A Wish for 2021

I don’t need to be telling you what a crazy year it’s been — shocking, sad, unexpected, stressful, transformative.

I tend to end the year on this blog with a recap the year, from my travels to publications, what I’ve accomplished and where you can find my latest insights for your next Caribbean trip.

Yet I would be remiss to reduce this year to a list, even though this has been one of my successful yet — in spite of Covid. Not least of which, my return trip to Ethiopia early March 2020 after a 19 year absence, and going full time as Global Tourism Reporter for Skift, a B2B travel intelligence and news platform that pretty much anyone and everyone in the travel and tourism industry reads and follows closely.

But what I really came on here to say is that regardless of what you have accomplished or not, lost or gained this year:

if you made it through 2020, you are blessed and fortunate.

So am I; my family is fine, everyone I love is healthy going into the new year.

We’ve all learned lessons since March. I’m not certain those lessons will have changed most of us in meaningful ways, for the long term. I am uncertain as well whether it has made tourists and tourism leaders more conscious.

But I know it has changed how I craft my days for sure, in terms of making me focus on what matters. Slowing down. Being more specific with my goals and most of all: being intentional about self care, which was my weakest point pre-pandemic, and balancing it into my never-ending work ambitions.

So that’s really the message I wanted to share: caring for ourselves and for others is the most important part of it all going forward, followed by intentionally bringing joy into the day to day, even if it means holding off on travel for now.

Travel, after all, is still a privilege to which the majority of people in the world don’t have access. So if it means waiting it out so fewer people get sick, including the locals who surround me, then so be it.

As we go into the year and await Covid vaccine distributions, I wish each of you a safe, peaceful and brighter year than you might imagine.

If you’re looking for some reading and distraction or ideas for future trips once it’s safe to travel, below is a list — a short one — of my latest writing and/or most significant post-Covid work events of 2020.

I. Articles


BBC Travel, Santo Domingo: The city that kept slavery silent

Travel + Leisure, The Dominican Republic’s ‘Wild Side’

Conde Nast Traveler, 21 Places to Go in 2021: Addis Ababa

Cacique (InterCaribbean Airways), Green Dreams on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Marriott Bonvoy Traveler: How Slow Travel Changes the Way We Explore

II. Interviews + Speaking

Forbes, 15 Black Travel Writers To Read Now

Why is this interesting? The Monday Media Diet with Lebawit Lily Girma

Travel and Leisure “Amplifying Black Voices” Town Hall – Following my “Dear White Colleagues” viral post and this second piece

Impact Travel Alliance, Reopening the Caribbean: The ethics of travel during a pandemic

III. Projects

See the Caribbean, launched in July 2020. Join on Instagram or Facebook.

IV. Travels

Stories and clips from my return trip to Ethiopia after a 19-year absence.

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