Current Location: USA
Tell us about you. Who is Nichole L?
I dunno why this is always the hardest question for me to ever answer. I tend to think too hard about it and start rambling! So I will keep it simple. I am a free spirit constantly evolving and forever a student of life.
Why do you travel? Who inspires you to travel?
I travel for freedom. There is nothing like picking a destination you have never been and becoming immersed in the culture and the people with no expectations. I feel closer to myself when traveling because I learn more about my intuition, instincts, my protective ways, things I like, etc. I am an “army brat” so we moved around a lot and a big part of me can’t sit still because of that, and I am grateful for that. I could not imagine a life without travel.
How often do you travel?
I am usually traveling somewhere once a month but internationally I try to get in three places abroad a year.
What determines your traveling destinations/plans?
The ticket price. I will usually purchase a ticket before I even know anything about the location if the price is right. Then I begin doing heavy research on the location and people. There are times where I will see images of a location first and search for good flight prices, but it's usually the ticket price that draws me in first.
Is there such a thing as a favorite vacation spot for you? Or a place you will easily revisit?
I am super hot weather beach bum and I will visit Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean as often as I can because of it, but I do not think there is a such thing as a favorite spot because I am from Florida and the beach was something I go to often. If I did not have the FL experience or have family that still lives in FL for me to visit my answer would be totally different.
Do you have a habit/routine that you stick to when when traveling?
I do not check a bag when I travel internationally. I usually have a backpack that I strategically pack to capacity and the extra purse they let you carry on. I always to go travel.gov to see if there are any alerts I need to know about the country I am traveling to. If I am staying at an airbnb I ask the host a slew of questions and I strategically pick my airbnbs by the reviews, who has stayed there, if they speak English, and how close they are to the destinations I plan to go to. I usually stay in several airbnbs to get a feel of the entire location if the location is spread out and the last airbnb is usually closests to the airport.
I make copies of everything and I let my family and bffs know my plans and they usually have a copy too of my information (passport, airbnb, etc.) I check with my phone carrier to see if I will have service and if not what I would need to do to get some kinds of service. I check currency and if I can, I usually exchange in the US. I actually research this in a big way because there is nothing like getting jipped while you are in another country!
I used to work a contract at the Department of State and I had to work on some of the embassy websites which was so fantastic because it helped me to know where to look on the web when I needed to know where an embassy was when I would be traveling. So when I check travel.gov I also go to the embassy site to see what’s new.
How have your experiences been traveling as a black woman solo? How about as a gay black woman? Is there a noticeable difference?
My overall experiences have been pretty good. I have never had any issues traveling as a black woman or a solo woman and because I travel solo my sexuality never really comes up. I have been slightly harassed by men, but I am pretty good at deflecting attention off of me when I travel solo and because I do lots of research before I travel, I usually don’t look like a tourist which is the goal.
What have you learned about yourself from traveling solo?
I learned that I could actually do it and on my terms. I learned to pay closer attention to my surroundings and that my intuition would not fail me.
Any words of wisdom for folks who want to travel?
GO FOR IT! Just get the ticket and then plan and research. Go with the flow but we wise. Trust your intuition and plan to have a real good time.