I love to travel. For me, it is not only about exploring a new country, meeting new people and learning more about a different culture, but it is also a time that I feel most uniquely ME. Outside of the US, I feel most seen and understood for who I am- Black, female and American. This isn’t a new sentiment. My college essay described how traveling to Italy made me feel more connected to my roots and my heritage. This idea of proudly embracing contrast, and creating a space to appreciate and celebrate individual characteristics is one that drives my designs.
As a teenager and now, decades later, traveling offers me a 5.0 version of myself- a concentrated existence where I am my best self. Warmed by the sun, fueled by extended meal times and supported by the luxury of time to indulge my curiosity, I seek out museums and local artists and wander down enticing alleys. I have long, leisurely conversations with strangers, and am challenged in my engrained thoughts and approach. I become more reflective.
The best travel, for me, is reductive. It strips away the distracting, and leaves in its wake the essence of living well. Surrounded by all that is inspiring, and having the time to really savor it is a gift. Recognizing this, I keep my bags light, take a few of my favorite pieces, and arrive in a new place, ready to embrace all it has to offer.
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