This week, The Travel Seven welcomes pop culture critic and all around funny girl Starrene ‘GangStarr Girl’ Rhett-Rocque. When she’s not busy interviewing your favorite reality star, you can find her planning her next getaway or hanging with her hubby in he new Chi-town home. Get inspired by her travel style below:
Name: Starrene Rhett Rocque
Occupation: Freelance Journalist
Website: The Lovers Rocque
Passport Stamps: A lot.
1. My Best Travel Memory So Far: Spending my honeymoon in Japan and reuniting with my cousin, who I haven’t seen in about 10 years, while there. Said cousin and I are close in age and I developed a fascination with Japan because of him. As children we were all about anime (What you know about Akira!), manga and video games. He’d order games straight from Japan—and this is before the age of the internet—and we’d indulge, we even listened to J-Pop. He studied abroad there while in college and hasn’t been back since. I, on the other hand, had wanted to go to Japan for years but for various reasons, my plans would always fall through whenever the opportunity could potentially arise. Finally, my husband suggested we do it for our honeymoon and I couldn’t ask for a better trip. We saw Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo and Nagoya, went to a sumo match, took a cooking class with a local woman who also blessed us with a tea ceremony and generally got a nice mix of the tourist experience plus the authentic local experience. Japan is an amazing place and I cannot wait to go back.
2. Favorite Hotel & Why: Almond Morgan Bay, St. Lucia
It’s a beautiful pastel-colored hotel where there are no bad views. It’s perched on top of a hill where guests can look out and see the lush green rainforests of the island, the Caribbean Sea and depending on what side you’re on you can catch a glimpse of neighboring island, Martinique. It’s also the place where my husband proposed.
3. My Must-haves On Any Flight Are: Thick socks and a long sleeve jacket because planes are always freezing, my iPod because music passes the time for me faster than anything else, and my iPad because I can’t not have my books and magazines on deck.
4. When I’m On The Road, I Absolutely Hate: Locals who assume negative things about me when they see that I’m Black or find out that I’m American, and as a result act rude toward me.
5. My Dream Destination Or Vacation: West Africa! I’m dying to visit Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal. I’d love to take an African dance class, learn Mapouka and just vibe with the people in general. People tend to think I’m West African anyway. I’m sure there’s validity in those assumptions.
6. The Three Things I Can’t Travel Without: Passport, iPad and iPod.
7. Top Lesson I’ve Learned While Traveling: It’s important to do your research before visiting a place and it’s ok if you feel overwhelmed when you get to your destination, just go with the flow. In the event that you don’t speak the language, there are other ways to communicate that are surprisingly affective. You’d be surprised how much we are all on the same wavelength anyway.
Already on your second or third passport? Join the Travel Seven and submit your answers today to firstname.lastname@example.org—if we like them we will post on here on Parlour!