DUMELA! This is the greeting for “hello” in my current country of residence : Botswana
Well hello! My name is Tamara and I’ve been running this lovely site, TravelingNatural.com since 2011.
It began as a place to share my musings about travels and the struggles of caring for my natural hair in foreign countries where beauty and haircare products for women of color are an anomaly.
Now the aim is to inspire black Americans (and people of color globally) to get out and go explore the world while finding your true identity and passions.
My story is nothing unique. I’ve been a goal oriented, slightly obsessive compulsive visionary since conception. I’m pretty sure my infant self came out my mothers womb handing her a list of all my life goals and aspirations.
Seriously I couldn’t wait to get out of there, I was even delivered 33 days early!
My adolescent and teenage self was on the path to medical school, an Emergency Medical Doctor in foreign countries, to be exact! A career path that would enable me to provide service and healthcare to people in need while traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures. I had my sights set on joining Doctors Without Borders.
Along the journey the two paths started to separate. Most likely it was the stress of extremely difficult premedical classes and the confusion that plagues every 20-something trying to make career and life decisions so early. Visually it looked like this:
Choosing to take the road less traveled, I decided to listen to my heart. Traveling and finding myself started to become more important than the cookie cutter dream after college. Damn that student loan debt though! Arrgghhh!
Public service and international development work still hold true to my heart so throughout my journey I’ve been trying different jobs as a health educator, English teacher and currently as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.
I know many of you reading this may feel the same way, like your paths are diverging and you have no idea what to do. Rest assured, it is OK! If you just remember that you are work in progress here to experience all that life has to offer, you will eventually figure it out. I’m not going to lie, some days I still consider getting back on the medical school path. But I am enjoying learning about myself and seeing how people around the world live and make decisions. Who knows maybe one day I will go back, armed with the tools to train as a more personable and culturally aware doctor!
That aside, if you ever want to chat more about your life goals, how to start traveling or natural hair feel free to drop me a line!
I would love to hear from you and help you talk it out 🙂
the TravelingNatural 🙂