This week’s episode of the ESSENCE “Yes, Girl” podcast is all about how to find love while traveling abroad!
Senior Digital Love and Relationships editor Charli Penn sat with down Oneika the Traveller who went from being an educator to a professional passport stamp collector who has learned lot about life and quite a bit about love.
Having met her now-husband while living in Hong Kong, Oneika drops some gems on what it’s like being a Black woman travelling the world with her eye on the prize for love.
“I actually moved to Hong Kong I had broken up with someone and I was like you know what this is going to be my year of yes,” she shared. “I had never been to Asia before, sight unseen, I moved to Hong Kong and I was working out there and I met him at a party and I would not have gone to that party had I not said yes to an invitation which was my year of yes.”
Oneika’s husband happens to hail from Germany, while she is a Jamaican woman who was raised in Toronto. She’ll be the first that their cultural differences were an adjustment but their devotion to each other makes it all worth it.
“I’m going to keep it real, I thought it was just going to be a fling. I was not looking for anything long term and i was quite happy to know that he was just going to be around for four months. I figured I would have my fun and what have you and he was going to move, you know, a 12 hour flight away and we ended up falling for each toehr and we thought, you know, let’s try and make it work. We prioritized it, we booked all of our flights in advance and it’s been a really interesting ride. I think even from you know, the bi-cultural perspective, I mean you know, he’s a White German guy, I’m a Black Jamaican girl so you know we have different cultural values, you know of me that’s always been really interesting. Sometimes it’s tough but we work through it and it just enriches our relationship.”
When taking time to see the world and looking for love, Oneika advises having an open mind when it comes to men of a different ethnicity and background.
“The most important part of traveling abroad and meeting new people it’s really being open to the experiences that you could potentially have,” she said.
“What you’ll find as a Black woman abroad is that we are so revered and treasured and in some instances fetishized, let’s keep it real. We’re revered and treasured so people are naturally interested in you and they think that you’re beautiful and I think that that’s really powerful because I think often in North America, you know, we are not feeling the love. To go abroad and all of a sudden be super popular can be really jarring…and I think it’s a matter of letting yourself be open to these opportunities and you know, letting yourself be approached and again, you know, if you meet a guy, you aren’t bound to him, it’s just for to date that’s even if it gets to the point of dating. Casual flirtation, you know, there is nothing wrong with that at all. “
As to where to go to find the most open-minded men, Oneika says to try France!
“French guys are really romantic! The guys are really diverse in France and a lot of people don’t realize it and you have a lot of you know, Black french guys, that are from the Caribbean, or they come from Africa and you have a lot of like Arab French guys as well, you can find whatever your cup of tea is and the guys are super romantic whether or not they make the best boyfriends, is a different story, but you know what, we’re just having fun.”
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