*Travel Africa overland
Several months ago I learned about Jean Oliver’s plan to travel across the African continent using land only as the means for transportation. He posted about his selection of countries to visit and the timeline in the Facebook group Nomandess Tribe.
I thought it would be cool to share a bit of his story on this site. Check it out and let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Please introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Jean Olivier. I’m an New York City native. I’m an Engineer by profession, mentor, musician, and a proud backpacker.
Why did you decide to travel across Africa?
My reasons are because I wanted to celebrate a recent accomplishment that I had obtained in latter December, in memoriam of friends that I’ve lost in a travel related accident in Panama, and to change the face of overland travel in Africa while encouraging locals and Diaspora to expand their comfort zone of travel within the continent(South Africa being the most visited westernized country ) because when it comes to the continent the media slanders the continent whenever possible. In commemoration of a friend who did the journey by car 10 years ago. I also wanted to show the true beauty of the continent often missed outside of the tourist traps.
As black American expat what advice would you give to others inspired to travel to parts unknown?
My advice to expats is to skip the privilege and actually mingle with locals. One of the biggest complaints from locals is that at many times the expat community rarely interacts with them which causes a divide. Go to learn and build alongside and not try to change to your personal liking. Support the local economy before foreign chains.
The most difficult part of my journey was during the initial planning gathering information from various forums such as Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, and of course the internet in general. Information that’s currently on the web is section off for a certain race, certain monetary level. A lot of the stuff that I found were either prejudice and/or heavily racist.
Favorite experience you’ve had in a country you visited?
My interactions with the Afar Tribe of Ethiopia. They saved my life after being severely weakened by the extreme environmental conditions of the Afar desert. I got a chance to see a real live volcano up close while experiencing the hottest place on earth.
How do you self identify?
Free Spirited. A wanderer.
When teaching others about your culture, what is the most important thing you want them to know?
Tap into your mind and get to know humanity.
Do you plan on moving Africa?
I do plan on moving to Africa eventually after I create some plans for my return and residence so far Tanzania, Sudan, and Uganda are on the list.
Do you think it is important for young black males to travel?
I do think is important especially due to the way society works against us. I believe a change perspective or scenery is quite conducive to our stability.