Jadira knew she had a love for traveling as a child. “I used to watch my dad travel a lot and vowed I would do the same when I got older”. Jadira says the first time she went to Kenya in 2014, something hit her. “I felt a strong connection to the country; it felt good to just be another person and not just looked at for being Black. It was also one of the first times I really began to open my eyes to others in the world and that in the US we’re often so stuck on “first world problems” like being without wifi, tv, even running water”
We can all agree that traveling teaches you different things and for Jadira the top three things traveling has taught her are to humble herself, because she says she is very blessed. Not to be the annoying entitled traveler and that sometimes it’s better to just be quiet and observe what is going on around her. Entitled travelers act spoiled, they are demanding, and they ruin the perception of American travelers abroad. One way to eliminate the entitlement for Jadira is to do your research about the cultures of a country and understand that not everyone moves as Americans do. A lot of travelers think they deserve luxuries that don't actually exist in the real world.
“I’ve become more intentional with who I am as a person and what I want others to see. I have many layers and traveling has made me more comfortable with just being me.”
Kenya in 2014 was a turning point for Jadira. She traveled to Kiberia, the biggest slum. Realizing the deepest levels of poverty that ran through the country, but also seeing simple joys of children. “It’s seemingly such a paradox to enjoin the two. But in that moment something touched me in my soul and I will always carry that with me”.
We asked Jadira what advice she would give to those thinking about traveling and she says “take a chance on discovering a new kind of love. Start small; explore somewhere outside of your neighborhood, then your state and eventually others. Build yourself up to an international trip. And yes, sometimes you might have to leave your friends behind. If quiet me can do it, you can too. Step out of the comfort zone and it’s ok to be scared. You’ll find your way.”
You can find Jadira and her travels on her Instagram page here