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Photo Source: Nadine and Instagram
I'm not sure I've ever crushed harder on a TCT than I am on this week's. Meet the newest TCT Dr. Nadine, an educator, entrepreneur, author and avid traveler. Through every facet of her life, she aspires to inspire others to travel, from the youth she teaches to the women she writes for.This week I got the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Nadine, where she let me in on how she incorporates frequent travel into her lifestyle, her recommended travel destinations, her craziest travel adventure and so much more.
Tell us about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? What inspires you to travel?
As a first generation American, I began traveling back and forth to Trinidad at an early age. Traveling to Trinidad at a young age was my introduction, and eventually inspiration, to traveling internationally. For years I would spend summers and Christmases in Trinidad among family. The experience of spending significant time in Trinidad as well as the US allowed me to view life through a wide lens. Growing up in Hillside, NJ, with the experience of frequently traveling ""home"" to Trinidad allowed me to understand diversity in culture, thought, and experience early in life. Consequently, my relationship with travel set the foundation that allows me to be the educator and traveler that I am today. Currently I reside in Atlanta, GA where I am a high school special education teacher. I have been in education for the past 16 years and have taught at every grade level. Ultimately, I endeavor to merge my passion for education with my passion for travel by creating opportunities for children to begin seeing the world at a young age. Outside of education, I am the founder of the Traveling Black Women Network and author of Diary of a Traveling Black Woman: A Guide to International Travel; Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the 5 Other Emirates You Didn't Know About; and Trinidad: More Than Just Carnival. I was inspired to write these travel guides and establish a space for Black women to freely share and ask for travel advice because I found that many Black women who inquired about my travels viewed travel as an unattainable goal reserved for wealthier, single white women. I wanted to be a part of changing that narrative and helping Black women see themselves as travelers free to explore the world as they pleased. There is a certain freedom that I've always felt through the pages of my passport and it is important to me that other women feel that as well.
Most everyone dreams of incorporating more travel in their lives but sometimes life can get in the way. How do you make frequent travel your reality?
Being an educator has given me the ability to travel during long breaks--summer, fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, mid-winter, and spring breaks all afford me "free" days to travel outside of PTO. When I taught in Abu Dhabi, it was also the norm to travel to neighboring countries during long weekends. When I returned to the U.S., I maintained the habit of traveling during long weekends as well as breaks.
What is your best piece of travel advice?
It is important to be aware of the purpose of your travels. I believe travel should be a cathartic experience that allows you to learn more about yourself and offer you a sense of freedom. It is also an opportunity to learn enough about others that we are able to see ourselves as a part of something much bigger than ourselves. When you find yourself caught up with overspending or having to navigate personalities that aren't compatible to yours, you run the risk of having a superficial experience that is easily forgotten. Travel should be meaningful, affordable, and refreshing.
What is the most underrated destination you've visited and why should people jump at the chance to go?
I'm torn between Columbo, Sri Lanka and Boracay, Philippines. I found both destinations to be amazingly gorgeous and filled with a kind, welcoming population. Both locations are extremely affordable and offer a little something for every type of traveler: relaxation, adventure, shopping, nightlife, great food, history, etc.
Share with us your craziest travel adventure!
I have so many stories that I am unsure which to choose. I think the craziest may be the time 5 friends and I traveled to Nairobi, Kenya and were in a van heading to Maasai Mara when we caught a flat. The driver did not have the tool to raise the van to change the tire, and we ended up having to lift the van ourselves while he changed it! We laughed about that for the remainder of the trip. In the picture below, we debated who was actually helping to lift the van and who was just faking it. Now that nearly 10 years have passed, I can admit I wasn't doing a darn thing but posing. It was hot. LOL!!
Where else can folks find you?
I am on LinkedIn (Nadine Duncan, Ed. D.), Twitter (@nadinisms), and Facebook (Nadine Duncan).
Here are some more of our favorite travelers and their gorgeous shots.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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