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The Incredible Travel Fellowship
Right before I graduated from Harvard in 2002, I landed a fellowship I did not expect to receive. I found an e-mail in my inbox that said I was nominated for a $20,000 fellowship around the world. The catch was I had to write a two-page paper on what I would do with it….
Within an hour I had it figured out. Drawing from my Black Guide to Life at Harvard fame, I was going to create a series of travel guides to destinations in the African Diaspora—destinations like West Africa, Paris, London, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Well I was awarded the fellowship and took that $20,000 trip around the world in 2002 and 2003.
When I set out on the trip around the world, I had one goal—to write a Black Travel Guide.
That was in 2002.
The Effect of Travel on Me
Three months traveling throughout West Africa independently introduced me to countries like Senegal, Guinea-Conakry, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Gambia and opened my eyes to thing I don’t see on U.S. TV—houses of strong extended families, gorgeous fabric, and the nicest people I’d ever met in my life.
Four months in Brazil strengthened my self-confidence in my physical beauty and expanded my physical tastes.
Two weeks at the Olympic Games left me with hope that the world would realize peace one day. It also reignited my passion for sport, especially track and field.
A year in Paris made me realize what makes a great city: culture, architecture, walkable streets, good transportation, and diversity. It also made me want to write a book….
What is the point? Travel changes you!
Eight years later, after traveling around the world on a travel fellowship, writing for a community newspaper, living in Paris for one year, working for the Olympics for three years, I have finally accomplished my goal.
On Tuesday, April 6, 2010. I received the first physical copy of my first travel guidebook: Kiratiana’s Travel Guide to Black Paris. The book will be on sale at Amazon.com on May 21.
This is the beginning of a new career and the first of a new series of “Black” travel guidebooks.
And Now…The Blog
In conjunction with the book, I decided to start a travel blog: Kiratiana Travels: Let a Black Girl Show You the World. I don’t just want to show people how to travel every other year….I want to do it EVERYDAY! This travel blog will do the following:
1) Highlight my personal experiences of traveling throughout the world through photos, videos and personal essays.
2) Highlight people around the world who have made travel and living abroad a significant part of their life.
3) Show YOU how to travel.
4) Bring you interesting articles about different cultures around the world.
My goal is to inspire people to travel and live abroad.
Connect With Me Here!
If you want to connect with me further, follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/kiratiana or email me at kiratiana at gmail dot com.