Culture

Black Queer Travel Guide

2 black women traveling

You’ve been on lockdown for more than a year and that meant little to NO TRAVELING! It’s been an extremely rough year for you but you made the best of it. We’re so proud of you! You had to adjust to this “new normal” way of living. Now, vaccines have rolled out and it appears that the world will open back up soon. So, as you find yourself searching for flights, where are you headed? Where are you traveling once the pandemic ends? 

If you’re black AND queer, like us, you might feel that travel is limited for you. Being black and queer can appear challenging, especially when it comes to the topic of traveling internationally. You might find yourself googling “is it safe to travel here?” We all wonder if we’ll be greeted by negativity on our next destination. 

Hopefully, we can help you out some! We had the pleasure of speaking with some amazing queer travelers. These beautiful humans have traveled internationally to some really cool places. And we wanted to get their input on how to travel while black and queer. They were happy to be a resource for our blog. So please, check out their social media accounts and give them a follow too! 

Meet Kuroi and Sarah

2 black women posing in front of body of water, smiling. Black queer travel
Cenote Crystal e Escondido, Tulum Mexico

Kuroi and Sarah (she/her) are both in their mid/late twenties and identify as queer. Sarah was born and raised in Haiti and Kuroi was born and raised in the USA with Jamaican and Portuguese Heritage. 

Where have you all traveled so far? 

We have traveled to numerous destinations individually, before we met. Since being together for 2 years we’ve been to: 

Cartagena, Columbia

Phuket, Thailand

Tulum, Mexico 

What was your favorite place you’ve traveled? Why? 

Phuket was our favorite place we’ve traveled to because we really enjoyed the food, and the adventures that Phuket had to offer, despite us traveling there in March 2020, right before the whole world shut down. There was still very much to do and the people and culture there is amazing. 

2 women bathing an elephant with a waterhole, laughing and smiling. Black queer travel
Elephant Sanctuary, Phuket Thailand

What was your least favorite? Why?

We’ve loved all of the destinations we’ve been to so far. 

Where to next on your destination list?

After a recent move, we have decided to stay in the states [United States] for a little while and visit some different states and their national parks. Our next destination is Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. 

How do you decide on a travel location? 

We have a running list of places we want to see and when it’s time to plan a trip we simply go off of what destination would make the most sense given the season, budget etc. 

Walk us through your typical day of vacationing.

We always make an itinerary for most of the duration of our stay. We book activities beforehand. We also leave a day or so where we can really do whatever we feel like. Although planning is important, it’s also good to just have a day to do something spontaneous. 

2 women standing under Raw Love sculpture in Tulum, Mexico. Black queer travel
Raw Love, Tulum, Mexico

We usually start off our vacation with an activity that would allow us to get a feel of the area we are staying in, and hopefully talk to some locals. These activities would include visiting a bar or a restaurant nearby. If it is walkable we will walk as opposed to driving or taking a taxi. That way we can really see what’s around. 

Another important thing to consider is where you would like to eat. It sounds silly but when you are visiting a new place it’s good to have a list of restaurants that we’ve already vetted (i.e. read the google review) so that way you spend less time trying to figure out where you should go for lunch or dinner. You don’t have to go to all the places on the list but it’s good to have some options. 

Keep in mind we don’t book every hour of every day with activities, because we still want that spontaneity when traveling. 

What would you tell your younger self about traveling? 

We would tell our younger selves, there’s no place not worth seeing!

Travel far and travel often. 

2 women centered, kissing. 4 women in traditional Palenqueras dress surrounding them with fruit. Black queer travel
Walled city Cartagena Columbia: pictured with the Palenqueras

Travel Safety Tips

What are some important safety tips for lgbtq travelers? 

1 We have not experienced anything negative while traveling as a LGBTQ+ couple. Through our experience we find that traveling as a LGBTQ+ couple is not any different; however we would say always research the local laws on homosexuality and the country’s attitude towards their local LGBTQ+ community. 

2 Be sure to know where you are at all times, know the local police number, it’s also good to have the address and phone number of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in that country. 

3 Have an emergency contact back home, be sure they have a copy of your itinerary so that way they’ll know where you are or where you’re supposed to be. 

4 Most importantly; don’t be be afraid to be yourself and Queer! 

Have you ever felt unsafe traveling? 

We have never felt unsafe while traveling. Be vigilant, do your research before heading to a foreign country, and take precautions so you can have peace of mind. 

2 black women posing for a picture in zipline gear.
Skyline adventure, Phuket, Thailand

Are there specific places you recommend for other lgbtq travelers? Why? 

We would definitely recommend Thailand, everyone there was very friendly and they also have a pretty big local LGBT+ community. 

Tulum would be another one we would recommend; always felt safe there, We felt a sense of home and community while we were there. 

Thank you so much, Kuroi and Sarah. Keep traveling and inspiring others.

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