The other day, I decided to clean up my Facebook page. As I was going through my pictures, I scrolled through my India photo album. The memories came flooding back. About a year ago, I traveled to Madurai, India. It was an opportunity to participate in an International Service-Learning course. I attended lectures, engaged in cultural activities, and did some community service:
It was my first time traveling overseas. I’d never thought about traveling to another country. Well, I take that back. I had thought about it, but it seemed like an impossible dream. Women like me (working class black woman) do not get to travel to places like India. Or, so I thought. As I prepared for my trip, I realized I held myself back, for no reason. Getting a passport/visa, is relativity easy. I don’t know why it used to intimidate me. It’s fairly cheap (if you can drop $200 at Target, you can get a passport), considering. Also, there are several ways to get funding. You can take a travel course (like I did) and get financial aid, research travel grants/scholarships, or look for deals on Groupon Getaways. If you are a member of a book club, sorority, activist group, etc., you can pool your money together and find some good group discounts.
Yes, you will have to fill out a bunch of paperwork/look for your birth certificate. Yes, you will have to wait in a long azz line at the post office. But it will feel so good once you get that passport in the mail. It’s empowering, really. As black women, we need to make sure we have options to get out of dodge, just in case. Many black women/folks don’t know that you can have a dual citizenship with some countries in Africa, and other places.
I’ve been trying hard to get my friends to get their passports. I think it would be fun for us to take a trip together. But they keep putting it off. One even admitted to being nervous by the paperwork (as I was). But fear shouldn’t hold us back from seeking new adventures/places to live. I will stay on top of them. I encourage y’all to get your passports as well…
To obtain a passport: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
Some counties you need a visa as well: http://travel.state.gov/visa/