Today we are traveling with Erick from Minority Nomad.
I’m Erick Prince. From Austin,Texas and raised in Cleveland,Ohio. MinorityNomad.com is a travel website dedicated to my travels around the world as an African-American man and chronicling my journey to become the first African American to visit every country in the world.
What type of traveler would you say are you?
This is hard to answer because I don’t fit in any category. I do whatever the situation and my finances dictate. I’m a travel journalist so my work takes me to the same places over and over again. Typically popular tourist spots. So in my contracts I tend to lean towards Luxury because why not if someone elses is paying. On my own dime, I tend to stick to hostels for a few days and hotels for a few days. 20 something backpackers drive me crazy. No offense but my patience is limited. However, I love the social dynamic of hostels so I could never exclusively stay on hotels.
As I get older and my career gains more and more steam, I find myself needing more solitude. This has definitely changed over time. I’m still a social butterfly but occasionally need a soft bed and tv to relax.
What’s inside your backpack? What is that one thing that you ALWAYS have to carry.
A good towel. Douglas Adams was right. A quality towel is essential. Also a power strip. You have no idea how many places have a ridiculously low number of outlets. Lastly, Pepto Bismol tablets and Dramamine. Life savers.
Where are you now?
Actually at the airport on my way to country number 88. Sri Lanka. I’m currently trying to knock off four more countries on my list. Sri Lanka, Australia, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
Your goal is being the first African American to visit all the countries around the world. When are you planning to finish?
I have no idea honestly. I’m the impatient type. When I set a goal I want to hit it and move on. I’ve been actively pursing this for about a year. An it’s been fun. But what I’ve learned is actually pulling it off is a logistical and financial nightmare. For example, I’m in Asia for an assignment. Well it’s almost Chinese New Year and flight prices are through the roof and don’t drop until mid February. I need to be in Europe mid March. Which makes getting to all four new country’s expensive and difficult.
Ideally, I would like to visit 15-20 new countries every year,minimum. I just know that Africa is going to be a nightmare. So overall I expect this will take me around four years at my current pace. Some places I’ll run through fast. Like the rest of Europe and Central America. But honestly, Africa is the White Whale of this project.
So far, which continent did you find easier for traveling?
Europe for sure. It’s almost paint by numbers. Such an easy travel trail. Southeast Asia is also easy but that’s because it’s dirt cheap. I can buy a fly pretty much anywhere in the region for less than $50usd.I can buy a fly pretty much anywhere in the region for less than $50usd.Click To Tweet
Are you usually traveling alone? Why?
Yes. I prefer my own pace. Other people, even friends, add a level of accountability and expectation. I’ve only found one person I love traveling with and that’s because we have no problem leaving the other and doing our own thing. No ego, no expectations.
Which country did you find the most hospitable people?
Come on. After 87 countries this is unfair. lol. I love Thai people. Very warm and open. Also Romanians. Which really caught me off guard. Romanians are some of the coolest people in the world. And I’m a bit sarcastic so I totally get their humor. Love those people.After 87 countries this is unfair. lol. I love Thai people.Click To Tweet
How is a day in your life when you aren’t traveling?
Lots of writing. I usually start the day with a workout of some kind. Then hit the computer. Editorials, coding, photo and video edits, project pitching, social media management. I’m glued to my computer. I love it. The digital space is equal to travel for me in terms of enjoyment.
What’s the big reason why you are traveling?
To inspire people that came from a similar background as I did to explore the world. There aren’t ANY prominent men of color doing what I do. Turn on the TV and look at travel related media and just try to find an African-American man. I personally don’t have the patience or time to “boycott” anything or complain to anyone. I’m trying to inspire through action. And the only way to do that is by being out here and sharing my journey through social media, my site, and interviews like this.
Can you tell us about your longest trip?
The trip I’m on is my longest trip. I’ve travel continuously for three years. I initially saved up $19,000. I sold my car, everything I owned, and took a contract position at the DMV in Austin for a few months. All the money I made from that job went into a travel savings fund. I bought a one way ticket to London and off I went.
Here’s the funny thing. Living on the road is far cheaper and more rewarding than back home. I rarely spend more than $1500usd a month. And that’s anywhere in the world. It’s a matter of priority. I have no problem wearing the same shorts three days straight. I also have no problem paying for a 5 star hotel in Bali. It’s a matter of being smart about it. Recently I met a guy that budgeted $3500 for a three month trip through Southeast Asia. He blew almost $1600 in nine days partying on the Thai islands. And now his trip is coming to an end almost a month early.
In all the trips you’ve done, what has been your favorite so far?
My trip to South Africa last year. I was invited by the South African Tourism board to explore their country for 13 days. It was absolutely amazing. Great food, people, and landscapes. Not to mention inexpensive. Such a pleasure.
What’s your favorite gastronomy/food cuisine that you had in your travels?
Thai and Italian. Also Malay Indian. I like Indian food in general but not in India. Weird I know. Just different. Indian and Bangladeshi food in London is some of the worlds best cuisine.
Has there been any challenging and bad moments?
Want to know something crazy, the answer is no. Nothing bad has ever happened to me while traveling. I chalk it up to ten years of military training as well. I’m very situationally aware and put myself in advantageous positions. I think the most challenging thing I face is deciding where to visit next.
What has been you favorite destination on all the trips you’ve done?
Discovering my travel preference over this adventure has given me a different perspective on things. When I was 25 I would have likely said Ibiza or Buenos Aires. Because I partied and hooked up a lot. But now, I have to say the small and unique experiences stand out. For example, a friend of mine in Romania invited me to spend Easter last year with his family in a town called Slobozia. We went to mass the night before and had a delicious meal the day of. Things like this you wont find in guidebooks.
What’s the worst place that you have stayed in for sleeping? What’s the best?
I didn’t stay there but I checked in and right back out. An absolutely disgusting hostel in London. It was called Number 8 Hostel I believe. This was 2013. This place was trash. And when I say trash I mean you literally walked over trash to get to your “”room””. The lockers were basically cardboard boxes and the showers were something out of the 1940’s. Like old military barracks.
The list of best could go on forever. I write quite a bit about Luxury travel so I get to stay in some beautiful places. Shangri-La Hotels never disappoint and I’m a huge fan of the Intercontinental Bali Club experience. Amazing place and the price is a steal.
Are you planning for a new trip or do you already have a new trip in mind?
Yup. Sri Lanka now. Taipei, Australi, New Zealand, and back to Europe.
Its easy to find love while you are traveling?
Nope. Not at all. Difficult to find someone who can actually live this lifestyle unless you can finance it for them. This life isn’t for everyone. And for those of the opposite sex that do live this lifestyle, the compatibility pool is low.
How do you finance your trips?
I’m a travel journalist for several different clients.
Do you have any recommendations which blogger/traveller should I interview next?
Check out Because We Camp. The Camps are an amazing vlogging couple that also travels the world. They seriously need their own travel show. Hilarious and informative.
How many hours do you work for your blog?
It depends. My blog doesn’t actually generate income. If you notice I have zero adds. I sell nothing. I offer no courses. My blog is merely there for people to follow my travels. However, it has led me into work at other publications and companies within the travel space. In a given week I guess I out in about 5-10 hours.
Can you tell us about your plans to write a photography book?
So, this entire thing started from a desire to fund my foundation for low income students. My goal is to teach underprivileged kids about photojournalism and travel. I believe that photography is a medium these kids can use to express themselves in a positive way while showing the world what their lives are like. So within the next two years I hope to publish a book of my work with the proceeds going to that foundation.
Great story Erick, thanks for your time!
How did you find Erick’s story? It looks very inspiring and we hope you loved it the way we did! Erick wants to visit all the countries around the world, traveling every year, 15-20 countries. Doesn’t sound bad! Good luck and happy travels!
Erick recently started a daily vlog. He posts a new video everyday detailing what life is like on the road and how he lives as a travel journalist. Follow him on Youtube to watch his videos. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
If you want to read more inspiring interviews traveling luxury, read our interview with Alexandra where she tells us how she manages to travel the world – and yes travel well at that. You can also read our interview with our friends, Nomadic Boys, who don´t stop traveling and take amazing pictures around the world while they show us their great romantic relationship!
Hope you are inspired to travel and live life freely.
To your success! x