Encountering Racism when Traveling

When traveling abroad, you might worry about the treat to expect at your travel destination. In short, you may wonder whether looking different matters when you travel abroad. Generally, you can encounter racism anywhere you travel in the world. Here are tips for encountering racism when traveling.

Understand that Stereotypes Exist

Everywhere you go, you will realize that people have stereotypes about your community. Americans for instance are noticed by Europeans miles away. That’s because Americans have a culture that is pervasive worldwide. Stereotypes that people have about Americans are informed by their popular culture. Musicians, athletes, and actors for instance, influence how people perceive Americans.

People Will Stare at You

Mixed-race couples and color travelers experience discomfort when people stare at them. Although this may indicate disapproval, it can be a combination of impoliteness and curiosity. In simple terms, they are not used to seeing a traveler like you. The response of locals to people of color will most likely not be hostility but naivety.

Accept Opinions

In most places, you will meet blunt and opinionated people. However, you may realize that what Europeans for instance consider polite conversation may shockingly be different from what you perceive it based on your unwritten rules. For instance, you may be uncomfortable about race discussions while people in your destination don’t see anything wrong about them. Such discussions can be jarring and hurtful to some travelers but others find them weirdly refreshing.

Be Prepared for Racial Profiling

Some color travelers find racial profiling frustrating especially when it happens at the airport security or border crossing. This is a socially acceptable way of targeting the undocumented immigrants in some places. If you are traveling to European countries, you are likely to be scrutinized closely than most European ancestry travelers before you are allowed entry. Be prepared for it.

Be Ready for Unfriendliness

You will definitely encounter unfriendliness when you travel. Some of this unfriendliness will stem from racism. However, avoid blaming racism for grumpiness.

Regardless of your ethnicity or race, it’s important to have a positive attitude when traveling. Travel to a different destination when you feel mistreated or uncomfortable. Always remember that other people want to learn about you just like you want to learn about them.