Travel Editor, Rahiem Johnson sits down to discuss his role at OBVIOUS Magazine, group travel plans for 2020, and the importance of seeing more POC traveling aboard.
As a POC, it’s necessary we create our own travel stories and experiences. It’s beautiful to see us represented and shown traveling around the world on social media.– Raheim Johnson
What are your dream destinations? I would have to say I’ve visited a few of my dream destinations. Those would include Bali, Greece, South Africa, and India.
For me seeing more countries on the continent of Africa are dream destinations. Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Seychelles are at the top of my list.
What group travel destinations do you have planned with OBVIOUS Magazine in 2020? Thailand, Philippines, Dubai, Kenya, Peru, and India are all destinations on the list for next year’s group travel destinations.
How do you feel your viewpoint will entice the readers to try these new experiences? As a Black male traveler, I hope my perspective will motivate and inspire readers to step outside their comfort zones, take the wheel, and put fear in the back seat.
My goal as a Blogger and Editor isn’t to push this narrative that everyone should be traveling. I write for the people who may have the desire to travel, but may be fearful or may not be sure how or where to where to start. I became a Travel Blogger and Editor to write about my journey and my travel experiences as a Black man traveling through this beautiful, but sometimes scary world. Also, to the disprove many misconceptions about the world with the hopes to educate and inspire while being sure never to force or belittle those who have no desire to do so.
Why is it essential for you to see more POC (People of Color) travel internationally? Growing up seeing travel magazines and travel ads, I didn’t see many POC used to advertise/promote tourism. Inspiration hits differently, especially travel inspiration, when it’s someone who looks like you. I feel seeing more POC, hearing their stories & experiences lessens the fear; the stereotypes put on specific countries and destinations. As a POC, it’s necessary we create our own travel stories and experiences, and it’s beautiful now to see us represented and shown traveling all over social media.
How do you get through a long flight? Reading, journaling, sleeping, listening to music, and my bag of snacks.
Best destination thus far? It’s a tie between South Africa (both Johannesburg and Cape Town) and Bali, Indonesia. Both were like destinations straight out of a fairytale. The only word to describe both is MAGICAL!
How long have you been producing international group trips? It’s only been a year since I’ve been providing international group trips open to the public, but I’ve been planning and producing group trips for friends and family for about 3-4 years now.
What are the challenges? Where do I begin? LOL. Putting together an international trip for a group of 15-30 individuals is not easy AT ALL and very time-consuming. Some of the challenges include finding the perfect accommodations, sending countless emails, remember the time difference in that country when waiting on an email, finding the right guide, putting together the ideal itinerary, a lot of negotiating with tour companies, deciding the cost and being able to deal with all different types of people and personalities.
Three must-haves everyone needs before traveling abroad? Before going abroad the three things, I must have, of course, the first is a passport. You won’t be getting far without that LOL.
Second, depending on the country is a V
Lastly, I would have to say a plan/itinerary. Although when I travel, I leave room for spontaneity and being a free spirit, I also must have some kind of plan/direction before I depart. Going to an unknown place can already be scary, so for my own comfort and ease, I must have some things pre-planned/arranged.
What country did you travel to that surprised you in a positive way? I would have to say both Ecuador and Jordan. Both countries far exceeded my expectations and should be on everyone’s travel wishlist.
Rapid Fire Questions
Hot or cold weather? Hot, hate being cold (except when sleeping. While sleeping I prefer cold so I can cuddle in my blanket).
Airbnb or Hotels? Airbnb. All my experiences have been great. In my opinion, you get more for your money with an Airbnb.
Window, middle or aisle seat? In the words of Ms. Erykah Badu, “Can I get a window seat.” Definitely window.
Favorite airline experience thus far? I would have to say Emirates and Qatar Air. Something about the Middle Eastern airlines that go above and beyond to accommodate to make your experience is a great one.
Listen to music on the plane or watch a movie? Definitely music. I can count on my hands how many movies I’ve finished on a plane. I always fall asleep while watching movies.
Check out Rahiem Johnson’s Travel Blog, Tray Table Seat Back: www.traytableseatback.com.