Why Black South Africans Should Travel More

2016-03-27 15:09

According to Stats SA, only a third of South Africans have passports. So why is it that citizens of the country with the 42nd most powerful passport in the world turn a blind eye to the rest of the planet? Despite the economy being an issue why don't black South Africans travel?

I grew up in a household where the only travelling I did was a trip from home to my grandparents house in another province during school holidays or around the Gauteng area visiting relatives. I once asked my mother why we never go on holiday like my white friends, she told me travel is a luxury and not a necessity.

I've concluded that the reasons why South Africans don’t travel can be mostly explained by three things: awareness, fear and priorities.

Awareness: Most people think travel is expensive because they see all the fancy adverts in magazines and on TV and they believe all travel is like that. Most don't even know that you can visit 97 countries visa free with a South African passport, most of these countries are really affordable and close to home.

Fear: Terrorism, diseases, the economy – the list of things to worry about seems endless. The future, while always uncertain, appears even more so lately, but this shouldn't stop you from travelling. You should travel, not to escape the atrocities in South Africa, but for your own personal growth. When you experience other cultures far and beyond you appreciate the essence of your being. That translates to being open minded and more accepting of other people, cultures and religions.

Priorities: If you have a gym membership and can eat out at least 4 times a month then you can probably afford to travel. You need to simplify your life and reduce your expenditures. Consider selling some stuff you don't need. It's also important to research affordable countries.

The older I get I have realised that travel is indeed not a luxury, travel is a tool that can change your life. Having a global perspective will not only advance black South Africans but they will transform into people who think on a global level in terms of education, career development and lifestyles.

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