Suave, stylish and full of life are just a few ways to describe Lakai Newman while he travels the world. We caught up with him to see what are some of his favorite travel destinations, how he travels, and what you need to experience if you want to do it the right way.
I’ve learned so much about myself, my interests and my passions through traveling that it has become a reflection of who I am.
Has traveling been a window or a mirror for you? Explain. Traveling has been a mirror for me. I’ve always been an adventure-seeker since childhood, and a lot of who I am is shaped by the experiences I’ve gained through travel. Even in everyday conversations, I’ll sometimes reference a moment of travel to something ubiquitous — like trekking through Guatemala for tacos, dancing until sunrise in Brazil, or biking along the coast of Portugal. I’ve learned so much about myself, my interests and my passions through traveling that it has become a reflection of who I am.
What’s one thing you’ve learned while traveling the world that no one could have prepared you for until it happened? The world isn’t this massive, scary place. It’s true what they say, “Life happens outside your comfort zone.” I’ve learned that “home” is a feeling which can be found in several corners around the world. Oh, and speed cameras. I’m still receiving tickets in the mail after a road trip through Italy.
What’s one misconception that people have about traveling abroad while Black? That being Black isn’t appreciated in many foreign destinations. All travelers face some level of scrutiny no matter who they are or where they travel. In my experience, traveling abroad has been eye-opening and only sparked the interest to travel more. Despite the ever-changing social and political climate, I’ll always be Black; and it’s even more important to me to continue creating a vibrant, well-traveled life that I can share with others.
When on vacation are you a planner or a free spirit? An even mix of both. Before a vacation, I do a bit of research; figuring out which restaurants I want to try and local attractions I want to visit. However, I also enjoy having time to venture out and let the city take control of my day. That often times when the best experiences happen.
Would you travel with a group? How many is the max number you would travel with? I have and would go with a group, but I think it’s more about the type of travelers involved rather than the number. Travel for me is an adventure and learning experience, so I’m all about exploring the off-beaten path, trying new cuisines and interacting with the locals. If that’s not your thing, we probably won’t travel well together.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to someone that wants to inquire more about traveling abroad? Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Reach out to others who have visited where you want to go. You can learn a lot about the must Do’s and definite Don’ts by just asking. Do a little research, follow hashtags, click location links, explore before you explore. There is so much in the world to see and do that you can customize your own journey before even leaving home.
What’s your one MUST HAVE while traveling? A sense of adventure.
Hotel or Airbnb? Airbnb.