Saturday, February 12, 2011

For those of us who are visual learners- traveling is first class!

Mike and DeeDee at Tijuca National Park in Rio 2010

DeeDee Webb

1.      What message do have for students who want to travel?

 I am a visual learner and I am inquisitive by nature.  The best history lesson you will ever have is traveling…period….no book can inspire to appreciate life as much as traveling!

For those of us who are visual learners - traveling is first class EVAH!

2.      What are your childhood memories of travel ?

We never ventured past the Texas border.

3. Where did you dream of traveling when you were a child?
  Because my family never discussed their travels or desires to travel, I grew up dreaming Houston was it!

3.      Did you travel as a child?


4.      What did you learn as a child about the expectation for black people to travel?

We just didn’t do it – it was never discussed.

DeeDee on the way  to Rio Platforma Show

5.      Did you admire or know of any Black people that traveled when you were a child?


6.      Why should Black people travel?

For the cultural and rich experience of seeing “us”.  Far too many Europeans have a negative history of Black America.  At times – dare I say, their ignorance shows. But for Black America – we need to stop saying…”Oh chile, I travels [sic]” just because they go to Jamaica, a cruise or the Caribbean. Those places are nice, but after you come from the beach, what is it to do?  Jump the pond and wave at the queen, rub elbows at Versailles, say hey to Napoleon, climb the Eiffel tower, tour the coliseum, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel! (Yes, I’ve done all that)

Versailles, France 2005 Royal Bedroom

7.      What was your first Trip?

 My very first trip was to the Bahamas, celebrating my 40th birthday!
8.      How did you plan for it?

Actually, it was a cruise, organized by a friend.

9.      What was your experience there?

  positive experience – I’m not sure if I can say I like the Bahamas because it was a cruise and you are somewhat limited by what you can do – but overall, it was okay.

 negative experience – it was interesting when we got off the cruise ship in the Bahamas.  The school children and braid vendors went straight for my white friend and passed me up completely. See what I mean?  We need to get people used to the idea that Black American’s can travel and we can be a source of revenue for locals.

10.  Was your travel experience what you expected?

 No because I found out that I wasn’t a cruise person or a beach person.  Better to experienced something, than nothing at all….right?

Mike at Rio Platforma Show 2010

11.  How is your travel experience as a Black traveler different from what you perceive as a White traveler?

 I will tell you a story.  I was in Paris in 2005, two weeks before the Riots started when the two African youths were chased by police and in order to escape jumped a fence and were electrocuted.  I was walking down the Seine just before the Latin Quarter.  I passed a restaurant that many individuals has crossed and suddenly out of nowhere, this big black dog lunged at me growling.  The owner came out and secured the animal and apologized, but I looked around at everyone that had passed before me and they were white.  I came to my own conclusion that the dog was trained to attack people of color.  Say what you want, but after 6 years, that is still fresh on my mind. 

DeeDee in front of famous Black American Author, James Baldwin's Apartment Paris, France 2005

  Second a White travel writer or vacationer, never gets into the African American experience when traveling.  They seldom venture or plan trips to where they can experience or learn about black culture in other countries – unless it’s for TV, a humanitarian “look at me” expedition or the African safari. 

12.  What is your voice as a Black travel blogger?

 My voice says, it can be done, it must be done and this is how I did it! Traveling should never hurt you physically, mentally or financially.  I make a financial deal with myself to never spend more than 3K when traveling to Europe.  I am not a bourgeois-ghetto type chick.  I stay in B&B, apartments, dorm rooms, or simple accommodations (never hostels).  I take the public transportation and if I don’t pay retail in Houston, then I won’t pay it abroad.  I tell all my friends you can go almost anywhere in the world for less than 3K, if you plan it right.  I have not broke my ritual yet!

Beginning of Rio Platforma  Show

13.  Where do you dream of traveling now? Why?

  My next trip will be in shorter stages.  Since I’ve gotten used to travels in Europe, I am a little bit more comfortable in my efforts to see as much as I can.  My next trip is as follows: 
                                                  i.      1.5 days:    London – probably the last time – if God say the same.
                                                ii.      1.5 days:    Paris – never the last time – this is my European home.
                                              iii.      1 day:        Milan – see the “Last Supper” – nothing else I want to see.
                                              iv.      2 days:       Venice – never been
                                                v.      ½ day:       Pisa – Leaning Tower next to the train station, jump on/jump
off/jump on!
                                              vi.      ½ day:       Pompeii:  Mt. Vesuvius – told it was worth the trip
                                            vii.      2 days:       Rome: Tour the coliseum this time and party!

14.  Anything else you would like to add?

  Check out my travel website…  It’s not entirely finished, it’s a work in progress, but I love it!

DeeDee and Mike in front of Jesus