't see the other tourists and locals on the nearby path or in the community where we booked an Airbnb.
Some of their eyes said something that partial smiles could not conceal. No one dared to ask whatever questions they had about us. They just stared.
Maybe I was wrong. Everyone who seemed perplexed by our presence was not thinking about us; they were just having a bad day. It's tough to know for sure because when race and ego get in bed together, they make confusion.
The large "Let’s Go Brandon,” sign off the Arizona expressway clarified the need to consider safety during our weekend stay. “Let’s Go Brandon” is a pseudo-coded statement that translates to F*!K President Joe Biden. Conservative republicans and Trump's comrades make signs and wear clothes with the slogan.
Did you know that I live on an island where 90% of the population is of African descent? Yup, the slave trade did its thing in the Caribbean islands.
Life abroad kept me away from communities of Trump supporters and the push to redefine the United States as a republic, but I didn't forget survival protocols. I decided not to run in the early morning or late at night. In a town where men exercise their rights to bear Arms and open carry them on holsters straight out of a western film, a Black man jogging in the dark might end with sweat or blood oozing from his pores.
It's the luck of the draw.
Look at what happened to Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia to justify the previous two sentences.
The two-hour hike with my family served as my exercise on the day we went to the Grand Canyon. We took lots of pictures, veered off the paved path, and stopped at the museum. I also captured some video footage that included a moment of me doing a few capoeira movements.
Where can you see the images and videos? When I return to social media in 2023, I will post highlights from 2022. The Grand Canyon shots will appear on my timeline.
Our overall experience was good despite the bad vibes we picked up from other people. Most of the restaurant and souvenir shop employees welcomed us. We kept our Friday pizza tradition and bought some gifts.
Traveling always teaches you something.
The trip to the Grand Canyon taught me a couple of things. First, I've only seen a fraction of the beauty in this world. When my finances permit, I need to explore more of this incredible planet. Second, when in circles where most of the people do not look like me, remember to expect the unavoidable stares and always take safety precautions. This second observation is not a call to stay paranoid; it’s an alarm clock to stay woke.
If there's a trip, you want to take, set a date on your calendar, and start to make plans. Maybe, you will need to save some money. Start with putting one dollar away, and then subscribe to this free blog for more traveling reflections.