In my life I have been fortunate enough to travel out of the country and I love it so much. So, I figured I’ll reflect on the first time I left the country when I was 9 for my uncle’s wedding and it was in Bermuda. A couple of facts about Bermuda: it’s a small, island nation sort of in the middle of the Atlantic. It is known for tourism and also for the Bermuda Triangle which is this mysterious, magnetic thing that eats you. Like on Lost. Maybe the Lost smoke monster was the Bermuda Triangle. Crickets. Or not. So it was the first time I had been out of the country so I remember I had to get a passport and get my pictured taken for it. I was so excited to go, I Googled pictures of the beaches and our hotel.
So. we arrive. The airport was really small. We were on a plane that you step directly off of the plane onto the tarmac and I just remember the heat. I’m not sure what season but it was probably spring or summer so very warm and clear and beautiful. I first thing I remember seeing was other black people. Because I had never been abroad I didn’t know there were black people in Bermuda, I had never even heard of the country before. So I’m like, oh, ok. It’s Florida and Detroit mixed together, sick. The second thing was the water. I had been on a beach before but the water was so clear. You could clearly see every little fish, every little seashell in that water, it was clear and so blue and gorgeous I was like my inner voice was like (Holy shit man, you got to get on that).
I wanted to go to the beach like as soon as possible. I think the wedding was the following day and let’s say we got there at maybe 11 am. Now, there was one issue and that was hair. I’m pretty sure I had it done and when I finally did go in the water I was like OH MY GOD I CAN CATCH FISH WITH MY HANDS LIKE A BEAR. I failed to realize that the darker part of the water, meant it was deeper. So I’m walking in swallow water then I slip off the sandy ledge and dip right below the surface. And luckily I could swim but my mom was like, “Aja! I told you not to get your hair wet, little girl!” Awww. Fuck. So that happened my hair was just nappy as hell but it wasn’t my wedding so I didn’t care.
I think we were there maybe two nights. The wedding was on the beach and it was really beautiful. I was too young to know if there was any ratchetness going down in the background. I’m gonna assume a resounding yes but appearances were kept. And that was the first time I left the country. If you ever leave the country for the first time, pick a place where the concept of a tourist isn’t likened to a mosquito. There are a lot of beautiful nations out there and unless you are into winter sports, go somewhere warm and sunny. Most of all, be open minded, curious and respectful. People in foreign countries have notions about Americans coming over and fucking shit up so let’s make sure we’re invited back. Because some people go abroad and act a fucking fool. Watch an episode of Locked Up: Abroad, man. That shit is real. They do not play.