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When It Hits Different: How to Navigate Cultural Differences

One of the things that makes Black girl magic unlike anything else is our cultural differences. No one else is like us – no matter who tries to be. And sometimes, that’s hard for people to understand.

When you’re traveling though, it’s important to keep in mind that what’s normal and Black girl magic for us might be exotic and out-of-the-ordinary (and even inappropriate) for others.

That’s the beauty of learning about different cultures! You’re exposed to how others find magic in their own lives (even if they don’t think it’s magic). It’s why travel is such a rewarding, fulfilling, and eye-opening experience.

But the same way others can misunderstand your Black girl magic and those cultural nuances is the same way travelers can in new spaces. So, here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you’re traveling in a group setting and need to navigate cultural differences:

Stay Curious

The best way to navigate cultural differences and increase your understanding is to be curious. And what better way to do that than to ask questions?

Asking questions shows your genuine curiosity and interest in understanding how things work. They go a long way in allowing locals to feel as if you’re respecting their space, country, and customs.

Think of it like this: you’d want the same curiosity and respect if someone from a foreign country was visiting yours.

That being said – don’t forget to do research beforehand. This can help avoid complete culture shock. Even if you know something already from your studies, asking questions to confirm will show care and reverence, and make your traveling experience more enjoyable.

Be Empathetic

The best way to navigate cultural differences is to try your best to put yourself in others’ shoes. This requires a combination of the above approaches – doing research, asking questions, and being open-minded.

No matter our differences – clothing, religion, class, orientation, ethnicity, language – we’re all human at the end of the day.

When you can remember that, navigating any cultural differences will be easier.

Knowing these can make or break your trip. If you’re looking for more ways to ensure your experience is as magical as possible, check out the blog for more tips and hacks on traveling solo, in a group, and more.

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