If you follow Soul Society 101 on Instagram then you are no stranger to Detroit-native Tim AKA @timmygotsoul's travel photos. He is a frequest post for us, not out of favor, not because his name is Timmy Got Soul (although that's has a great ring to it), but because he has mastered the art of seeing the world and taking dope photos while doing so. The combination, though encouragingly more common because of the Black Travel craze on the internets lately, is still rare, especially among black men. For all this and more, we're excited to stamp Tim as a Soul Society 101 Fly Guy! Read On:
Soul Society 101: What are some of your favorite places to visit in your home town and your current town?
Tim: I don’t go home (Detroit) often, but going to Belle Isle (an island in middle of the Detroit River) is an all-time favorite. You can take a tunnel or bridge over to Canada, which is probably a 10 minute drive.
In New York City the Summer time is the best to get out and see the city. My friends and I go to Brooklyn Bridge, find different murals that artist paint in the city, Statue of Liberty, and our favorite bar called Motha Burger in Hell’s Kitchen.
Soul Society 101: What inspired your interest in travel?
Tim: Growing up in Detroit you could see Canada from the other side, and I always thought it was interesting to live so close to another country. As a child social studies and geography were my favorite subjects and I would constantly learn about other cultures and countries from school or The Travel Channel. From that point I was hooked.
Soul Society 101: Does your travel have to do with your career, or is it mostly personal? If it has to do with your work, how so?
Tim: I travel as a hobby.
Soul Society 101: What was the first stamp in your passport?
Tim: My first stamp in my passport was when I went to London, England in 2011, but that was not my first time out of the country. As a child I went to the Bahamas and Canada. This was pre 9/11 and I did not need a passport, just a birth certificate.
Soul Society 101: What are your top 3 travel experiences to date and what did you love about each of them?
Tim: In no particular order
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- The people, culture, night life, beaches, food, are all great in Brazil. I think it is the closest to a utopia you can get.
Istanbul, Turkey- The people were amazing and some of the nicest people I have ever met and the American dollar went a long way. Going to Turkey people telling me to be careful, because it is considered the Middle East, but it was the total opposite of what I expected or what was put into my mind. The temples and the food were amazing. Also, it was great to be able to go a city that sits in Asia and Europe. That was cool.
Bangkok, Thailand- I was to able walk tigers, go to a beach were monkeys were running around, eat amazing Thai food, get cheap massages and pampered like a King in Thailand. I love how far my money went. It was a very inexpensive place to be.
Soul Society 101: What is on your travel list for 2015?
Tim: London, England
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Soul Society 101: What’s your dream location to visit within your lifetime? Or have you already been there?
Tim: Some of my dream places I have already been to for example Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, London and Bangkok. In the future my dream spots would be Cairo, Sydney, Havana, Tokyo, and Fiji.
Soul Society 101: If you could live a parallel life anywhere in the US or around the world, at the same time as your current life in your current city, where would it be and why?
Tim: Rio de Janeiro is a place I could see me living, because of the weather and beaches. Brazil is amazing place because of everything. There are so many Brown and Black beautiful faces there. How could you not want to live there?
Soul Society 101: What has your biggest learning experience from traveling been?
Tim: -If you wait on friends to go on trips you probably will never go anywhere. Just get up and go! Don’t wait on anyone.
-Do not listen to people who have never traveled. They probably have some crazy view of a different culture, people or country from the news they have heard in the United States.
-People think everyone hate Americans. Not true. Especially if you’re a Black American man traveling overseas you get so much love. Especially in South America and Asia from my experience.
-Go to the places people would not expect. Places like Thailand, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Panama, Hungary, Turkey, Romania and many more. People always want to get Paris & London when there are so many other great places at reasonable prices. No disrespect to London and Paris, because they are great cities just not the only. Go to the places that are not pushed on to you from the media. Get a map and just pick a place and say “I’m going here…”
-Take lots of pictures.
-Learn to say “Thank You” in the languages of the countries you’re going to.
-Last traveling gives you a different perspective on the world. Once you start to travel you will not view the United States as the same. Especially if you are a person of color.
-People across the world are very smart. Usually, they know your language and a couple of others too