There is an immense amount of pressure on young Black women to fit into a particular mold or typecast of what society expects them to be. Take your pick – Either you are a die-hard Beyhive junkie or you are trying to keep up with the latest Cardi-B fashion trend. But surely, there is more to being a Black woman than pop or hip-hop culture, surely we are more than what music we listen to or how we style our hair.
Whether you are able to fit in easily to one of American society’s mold’s for Black women or not – I’d like to tell you that there is so much more to your personality than what you may realize. For me, I never really fit in anywhere. There was always a constant pinging imposter voice in my mind. This subconscious awareness that there is more to me than what I was experiencing at that moment. And for me, the only way to discover the truth behind what that awareness trying to reveal to me was to learn more about the world – through travel.
One of the greatest challenges to being a black woman expat is that there are very few settings where you may feel you 100% belong. You may find a few associations or groups where you share common interests with members, like Shanghai Mamas, or Women Who Travel, but chances are wherever you are located outside of your home country, you will have to search hard to find women that share common interests and live where you are.
Another challenge, which I face on a day-to-day basis is finding the right haircare products and services! This might not seem like something that is a huge problem, but trust me, once you have experienced the heat and humidity of Singapore or have climbed the Great Wall in the summer, you will know exactly what I am talking about! You have to plan ahead about whether you will order your products from back home or attempt to find someplace in your host country that has what you are looking for.
Of course, many more challenges come with being a black woman expat, such as discrimination, glass ceilings at work , and issues finding clothes that fit the way you like…I could go on. But the point is not to discourage you! Despite all of this, it is extremely rewarding. Being able to travel to new places, try amazing and exotic foods, and meet people from all walks of life are just a few benefits. I’m here to introduce you to all of the rewards and guide you about how to make it reality for you as well!