You see these badass influencers crushing it on the gram and know they got a story to tell. Not the branded narrative promoting a product or service (no shade) but the important stuff like, why they think it’s crucial for women of color to travel, or how to discover the best of a destination in a short period of time. We cornered your favorite Globetrotting Stilettos and asked the burning questions we know you want answers to. 60 seconds is all you need to walk away feeling satisfied.
GTS: Last year Essence named you one of nine Travel Instagram accounts to be following, and earlier this year you were a panelist at Blavity’s Empower Her conference. You’re a pretty vital member of the black travel movement, how does it feel?
TRACEY: Great! The Essence thing came out of nowhere. It was really cool for them to pick me. They narrowed it down to nine and I knew half of the women on the list. A perk of being featured is meeting other people in the community that do the same thing I do. Every time I’m invited to speak or participate, I’m humbled. I’m thankful that people find value in what I’m sharing.
GTS: We tried but couldn’t tally up all the cities, countries and continents you’ve visited, do you keep count?
TRACEY: Absolutely not! People ask me that question all the time and I think that’s the reason I don’t want to know. If I had to guess I would say around 30. I honestly don’t keep track, but when I do count it’s really cool to be like, “oh, I forgot about that country.” I’m just not about that comparison life, like, “oh, I’ve been more places than you.” I don’t tally, I just travel.
GTS: Love that! Speaking of traveling, why do you travel?
TRACEY: Honest answer, I’m from the South, I grew tired of New York winters. When I got older and more stable, I got the hell up out of the city during the cold weather months. I also travel because people are listening. If I get to experience something someone else can’t and show them what it’s like, hopefully they will be inspired to do it themselves one day. When I started blogging in 2010, I wrote my first blog post about my experience visiting Ghana with my sister and her new husband and people asked, “where you going next?” which pushed me to keep writing. I never stopped.
GTS: Favorite destination(s) to get your grub on, a little birdie told us that you’re a bonafide foodie?
Jamaica, hands down! The food there is so good. I wish I had something more “exotic” for you, because I live in Brooklyn and I can walk outside and get Jamaican food in 5 minutes, but that’s my pick. I love oxtails and rice and peas, curry goat, jerk chicken. I can’t make this stuff myself so I just want to eat there all day everyday. India actually also has great food too. I traveled to Jaipur last year and everything I ate was delicious. People say they get sick in India, luckily that didn’t happen to me. GTS: What does being a Globetrotting Stiletto mean to you?
TRACEY: Globetrotting Stiletto is an interesting phrase. For me it’s a combination of travel and style. I don’t consider myself your typical “Globetrotting Stiletto,” I’m a bit of a tomboy with a laid back, all about comfort kinda style. I don’t have a photographer following me on my trips, I don’t obsess over the perfect photo. I try to live in the moment.
GTS: Self-discovery and growth are inevitable when you travel as much as you do, how has travel elevated you?
TRACEY: In a couple of different ways. Travel has made me curious because the more you travel the more interested you become in seeing what else is out there. Travel makes you thirsty. It’s made me a little bit more of a badass. I’m way more courageous now than I used to be. I’ve jumped off bridges, stayed in hostels in Zambia, alone.
I have no problem traveling solo. I think those are all things that I would have been afraid of when I was younger. Now it’s like, I want to go, I have the vacation days, so I save and make it happen.
GTS: Romance abroad…ever encounter it? Any advice for single female travelers globetrotting for love?
TRACEY: I have. Two times actually. My advice to single women who are
globetrotting for love is to be open. You should have your guard up just a little bit for safety concerns, however, if you’re in a situation or in a comfortable space where you do feel like, “hey I’m attracted to this person, let’s see what’s up,” go for it! I don’t feel like it should be any different behavior from when you’re home. You would be limiting yourself to think that a man who you meet on a trip or even a man who lives abroad would be too much trouble to date. The cool thing about meeting guys abroad is that you already have something in common—travel! You’re probably both a bit adventurous, qualities of people you’re looking to connect with, I assume.
GTS: If you could travel with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
TRACEY: That’s a good question! This is an unlikely answer, but right now I would probably travel with Anthony Bourdain. He’s done so many travel and cooking food shows that if I could just be his assistant, I would be in heaven.
I would carry a water bottle or hold the phone or whatever he needs me to do and just be his right hand on one of his trips anywhere, just to eat, that is my dream.
GTS: Three things you wish you would have known before you started traveling?
TRACEY: First, I wish I knew how easy it was to travel. I think we make a lot of assumptions about how much things cost and what it takes to get there. Part of it is knowing how to reduce your costs and another part is really being intentional about traveling. Second, I wish I started earlier. If I knew more people who traveled when I was younger I would’ve started sooner. Third, I wish I would’ve known the importance of sharing. I’ve lost
memories because I did not document them. I didn’t take pictures. I didn’t write anything down. I vaguely remember a few things but that’s not good enough. I’m a firm believer in enjoying the moment as well as documenting what’s happening.
GTS: Where to next?
TRACEY:I want to do more philanthropic work. I’m looking to work with a few people next year on some grassroots projects. I went to Jamaica in August of 2016 , stayed at the Rock House Hotel and found out about their foundation, which rebuilds schools in Jamaica.
I was so inspired to give back when learning more about what they do. I also have a few opportunities in Africa and Central America that I’m really looking forward to being apart of next year!
Keep up with Tracey and all her travels on Instagram @bktraveladdict