Editor’s Letter: Travel as an expression of love

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  • Published on August 2, 2022
  • Last Updated March 10, 2023
  • In DETOUR Desk

DETOUR’s Editor-in-Chief Dawn Booker on how love and travel go hand-in-hand.

Throughout August, DETOUR will look at travel and place through the prism of love in all its manifestations. Your first response to love as a theme for The Best Stories in Black Travel might be, “What’s love got to do with it?” Well, everything; love has EVERYTHING to do with journeying and exploring the world. There is indeed an undeniable and inextricable link between the uninhibited choices and risks of loving and choosing to explore the world.

When you think about travel from the perspective of falling in love, travel and love both produce the exhilarating feeling of diving into the unfamiliar. Beyond romantic love, taking a trip to connect with family again after a twice-postponed family reunion to hug the neck of your favorite auntie can produce feelings of pure bliss. Similarly, there is nothing like the joy felt once you finally connect for that trip to Cabo with your frat brothers or the anticipation of packing the perfect outfits to laugh for three nights straight with your girls from college.

When I think about love and travel, I think about the trips I have taken with my daughter, Simone, and the fact that I have spent more time discovering the world with her than anyone else over the years. The first time I took Simone to Paris when she was 12, I witnessed something in her shift as she immersed herself in the art and beauty of the City of Light. As our mutual love for travel has continued into adulthood and serves as a constant connection, we have taken many memorable trips together to Bali, South Africa and Peru. Still, one of my favorite trips with Simone is our trip to the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. This trip combined our love for music and travel with a surprise cameo appearance by Prince that had us both screaming till we lost our voices.

Exploring the world with my daughter and experiencing familiar places through her eyes remains the purest way I show her love.

This month, DETOUR’S narratives and storytelling will be rooted in love — the loved ones we choose to visit and travel with, those places we love dearly, the spot in which we fell in love and the love we show ourselves when we take a solo journey.

So yes, travel is all about love, and we will delve into how love inspires us to travel both near and far.

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.” — Pico Iyer , Why We Travel

Dawn S. Booker

This story was created by Detour, a journalism brand focused on the best stories in Black travel, in partnership with McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald. Detour’s approach to travel and storytelling seeks to tell previously under-reported or ignored narratives by shifting away from the customary routes framed in Eurocentrism. The detour team is made up of an A-list of award-winning journalists, writers, historians, photographers, illustrators and filmmakers.

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