I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to take an international trip to Ghana, West Africa to bring in the New 2020 Year. Who knew that the world was literally going to shut down several months later after returning home?
As an avid traveler, Covid-19 has put a major dent in my travel plans. I’ve had to cancel several trips to places such as Colombia, New York, and Washington, DC. As the world slowly began to open back up, I searched for destinations where Americans were welcomed with open arms.
I thought about locations that were a) easily accessible, b) the US dollar strong, and c) where I could bask my melanated skin in the sun and ocean. I noticed that everyone was going to Cancun, Mexico. As popular as this destination is, I had never been, so this was the perfect opportunity to hit the friendly skies.
Many people are asking is “Tulum the new Miami”? Nope! Miami is for the Lit turn up crew and Tulum is for the chill vibes. Black people in Tulum is certainly not a new trend but its gaining popularity for the zen vibes, cost of cheap leaving, picturesque art, warm beaches, and the community of people.
I think we take for granted, how much we need physical interaction and connection with other human beings. While zoom calls and virtual meetups are awesome, it can not replace physical touch such as hugs or social gatherings. After being quarantined for months with limited social interaction, visiting Tulum, was exactly what my soul needed to recharge.
Many people are afraid to travel solo because there is an assumption they will be alone during vacation. When I’m traveling by myself, I meet so many people from FaceBook groups or simply by being friendly while exploring.
While walking in Tulum, I saw so many people that looked like me, which is rare when vacationing. For example, after heading back to my Airbnb from a wonderful massage, a woman named Yolanda saw me walking down the street and invited me to join her and others for snacks and conversation. After only spending an hour together, we made plans to meet for dinner at a popular restaurant in town called Taboo. Yolanda and I connected and spent the next 3 days together doing different activities.
If I named all of the dope people I met during my 2-week stay I would be writing forever. Whether we met in passing or had an amazing conversation, just know that you have ignited fuel to keep me traveling the world and explore the possibility of taking the leap and moving abroad.
Black in Tulum
Tiffany: Please introduce yourself and tell me why you chose to live in Tulum, Mexico?
Nubia: My name is Nubia, and I’m a 42-year-old, solo Black female traveler and full-time digital nomad. I was called to this nomadic lifestyle a little over 3 years ago when I decided to leave the United States on a one-way ticket to SouthEast Asia. Throughout my travels, I have lived on 3 continents and explored 43 countries.
Currently, I reside in Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico. I came to Tulum last year (2019) for a 3-day getaway that turned into a 45-day adventure. When I was here in 2019, I was one of only a handful of Black Americans that I had seen in Tulum. During the quarantine, I was living in Playa del Carmen and the moment some of the restrictions lifted, I moved back to Tulum to be closer to nature. During my time back, I’ve created an amazing community for Black and brown travelers in Tulum.
I’m on a personal mission to inspire and encourage GenX professionals to stop waiting for permission to chase their dreams and to get out of their comfort zone and explore the world.
Tiffany: Why did you start Black in Tulum?
Nubia: Let’s start with how… I hosted a brunch for a few friends on the white sandy beaches of Tulum. They loved it so much, I had another brunch the following weekend and over 25 people showed up. That’s when I decided to start a Black in Tulum Facebook group for people of color to get together, network, share resources, and build a community of like-minded travelers. In just 3 months after starting, we are almost 5,000 members.
With the political turmoil and civil unrest in America, I wanted to create a space for Black Americans to know there was a place where they could travel and enjoy the company of other Black American travels while surrounded by the beauty of the Caribbean sea and the magic of the Mayan jungle.
Tiffany: What are the next steps/ projects for black in Tulum?
Nubia: Currently, we host approximately 2 – 4 social events a week. Everything from wellness events, excursions, cenote trips, yacht experiences, impromptu meetups, and Sunday brunches.
We work hard to support the local community with all of our events. I stand by my pillars of education, empower, explore. Within my group, I do my best to educate group members by sharing fun facts about Tulum, members share their experiences and give recommendations for everything from restaurants, hotels, airbnbs, excursions, etc. All of the resources available in the group empower non-travelers to feel more comfortable to take the step to book their ticket to explore Tulum. The group provides the necessary information and resources for a successful trip!
Black In Tulum is the ONLY community for Black & Brown travelers to come together and vibe where the jungle meets the sea. We are a collective of creatives that provide exclusive events and experiences for melanated travelers in Tulum!
I visited Tulum solo in August 2020. A friend referred me to the FB group BLACK IN TULUM As a great resource on things to see and do while there. One of the admins even met me at the bus stop and flagged a cab for me to make sure I found my room safely. Tulum was and always will be one of my favorite travel destinations!! IG @mysheriamore80
I highly suggest attending meetups as a way to explore Tulum and meet new individuals from all over the world. People are on solo, couples or group trips, ex-pats who reside in Mexico, or digital nomads stopping through momentarily. Check the group often as events are posted daily. Some meetings are free while others have a monetary expense
When I first arrived in Tulum, I went to Tribal Thursdays at Elixyr Rooftop Bar hosted by Ryan Small and Shawna Martin. Their motto is “Your Vibe Attracts your Tribe” The meet-up was from 5 pm-8 pm but I had so much fun I stayed out till 11 pm talking, chilling by the pool, and eating yummy shrimp tacos.
If you love brunch and good vibes go to Loco Tulum for Beats and Bubbles. It includes food, drinks, and music.
Join welcome Wednesdays at Mystico or check out the awesome cenote usually hosted by Admin David.
It was great to see so many beautiful Black people in Mexico. If you are an extrovert it was great to vibe and conversate and if you are in introvert its an awesome way to step out of your comfort zone.