This journey really started six years ago while sitting in a park in Los Angeles talking with a group of Black women about life. As with most discussions, the topic to turned men and the lack of good ones in the City of Angles. Woman after woman shared her story (and tears) about not having a date for months in a few cases years. These were attractive, well-educated and professionally women. Most of the women were between the ages of 30 and 45 but some as young as 23 and old as 55 year of age. While listening to their stories, I wondered why experience had not been the same. Why was I dating more than women 10 years my junior? I am not a beauty queen or the prettiest girl on the block. In high school I was teased and called Big Bird due to my tall height and long nose. My boyfriend in college thought it was a compliment to call me an afghan, an elegant long-haired “dog” with a long nose. Sorry, I’ve digressed, back to the park.
After a series of question and hearing one time to many “there are no good Black men”, I hypothesized that the reason for the so called “male shortage” was due to their self-imposed limitations also known as “ only dating Black men”. They all were trying to quench their thirst for happiness in the same small watering hole. For various reasons most of them out of some sense of loyalty and/or devotion preferred drinking muddy water from a shallow water hole than moving on to springs of interracial dating. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a tall pieces of dark chocolate but, there is nothing wrong with adding a vanilla swirl into the mix. My favorite swirl is Italian. The rich favor of chocolate with half the calories (heartbreak), more about that in later postings.
My heart broke while listening to the ladies tales of woe, especially knowing that they had other options. What was answer, how could I get them to consider “freeing their minds” from an out dated method of thinking and viewing the world? The world! That is the answers… get them out into world, get them to travel internationally.
International travel can be quite liberating. As we learn how other cultures live, we start questioning our person beliefs and cultural norms. In this questioning, we gain insight to our own true nature without the burden of conceding to the thoughts and expectations of others at the sacrifice of our own happiness.
Knowing that travel was the answer, the next question was “where to?”. Ahhh…. Italia! The decision was maded, take them to Italy, a country rich in history, culture and beautiful Italian men. The First Bella Italia tour was born. The tag line was “Italy, the Black women Brazil”. It is impossible to travel to Italy and return unchanged for the better. It is a country that has won my heart. My life is much fuller on Italian soil. Everywhere you look there is beauty. Nothing in the United States can compare to sipping a cup of coffee in front of the Pantheon or walking across Ponte San Angelo ( the bridge of Angels) at sunset. The added bonus is Italian men. Mama Mia! The love for darker skin is something every Black American female should experience once in her life.
Starting this month, I am on a one year personal quest to learn Italian, more about Italian culture and new thing to add to our tours at BlackGirlTravel.com. I invite you to follow me for the good, the bad and maybe even the ugly.
As always, I will keep it REAL while sharing what it is REALLY like living as “A Black Girl in Italy”.