Ethnicity - Black American
Occupation - Business Strategist & Podcast Host
What global experiences have you taken part in when you were a student and/or as a young professional?
I studied abroad at the Universtat de Valencia in Spain as a sophomore in college. When I graduated from law school, I started working for a start-up and went on a trade mission to Namibia and South Africa. In 2014 I walked the Camino de Santiago, a month-long hike across Spain.
How has Global Education impacted you and your academic and career choices?
While I was attending the University of Georgia, I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain. There I studied international business, Latin American Literature, and Professional Business Spanish. Studying abroad helped to open my eyes to the possibility of living and working abroad.
What challenges have you had to overcome as you gained your global experience(s)?
I've had to overcome self-doubt to truly set the course of my career and my life. It's difficult to go out on your own, without a tried and true "game plan", but it also helped to eventually build my confidence and led me to trust myself.
What or who inspired you to take part in a study/internship/work abroad experience?
There was no one person that inspired me to study or work abroad. I think my experiences traveling internationally as a child made studying abroad and working abroad "normal". I started traveling internationally when I was 10, so I was pretty comfortable experiencing different cultures, languages, and lifestyles.
How has your cultural identity impacted your global experience(s)?
There is global anti-blackness and it manifests in a variety of ways around the world. However, I experience a lot of passport privilege being an American. People might look at me one way, as "just some Black woman", but then discover that I am American and their entire attitude changes. That has been strange. I'm not sure if I'm quite comfortable with my passport privilege.
How has/ had seeing other people of color/diverse backgrounds influenced your decision to study/ intern abroad?
When I studied abroad, I didn't have anyone to look up to. There weren't a lot of Black students studying abroad at my institution and I was the only person of color in my entire study abroad cohort. I think had there been other people of color in my cohort that would have definitely enhanced my time abroad. When I decided I wanted to move abroad, a lot of the very popular Black travel brands were just coming up, so I would read blogs about Black women living abroad as inspiration and motivation.
As a Kultural Kurator, what does culture mean to you?
I think culture is the amalgamation of ideas, stories, art, tastes, and ways of being.
Self/Soul care is so important as we live our lives and grow in our professions. How do you incorporate self care into your life?
I have enacted strong boundaries within my personal and professional life that have aided in my self-care. I also schedule in self-care throughout my day. It's one of the reasons why I decided to move and live abroad. I wanted to be in a society that values community, relaxation and is not about chasing down every dollar. Living in Barcelona feels as if I have "positive societal pressure" to chill out and not stress so much.
What advice would you give to a future Kultural Kurator as they think about taking opportunities to explore the world around them?
Go out and see the world for yourself. Come to your own conclusions. Decide what you truly value and need to thrive. If you have the opportunity, live abroad. You can always go home, but go out and try on another way of life. Living abroad makes you so incredibly present. It somewhat forces you to take into account a lot of the daily decisions you make. You will learn so much about yourself and what living a life well-lived means to you.
How can others follow you on social media and/or is there an email address or website that you'd like to share?
Listen to my podcast, Flourish In The Foreign, where I create a platform for the elevation and affirmation of the voices & stories of Black women (across the Diaspora) living & thriving abroad. Check out the website: www.flourishintheforeign.com, and follow the podcast across social media channels: @flourishforeign