Honestly, the moment I set foot on African soil, a surge of emotions came over me, creating an indescribable feelings. As an Afro-Jamaican individual, returning to the roots of my heritage was a journey of self-discovery, a journey marked by a multitude of emotions.
The first emotion that embraced me was a profound sense of awe. Kenya, with its landscapes and vibrant culture, unfolded before me like a canvas painted with the hues of history and tradition. The awe was not just about the physical beauty but also the realization of being in a place that resonated with my roots. Visiting Kenya gave me a powerful sense of pride. Walking through the markets and engaging with the Maasai tribe, I felt a deep connection to the resilience and strength of the African people. This pride was not just a personal affirmation but a celebration of a rich heritage that has withstood the tests of time. I remember telling myself so many times "I can't believe I'm HERE". It was like a dream come true!
As I delved deeper into the history of the continent, a wave of sadness washed over me. The acknowledgment of the painful legacy of slavery and the African diaspora stirred a mix of sadness and reflection. It was a reminder of the struggles endured and the strength that has emerged from adversity. I have to incorporate history into my itineraries because it's very important for me learn African history from the lens of Africa. What I've learned in school has always ben surface level. In Nigeria, Senegal, and Benin I've gone to " The Point of No Return" which is point where enslaved Africans were shipped to unknown destination for slavery. I've been to museums, historical sites and landmarks, and more!
Amidst the complexity of emotions, a profound sense of connection always emerges. The people, the culture, and the land becames threads weaving me into the fabric of Africa. In each African country, I feel a sense of home and belonging that echoes through my soul, compelling me to return time and again. Returning so many times has lead me to visit 12 African countries so far....and counting.
These emotions, like chapters in a book, inspired me to channel my experiences into something tangible – the Roaming Reflections Travel Journal that I released in the summer. Understanding that the journey of the African diaspora to the motherland is unique, I wanted to create a tool that could capture these emotions, fostering a deeper connection with one's roots.
The Roaming Reflections Travel Journal is designed specifically for those who decides to go on this soul-stirring journey. It provides a space to document not just the places visited but the emotions felt – from the initial awe to the profound sense of connection. It serves as a companion, capturing the essence of each experience and allowing travelers to reflect on their personal journey.
This journal is more than just a collection of pages; it's a testament to the power of travel in reconnecting with one's heritage. It includes prompts that encourage introspection, cultural insights, and spaces for photographs, ensuring that the memories created are preserved and cherished. This project was fun to create and was fueled by the love and passion I have for Africa, black history, and ancestry.
In creating the Roaming Reflections Travel Journal, my hope is to empower others in the African diaspora to go on their own journeys of self-discovery. By providing a tool that goes beyond the surface, I aim to facilitate a deeper connection with the lands, cultures, and histories that shape our identity.
As I continue to revisit Africa, each journey unfolds new chapters, and the Roaming Reflections Travel Journal stands as a testament to the transformative power of returning to one's roots. It is an invitation to explore, reflect, and celebrate the rich range of emotions that make the journey uniquely ours.