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Tag Archives TravellingWhileBlack

Why I Would Go Back To Lisbon Again & Again

I really enjoyed Portugal. I’ve been to many cities in the world, but Lisbon was one that I thought wow I will be coming back here again.


I enjoyed the sun, the culture, the architecture. It’ s a European city that is extraordinarily budget-friendly, and not to mention very easy to navigate and explore in-depth. Although I met my friends who were already there, so I didn’t get to experience everything. I still feel like what I did see was enough for me to want to go back again.

Why would I go back to Lisbon…

I would go back to Portugal for several reasons and if you’re interested in finding out why then carry on reading below:

Lisbon is so chilled…

Unlike every other European city, I’ve been too. I really enjoyed the calm and gentleness of the city. Of course, we had a few issues here and there, but overall the city had a sense of real welcomeness which I can assure you hasn’t happened in every country I’ve been too.

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A real, unique infrastructure…

Lisbon had a real mix of baroque and neoclassical buildings, including cathedrals and palaces. The city is a combination of old and new, with beautiful modern buildings constructed near renovated historical landmarks and ruins. I enjoyed the infrastructures because I hadn’t seen anything like it before it was covered with azulejo tiles, a style that’s rarely seen outside the country.

It’s an excellent place for new travellers

If you have considered travelling, but are yet to do so, then, I would suggest Lisbon. I clearly enjoyed Lisbon. I touch on the not so glam aspects and the exciting elements. I understand that if you aren’t a traveller, then travelling can sometimes be a little scary. However, Lisbon is a great place to start and shake off those travel fears (if you have them).

It is effortless to navigate, there is a metro, and uber is exceptionally cheap with great options for Airbnb stay.

There is a mixture of experiences

Lisbon is an excellent place for food. I enjoyed the egg tarts *the best I’ve ever had* and oh my there seafood was absolutely fantastic. I was blessed to go to one of the best seafood restaurants in town. If you would like to try then head over to Ramiro. Thank me later!

I also was given a lovely place by Temi @thepalateport to go to Bonjardim and it was absolutely amazing!

Travel Tip: Let people on your social know where you are. Try and engage with them, ask them what you should do! People usually come up with something.

I really enjoyed Lisbon, and I will most definitely be going back again. What about you have you made a trip to Lisbon? Is there a country you have loved and would like to go back too?

Also Read: Turn Your ‘Birthday Into A Lifestyle With These Tips

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Guest Post: Experienced Discrimination in Colombia

  1. First story

In my first year of living in Colombia, a group of girlfriends and I travelled to Cartagena. On one of the first nights, we went to a club called Bubaloos or something like that. We went in two separate groups, me being in the first. When we got there they told us the club was closed to a private event. Being our first time, we took it to be true and told our friends to meet us elsewhere. The next day we learned that other mutual friends had been there the night before and it began to sink in; they had turned us away because we weren’t the clientele they were seeking.

2. Second story

This is not quite travelling discrimination, but related to the stereotypes attached to black people in countries in which they are not the majority. While I was living in Santiago, Chile I had to experience being solicited as a sex worker at 4:30 in the afternoon as I walked to my apartment with grocery bags in tow.

After the shock and confusion wore off I asked Chilean friends why this had been assumed. The explanation was simple, if not completely limiting and infuriating: I was a black woman which meant I must have been Colombian and the only thing they “knew” about black Colombian women was they were prostitutes, particularly up in the mining towns in the north of the country. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last time.

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Guest Post: Experienced Discrimination in Sydney

Welcome to the first shared story of discrimination while travelling. When I read Rakiya story I totally emphasised because I myself went through a similar account when I travelled to Australia. I will have to save that story for another day, for now, please take the time to read: Have you ever experienced Discrimination While Travelling: Sydney

Arrival

After a 14-hour flight, I knew this was going to be the start to a great vacation. I always say, “long flights lead to beautiful destinations.” However, this time I was greatly mistaken. I had the worst experience with Sydney customs.

Airport

I felt they were racially profiling my boyfriend and I because we were the only people of colour. They pulled us away as soon as we grabbed our luggage took us to a private search looking through all our bags piece by piece. I wasn’t offended with the search of the luggage more so of the questions they asked my boyfriend and me. They asked questions like much money do you make a year, have you done any drugs recently such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin, can you afford your stay here? After asking those questions of course I had an attitude with them. I felt those questions were inappropriate, and not what I am typically used to going through customs.

Conclusion

I do believe Sydney customs are racists. As they checked our bags they noticed there was nothing illegal or questionable. This was the worst customs experience ever! So, please be aware of the customs in Sydney.

If you would like to read more of Rakiya story then please have a look at her website – The Sights of Sydney.

You may already know that I have now opened my blog to share other stories of discrimination while travelling. If you would like your account to be shared, please follow the link – Have you ever experienced discrimination?

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Things You Should Know If You’re Wrongfully Arrested Abroad

Going on a holiday usually involves a nice getaway for a few days of work. For me at least. It usually means I experience a view of a city or spend some time by the sea. Travelling for me is not only my form of escape but a time to educate and refresh myself for my return home. It never ever involves being arrested for a false accusation.

On the 1st of August, I was invited by my boyfriend to meet his parents. In the trip, I knew I wanted to see the sites of Athens. What I experienced still till this day has left me humiliated and traumatised. How things can be massively exaggerated and blow out of proportion is beyond understanding. If you are yet to read the full story please read the full story – Arrested at the Acropolis: What Really Happened. 

There is guidance already on what one should do if arrested in a foreign country. After the ordeal of what I went through, I would suggest every single person that travels to read them. They can be found on this link – Help if you’re arrested abroad 

Protect yourself if you are arrested:

In all the countries I have been I have never ever been arrested! I feel it’s essential to know the following things below:

  • Know the number of the British Embassy for the country you are travelling too
  • Do not sign anything unless you fully understand what is being asked.
  • Contact your local embassy immediately
  • Request for a lawyer and a translator
  • Always have some form of identification with you on your person
  • Never argue with the local authorities
  • Tell the truth
  • Importantly stay calm and comply with the authorities

Looking back at the incident now, I don’t know how this could have been avoided. It could have happened anywhere and to anyone, but it occurred to me in Greece Athens, a country notoriously known for racism.

The Golden Dawn was a party that sat in the Greek parliament; and one of most far-right parties in Europe. While the party itself rejects the fascist label, it nonetheless espouses all core fascist- and more specifically Nazi- principles.

Five things you should be aware if you are ever arrested in a foreign country.

You can call the British Embassy

The first thing to do if you can is to ring the local British Embassy. There is an emergency contact number which you can also contact if the local embassy is closed. Unfortunately, I was unable to get through to the embassy at the time. One, I was hysterical and two my phone wasn’t allowing me to make calls.

When you do speak with the embassy, be sure to explain to them what happened clearly. They will advise you on what next to do, make them aware of where you are currently. The embassy can also arrange for friends and family to be informed. So be sure to identify someone you deeply trust.

Do not argue with the authorities (comply)

Comply with whatever the authorities ask you to do (within reason). This can be difficult if there is a language barrier. Do not sign anything you do not understand.

I was able to know what I needed to do next through signals. If they make signals for you to move or they are pushing you out of a site. I would advise you to comply and not argue.

Ask for a Translator 

According to the Acropolis, Police Station was convinced that they couldn’t provide me with any legal advice or a lawyer. This made me extremely uncomfortable, but there wasn’t much I could do at the time. I was very fortunate that my boyfriend agreed to translate the statement. If you can get a professional please do so.

Ask for Legal Support  

As a British Citizen, if arrested, you’re entitled to a lawyer and a translator. I, unfortunately, didn’t to receive any of these benefits until I was presented at court. Once you have contacted the British Embassy, they should be able to consult with what you should do next.

Remain calm  

This has to be the most important advice I can give you. You won’t really know or understand what is going on. In such an ordeal, many people will be telling you different bits of information. Try and remain calm in shock, you won’t understand what is going on.

If possible, try and remain calm because it can be terrifying. It was most certainly the scariest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Moreover, I hope and pray that I never go through such an incident again. What helped me the most was having the love and support from you all. It really assured me that your prayers would be rightfully answered.

If you know you have done nothing wrong, then you have no reason to be at fault. I was able to speak the truth and immediately acquitted.

Thank you for taking the time to share, read and show your continued support. You may already know that I have now opened my blog to share other stories of discrimination while travelling. If you would like your account to be shared, please follow the link – Have you ever experienced discrimination?

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