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Meet Briona, a Black nomad, author, foodie and a lover of adventures world wide. Briona’s life is inspiring, little doubt the fantastic photos of meals or poetry excerpts assist to persuade us of that. Extra spectacular? Her capacity to forge lovely connections wherever she touches down- all whereas documenting it to encourage Black individuals globally.
On this Journey Noire interview, Briona shares precisely how she ‘nomads’, her love for the continent, connecting with the Diaspora and her dos and don’ts of this way of life.
Inform us about your self
My title is Briona (she/her). I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I’m an award-winning journey journalist, Black historical past author, and poet. All of my work is ever an ode to Black life, particularly Black girls. I’m a 2x London expat and am at the moment digital nomading world wide, not too long ago spending just a few weeks in Mexico with shorter stints in The Dominican Republic, Dubai, UAE, and France.
I run a Black journey neighborhood known as Buoyant–named for our individuals’s carefree and resilient spirits. We host group journeys and meet up’s globally. Since 2019, our signature group journey has been to Ghana each December, and it’s one in every of my favourite issues on the earth (and part of my life’s work) to attach Black diasporans with the continent. We’ve had Black of us from in all places, together with the US, France, Jamaica, Cameroon, Haiti, and so forth.
When did you begin touring?
I began touring in 2016 throughout my first examine overseas expertise in London. It was a whirlwind of a time–in one of the best ways doable–so I haven’t stayed put since. After I was a freshman in school, my mother heard about learning overseas from a coworker and inspired me to study extra about my college’s applications. Truthfully, it wasn’t one thing that ever crossed my thoughts as a result of I didn’t know anybody personally who was globetrotting. I grew up on Southern street journeys and touring to amusement parks with my household.
By my junior 12 months of school, I used to be off to London, leaving the US for the primary time at twenty years previous and solo–nobody else from my college was learning in London that semester, so I used to be really alone. It ended up being the perfect semester of my life, and it palms down made up for the largest remorse of my life: attending a PWI as an alternative of an HBCU.
Whereas learning in London, my pals and I spent spring break hopping round Europe. The complete expertise taught me loads in regards to the world outdoors of what I used to be used to, and it sparked my profession in writing about journey and meals. In 2018, I went again to London once more to check for my grasp’s diploma, however actually, an enormous a part of my choice to return was to journey and see extra of the world. It’s the perfect factor I’ve ever executed.
What attracts you most in regards to the nomad life?
I benefit from the independence and “freedom” of dwelling a nomadic life. As a Black lady within the US and the descendant of enslaved Africans, being “free” within the US is just not one thing my individuals nor I’ve ever really identified. We expertise pockets of freedom like at cookouts and household reunions, our being surrounded by Black of us at block events or festivals, particularly throughout celebrations like Juneteenth.
However these moments are fleeting, and being in a Black physique in America means to be in a perpetual state of questioning, anger, grief, and all the time underneath the thumb of white supremacy. It takes a toll on us all, and touring elsewhere, notably to Black majority international locations, gives an unmatched aid the place I can simply be–even when briefly.
I hope that as many Black individuals, particularly these born and dwelling in white-majority international locations, get to expertise life outdoors our present realities. My full-time distant position and freelancing aspect hustles are the one method I can journey steadily. After getting my first style of distant work throughout a school internship, I deliberately crafted my profession this manner. Whether or not it’s full-time digital nomadism or taking quick holidays just a few occasions a 12 months, I would like all my individuals to be as near feeling liberated of their minds and our bodies as doable, and touring is only one method to take action.
Specializing in being a foodie, that are the perfect locations for touring foodies?
I’m a foodie by means of and thru. A number of the finest locations I’ve eaten world wide are Mexico, Ghana, and my hometown, Baltimore. London is an honorable point out as a result of I’ve eaten my method across the metropolis for years, and it’s an underrated meals metropolis, however actually, you’ll find nearly each delicacies on the earth there.
What are your dos and don’ts as a nomadic traveler?
My nomadic traveler do’s are: date in different international locations, say ‘sure’ to new issues as typically as doable, doc your experiences (whether or not journaling or posting content material on-line), go to occasions/meet-ups to search out different like-minded of us, meet locals, all the time discover good meals, search for different Black individuals in all places and communicate with individuals you meet alongside the way in which.
My don’ts are: being close-minded, not sharing your location/journey particulars with family members, consuming boringly, and staying in uncomfortable lodging simply to avoid wasting a greenback.
The place is your favourite place on the earth (to this point)?
My favourite place on the earth is Ghana, and my future favourite place on the earth will all the time be on the continent. There is no such thing as a place the place I’ve ever felt really free on this physique besides Ghana. Whenever you stay a life continuously surrounded by white supremacy and all of its ills, it’s unimaginable to not really feel “at dwelling” in a spot like Ghana, the place everybody seems to be like me, and I don’t need to concern for my life continuously. There is no such thing as a higher feeling. Past the aid, the persons are lovely, the meals is immaculate, and each kind of terrain (from seashores to mountains) exists there. I now take into account it one in every of my second properties and can proceed to return many times for the remainder of my life.