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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Traveling While Black? Try Historic Berlin

“Berlin is a good place for Black Americans to travel because we don’t stick out. I fit in and love wearing my natural afro,” said travel blogger Kesi Irvin.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The NNPA’s Black Travel series continues with a journey to Berlin.

With travel restrictions mostly eliminated, many are exercising their pre-pandemic desire to take to the roads and the skies to embark on that much needed and long-awaited excursion.

Kesi Irvin, who quit her job on Wall Street six years ago and is a self-described Black solo-female traveler, has lived a nomadic life. She has visited more than 60 countries over the past six years and teaches others to travel further and deeper without breaking the bank.

The Ivy League graduate said she did not impulsively quit her job. Instead, she planned and saved for two years. “Somehow, my one-year career break turned into five years and counting,” she wrote on her blog, Kesitoandfro.com.

Now a travel blogger, Irvin has earned features in BuzzFeed and PopSugar.

For the Black traveler, Irvin recommends a cross-Atlantic trip to Berlin, the capital and primary urban center of Germany.

“Berlin is a city filled with art, culture, and history,” Irvin told NNPA Newswire.

She noted that the city is open about its dark history and offers many tours regarding the old and hateful Nazi regime.

“I would recommend going on one of the Underground Berlin tours, which shows how people escaped from East to West Berlin,” Irvin remarked.

“These tours are interesting because you see what extreme measures individuals took to escape East Berlin.”

One of the tours called the Dark Worlds, reveals an air-raid shelter, bunker, and a collection of objects from World War II. Tour operators offer patrons a chance to “go back in time and travel through the history of the cellars, the breweries, the postal network, the sewage system … until the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

I Quit My Corporate Job in NYC to Travel the World

Hello, my name is Kesi! I am an Ivy Grad (Wharton, #UPennUKnow), and in 2015 I decided to quit my finance job in NYC to travel the world. I did not impulsively quit but planned and saved money for two years, with the idea of following the summer (your girl loves bikinis!) for a year. Somehow my 1-year career break turned into 5 years and counting. I’ve adapted to a nomadic lifestyle and have no plans to stop. I have learned the ins and outs of sustaining longterm travel and would love to inspire others to take a career break. I am still traveling because I’m addicted to meeting new people and immersing myself in the local culture. Let’s check off some bucket list items together!

Berlin is a city filled with art, culture, and history. Berlin is open about its dark history and offers many tours regarding the Nazi regime. I would recommend going on one of the Underground Berlin tours, which shows how people escaped from East to West Berlin. These tours are interesting because you see what extreme measures individuals took to escape East Berlin.

Berlin is a good place for Black Americans to travel because we don’t stick out. I fit in and love wearing my natural afro. It’s an international city filled with Germans and international expats. Berlin is not known for its cuisine, but there are many vegan and Asian options. Berlin is unique because it embodies a coolness since it is filled with local artists and people with alternative lifestyles. It’s one of the most affordable capital cities in Europe, making it a great place to travel on a budget.

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