West Coast native Mason Traveli has been around the world and seen a lot of places but somehow seems to make that destination look good with his presence! Traveling with him always seems to feel like an experience, so I asked him what his favorite and not so favorite parts about traveling the world.
Has traveling been a window or a mirror for you? Explain. Traveling has taught me so much about myself. Each time I visit a new city or country, I learn more about the world around me, and it widens my perceptions of what the world is really like.
What’s one thing you’ve learned while traveling the world that no one could have prepared you for until it happened? The level of independence that is needed to travel abroad is something I don’t think anyone could have prepared me for and something I don’t even think I heard a lot about. I’ve been alone in countries where I didn’t speak the language, and I didn’t know the culture, but I still had to be brave enough to make the most of my trip. No one can prepare you for that feeling of freedom that comes with being on your own in a foreign country.
What’s one misconception that people have about traveling abroad while Black? I think a lot of Black people have terrible experiences with racism at home and they expect it overseas as well. I’ve been fortunate to say I haven’t experienced any overt racism while traveling. I am aware that many of these people have had limited interactions with Black people, so they’re more curious and excited than anything, especially young kids.
When on vacation are you a planner or a free spirit? I think I am a little bit of both. I like to plan my activities to maximize the time that I have there, but I definitely leave myself open to go wherever the wind takes me.
Would you travel with a group? How many is the max number you would travel with? I would love to travel more with a group of like-minded individuals! I could do a small group of four or maybe six people anything beyond that would take a lot of serious planning.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to someone that wants to inquire more about traveling abroad? Do it now! Don’t allow fear to make you back down or delay it. The rewards of travel outweigh the fears.
What is your one MUST-HAVE while traveling? My international travel charger! I need my phone for pictures, directions, translations and the last thing I would want to happen is to have it die on me or not have the right plug for the country I’m in.
What was the most memorable experience in your favorite city? Least favorite? The most memorable experience I think was after a very long flight to Paris, I was in an Uber to my hotel, we turned a corner, and in a small opening between two buildings I saw the Eiffel Tower, and my mouth dropped. I wasn’t expecting it to be that massive but it can be seen from all over the city, and at that moment I felt like I was in Paris.
My worst experience in a city was being stuck in Oslo, Norway. It was freezing cold, and I was wondering around downtown because I got on the wrong train and I don’t read Norwegian. The upside was that I got to eat moose for the first time.
Everyone must see Paris, France before they finish traveling? I’ve been all over the world and Paris isn’t even my favorite city, but it is one that has been romanticized in TV and movies so much that I think everyone needs to experience it for themselves.
Hotel or Airbnb? I’m a hotel kind of guy, and I like being able to order room service or have my bed made up for me.