How Travel Became Soul Food For Me


Absolutely no one:

Me to my friends: Let’s go to (insert country or city here)!

Each time I tell my parents I’m vacationing, they always ask,

“Ok, Kalah. But why do you have to do all these things now? You can't wait?”

It’s simple.

I was raised in the bubble of suburban Mississippi. I had no idea how naive I was or how small that bubble was until I went to college at the University of Mississippi. I met so many different kinds of people there, and it made me curious about other places. I was always curious. Curiosity inspired me to be well read, to seek information, and to crave new experiences.

Life came at me fast when I moved to San Francisco in 2017. It was differentttttt. I had to figure out ways to break out of my bubble and adapt to my new surroundings. I realized how important it was to simply be exposed.

Let me explain.

It's hard to understand something that you've never been exposed to. Every place and every situation exposes you to something new - some nugget of knowledge or awareness - that adds to your perspective.

Mississippi is a place that taught me resilience, humility, and strength. It showed me how sweet summer nights on the porch watching fireflies could be. Or how incredible the first bite of your aunt's sweet potato pie could be. California is a place that taught me adaptability, flexibility, and creativity. It showed me how satisfying it is to step into the sand with no shoes on. Or how inspiring it is to be in a room full of Black creatives listening to hyphy music.

Every city has a different look, feel, aesthetic, vibe. They each create unique experiences, moments, understandings, takeaways. They all have different types of people who spark different types of moods and emotions in you. People who leave different marks on the canvas of your life. Each place is beautiful in it's own way.

Being exposed to new places and new experiences forms your perspective. I never want to be someone who thinks small. I want to think big. To think globally. I want to be exposed to new foods, new wines, new languages, new views.

The cherry on top is being able to expose other people to my adventures. Many of the people who follow my journey are just like me - people of humble beginnings, people who feel like they're in a bubble, and people who may not have the opportunity to go see and do. I am intentional about how I use storytelling and visuals to expose people to new places. I always hope that I'm inspiring them and adding to their perspective.

It all brings me joy.

For every new place I go, I leave with something. And no, not a keychain or fridge magnet. But I leave with new perspective. I leave feeling like I can think bigger.

This feeds my soul.

So while posting beautiful shots of my life is fun, behind every piece of content, there's me thinking about how full I feel to be able to be exposed to something new. Something big. Something that will make me smarter. Something that I can tell my grandkids about. Something that will inspire me. Something that will spark the creative part of my brain.

I'm blessed. I remind myself of that every moment I can, whether I'm here at home looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, or I have my feet in the sand by the Mediterranean Sea. Being able to expose myself, and the people who I inspire, is soul food for me.