Christian Kameni is our Fly Guy of the week. Of Cameroonian origins and currently residing in the Washington DC metro area, Christian (also known as @Ethnic_Gent on these Instagram streets) has lived in Europe and been around the world and back.
Soul Society 101: What are some of your favorite places to visit (restaurants, bars, lounges, sites) in your current town of DC?
Georgetown and the Washington Monument would definitely be my favorite places to visit in D.C. Some of my favorite restaurants are Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and Bombay Club for some Indian food. In terms of bars and lounges, The P.O.V Rooftop Lounge, Nellies Bar, and the Hamilton are amongst my favorite.
Soul Society 101: Has living in Europe piqued your interest in travel or did it start before that?
Living in Europe definitely contributed to my interest in traveling. Prior to living in Paris, I had already done some minor traveling, but nothing compares to the capacity of traveling that I did while living in Paris. The proximity of one country to another and the affordable airfare cost made it very possible for me to explore several countries in Europe and Africa.
Soul Society 101: Does your travel have to do with your career, or is it mostly personal?
My travel is primarily personal. I used travel as way to learn about other culture, improve my language skills, and meet people from around the globe. I do not wait for the calendar to figure out when I should live life, I just do it.
Soul Society 101: What was the first stamp in your passport?
The first stamp on my passport was actually the United States passport, when I migrated to the U.S as a child. I remember boarding the plane all by myself, with aspirations to travel the world one day.
Soul Society 101: What are your top 3 travel experiences to date and what did you love about each of them?
My top three travel experiences to date would be Italy, Morocco, and Thailand.
Italy. I loved everything about Italy! The language, the food, the people, and the fashion. From the time I was in middle school I was fascinated with Italian and always believed that it was the best language in the world, which led me to start learning how to speak Italian. The food! I mean who does not like a good pizza, pasta, and some good Italian wine?! They say carbs are not good for you, but I guess Italian people don't believe in that. As for fashion, the simplicity and elegance of Italians’ fashion makes you want to get rid of your entire wardrobe. Lastly, the amazing sights, which date back to the Roman Empire makes this country even more enjoyable.
Morocco. I spent about a week in Morocco, and fell in love with the Moroccan architecture. I mean the hand painted tiles you find through the houses in Morocco are extremely beautiful and vibrant. The weather was just perfect; it was hot, but not humid. Lastly, the shopping at the infamous Jemaa el-Efnaa Square is worth every negotiation.
Thailand. This past December I got to visit Thailand, where I also celebrated New Year Eve. I must say, there is nothing not to like about this country. Bangkok is such fast pace city, full of action, shopping, restaurants, clubs/ bars. The people are so welcoming and kind no matter where you go. Thailand also offers so many beaches, for those seeking some relaxation from the nuzzling capital city of Bangkok. During my trip I spent about ten days in Phuket, which is in the South of Thailand. There, the weather was fantastic and the clear blue water throughout its beaches was ravishing.
Soul Society 101: What is on your travel list for 2015?
My travel list for 2015 includes Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, France, and South Africa. This January I was able to cross the first three countries off my list. As of now, I only have the remaining three left, but I am pretty sure that I will another country to the list.
Soul Society 101: What's your dream location to visit within your lifetime? Or have you already been there?
This is such a tough question! I am not sure if I have any dream location to visit at the moment. As a child, my dream locations used to be Paris, France and Italy. Now that I have lived and worked in Paris, as well as visited Italy, I guess I no longer have a dream location. If I have to choose locations, I would say anywhere I have not been. It would be anywhere that has happy people, beautiful beaches, captivating sights, and a great night scene.
Soul Society 101: Why is traveling important to you?
Traveling is important to me because through traveling I have been able to broaden my horizons, became more cultured, and I have learned a lot about myself and others. Also, traveling has taught me to appreciate the little things we often take for granted.
Soul Society 101: In terms of travel, would you say that you're an adventure seeker? Sight seer? Or do you just like to go somewhere and relax/turn down?
I would say that when I travel I am more into both sightseeing and relaxation. I prefer destinations that have plenty of touristic attractions, such as monuments, temples, castles, etc... Depending on how stressful work has been, I do enjoy a destination with a nice beach and a slower pace.
Soul Society 101: What is the most impactful cultural exchange that you've had to date in your travels?
My most impactful cultural exchange that I have had up to date was during my recent trip to Thailand. The people of this nation are extremely welcoming and kind. Also, Thailand is a country that is rich in culture, and also very accepting of people from all gender, race, and sexual orientations. Although it is not a wealthy country, the people are always smiling and are very appreciative of what they have. This always remind of how blessed I am and makes me appreciate everything.